How Should You Clean and Store Your Knives?

High-quality kitchen knives are one of the most necessary and important kitchen tools which give a huge impact on the quality of the prepared dish, the mood during cooking, and safety. Today we have prepared in-depth research on how to clean and store your kitchen knives.

How Should You Clean Kitchen Knives?

  • Wash the knives immediately after each use. Washing a knife immediately after each use is much easier than when you get dried food glued to your knives. Rinse and wipe the knife immediately to avoid ugly stains on the blade.
    If you were cutting something acidic, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, wash the knife immediately to avoid oxidation of the metal and corrosion. Remember that it is very important to wash your knives every time you cut tomatoes or citrus fruits because they can cause corrosion of your knife and significantly reduce its lifespan.
  • Dry the knife. Always wipe the knife dry with a clean towel immediately after cleaning. You do not need to leave the knife wet so that it can dry out, otherwise, rust will appear on the blade. Turn the blade away from yourself and wipe with a dry towel.
  • Knives can only be hand-washed. Even if the manufacturer claims that the knives can be washed in the dishwasher, it’s best not to do this. Knives blade will become dull if they are in contact with other dishes. Also, high temperatures and detergents adversely affect the materials of the handle and blade.
  • How do you wash a knife properly? To quickly clean your kitchen knives just soap the dishwashing sponge in warm water and rinse the blade and handle, carefully removing grease and leftover food.  Then rinse under running water and wipe dry before storing it.
    Remember, all knives should be washed with a sponge and soapy water. Rinse the blade and handle thoroughly so that no greasy marks remain. Pay close attention to the base of the blade. As a rule, this place is not properly washed and food particles can remain there which will become a breeding ground for the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
  • Make it a rule to clean the knives regularly. And I am talking about all the knives you have but not just those that are constantly used. They can be cleaned with a special past but you can use other things too if you do not have the paste for knives.
    For example, a cork moistened with vegetable oil and sprinkled with salt will completely cope with the stains on knives and other cutlery and make them shiny again. After such cleaning, you only need to wash the knives under a stream of cool water and wipe thoroughly to make it completely dry.
  • Should you soak knives before washing? Knives do not like being in the water for a long time but if you can wash off all the dried pieces of food, you should soak your knife only for a couple of minutes before washing it with a sponge. Remember, your sponge cannot be too hard, otherwise, it will just scratch the blade.
  • Where do you place a knife when ready to wash? Having finished cutting your food leave the knives next to the sink. Never put them in a sink filled with soapy water!
  • Do you need to wash a knife after sharpening? You need to wash your knife after each sharpening. Moreover, you should also wash a sharpening stone.
    After sharpening, be sure to clean the sharpening stone, otherwise, the metal chips can scratch the blade during next sharpening.
    You can clean the sharpening stone with water using a hard sponge or a special cleaning paste. Sharpening stones made of silicon carbide must be lubricated with kerosene or oil before work.
  • Don’t forget to clean the blades. From time to time, the blade should be cleaned. This can be done using special tools or half raw potatoes. It is important to wipe the knife dry with a soft cotton wipe after cleaning.
  • Make sure your tap water is of good quality. Sometimes tap water can leave stains on our knives because it contains chlorine and even the best stainless steel can begin to corrode if it is in contact with such water.
    The best way to avoid this problem is to set a filter for your tap. This might be expensive, but it is very effective. You use this water for a variety of things — washing, cooking, showering, maybe drinking. That is why it is crucial to make sure your water quality is good enough.
    However, if you cannot or do not want to install a tap filter, you can just add a few drops of shampoo to the water, wash the knife and wipe it well.

Basic Rules for Knife Care

There are several basic rules on how to care for knives. They need to be applied to any knife — kitchen, hunting, tourist, army knife.

  • Sharpen the blade regularly.
  • Use knives strictly for their intended purpose. Professional chefs value their knives so much, believing them to be real helpers in the kitchen that it is very unlikely they would ever have a knife to clean the chewing gum from the floor or cut the stems of the flowers. And neither should you!If you want the knives to last a long time, then use them only for cutting and chopping products.It is advisable to have at least three knives intended for different purposes. It is better to cut bread only with a knife for bread, vegetables with a knife for slicing. It is better to chop hard bones or meat pieces with a special hatchet.
  • Keep tools separate from each other.
  • Use a suitable storage stand.
  • Wash and wipe the blades immediately after using the knife.
  • Take care not only of the blades but also of the handles.
  • Use a proper cutting board. It is not recommended to cut on ceramic, glass, stone and metal surfaces — they are too hard and can quickly damage your knives.
    It is best to use natural wooden boards. They are soft, but at the same time durable. Unfortunately, wooden boards easily absorb odours. Therefore, you will have to acquire several chopping boards for meat, fish, vegetables, etc.
    Plastic boards are also a good option. But glass, marble or ceramic immediately make knives dull, so it is better to forget about them.
    Moreover, you should never use a plate instead of a cutting board.
  • Timely knife sharpening. Almost all types of knives need to be sharpened from time to time. Today it is not a problem to buy small home appliances for sharpening.
    However, you should pay attention to the material from that these sharpening appliances are made of. Though, some knives do not require additional sharpening.

Can Knives Be Washed in the Dishwasher?

As a rule, manufacturers do not recommend us to wash the knives in the dishwasher. Even the most modern knife materials may not resist the effects of hot water and detergents. Wash the knife with your hands in warm water as it does not take much time. But if you accidentally put your knife into the dishwasher, do not worry — your knife will survive one dishwasher cycle, it is not the end of the world.

However, you must not wash knives made of high-carbon rusting steel in the dishwashing machine. Rust affects not only the look but also the working properties of the blade.

In the same way, you can’t wash knives with handles made of natural materials such as wood or bone in a dishwashing machine. These materials absorb moisture (hygroscopic) if not properly processed. Putting such knives in the dishwasher will definitely lead to swelling, deformation and rotting of the knife handle.

But there are knives that can be washed in the dishwasher. They are the ones that are made of stainless steel — both the blade and the handle. Anyway, it is not recommended to wash your knives in the dishwasher as it will only take you one minute to rinse it under warm water and then wipe it with a cloth. If you want your knives to serve you for a long time, you should not put them into your dishwasher for 30-50 minutes.

What Are the Things to Remember When Storing Knives?

If you want your kitchen knives to serve you for a long time, you need to follow some rules regarding the storage of these important kitchen tools. You should not store kitchen knives with other cutlery and any other utensils.

Also, knives do not accept any contact with each other, so each knife must be stored separately. In general, you should refuse to store them in a common pile of dishes. Firstly, by groping a knife in a drawer with dishes you risk cutting yourself, and secondly, the knives quickly become dull during such storage.

  • Store knives separately. One of the most important rules for storing knives is to always keep them separately from other kitchen items. They can be stored in a special stand or in a separate container or box. The main thing is not to keep with other cutlery. If you follow this rule, then your knives will be sharp for a long time.
  • The correct storage location may be a knife stand or a magnetic board that is mounted on a wall. If you think this method of storing knives is not safe, you can purchase a special stand. When choosing a stand for your kitchen knives, give preference to stands made of plastic or softwood, which will not damage your knives.
    This way of storing your knives may not be the best if you have small children as it may be dangerous, that is why it is recommended to hide your knives.
  • Knives can also be stored in special trays, where each knife has its own compartment. Typically, these trays can be placed in the drawers of kitchen tables.  In general, a knife storage unit is an extremely useful thing, thanks to which all your knives will have a permanent storage location and will preserve their sharpness.
  • A lot of people store their knives in cases. It is not right as knife cases (especially leather ones) facilitate moisture accumulation that is one of the causes of corrosion on the blades. Knives should be stored separately from other items and they should be wrapped in oiled rags. This will protect your cutting tools from moisture and oxidation when in contact with air.
  • Wooden knife handles should also be periodically rubbed with oil (so the handle will not dry out and retain good moisture repellent properties). Copper and brass bolsters can be polished using conventional polishes for these metals.

Beginners Guide To Real Knife Sharpening

Knife Sharpening Tips

  • Sharpen your knives regularly. Many professionals recommend sharpening them every day. Another recommendation is to smooth the tip of the knife with steel.
  • There are different views on how to sharpen even among professionals. Some people prefer to give sharpening knives to a specialist while others only trust their own hands and their knife sharpener. It is up to you to decide: if you are scared or do not know how to sharpen your kitchen knives, ask someone else to do it.
  • All kinds of mechanical and electric sharpeners are not recommended as they can easily ruin a knife with one wrong move. The easiest way is to use special stones or appliances that you can buy at a kitchen accessories store.
    The main device for knife sharpening is a grindstone. It should not be small because it is not convenient enough. You should opt for a bigger whetstone.
  • Before using the grindstone, put it in water for 10-15 minutes. During sharpening, the grindstone should be slightly damp.
  • Some knives do not need sharpening. These include ceramic knives but their blades are too fragile when compared to other knives, so you should think twice before getting ceramic knives.

How To Sharpen A Knife — Gordon Ramsay

All in all, it is very important to give proper care to your kitchen knives. You should follow all the abovementioned tips on how to clean, store and sharpen your kitchen knives and they will serve you for a long time.


I am passionate about making my home a better place and I want to share all my knowledge with you.

Recent Posts