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4 Ways to Get Rust off a Knife

George Steckel|Jun 22, 2021

There is nothing worse than getting your knife and seeing rust on the blade. It is a tough sight to see and is not safe to use! Luckily, we have a few tips and tricks on how to get rid of rust and to make sure your knife is as good as new. But first, it is important to know what causes rust and how to make sure that your knife doesn’t rust in the first place. So, continue for our tips on how to get rust off a knife.

What Causes Rust and How to Avoid It

Rust occurs when iron and oxygen react when water or moisture is present.

This is why knowing

how to store knives

properly is important in maintaining them. You can avoid rust by making sure your steel knives are fully dry before putting them away. This is especially important if you’re storing your knives in a sheath or in a knife block, where moisture would have a tough time evaporating. The water or moisture trapped and constantly being exposed to the metal surface will cause you to have a rusty knife.

You also don’t want to leave any

types of kitchen knives

soaking in water. One of the best practices you can do in the kitchen is to take care of your knives! When you’re done using it, wash it, dry it, and put it away. It takes around 15 seconds and will save you a lot of time in the future if you don’t have to clean the rust away from it. 

You also want to avoid the dishwasher, as the extended time of exposure to moisture can cause the knife to rust. It can also dull the knife, as other items in the dishwasher can knock the knife’s blade.

However, we are aware that accidents happen. So here are some tips and tricks to help remove rust from a knife.

How to remove rust from knives

Vinegar Method

The vinegar method is a trusted one and works very well. Simply fill up a vessel that can hold your rusted knife with white vinegar.

It is important to use white vinegar and not other kinds of vinegar such as apple cider, balsamic, or white wine vinegar. Once you’ve found your vessel, fill it with white vinegar and place your rusty knife in it. You can put the whole knife in, but if the blade is the only part with surface rust, you can just place the rusty blade in it.

Leave your knife blade submerged in the vinegar for 3-5 minutes. You can use a sponge, wire brush, scrubber, steel wool, scrubbing pad, or even a toothbrush to rub the rust off the knife, and then voila! You’re done. Wash the knife with soap and water, and then make sure it is thoroughly dried before putting it away.

Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda has so many different use cases in the kitchen, so it is no surprise that the baking soda method can help get that stubborn rust off of your kitchen knives.

Create a paste with baking soda and warm water, spread it thoroughly across the rusty blade, and let it sit for around an hour. After an hour has passed, scrub the baking soda paste away with steel wool, a toothbrush, or the rough side of a sponge. Next, rinse the knife, let it dry completely, and then put it away.

Lemon and Salt

This method features the acidity of lemons and the coarseness of salt to work against the rust. First, place some coarse salt on the knife blade and then cover the salt with lemon juice and let it sit for around an hour and then, scrub the salt and lemon mixture with steel wool, a toothbrush, or the rough side of a sponge. Finally, rinse the knife, let it dry completely, and then put it away.

Potato and Dish Soap

Potatoes have oxalic acid, which, produces a chemical reaction perfect for getting rid of rust when combined with dish soap.

Cut your potato in half, a large russet potato works great, and then spread the cut side with dish soap. You can either rub the rusted knife with the potato and dish soap if the rusted area isn’t too prominent, or you can let the potato and dish soap sit on the blade if the surface rust is heavy.

Don’t Worry About Rust

Rust is not something to worry about and is not a determinant of the quality of the knife you have. However, any metal containing iron exposed to moisture or water for an extended period of time will rust. While it may be a frustrating experience, you now have all the tips and tricks to remove rust. With a bit of elbow grease and some kitchen staples, your steel knives will be good as new and ready to chop, slice, dice, or mince anything thrown their way.

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