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Kitchen Knife Care and Maintenance

By Sai Shanmuka Vangmaye Maddulapalli May 09, 2022

You can extend the life of your kitchen knives by carefully cleaning and maintaining them. This is why, after making a dish or soon following a meal, each kitchen knife's blade must be carefully washed. For various types of steel knives, there are different cleaning processes. The recommendations in the following article will help you clean your knives quickly and effectively.


Kitchen Knife on a chopping board

The very first step for cleaning and preserving kitchen knives is to treat the blade with special care to keep the cutting edge sharp. It's also important to remember that different varieties of steel blades require different cleaning processes. Cleaning stainless steel knives differ from cleaning a carbon steel knife. If you don't clean your knife blade properly, it will oxidize too soon.

Maintenance of stainless steel and ceramic knives

Despite the fact that ceramic and stainless steel blades survive longer than many other types of cutlery, proper maintenance is still required. Ceramic knives are incredibly easy to clean. Ceramic is chemically inert (pH 7) and corrosion-resistant. Zirconium dioxide is the mineral used to make ceramic blades, and cleaning a zirconium dioxide-rich kitchen knife is a breeze.

Ceramic knife


After you've finished using your ceramic knife, rinse it under running water and air dry it. Stainless steel kitchen knives are very simple to maintain. Stainless steel has a high chromium content and does not oxidize. A steel blade can be cleaned with hot water and light soap, such as dish soap.

Maintenance of Carbon Steel Knife

Carbon steel knives or Japanese kitchen knives are more difficult to maintain because they lack corrosion-resistant components. This does not imply that they are ineffective in comparison to stainless steel blades. In the culinary industry, carbon steel knives are fairly common.

Cleaning carbon steel knives without destroying them is as simple as wiping them down with a clean cloth after each use rather than running them under running water.

Cleaning a carbon steel knife blade with water is doable, but you must take specific steps to avoid corrosion and other markings that may form over time.

Kitchen knife cleaning: DO's

Hone them regularly

Everything is prone to change, and even the most costly knives, which begin surgically sharp, will become dull with time. Hone the knife before each use or after numerous usage to keep it sharp. With a steel rod, honing is simple and quick. Honing steel, also known as sharpening steel, is a metal rod used to perform rapid repairs to your blades. Sharpening steels are included in many knife sets. The sharpening steel is a honing tool, not a sharpening instrument, in technical terms. Your knife will remain sharp when you use a honing rod

Knife and a honing steel

Sharpening a blade entails removing a small amount of metal from it in order to give it a new edge. Honing, on the other hand, is the process of smoothing out the metal that already exists. The thin metal that makes up the knife's edge will develop minor bends and curls as you use it. Even though they are usually small, they make an impact. Running a harder object along the edge, such as a sharpening steel or a ceramic honing tool (or even a ceramic bowl), helps to smooth out the flaws.

Wash them regularly after each use

The majority of high-quality blades are composed of stainless steel or high-carbon steel, which resists corrosion better than other materials. However, if the blade is kept filthy for an extended period of time after usage, the acid, water, and other chemicals from the food will eventually ruin it, creating dark blotches and rust. The simplest approach to avoid this is to wash the knives as soon as you finish using them. You can also rinse them with hot water and

Use your hand to wash the knife

Even if a knife is dishwasher safe, hand washing with soapy water is preferable. The explanation is straightforward: your hands are far gentler than a dishwasher. If you go through all of your knives with mild soap and a rag one by one, the chances of a blade chipping throughout the procedure are extremely slim. Furthermore, hand-washing the knives helps you to see if any dirt or food particles have become lodged between the blade and the handle, allowing you to address the problem right away.

Dry the knife blade with a cloth

It's generally acceptable to let your knives dry on a dish rack. However, immediately after washing the blades, wipe them dry with a cloth to reduce the risk of rust. Instead of having to wait for them to dry, you may put them in a safe place right away.

Place the knives in a knife block

Your knives should be stored in a clean, solid wood or bamboo block. For starters, it shields the knife blades from dirt. It also reduces clashes between knives or between knives and other kitchen utensils. If you have a large collection of knives and don't want to have to pull them all out to find the right one, storing them on a magnetic strip might be a smart option.

A magnetic strip is useful since it displays the blades so you can determine which one you need right away. It may not provide much in the way of dirt prevention, but it does hold the knives in position and prevent them from colliding. There is a chance of damaging other utensils when you place the knife on your shelves.

Use cutting boards for chopping

A thin edge is required for a sharp knife. As a result, no matter how hard the material is, if it comes into touch with anything it wasn't designed to cut, such as a ceramic plate or a metal countertop, the edge is vulnerable to harm. Your blades will work best with a hardwood cutting board. A plastic one will suffice, albeit it will be more difficult to sterilize in the long run.

Chef chopping tomatoes on a Chopping Board

Kitchen Knife Cleaning: Dont's

Place them in the sink in the kitchen

Allowing them to become dirty is the surest method to attract rust onto your knives. Corrosion can be caused by chemicals in meals, liquids, and sauces, resulting in brown spots on the blade. The knives become rusted and dull extremely quickly when you place them in the sink.

Cutlery places in a kitchen sink

Place them in Dishwasher

Never put your knife in the dishwasher unless it says so on the packaging! The blade will chip beyond repair due to all of the rubbing and clashing.

Even though a knife is dishwasher safe, manually washing it can greatly reduce chipping and extend the life of the blade. A decent knife can help you save time in a variety of ways; show your appreciation by hand-washing it!

Chop on the countertop

Clashing on a hard surface, such as stone or metal, will swiftly dull and damage your knife. There are chances that you might hurt your fingers when you use a dull knife. Put a chopping block between the knife and the stone to give it a fighting chance. Yes, the cutting board is for protecting your knife, not the granite.

Tips to clean your kitchen knives and maintain their shine

When a kitchen knife's blade tarnishes and loses its luster, there are several simple, practical, and natural ways to restore its luster.

White vinegar

White vinegar has a lot of cleansing power. You might not realize that it can also be used to clean kitchen knives. Cleaning with warm white vinegar will boost its effectiveness. All you have to do is rub the blade with white vinegar-soaked fabric and dry it with a clean cloth!


Potato starch improves steel's rust resistance and is an excellent, natural way to clean your knife blades. Simply halve a potato and brush it against the blade. The knife should then be rinsed and dried.


Another good approach to cleaning a kitchen knife is with a turpentine-soaked sponge. It's great for getting rid of rust and white stains. White vinegar has chemical properties that are similar to turpentine, but the latter should not be heated.


Lemon is great for eliminating black spots on blades that form after a long period of use. To clean your kitchen knife with lemon, soak it for a few seconds in a mixture of lemon juice and water (1:5 lemon to water), then rinse and dry it with a soft rag. Repeat the process if needed.

Lemon and knife


Cleaning your kitchen knife blades with a cork will restore their luster. Wet the cork with water and then soak it in fireplace ashes. Clean the blade by rubbing it with the cork and wiping it clean.

How to store your Kitchen Knives?

You may now store your knife, which is clean and dry. But where are you going? Storing an exposed knife blade in a drawer full of other cooking tools is dangerous for both the blade and you, as you risk injuring yourself while rummaging through the contents.

Some knife connoisseurs swear by the magnetic strip fastened to the wall. Your blades will simply adhere to the strip and will not move or be knocked around. The ability to show off their blades is a plus for some, but it may not be for everyone.

Furthermore, you must constantly be cautious around these exposed blades, remembering that a big enough jolt could knock one off the strip and send it flying. Another option is to use wooden knife blocks, but be sure to slip the knives into the slots upside down so they don't rest on the sharp edges of the blades.

Wooden knife block

Following these steps will result in a kitchen knife that has a sharp edge and also keeps your hands safe.

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