The Iaito sword is a sword invented for practicing Iaido and uses an alloy sword blade instead of the blade of a real sword. The other parts of the sword are often that of a real sword, such as the sheath, hilt, and other metal fittings. But since the blade is made of alloy, it has chromium painting over it. The chromium painting is resistant to rust, so even if you leave it unmaintained for a while it will not get rusty so fast. It can get damaged with water, so if it gets wet you should wipe it with a dry cloth. For daily maintenance that should suffice.
How to maintain your Iaito sword
However, if it gets really dirty or if you wish to keep it for a very long time, I recommend the following maintenance.
First, get a soft cloth with some ethanol or some other anhydrous alcohol, and wipe the blade. Use another soft cloth with a little bit of sword oil (clove oil is ideal), and wipe the blade. For the guard and edge, wipe gently with a soft cloth with a very small amount of sword oil.
What not to do with your Iaito sword
I will also list some common mistakes.
1. Putting dusting power on the iai-sword
Dusting powder contains powder from whetstones. Like compound powder, it is designed to remove old oil and polish the blade to regain the shine. If you use such dusting powder on a blade with chromium painting, it will cause gashing and the plating peeling off. So please never do that. If the plating peels off the alloy will get rusty.
2. Putting a lot of sword oil on the blade
Unlike a real sword, the iai-sword is resistant to rust, so there is no need to put lots of sword oil on to it. If you put too much oil then put it back into the sheath, the wood of the sheath will absorb the oil and the mouth of the sheath will become loose and the wood can be damaged.
3. Taking it apart
The iai-sword is designed as a practice sword based on the real sword, but unlike the real sword it is not designed with consideration that uses would take them apart. Unless you have a high level of knowledge and skills, do not take it apart yourself. Contact a specialist like Tozando. If you forcefully remove the blade from the shaft, it will cause the sword to become lose and the shaft to get damaged, which can be very dangerous.
Japanese swords, which have been made with the correct skills, have many important features that are put in when it was made. Sometimes these can be seen, but often they are hidden. Sometimes certain maintenance work may seem easy, but it may cause bad effects if you are not careful. So please take extra caution in dealing with swords, including the iai sword.