Rusting is probably one of the worst things that can happen with a knife, but do you know why it happens and how to keep a knife from rusting?
Well, rusting is an oxidation reaction that occurs when it comes in contact with water, oxygen, and moisture. Rusting is very common in almost all types of metals.
There are many types of corrosion in metals. However, pitting corrosion is one of the most common types often seen in kitchen knives.
This type of corrosion is usually very dangerous for a knife and slowly degrades the knife completely if there is no proper care.
The equation of corrosion is:
Iron + Water + Oxygen → Hydrated iron(III) oxide
Do not worry about it as I have listed several tested ways through which you can solve all your problem related to preventing your knife blade and also how to remove corrosion.
The best part is the detailed guide has complete solutions all around the areas with the best cost-effective and affordable solutions.
But before we discuss more on how to prevent a knife from rusting. I strongly recommended you know about the different materials for knife making.
The most important part of a knife is its blades. Currently, knives are manufactured from a lot of materials and different metals have unique characteristics of sharpening and toughness.
Also, the lifespan of a knife actually depends on the type of material used in making the knife. It is obvious that a kitchen knife material will differ from a Butcher’s knife.
Carbon Steel Vs Stainless Steel Knives
Stainless is a combination of both carbon and iron and contains 10.5 percent of chromium.
Chromium is one of the most important additives to stainless as it protects the steel from corrosion by reacting with oxygen which creates a passive layer that protects the steel.
Stainless knives are preferred by chefs and used in homes because they are commonly available in stores.
Stainless knives are more resistant to corrosion because you can wash them in a dishwasher and even clink among marbles.
If you are not a professional and simply want a knife for home cooking. Moreover, if you don’t want precision work then you can go with a low-cost knife.
However, Professionals who want precision work like cutting paper-thin slices of meat and vegetable usually choose carbon steel knives.
Carbon steel knives require more maintenance as they are prone to rust. You need to be extra careful with a high-carbon knife.
Another down-set of a high carbon knife is being strong it breaks sooner, which means sturdy metal does not flex and usually breaks into the chip. Hence, there is less chance of repair.
HIGH CARBON STEEL
|They are Less Resistance to Rust||Vulnerable to Rust|
|Less maintenance||More maintenance|
|No effect on Acids||Acidic conditions can turn Black|
6 Ways On How To Keep A Knife From Rusting
This has been one of the most commonly asked questions by chefs and homemakers. Rusting is a natural process and you cannot prevent rusting permanently.
However, there are several ways through which you can avoid rusting to take place.
Rusting usually takes place with the combination of two things and if you make sure you minimize them, you can for sure avoid rusting to take place easily.
So, these are some of the 7 most effective ways how to get the rust-proof knife set.
1. Keep your Knife Dry and Clean
One of the most important habits that every chef should learn is to keep the knife dry and clean.
No matter whether you are using a stainless knife or a carbon knife, this is possibly the simplest way to get a rust-proof knife.
I suggest cleaning once your work is finished. I always advise rinsing the knife with water and wiping it up with a dry kitchen towel so it removes extra water from the blade.
2. Limit Acids
Limit the use of cutting acidic fruits like cutting lime, oranges, grapes, etc, as carbon steel reacts with acids sooner than compared to stainless steel and even accompanies turning steel black.
- If you are cutting something acidic, then immediately rinse and dry it before it reacts with the carbon steel.
- Another way is to use baking soda as it weakens the reactions. You can rub the knife with a few amounts of soda.
Considering all the factors probably the best way is to use a stainless steel knife for cutting acidic fruits as they are less prone to acidic conditions.
3. Never Use the Dishwasher
While buying a knife check out the product information, it would have either written “knife safe for the dishwasher”. Salt and acidic water increase the chain of corrosion.
As discussed earlier soaking a knife for a long time increases the chances of corrosion.
As the knife is also made from metal and when you wash the cutlery in a dishwasher, it remains in contact with water for a long time.
Hence, avoid using Dishwasher.
If you are looking for the best dishwasher-safe knife set then you can check my other post as well.
4. Hand Washing
Hand washing your knife is probably the finest method of washing a blade as the blade stays in contact with the water for a lesser time and which decreases the chances of corrosion.
Wash your knife with dishwashing soap and boiling water after every use and rinse with clean water.
Do not forget to dry with a wipe with a kitchen towel.
5. Built a Patina
Another simple way to force the patina is by using vinegar or mustard. If you have a medium size knife, then take a vessel and fill it up with lukewarm vinegar to the top.
Submerge the knife blade and leave for a few minutes. Now, take off the knife and inspect, repeat the process if needed.
Well, if you have a quite large size knife using muster past is the best solution. Get some mustard and water and mix them well in a ratio of 1:1 and let it form a thick paste.
Now apply the paste to the blade and leave for a few minutes and repeat the process if needed. These are the easiest way to patina stainless steel knives and high carbon knives.
6. Use Oil
Apply a thin layer of oil to your knife to avoid the risk of rusting.
Oiling your knife frequently increases the longevity of your knife by not allowing rust to take easy.
The method applies to both carbon knives and stainless knives.
7. Blacken Knife Blade
One of the most effective ways is to blacken your knife blade with ceramic. Ceramics are one of the hardest materials on the earth.
Blacking your knife blade not only protects your knife from corrosion but also increases its longevity of the knife.
You can also use the black oxidation method by applying a thin layer of metal such as stainless, high carbon steel, zinc, and other metal shield and protect your knife blade.
The Best Oil To Keep Knives From Rusting
No doubt High carbon steel knife is tough and long-lasting, but the only down-set is high carbon steel rust easily if you don’t take proper care.
To prevent the steel from rusting apply a thin layer of oil periodically.
As there are many types of oil available in the market, the best carbon steel rust prevention is to use Mineral oil.
We also use them for cleaning and preserving the string of a Guitar. It is probably one of the best ways to prevent carbon steel from rusting.
If you don’t have Mineral oil, then it’s now recommended to use olive, vegetable, canola, or sunflower oils for oiling your knife blades. Do not try out any random oil as it becomes like a resin over time and becomes really stuck.
Possibly, the best way to apply the oil to your knife is to wash it properly. Once the knife gets dry apply a thin layer of oil to the blades.
“ It will always keep your knife smooth and prevent it from rusting”.
How To Get Rust Off a Knife?
Rusting naturally occurs with a carbon steel knife and doesn’t matter if you are using it or not. Storing a carbon knife for a long time also leads to rusting.
But do you know how to clean a rusty knife blade?
I have mentioned a few steps above which can follow to prevent rusting.
If your knife is already rusted, here are some ways by which can eliminate or control further rusting.
For those who use questions on how to remove rust from a carbon steel knife? I will say all these methods work great with both carbon and stainless steel knives.
# Use Baking Soda:
This is the simplest and the most effective way to remove rust from kitchen knives. Follow these steps.
- Clean your knife with a scrubber and spray water to remove all the unwanted materials and let them dry.
- Take some Baking soda and mix well with water until it forms a paste.
- Apply the Soda to the knife with the help of a toothbrush and leave them for a few minutes.
- You’ll see the rusting portion and the Baking soda reacting.
- Once the reaction is over, wipe the blade with a clean cloth. If not, leave the Baking soda for a few more minutes.
# Vinegar Method
Another method that works great is by using vinegar. There are many types of vinegar available in the market but the process works well only with white vinegar.
So, make sure you use only white vinegar.
- Get a tall cup and fill it up with vinegar so it covers the whole portion of the blade.
- Let the knife sit inside the glass for roughly around 5 minutes.
- Take out the knife and scrub with a sponge.
- Remove all the vinegar by cleaning it with clean water and wiping it with a kitchen towel.
In conclusion, preventing your knife from rusting is very much important, this way you can use your knife for a longer period even than before.
Using other methods like going to a knife expert might consume a bit of time and money.
This problem is much bigger than it looks, so start working on it if you have brought a knife and don’t want to let it rust.
I hope the guide on how to remove rust from the knife would have helped you to solve all your issues. You can try out all the methods and believe me, they are really effective.
Well, if you want your knife to last longer and don’t want to follow all the above steps, then I suggest getting stainless expensive knives.
FAQ: How To Prevent Rust On Knives
Here are a few common questions that peoples ask and are confused about. You can read this section to solve your doubts.
Q1. How To Stop Knives From Rusting In a Dishwasher?
If you want your knives to stop rusting in a dishwasher. Make sure you take proper care of all these points.
Do not use extra detergent and over-wash it, as this can lead to rust.
Wash immediately and do not leave them to dry. I highly suggest wiping the knife as soon as the cleaning is over.
Related Post: Best dishwasher-safe knife set
Q2. How Dangerous It Is To Cut With a Rusty Knife?
Rust itself is not dangerous. However, if you got a very serious cut from a rusty knife, it might lead to infection if the wound is not properly cared for.
If the size of the wound is small, wash it with soap and apply antibacterial ointments or bandages as this may cure the wound. However, if the wound is big, I recommended going to a doctor.