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Whether you are a collector or a martial arts lover, maintaining your sword is very important. From katana and wakizashi to tanto and tachi, all swords undergo regular maintenance to maintain the integrity of their appearance and structure. Although most damage is caused by rust, you may be surprised to find that the sword can also get moldy and mildew.
What is mold?
Molds and mildews are forms of fungi that grow in humid environments where organic matter is readily available. Generally speaking, molds are lighter and less invasive than molds. When mold forms, it usually develops the appearance of a black or green layer on its infected surface.
Whether it is mold or mildew, fungus is not as worrying as rust. Rust can literally swallow the blade of a sword, causing extensive permanent damage that cannot be easily repaired. On the other hand, mold and mildew can usually be removed by wiping the affected area with a cloth towel and cleaning fluid. Nevertheless, owners should take necessary precautions to protect their swords from mold and mildew.
Wooden sword vs metal sword
The good news is that mold usually forms on wooden swords rather than metal swords. This is because fungi need organic matter to thrive. The metal sword is made of inorganic materials. Therefore, there is no "food" for mold or mildew. However, for wooden practice swords, fungi may feed on organic cellulose materials.
The difference in oil
However, even if you have a metal sword, it may still get moldy or mildew due to the use of certain oils. It is not uncommon for sword collectors to oil their blades. Oil covers the blade to prevent rust and corrosion. However, the downside is that some oils contain salt-fungi may thrive on these salts. To protect your sword from mold and mildew, please avoid using base oil on the blade.
You can also protect your sword from mold and mildew by controlling the humidity of the storage environment. Fungi need two things to grow: moisture and organic matter. By controlling the humidity, you will eliminate the moisture in the equation. Therefore, please store your sword in an environment with a relative humidity of 40% to 50% to protect it from mold and mildew. This, combined with the choice of salt-free oil, should prevent fungus from forming on the blade.