Poor man's cleaning kit

by Darian

QUESTION: I've heard that you can use mineral oil to protect carbon steel blades, but am unsure as the labels on these (found at pharmacies) suggest a different use. Heavy mineral oil from pharmacies like london drugs, safeway, shoppers drugmart and super store label them as laxatives. Whereas, light mineral oil from the same stores' prescribed usage for makeup removal, lotion and topical ointment. Which is appropriate?

On another topic, could 100% cotton made t-shirts be used as the, "lint free cloth" prescribed for cleaning kits? Or do cotton t-shirts have lint? And what brands of paper towels are lint free? The ones at the market don't state whether they are or aren't lint free.

As you've probably guessed... I'm trying to create a poor man's cleaning kit for a poor man's low-end musashi sword collection. Any suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi Darian,

Definitely the LIGHT MINERAL OIL. The other stuff will clog all over the blade and end up pooled at the bottom of the saya.. Nasty...

As to lint free cloth - a cotton T-shirt will work fine. Something like a towel isn't good because it often leaves little bits of material on the blade to soak up the oil for you (and cause rust).

Same with paper towel - good quality, yet fragrance free tissues do the job as well. But an old white cotton T-shirt works just as well.

Hope this helps.

- Paul

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