How to Clean a Kitchen Knife

Knives are one of the most used utensils in any household or commercial kitchen. Thus, they will need constant washing in order to remove all the food and other debris that have stuck to the blade (and sometimes to the handle). Knowing how to clean a kitchen knife properly is important. Not only does it preserve the quality and improve the longevity of the said utensil, but also to protect the user from any unfortunate mishaps that may occur in the process. So what is the proper way of cleaning a kitchen knife?

how to clean a kitchen knife

Wash Kitchen Knives by Hand

One of the biggest mistakes that many people often commit when it comes to washing kitchen knives is to throw them into the dishwasher along with other kitchen utensils. This may seem to be the easiest and most convenient way of cleaning a kitchen knife, but there are certain disadvantages to doing so.

For one, cleaning kitchen knives this way will damage them. As knives get jostled around the dishwasher, their blades may get nicked. The wooden handles may also break, crack, or loosen. They may also damage the other kitchen utensils in the dishwasher, especially glassware or ceramics. Finally, the dishwasher itself will get damaged as knives cut or tear the dishwasher’s plastic coating, thereby exposing the metal underneath and making it prone to rust.

In order to keep these things from happening, be sure to hand-wash kitchen knives using a sponge with water and soap. Some people also brush the collar or the part where the blade meets the handle to remove any debris that could’ve gotten stuck there.

Wash Kitchen Knives Right Away

Many of us tend to just leave the kitchen knife in the sink after we use them. Anyway, it would be more convenient to wash them along with the other kitchen utensils after dinner. However, many experts will recommend that you clean your kitchen knives immediately after you use them. This will help to ensure that no food debris will dry up in the knife’s blade or collar, which can be more challenging to remove later on.

Dry Completely after Washing

In addition, you should also make it a point to dry your kitchen knives completely using a dry towel after washing them. Many people think that this is only true for iron or carbon steel knives since they are the ones that are prone to rust. However, even stainless steel knives will be negatively affected if you leave and store them wet. How so? Any liquid that is left for long on stainless kitchen knives will leave behind watermarks which will affect the look of your knife and can be difficult to remove in the long run.

Washing Kitchen Knives Safely

The most important thing to remember when cleaning your kitchen knives is your safety. Whenever you wash the knife with a sponge, wipe the blade with the blade away from you. The same applies when drying your kitchen knives with a towel. Wipe slowly and carefully, making sure that your fingers are safe from being cut or sliced. One technique you can apply is to lay the knife on the countertop or sink and wipe each surface of the blade.

Knives are very important tools to have in any kitchen, so it is only natural that we do our best to always keep them in good condition. This starts by knowing how to properly clean a knife before storing them in the knife box, a knife sheath or the drawer. By doing so, you are assured that you will have a clean, sanitary and effective knife the next time you cook.

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I'm Ivan - living and recently working in Southern California as a sous chef at various leading hotel chains. I’ve been fascinated by knives since my childhood in the Rocky Mountains. My career has made me passionate about all aspects of knives and I love sharing what I discover.