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4 Ways to Get Rust Off a Knife

Learn how to keep your knives ready to go, whenever you may need them.

By Team Made In
Aug 4, 2023
black knife set on cutting board
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If your favorite kitchen knife is made from steel, it definitely has the potential to show rust spots. This means that eventually, unsightly rust stains will show up on the blade and have you asking exactly how to get rust off a knife that you love to use.

No worries if your favorite knives are turning a bit oxidized, as there are several ways to get rust off a knife and get the new-knife look again. Here, we offer a few of our favorite tips about how to get rust off a knife.

What Causes Your Knives to Rust?

knives in knife block

Rust, the brown and orange iron oxide seen on your favorite kitchen knives, can form on any metal. Rust begins to form when metals such as steel are exposed to acidic substances, like water.

Luckily though, the small rust spots on your knives are not dangerous at all. And while it may not be as attractive as it once was, it can still be safely used with food. Be careful of excessive rust stains though, as this can begin to add impurities to your food and can also eventually make the knife unusable if it gets too rusty.

How to Clean Rust Off Your Knives

full made in knife set

Fortunately, there are several different ways to remove rust stains from the blade of your knife. Here are a few of our tried and true rust removal methods.

1. The Vinegar Method

For this method, you will need a bowl, white vinegar, soft sponge, and dish soap.

  1. Submerge the entire blade of your knife in a glass of vinegar and soak for 15-30 minutes for minor rust, and overnight for more damaged blades.
  2. Remove from the vinegar and carefully scrub with a soft sponge to remove rust spots.
  3. Once the rust stains have been removed from the knife, wash with soap and water and dry thoroughly.

2. The Baking Soda Method

For this method, you’ll need baking soda, water, and a soft sponge.

  1. Mix water and baking soda into a thick paste and carefully spread the paste over the rust spots on the knife.
  2. Let the paste sit for at least an hour.
  3. Use soft sponge to scrub the knife to remove the rust stains.
  4. Rinse well with water and dry thoroughly.

3. The Lemon Method

For this method, you’ll want to have lemon, salt, and a soft sponge.

  1. Cover the rust stains with salt.
  2. Squeeze juice from a lemon on top of the salt.
  3. Let the mixture sit for about two hours.
  4. Carefully scrub the knife with the lemon rind and soft sponge.
  5. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.

4. The Potato Method

For this method, gather a potato, salt or baking soda, and dish soap.

  1. Slice a potato in half.
  2. Cover one half of the cut potato with dish soap.
  3. Sprinkle salt or baking soda on top of the potato.
  4. Rub the rust spots with the potato to remove the stains.
  5. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.

How to Keep Your Knives From Rusting

chef knife dice

Once you have removed all the rust spots from your kitchen knives, it is important to keep them rust-free. To avoid rust spots on your favorite knives, this is what you need to do to care for and keep the blade of your knife in tip-top shape.

  • Keep knives clean and dry thoroughly after washing.
  • Store knives in a dry area that also maintains low humidity.
  • Apply a protective coating to prevent rust stains on knives by using a small amount of mineral oil on the knife twice a year.

While it's unfortunate that even the best knives can get rust spots from time to time, knowing how to properly store them, remove rust spots, and avoid future rust stains is as easy as following a few simple steps. With proper care, you will no longer have to worry about unsightly rust spots on your knives and concentrate on the recipes you'll be creating with them instead.

Ready to Shop?

If you’re looking for Knives that can withstand just about anything you throw at them, be sure to check out our collection of French-forged Knives. Made from a rod of nitrogen-treated stainless steel, they are all full tang and fully forged to ensure they stay sharper for longer.

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