Keeping your knives clean sounds easy enough, but there is more than one way to keep your knife sparkling clean and sharp as a Samurai sword.
A good knife is worth its weight in gold in the kitchen, and is one of the best investments you can make in yourself as a chef or at-home cook.
Keeping your kitchen knives clean is a necessary part of owning a knife, and is a step (that no matter how tedious or boring) that will keep your knife in peak condition for years to come.
From knife longevity to consistent performance, we’ll take you through three quick and easy ways to clean your knife safely and reliably.
After all, it doesn’t take much to give them the five-star treatment, and in return, your knives will treat you and the foods you prepare with the same level of appreciation.
3 Quick and Easy Ways to Clean Your Knife
1) Hand Wash and Dry them.
While some knives can be put in the dishwasher, others cannot. In some cases, this might be dictated by the manufacturer. In others, you may take it upon yourself to give your knives some extra TLC all on your own.
Hand washing tends to be less harsh on blades, results in a superiorly clean surface, and exposes the knife to less heat and moisture. All of which translates into a cleaner blade with less wear and tear on your precious knives.
For most blades, hand-washing is easy: just use a mild detergent, along with warm to hot water. For tougher to remove stains or food, consider using a brush to gently scrub away any leftover particulates of food.
When you’re done, simply employ the use of a cotton cloth to gently dry the knives. Make sure to thoroughly dry both the blade and the handle, and never put a knife away damp or wet. Doing so not only encourages bacterial and/or mold growth, it can contribute to warping, damage and rust.
TIP: If your knife is not stainless steel, make sure you check the instructions. Some knives have special needs due to the nature of the metal. Always follow the manufacturer’s lead.
2. To Restore Shine: Use a Burnisher
Have you noticed that your knives are as dull as that boring co-worker in the cubicle next to yours? This is natural and nothing that we can’t help you fix.
Sometimes your knives get a little dull, or what fancy people like to call a “patina.” This happens most commonly to carbon steel knives, a common staple in the kitchen, as they are slightly vulnerable to oxidizing.
To remedy this, you’ll need a burnisher. The burnisher rod is the mechanical way of sharpening and shining your knives. You can also use chemical methods, but be advised, some solutions can be corrosive to knives.
3. Tricks of the Trade
Sometimes you just need a few tricks of the trade to give you an edge (pun intended). Consider the following to elevate your cleaning game and keep your knives in top condition all year round.
Vinegar – not just for salad dressing
One of the powerhouses of the kitchen for cleaning is vinegar. You might not love the smell, but white vinegar is cheap, eco-friendly, and packs a cleaning punch.
If your knife needs a little TLC, try heating up a little white vinegar (you can use it at room temperature if you want), soak a cloth and use that to wipe clean your knife’s blade and handle. White vinegar acts as a toxic-free, gentle solvent and disinfectant. After cleaning your knife, wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Potatoes – a little carbohydrate goes a long way
Another interesting kitchen tool: potatoes. Seriously. Slicing a potato and rubbing the blade along the starchy sides will actually clean your knife! The starch also acts as a protectant against rust. After your knife gets a spud massage, rinse it off and dry it.
Have fun keeping your knives clean! You’ll appreciate the effort when you have the sharpest, longest-lasting knives on the block.