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Angle of attack on a helmet that has period paint on it

Article about: My gut says, if it has that much paint on it, leave it. But do you think there is a way to get rid of the rust? This is hypothetical, since I don't actually own any helmets. I just wanted to

  1. #11

    Default Try vinegar bath

    I had not heard of the tea bag treatment, and it is certainly worth a try. I have used vinegar fo several years. It is inexpensive and mildly acidic, and works very well without the danger that oxalic acid poses. I put the helmet in a 5 gallon pail, and cover with undiluted vinegar. In about a day you will see brown foam form, which tells you it is working. I work on the heavily rusted areas with a wire brush, and on lightly rusted areas with steel wool. I used vinegar on an Italian helmet, and didn't soak it because it still had the leather liner. I just draped it with paper towels soaked in vinegar, then used steel wool to scrub off the rust. See pics. I think you will find this to be very effective.Angle of attack on a helmet that has period paint on it

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  3. #12


    Quote by BrodieBartfast View Post
    I’d treat the rust that was there, rather than try to remove it.

    This can be accomplished using warm water and teabags. Find a container deep enough to immerse the helmet in, fill it with warm water, then dump in a pack of teabags. Give it a stir, then dump the helmet in. Leave it to sit for five or six hours, then fish it out. Either leave it in the sun to dry, or seal it in a container with silica gel packets to draw out the moisture.

    It’s a very simple chemical process. The tea contains tannic acid, which reacts with any active rust and neutralises it. The result is an overall darker appearance, but if you dry it properly, no new rust will form. I have used this method on a couple of relic helmets in the past, including one lake-retrieved lid that was very ‘crumbly’. It works surprisingly well to stabilise even far-gone relics.

    This isn’t just useful for helmets, either. Any metal item showing signs of active rust can be treated in this way.

    Regards, B.B.
    Hello bb, how hot the water needs to be? Raul

  4. #13


    Quote by Raul View Post
    Hello bb, how hot the water needs to be? Raul
    It doesn’t need to be boiling, just warm. It might work with cold water too, but the guy who tipped me off on this method told me to make sure it was warm.

    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

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