For whatever reason, the buckle has never rusted, corroded or stained any clothing. I like the Carhart belt because I can unsnap the buckle, making it easier to use as a striker. When the blacksmiths I know complete a piece, they usually rub on some beeswax from a big block. The metal should be hot enough to create smoke. I think the wax penetrates into the pores of the metal. You get a nice dark finish that seems to resist corrosion, without a waxy surface. While we are on the subject of firestarting: I'm testing something out. I always carry a lighter (I don't smoke) and have carried a Ronson refillable butane from Walmart. I really like Zippo lighters, but they dry out as the fluid evaporates. I read somewhere that if you cut a section of the right size bicycle inner tube (about an inch long) and slide it up over the gap of the lighter case, it acts as a seal and the lighter will not go dry. I tried it and so far so good. It's inconvienient to get the inner tube to slide on (tight) so for a smoker this wouldn't work. But to have a "full" Zippo in an emergency woud be great. I figure lighter fluid, gasoline, or other flammable liquids would be easier to come by than a butane refill tank.