Knives always require a certain level of care and maintenance so you can get the most out of them. Carbon steel knives are the tool to be chosen by both professional chefs and home use. The steel has a fairly sharp edge and retains it longer than most stainless steel options.

Carbon steel, however, is a more demanding material to care for. Therefore, owners of such a tool often wonder how to clean a high carbon steel knife. A carbon steel knife will rust if you leave it dirty or wet for long periods of time.

Here are some tips to help you stop thinking about how to care for a carbon steel knife and ensure a clean carbon steel knife:

  • Keep a slightly damp towel next to the cutting board and wipe the blade when not in use. Completely wipe it dry before putting it away.
  • From time to time, apply food-safe oil to the handle and blade. This helps protect the blade from rust and rejuvenates the wood of the handle.
  • Wash knives by hand with soap and water. It is not recommended to wash your knives in the dishwasher. Dishwashing detergent will cause corrosion of the steel and you will probably then have to look for a solution to the problem of how to remove rust from a carbon steel knife.
  • Carbon steel knives get patina as they are used, this means that the knife takes on a gray/blue-green hue where it reacted with the food it cut. The patina will help resist corrosion. If you want to know how to take care of a carbon steel knife, you need to pay attention to the color of the steel, rust and corrosion can be red, orange or brown.
  • If you see rust, rub the affected areas with a sponge scrubber. Continue to do this until the rust is gone and the surface is smooth to the touch. The process of removing rust from carbon steel knife should be completed by applying a food-safe oil to the blade.

The next point on how to care for carbon steel knife is storage. Store your knives in a safe place where the blade and tip will not come into contact with surrounding objects. Knife blocks and wall magnets are great options for storing your tool safely.

Keep knives sharp. A sharp knife is a safe knife because it takes less pressure to cut, which reduces the chance of the knife slipping. Sharpen your knives on stones, not grinding wheels. These stones are much softer and give a much sharper edge for how to clean carbon steel knife. Avid home cooks and professional chefs should sharpen their knives regularly, every 1-3 months. Less inclined users should sharpen their knives 2-3 times a year.

Sharpen your knives carefully so you do not accidentally blunt the blade. So, how to clean a carbon steel knife properly? Take the sharpening stick in your non-driving hand and rest the tip on a towel or cutting board. Looking down at the tip of the knife, tilt it so that the blade touches the stick about 15 degrees. Using only the weight of the knife, sharpen the edge in one smooth downward motion from heel to tip. With each pass, change the side you are sharpening by either turning the knife upside down or gently pulling the knife to the other side of the stick. Check the tool and make sure you’ve dealt with the dilemma of how to remove rust from carbon steel knife.

If you’re worried about the condition of your knife, we recommend trying a special care kit that you can find in our catalog. The care set is the perfect kit for cleaning a carbon steel knife!