honing a kitchen knife to maintaining it

How to Care for and Maintain Your Kitchen Knives

In Good To Know January 16th, 2020

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To properly maintain a kitchen knife is to increase its life considerably. This is why it is essential to wash each tool’s blade thoroughly after preparing a recipe or at the end of a meal and store in a dry and safe place in the kitchen.

There are different ways to proceed cleaning for knives it depends on the nature of the steel used for its manufacture, and some tips to know in order to carry out an easy cleaning of all your knives. Here they are!

Care and maintenance of kitchen knives according to the nature of the blade steel

To know how to maintain a kitchen knife is, first of all, to give as much care as possible to its blade in order to preserve its sharpness. It must be remembered that the cleaning of kitchen knives depends primarily on the material used for the manufacture of their blade: we do not wash in the same way a stainless steel knife and a carbon steel knife. The main risk is premature oxidation of the blade.

1st case: ceramic and stainless steel

If the ceramic tools and stainless steel have a life of relatively high, it still should know to provide regular maintenance for this type of kitchen knife.

The ceramic rarely has a problem, since it is made of chemically neutral (pH equivalent to 7), it does not fear any corrosive attack. The cleaning of a kitchen knife based on zirconium oxide (the mineral used for the production of ceramics) is therefore easy. After use, you can, for example, pass underwater as much as you want and let it dry in the open air.

The maintenance of a stainless-steel kitchen knife is also quite easy. High in chromium, stainless steel is by definition impermeable to any form of oxidation.

The cleaning of the blade of such a kitchen knife operates in general with a little hot water and soap, or other sweet products. Beware of dishwashing liquids that are a bit too aggressive and do not allow them to air dry. After rinsing with water, wipe it with a cotton towel or scratch-resistant cloth.

NB: You may notice that some forged stainless steel knives may lose some of their shine over time, or skate by taking a yellow, blue or gray hue. This phenomenon is quite normal, it corresponds to very slight surface oxidation that protects the blade. But if you want to give them all their brilliance, you can rub them with a small tool called a burnisher, it will work wonders!

2nd case: maintain and clean the blade of a carbon steel kitchen knife

Free from any element of alloy supposed to protect them from the corrosive attacks, the carbon steel knives require more precautions, which does not mean that they are less powerful than the blades in stainless steel, far from there! These tools are even very common in the culinary world.

In order not to damage them, the ideal is to simply wipe with a clean cloth after each use, without passing under the tap.

While the cleaning blade of carbon steel kitchen knife is nevertheless possible to the water, but then you should take precautions to limit the appearance of signs or marks rust. Here are some tips for general maintenance of a carbon steel kitchen knife:

  • Never let it soak in a sink filled with water.
  • Do not use soap, dish soap or detergent.
  • Wipe the blade immediately with a clean, dry cloth after cleaning the knife with a damp sponge.
  • Never let it dry in the open air.
  • Keep the kitchen knife away from dust, in a drawer or storage block provided for this purpose.

Care Tips For Kitchen Knives and Effective Remedies

When the blade of a kitchen knife tarnishes and loses its brilliance, simple and effective natural reflexes can give it a new shine.


  • Vinegar and potato!

Vinegar: very effective for the maintenance and cleaning of the blade of a kitchen knife! The vinegar has excellent virtues of clean.

It is advisable to use it hot for even more efficiency. Rub the blade with a cloth soaked in vinegar and wipe with a clean cloth. That’s all!


  • Potato

Has there been any success in the maintenance of a kitchen knife with a potato? The answer is a big yes! The use of potatoes to care for kitchen knives works real miracles: cut one in half and rub the blade. The starch contained in the potato will act as a natural anti-rust on the steel. Then rinse the knife and dry it.


  • The essence of turpentine

Cleaning the blade of a kitchen knife with a sponge soaked in turpentine is a remedy classic and performance. It helps to remove rust and white spots almost for sure. The properties of turpentine are similar to those of white vinegar. This must be used without being heated.


  • The lemon

treating knife's blade with lemon to remove black spots

The lemon is ideal for removing black spots that are embedded on a blade over time. The procedure is as follows: dip the blade in a mixture of water and lemon juice (1 part lemon juice for 5 parts water) for a few seconds, then rinse and dry with a soft, non-rough cloth. Repeat as necessary.


  • The cork

The cleaning of a kitchen knife with a cork rest gives a beautiful shine to the blade. Wet a cork before dipping it in wood ash. Then rub the cap on the blade before wiping cleanly. That’s it!

Sharpening a kitchen knife

Even if you take proper care of your kitchen knife, there will always be that time when you have to sharpen your knife due to blunting from usage. The disadvantage of using a blunt knife is that you automatically exert more pressure which creates a risk of an accident.

It is therefore advisable to keep your knives sharp when it gets blunt. And in addition, it will make your knife more efficient. As far as grinding is concerned, it is advisable that you not to wait until the last minute. It is very much easier to keep a reasonably sharp knife than to give back to a very dull knife.


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