Military Collectibles Wanted
Preserve and Restore Your Military Collectibles
Part III: Field Gear
The third part in our five part series on preserving military collectibles highlights Field Gear. Field gear includes everything from gloves and belts to packs and pouches.
The most common materials found on field gear include: leather, canvas, web and metal. The following explains how to clean and preserve these fours materials.
- Vacuum with small brush attachment
- Mild soap or Woolite/water
- Soft cloth
- Petroleum jelly
- Toothbrush or soft bristle brush
The important tool when it comes to cleaning field gear is a vacuum. A vacuum cleans loose dirt and dust from nearly any material (including leather).
Use a soft dry cloth to clean any leather material. Use a soft bristle brush if dirt is heavy. If item is large enough, use a vacuum. Once clean, use petroleum jelly to keep leather pliable and prevent moisture damage. Excess petroleum jelly can be wiped away with a soft cloth. Using leather polish is also an option after petroleum jelly has been absorbed.
Use a vacuum to remove any loose dirt or dust. Most items made of 100% canvas or web can be washed by hand in cool water and mild soap or Woolite. Never use a cleaner with bleach!
Do not soak any item in water if it has leather or fur fittings (i.e. German bread bags) as the fittings can shrink and become brittle. Instead use a damp cloth to clean the canvas or web around the fittings. Allow to dry completely.
Clean the metal on your field gear with a soft cloth with mild soap and water. When dry, use a small amount of petroleum jelly to protect. Brass and nickel belt buckles may be polished using a non-abrasive metal polish.
As with most collectibles, store your field gear in a proper display and always away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight. Proper care and storage will ensure the preservation of your field gear for years to come and increase the value of your investment.
Special Thanks for Vonn Krueger for his assistance on this article.