How To Care For A Kydex Holster: Common Sense Maintenance

How To Care For A Kydex Holster: Common Sense Maintenance

TLDR: For regular cleaning, you can wipe down your holster with a damp cloth as this will take care of surface-level dirt, sand, and grit. It is not a bad idea to dive a bit deeper into the proper care and maintenance for your Kydex holster given that you may have to rely on it to save your life, or the lives of your loved ones, but that is just me. With that in mind, let us take a few moments to review the basics of Kydex holster maintenance. Be warned, however, that at the end of this article, you will want to be Kydex maxing like this FDO Industries +1 Kydex holster: The +1 Kydex Holster.

Before we get to the meat and potatoes of it all, it is good to be reminded that you can turn the most mundane of actions into a work of art.  Holster maintenance can be included in that category.  How can I say that?  Let’s take a brief detour for a moment and chat about the samurai.

Chiburi: The Art Of How Samurai Cleaned Their Swords

If you meet a dude that does not think samurais are cool you are probably dealing with someone who thinks leather is the best material for holsters.  These ancient Japanese warriors made everything they did into a craft.  This included how they cleaned their swords.  Frequent care and maintenance of their weapon was a requirement to keep it in good working order.

Human blood is iron-based and will oxidize in rust, which will make metals brittle long-term.  In the short term, congealed blood can cause the blade to stick to the scabbard.  The samurai would also consider any leftover blood on their weapon as a deep dishonor to the blade itself.  They held their weapons with that much reverence.

Samurai would clean their swords using a process called “chiburi”, which roughly translates to "shaking off the blood".  At the end of each duel they would spin the blade and tap the handle with their fist before returning it to the scabbard.  Although this process did not get all of the blood off, it did help prevent the blade from sticking until a more thorough cleaning was done later.  

We are not aware of a ceremonial way to holster a firearm but we do think a lot about the care and maintenance of Kydex.  It is the material we use for all of our products (We go over some of the reasons in this article: What You Should Look For In A Kydex Holster).  Here are some general guidelines that will help ensure you can run your Kydex holster for a long time.

Care And Maintenance For Your Kydex Holster

Our Kydex holsters can stand up to all kinds of abuse but they are not indestructible.  The first thing to be aware of is that they are designed for a specific firearm.  “It kinda works” is not an acceptable strategy for trying to use other firearms.  The reason is that using a gun that the holster is not designed for can be unsafe if the trigger guard is not covered correctly.  The other issue you will run across is the Kydex holster not having proper retention which could lead to improper handling of your firearm.. Fun fact:  Nothing will ruin a holster faster than a negligent discharge.

The other thing that will ruin your Kydex holster’s day is heat (Yes, I just anthropomorphized a Kydex holster.  Deal with it).  One of the reasons we love Kydex is the ease with which it can be formed into any shape once you raise its temperature to appropriate levels in the manufacturing process.  That doesn’t magically change when our products go out into the wild.

Be aware that if you subject your Kydex holster to extreme heat there is a chance that it will deform and by Zeus’ beard don’t wash it with boiling water.  Just use a mild detergent with warm water to get any sand, dirt, or grit out.  This will help prevent wear and tear on the finish of your firearm (there will still be some because that's what happens when you use something every day because reasons). 

Have you ever had a small screw come out of a pair of glasses over time?  Did you then throw those glasses on the ground in a rage screaming “Defective!”?  If so, you might want to consider getting professional help.  Make sure to check the screws on your holster every once in a while to make sure they are in order.  You can also use the thread locker Vibra-Tite to help keep them firmly in place (If you do lose screws, posts, or spacers we will send replacement hardware for free).

Kydex Holster Maintenance Quick Fire Questions

Should you oil the inside of a Kydex holster?

This is a personal preference question.  It is not necessary but if you must silicone spray lubricant is fine.  Going to quickly move on to the next question now.

Can Kydex Holsters be reheated and reformed?

Yes.  But not unless you do it for a living, otherwise you risk turning your holster into an unusable pottery creation that your kid would bring back from camp arts and crafts.

Do I need to do anything to break in my Kydex holster?

Unlike old-timey leather, it has the right shape for your firearm out of the box and stays that way unless you do something squirrely (see the last question).  The retention level can always be adjusted by tightening or loosening the screws by the trigger guard. 

Where should I store my holster?

You already know the answer to this, unless you skipped to the end, so in that case somewhere dry and where it won’t be subjected to extreme heat.

I hope this answers most of your questions.

Have a good one,


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