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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.