As far as mail is concerned, if your club or society permits galvanized or stainless mail it will definitely save you a lot of work over the plain steel variety. Authenticity, however, has much to commend it and maintaining plain steel mail replicates one of the activities of fighting men of old (or at least their aides). For this mail, preventive maintenance is again the key - keeping the rust away is easier than removing it. Your mail is oiled when you receive it – it is best to degrease it with the solvent of your choice, taking all the necessary safety precautions, dry it thoroughly and then recoat it unless you are going to use it immediately. Opinions on the best coating vary – some use mineral or vegetable oil, some use water-displacing liquids (such as WD-40™) and others use modern-day potions with far-reaching claims (we’re trying out a couple and we’ll let you know of any breakthroughs). Before each use the mail should be degreased and, as soon as possible after each use, dry it thoroughly, inside and out, and recoat. Inspect the mail for signs of rust regularly and, if any is found, remove it – it will spread very quickly unless stopped.