Kitchen knife cleaning and maintenance: for different types of steel blades
The first tip for cleaning and maintaining kitchen knives is to take special care of the blade in order to preserve its cutting edge. One must also keep in mind that there are different cleaning techniques for different types of steel blades. A stainless steel knife should not be cleaned the same way as a carbon steel knife. Improperly cleaning your knife blade will result in premature oxidation.
Maintaining ceramic and stainless steel blades
Even though ceramic and stainless steel knives last longer than many other types of knives it is still necessary to maintain them correctly.
Cleaning ceramic knives is very simple. Ceramic is chemically neutral (pH 7) and can resist corrosion. The mineral used to create ceramic knives is zirconium dioxide; cleaning a zirconium dioxide-rich kitchen knife is extremely easy. After using your ceramic knife, pass it under running water and leave it to air dry.
Maintaining stainless steel kitchen knives is also easy. Stainless steel is very rich in chrome}, which does not oxidize.
A stainless steel blade can be washed with hot water and dish soap or any other mild soap. Be careful not to use harsh dish soap and do not leave your kitchen knife to air dry. After rinsing your knife with water, dry it with a cotton rag.
Maintaining and cleaning kitchen knife blades: carbon-based steel
Knives crafted of carbon steel lack elements that protect the blade from corrosion and need more maintenance. This does not mean that they are less efficient than stainless steel blades. Carbon steel knives are very common in the culinary world.
The best way to clean carbon steel knives without damaging them is to wipe them with a clean cloth after each use, without passing them under running water.
It is possible to clean a carbon steel knife blade with water but you must take certain precautions to decrease the appearance of rust and other marks that may appear over time. Here are some tips for maintaining a carbon steel kitchen knife:
- Never let it soak in water
- Do not use soap of any kind
- After cleaning the knife with a damp sponge dry the blade immediately with a clean, dry cloth
- Never leave it to air dry
- Store it in a dust-free drawer or knife block
Care tips for kitchen knives
When the blade of a kitchen knife tarnishes and loses its shine there are several simple, effective and natural ways to make them look brand new.
White vinegar and potatoes!
White vinegar: very effective for maintaining and cleaning kitchen knife blades!
White vinegar has excellent cleansing properties. What you may not know is that it can be used to clean kitchen knives too. Cleaning with white vinegar that has been heated will increase its efficiency. All you need to do is rub the blade with a rag soaked in white vinegar and dry it with a clean cloth!
Can you use a potato to clean a kitchen knife? Yes! The starch in the potato increases steel’s resistance to rust and is a great, natural way to clean your knife blades. Simply cut a potato in half and rub it on the blade. Then rinse the knife and dry it.
Turpentine, lemon and cork!
Using a turpentine soaked sponge is another effective way to clean a kitchen knife. It is very good at removing rust and white spots. The chemical properties of white vinegar are similar to those of turpentine; however the latter should not be heated.
Lemon is ideal for removing black spots that appear on blades after prolonged use. To clean your kitchen knife with lemon, soak the blade in a mixture of lemon juice and water (1:5 ratio of lemon to water) for a few seconds then rinse it and dry it with a soft rag. If needed, repeat the process.
Restore shine to your kitchen knife blades by cleaning them with a cork. Wet a cork with water then immerse the cork in ashes from a fireplace. Rub the blade with the cork and wipe it clean.