How to remove rust from a knife

Photo Courtesy of JunsKitchen

What’s the best way to remove rust from a carbon steel knife?  Of course the best method is to not let it develop in the first place, so we can’t stress enough the importance in taking care to keep your knives clean and dry.  We recommend wiping the blade between cuts, especially when working with acidic ingredients like citrus and tomatoes.   It’s also a good idea to coat the blades with a thin layer of neutral oil if you won’t be using them for a long time.  When storing your blades make sure they are completely dry and using a saya (wooden sheath) is a great way to protect your blades while ensuring that moisture is not trapped on the blade.

Even when all these steps are taken to keep your knives rust free, sometimes you will find some rust has developed.  There are several methods you can use to remove it.  Starting with light rust, you can use the scrubby side of a kitchen sponge.  Never use steel wool as this can destroy the knife.  Applying a small amount of an abrasive cleaner such as Bar Keeper’s Friend, Bon Ami, Ajax or Comet with a wine cork will take care of more substantial rust.  You can also soak the blade in vinegar and then the rust can easily be wiped away. For more heavy rust, we recommend using a tool called a rust remover, which can be applied wet or dry. 

To learn more about knife sharpening and maintenance check out our essential sharpening skills series or get in touch with us by email.

What Is the Best Way To Store Kitchen Knives?

One of the most important things you can do to keep your knife sharp is to store it properly.  As you might have guessed, the worst way to store your knives is unprotected in a drawer.   Not only are you likely to dull or damage the blade, but it’s dangerous for anyone reaching in the drawer.  With that said, what is the best way to store kitchen knives?


We recommend keeping blades protected with sayas, a specific style of knife sheath.  Sayas are wood covers usually made out of magnolia wood, which is a great choice for this purpose since it wicks away any residual moisture from the blade and won’t dry out or crack.  If you don’t have room for a block or wall-mounted strip, sayas are a safe way to store knives in a drawer or on a counter. Sayas fit most standard sized blades. We recommend buying them at the same time as your knife whenever possible so they can be correctly fitted. Please check the product page of your knife for info on corresponding sayas.  For hand-forged and less standard shapes, there are a number of saya makers out there that can create a custom saya to fit your knife.  We are working on a new line of blade guards to fit some of the unique blade shapes so stay tuned!

Wall-Mounted Magnetic Strips

The second-best way to store kitchen knives is with a simple wall fixture. For easy access and because your knife collection looks pretty great, wall mounted magnetic strips are a great option.  As always, make sure the knife is very clean and dry before placing the knife on the rack, as moisture can get trapped between the blade and magnet and cause issues.    

Wooden Knife Stand

The standard storage solution for sushi chefs for generations is a simple counter knife stand.  Also made from magnolia wood, and available in both three and six knife sizes.  Traditionally the knives are placed blade side up, but for safety reasons, you can do the reverse without damaging your blade.

Travel Case

If you require a solution for travelling with your knives, hello chefs on the go — we have several made in Japan options in knife bags, knife cases or knife rolls.

One last point to remember about the best way to store kitchen knives — in addition to making sure your knives are clean and dry before putting them away, carbon knives can be treated with a thin layer of neutral oil to protect them from humidity in the air when they won’t be used frequently.  For more knife care, skills and sharpening tips visit our blog.