I would like to know what steps I have to follow to restore my Kendo equipment. I already bought a second-hand armor but after all classes I checked my "DO" and with the shinae it keeps some kind of marks from the hits that receives and it doesn't disappear.

I already tried cleaning with car wax and other things, but the brightness of the "DO" doesn't change, and the opacity of the do remains.

2 Answers 2


Care and cleaning of your bogu varies depending on what the actual damage is. Given the surface of the do is generally bamboo with lacquer over it, you essentially wind up with three sorts of stains. First, and the usual item with white marks, is salt from sweat. But that usually gets cleaned off readily with a wet towel, so the odds are good that that's not your problem. Secondly, there's darker stains from the shinai oil. That's usually cleanable afterwards with the wet cloth, but can sink in if you don't regularly clean your equipment afterwards. I don't have a good solution for that one, but it's darker stains, so that's probably not your problem. Lastly, and most likely, there is scuffs and residue from strikes. The do, as you know, is covered by layers of lacquer, typically opaque colors covered with clear lacquer. Your first step is a scratch test. A fingernail will work fine if you have longer ones. A scrub brush is a reasonable alternative. Can you scratch the mark off in the same way you'd clean off a shoe-sole scuff on a hardwood floor? If so, you're looking at more scrubbing and picking to get the material off. For a white mark, you're more likely looking at the lacquer itself having gotten scuffed. The clear bit is made cloudy by the irregular surface. Unfortunately, just like when you scratch up a hardwood floor or the pain on a car, this may mean that you need to remove the lacquer down to where the scuff starts and reapply it, particularly if the waxing you did has put another layer on over the scuff. My advice is to talk to your teacher. He probably has firsthand knowledge of good lacquers and where to find them in your area.

Mold can also develop on the equipment, but generally on the inside and after storage. For that, scrubbing with rubbing alcohol is fairly effective and there are fungicides sold for general athletic equipment that can eradicate the usual offenders.

Good luck!

  • well it has shinae marks because when we fight in a kendo training i receive hits at my do dai but those marks stay there as white marks....i don't know how to clean it or restore it for seeing the bright as new..i don't remember the material...but it's the normal do-dai
    – MickyScion
    Jul 10, 2014 at 19:56
  • I should have left that as a comment... :-P Kendo is not my martial art, but I did a bit of poking around. I'll add what I can. Jul 10, 2014 at 20:14
  • I really wish I'd provided references here... May 7 at 14:06

I read somewhere that this product is very good for Plastic Do. Btw Let me inform you that I have practiced kendo for well over a decade and half. I have run Kendo Dojos and seen all kinds of kendo equipment. Bamboo, lacquer on Do's are very very rare, prized and well taken care of.

Chances are that your Do is plastic. What you can do is try this sort of novus polish or rubbing compound on the inside of the do in a square centimeter area and see how it removes similar scratches. If you do not have scratches, try adding a couple of minor ones, inside, and if it cleans it up, try adding this treatment on the problem area in minute amounts.

You can also try chatting up any of the kendo bogu manufacturer's in the western world and see if they will advise you about it.

Btw I live in South Asia and do not have access to the product below, but If I had, I would have tried it, I have a lot of donated equipment from Japan for the educate kendo cause, that I would like to bring a shine to.

I read somewhere that this product is very good for Plastic Do. But its an internet suggestion, I would only try it if I was really desperate.


Here's an endorsement that sounds pretty convincing to me but I am not a detailer so I am guessing here.


  • This might be a useful post, but it lacks detail. The endorsement is for, well, car windshields. May 7 at 14:07

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