The 3 Ways to Clean a Knife

Updated On: April 18, 2021

A good kitchen knife can cost you quite a lot, and naturally, it’s not a good feeling when it gets unusable in a few months of the purchase. One of the mistakes people make with knives is that they don’t look after them regularly.

Knives are something that needs regular maintenance, and if they’re not given the proper cleaning, sanitizing, and storing needed, they will lose their robustness and won’t give the same cutting experience as they could’ve given otherwise.

In this guide, we’ll talk about how to clean a knife properly so that you can increase its durability and make it remain usable for a long time. We’ll also talk about some common mistakes people make while cleaning and storing their knives.

How to Clean a Knife

Let’s talk about three common methods of cleaning a kitchen knife. All these methods can easily be done with regular household items.

Cleaning with Water

The simplest and best way to keep your kitchen knife in good condition is to rinse it under running tap water after every use. Sugar, grease, and other food particles don’t come off naturally from the body of the knife unless it’s cleaned well.

Some people make the mistake of soaking knives in the sink with all the other kitchen utensils. If your knife is made of all stainless steel metal or has some kind of rust-free coating, you shouldn’t be doing this. The more contact your knife blade has with water, the higher the risks of the blades getting rusty.

When you rinse your knife in water, try to do it in the shortest time possible. Moreover, if your knife has a wood handle or a handle made out of a resin or a plastic-based item, then it’s also best to avoid soaking your knife in the sink.

The problem with wood is that under high water/detergent contact, the wood joint may crack or get out of its natural color. The same is true with resin and plastic-based knife handles. They can get discolored as well.

Try to avoid cleaning knives in the dishwasher too. Dishwashers use hot detergent mixed with water. Knife handles aren’t designed to withstand this level of excessive heat for a sustained period of time.

Check Also: Best Dishwasher Safe Knife Set

Even if you decide to clean a knife in a dishwasher, then make sure to put the knife’s sharp side on top and handle on the bottom. This will make sure water comes off the knife blade quickly. And once the cleaning is complete, take the knife out and dry it off with a kitchen towel.

While drying the knife, pay careful attention to the place that the blade and knife handle meet. It takes a little time to clean this narrow part, but this is the place where water has a hard time coming out, and as a result, rusting starts from this corner.


Sooner or later, the blade of a knife gets corroded, and this causes two problems – the first problem is the blade loses its precision and the second problem is that a rusty blade has a high risk of contaminating foods that you cut with it.

Cleaning off the rust from a blade isn’t that hard, given that you have some time to take care of it. You can use a knife sharpener stone or sanding paper and slowly scrub both sides of the blade. Depending on the size and depth of the rust, the time to scrub the blade will vary.

You should take the time to clean off a worn-out knife as soon as you notice rust specks on the blade. The more time you wait before cleaning it, the higher you make the chances of the knife getting a permanent mark.

Cleaning with Vinegar/Lemon

Some people like to use white vinegar or lemon water to clean off a corroded blade. This is quite an effective method of cleaning too.

If the corrosion level on your knife blade has just started and you want to stop the rust immediately, you can, instead of scrubbing, soak the knife in lemon or vinegar water. This will disinfect your knife blade too.

Vinegar and lemon work similarly, and they both are acidic. Acid can quickly dissolve rust, which is made of iron oxide. However, acid can create rust on steel too. So, take your knife out of the acid solution as soon the previous rust is dissolved and the blade looks clear. You can also read our how to remove rust from kitchen knives article.

When Must a Knife Be Cleaned and Sanitized?

You should try to clean and sanitize your kitchen knife after every use. This will prevent any serious damage out of the bay, and your knife will get a long shelf life.

There will come a time when your knife will lose its strength. Even if you sharpen it, it won’t be as good as a regular one, and the steel will lose its strength. At this point, it’s a good idea to purchase a new knife rather than trying to repair the old one.

Final Words

Kitchen knives are the sharpest among all the other kitchen utensils, and you should be careful while working with or cleaning them. A good kitchen blade can provide a good value for years if it’s maintained well. Now that you know how to clean a knife in the best possible ways, this task shouldn’t confuse you anymore.

Leave a Comment