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Helmet Preservation

Article about: Hello to all, I need some advice please, I have a Quist Luftwaffe helmet in good condition and complete with liner, chinstrap and decal which rates at near perfect. I keep the helmet in a gl

  1. #1

    Default Helmet Preservation

    Hello to all,

    I need some advice please, I have a Quist Luftwaffe helmet in good condition and complete with liner, chinstrap and decal which rates at near perfect. I keep the helmet in a glass and wooden construction case with down-lighters which are switched on daily. The conditions inside the cabinet are dry with no dampness at all !

    The helmet I have concluded came from a KIA, I have formed this opinion as on one side of the helmet and liner are marks/stains which appear to be blood. On the same side of the helmet is slight surface rust as well as slight rust on the peak and rim of the helmet.

    Can anyone recommend a spray or treatment I can apply to at least stop or slow this rust, I know many people say leave it alone don't clean it etc, which I agree however I thought I would ask as some sights recommend a silicone based spray applied lightly to affected areas.

    The same also applies to the liner, it is now very dry ! is there anything I can do to preserve this ?

    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    Rust does not seem to be very bad but if you really want to get rid of the rust I would suggest steel wool but doing this might damage the helmet I would think you would be better off to just leave the helmet alone

  4. #3

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    Please don't use steel wool, with respect gel that isn't good advice mate! That rust is long dead, it won't get worse unless you wear it in the bath. Also if you come to sell it in the future, you will have halved the value to another collector if you scrub it with wool, any sprays are also a bad idea. Can we get some pics of the overall lid? Those liner stains don't look like blood really to me btw.

    PS. Old leather is also best left alone. If it is very dry it can turn into wet tissue paper if you try and put a cream or something onto it. If you keep it dry and stable it won't degrade any further. In most cases, there is nothing you can do to 'improve' a helmet, this one looks decent already.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    My recommendation is to leave as is. Doing anything to it alters its original condition and appearance. The way you have it stored should be sufficient to keep the rust from continuing. The risk with oils and conditioners is color and appearance change. I leave all of mine as they are. This is just my opinion.

    PS: steel wool? No. Save the steel wool for dishes and crack heads.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    Do nothing, it is fine.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    I had intention of suggesting steel wool to this helmet, it is a good way to get rid of rust but not on a helmet like this

  8. #7

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    The only thing that I would have done, if I absolutely felt I had to, would have been applying a nice coat of Renaissance wax in order to slightly darken the paint/ surface rust, thereby protecting it in the gentlest way possible without doing any damage--- no steel wool, that's for sure

  9. #8

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    Helmets are best left alone , no products or special care is required if stored in the right environment. Adding such products will alter the appearance , smell and value.
    The room you use should not be too dry or too moist of course.

    If you have it in a cabinet with a spotlight it's possible the warmth of the light is creating a bad atmosphere for the leather.

    Waxing a helmet with paint that nice is completely unnecessary. In fact if a helmet needs treatment of any sort I would not buy it. Plenty of helmets left that will last for a 1000 years

  10. #9

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    Thanks very much for all your responses, I think I will take the advice of doing nothing. Its a bit of a catch 22 in regards keeping it in the cabinet. Its ideal for not rusting however not so good for the liner !!

    The rust is not bad by any means and its lasted all this time as it is I suppose I just needed some reassurance. So am I right in thinking that the rust is halted as long as the conditions are good or will it always continue to rust ??

    I just did not want a situation in a few years whereby the rust has become worse ?


  11. #10

    Default Re: Helmet Preservation

    I wouldn't be very concerned about the rust. It's not sitting out in the rain so it shouldn't continue to grow. A semi dry environment is good. I would not sit it next to a dehumidifier, but don't put a humidifier in the case either, lol. Should be enough moisture in a standard room in a house to keep it neutral and the helmet leather supple.

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