Care for Your Knives: Basic Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Care for Your Knives: Basic Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Posted by American Edge on Apr 9th 2020

To keep a knife in good working order, you’ll need to take care of them. Simple maintenance and cleaning rituals will protect your knives and prolong their lives.

Basic Knife Cleaning

Start by wiping away visible debris. Then wash your knife with warm water and mild detergent. Be sure to immediately rinse and dry thoroughly. Use compressed air or cotton swabs to dry small components. Stainless steel blades are not rustproof but are rust and stain-resistant. As you clean, be on the lookout for signs of stains.

  • NEVER clean your knives with abrasive sponges such as steel wool
  • NEVER soak your knives in water or put them in the dishwasher

Preserve and Protect Your Blades

For further cleaning power and protection, use a professional knife cleanser to flush and prep the moving parts. A proper knife oil will lubricate your knife as well as prevent rust and corrosion.

  • Put a drop of oil on moving parts
  • Open and close the blade to work in the oil
  • Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe away any excess
  • Apply a light coating of oil to the blade before storing–You may choose to add polish as well
  • Store in a safe, dry place such as a pouch, a storage case, or a knife roll

Sharpening Knives

Especially if you invest in quality knives, it’s a good idea to take them to get professionally sharpened when they start to feel dull. As your dad or grandfather no doubt told you, the most dangerous knife is a dull knife.

Between professional sharpening, you can help your knife maintain its edge using a leather strop, a honing rod, or a sharpening stone. Certain knife brands might have their own at-home sharpeners available, such as Kershaw. Be careful with other methods such as belt or machine sharpeners at home, as these can be too abrasive if you aren’t trained in how to use them. Used incorrectly, they often remove too much steel and heat up the knife to the point of causing structural damage.

Looking for a new blade? Check out the variety of knives–and accessories–available from American Edge Knives.