Quick and Simple DIY Practices: How to Get Rust Off Your Knife 

June 13, 2022

Isn't it frustrating to use a dull kitchen knife? Sharp knives are a must in every kitchen. These tools are your companion for speedy and precise food preparations. But whether it’s the lack of knowledge or improper practices, rusting develops on your kitchen knives. Rust on your knives makes them hard to use and makes food preparations dangerous. 

When rust contaminates your food, it can lead to digestive and throat problems. But before chucking out your rusted knives, there might be a way to restore their sharpness. In this article, we'll share some effective DIY ways to remove rust and useful tips on maintaining and sharpening them properly. 

Say Goodbye to Rust with These 4 Effective Methods 

Don’t throw your expensive knives yet! Maybe these different methods can help you remove the rusting in your blade. These methods are easy to follow, and you can find all the things you need in your home. No need to spend so much on special tools and cleaners to save your knives from rusting. Take note of these methods for your kitchen knives

Method #1: Baking soda paste 

  • Clean your knife blade from any dirt and grime. The leftover moisture from the water or the food can be the primary cause of rusting. Make sure your blade is completely dry and residue-free before lathering it with the paste solution. 
  • Make the paste with a mixture of baking soda with warm water or lemon juice. Making sure that the consistency is paste-like to ensure its effectiveness. 
  • Use a small brush or an old toothbrush to apply and scrape off the rust from your knife’s blade.. If the rust damage is bigger and deeper than expected, you can use steel wool and an abrasive sponge. Be cautious when scrubbing the blade; too much pressure can dent and break your knives. 
  • After scrubbing with the cleaning paste, wipe it dry. There’s no need to wet to remove the mixture. Just make sure that your knife is completely dry before storing them. You can finish off the procedure by applying mineral oil to your blade to help maintain its blade retention

Method #2: Soaking in vinegar 

  • The white vinegar variant contains a substance that can fight rust from blades. In a wide bowl, pour enough white vinegar that will submerge the entire part of the blade affected by rust. 
  • Submerge your knife in vinegar for a maximum of five minutes. Oversoaking your knives in vinegar can affect the blade's strength. If soaking, solve the rusting. Make sure to wipe dry your blade before sheathing and storing them. 
  • When there is rust leftover after soaking, you can switch to the baking soda method to rid of the rust completely. 

Method #3: WD-40 lubricant 

  • If you plan to use the WD-4 lubricant, we recommend using it on a large knife. The concentration of this chemical can be harmful on a small blade, especially when you use the knife to prepare food. 
  • To use the WD-40, spray the solution on the rusted part of the blade. Do not wipe the substance on your entire knife. Instead, use sandpaper to take the rust off. We recommend using fine sandpaper, preferably 400, for this method. Ensure that you only sand the affected parts and not the knife's edge to keep its edge retention. 
  • If you use this method on a kitchen knife. Don't just go on with your food preparation right away. Instead, rinse the knife with mild soap and water to eliminate any excess WD-40 substance. Accidental ingestion of this chemical can be dangerous. 

Method #4: Use your knife with natural ingredients 

  • Different ingredients found in your pantry are effective against rust. The first and very basic ones are potatoes. These root crops contain oxalic acid, an excellent rust remover. First, cut the potato in half and use the inner part as a scrub. Next, lather your knife with mild dish soap or salt as you scrub it with the potato. This method can take the rust off your kitchen knives. 
  • Onions are a great way to remove and prevent rust from your knives. They contain sulphonic acid that fights rust. There's no need to rub the onions in your blade. Instead, cutting the onions and creating friction between the blade and the ingredient will prove the effect against rusting. 
  • Another effective ingredient against rust is lemon. Rub the affected area of your knife with salt and pour lemon juice all over it. Soak it in the solution for at least two hours to lift off the rust, and use the lemon peel to scrub it. 
rusting kitchen knife on wooden chopping board

Effective Way of Preventing Rust From Your Kitchen Knives and Shears 

Many people don't know the basic maintenance for their knives and kitchen shears. But, it's easy to prevent rust if you know what to do. So here are some tips from cleaning to storage that will keep your knives sharp and shiny. 

  • Regularly sharpening your knives can prevent them from rusting. Just remember that every knife requires different sharpening tools. For example, there are ways to sharpen high-carbon steel knives to prevent rust. It's also different with stainless steel and aluminum. Familiarize yourself with the proper tools and procedures to maintain your kitchen knives. 
  • Clean your knife immediately after use. The residue from the ingredients can trigger that rusting process. Furthermore, wipe your knives dry or let them air dry before storing them or placing them in their knife blocks. 
  • Don't toss your knives in the dishwasher. One of the leading causes of rusting is cleaning your knives in the dishwasher. It exposes the knife to too much moisture and develops rust. Dishwashers also contain harmful chemicals, especially stainless steel knives. 

Final Thoughts 

As a cook, maintaining kitchen knives can be the most difficult task and most demanding. Rust can affect the longevity and performance of your kitchen knives. Changing your knives often can also be costly, which is why knowing how to maintain them is useful. We hope these simple DIY practices on how to get the rust off a knife help you with your maintenance. 

If you’re looking for tips and techniques on knife maintenance, sharpening tools, and other knife brand reviews, you can subscribe to our blogs. 

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