stainless steel sporting goods rust prevention tips

Stainless Steel Sporting Goods Rust Prevention Requires Smart Storage Solutions

Stainless steel sporting goods rust is a potential problem for any equipment owner who stores their gear in anything but an air-tight, temperature-controlled environment (which is just about everyone).

Although it’s true that stainless steel is less prone to rust and corrosion than steel and other metals, it is not rust-proof. Stainless steel is an alloy of steel, which contains iron – the specific metal that is vulnerable to rust. (Other metals may be susceptible to different types of corrosion.) As an alloy, stainless steel contains at least 10 percent chromium. This is the element that can help prevent sporting goods rust. However, the strength of that corrosion resistance depends on the grade of the metal, the percentage of chromium content, and environmental factors such as water/humidity, salt, dust/debris, and terrain or activities that can cause knicks and scrapes to the surface. sporting goods rust prevention fishing gear

This equipment can be pricey – and it’s likely you aren’t eager to buy replacements every season – or even every other season. Beyond that, the structural integrity of some of these components can pose a safety issue for users if compromised. It’s not a chance you want to take while suspended from a rock or submerged in the deep. Effectively protecting your sporting goods gear from rust and corrosion requires a thoughtful storage plan – ideally one that includes vapor corrosion inhibitors, or VCI. Something as simple and inexpensive as a rust prevention vapor capsule can go a long way toward shielding your gear.

Among those for whom stainless steel components are inherent in their sporting gear:

  • Hikers, mountain climbers, rock climbers, and cavers. Stainless steel is used in numerous pieces of equipment for enthusiasts of these activities. These include rock hangers with carabiners, bolts and bolt hangers, cables, cable anchors, pocket knives, descenders and pulleys, food and water containers, rope ladders, etc. The environments in which these pieces of equipment can be muddy, humid, and rugged. Keeping this equipment in excellent working order is a safety imperative.
  • Joggers. Increasingly, some joggers who prefer craggier terrain for their runs are opting for a type of stainless steel chainmail shoe. Being directly exposed to the elements, though, it’s important to take special care to clean and store them.
  • Fishers /anglers. Spinning reels, standing nets, tridents, hooks – all are frequently made from stainless steel. Direct exposure to water (particularly saltwater) and humid air can accelerate rusting and corrosion.
  • Boaters. These include those on sailboats, rowboats, and water skiers. Anchors, cleats, cables, carabiner snap hooks, winches, rigging screws, oar locks & bases – all these are often manufactured with stainless steel. Of course, most of these pieces stay on the boat (as opposed to being stored separately in a garage), but that doesn’t mean storage is irrelevant. Make sure you carefully clean and protect these metal components. Axxanol spray after cleaning and drying can help prevent rust and corrosion. We also have rust prevention vapor capsules for boats.
  • Bicyclists. We’ve written fairly extensively about the risks of rust to bicycles. The stainless steel chains, cogs, brakes, cables, and disc brake rotors are all susceptible to corrosion. A VCI rust prevention bicycle cover can help protect your ride.
  • Golfers. Stainless steel is used for almost all high-quality iron heads. If you want them to last, keep them clean and store them in a container with a VCI vapor capsule or VCI plastabs.
  • Equestrians. All sorts of stainless steel equipment is used to ensure safe horse riding – including stirrups, horse bits, horseshoes, and tack snaps. Properly clean and store them to extend their shelf life.

If you have questions about the best storage solution to prevent stainless steel sporting goods rust, our customer service team can help.

Contact Zerust for more information on rust prevention strategies by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Stainless Steels in Sports and Leisure Equipment, International Stainless Steel Forum

More Blog Entries:

How to Store Your Deer Gear: Rust Prevention for Hunting Gear Storage, Dec. 15, 2022, Sporting Goods Rust Prevention Blog