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How to remove rust on kitchen knives.

Steel kitchen knives may cause rust after years of use.

Rust on kitchen knives is harmless to the human body, but it needs proper maintenance as they lose their sharpness and can cause accidents and injuries and the food they cut can easily oxidize, when they become rusty.

We will explain how to remove rust on kitchen knives.

Causes of rust

Causes of rust are mainly “Water is not wiped off thoroughly”, “Dirt is not removed properly”, “Poor storage conditions” and “Transferred rust”.

Steel knives are particularly brittle to moisture, and even the slightest moisture left on the knife may cause rust.

If rust on kitchen knives is left as it is, it will continue to progress over time and penetrate even into the interior of the knives. Rusted areas become brittle and the blades prone to be chipped off and lose their sharpness resulting in loss of functionality. It is important to take actions as soon as possible since it will be difficult to recover if rust penetrates very deeply.

How to remove rust

Please follow the steps below to remove rust on the kitchen knives.

1. Polishing with abrasives

Firstly, wet the knife

When using powdered abrasives, wet the knife first. It is not necessary to wet the knife when using cream abrasives.

 It is convenient to use a cork stopper, such as a wine's cork.

Rust can be easily removed by polishing knives with a fine-grit abrasive. It is convenient to use a cork stopper, such as a wine’s cork.

Wipe carefully with a dry cloth and make it dry thoroughly.

After removing moisture on the knife, wipe it again with a dry cloth and make it dry thoroughly.

2. Using vinegar

Soak the kitchen knife in vinegar.

Put enough vinegar to soak the knife in a container large enough to hold the knife, such as a bat or Tupperware, and soak it for 3 hours or overnight.

Remove rust by rubbing it with a brush or sponge, etc.

Once the vinegar has broken down the iron oxide and made it easier to remove the rust, scrub with a brush, towel, or sponge to remove the rust. Do not forget to wipe dry at the end.

3. Using rust-removing rubber

Rust can be easily removed by using rust-removing rubber.

Rust still in the early stage can be easily removed with a rust-removing rubber. Please refer to the instruction manual of each product.

How to prevent rust

The best way to maintain the kitchen knives in a good condition is not to make them rust. After using them, wash them with a detergent and wipe off moisture completely. Also, do not forget to wipe them with a dry towel after wiping them once, when removing the moisture.

Besides, fat from animal meat and acrid vegetables can cause knives to rust, so wash your knives immediately after cutting these items.

As for storage conditions, if the place is humid or the room temperature changes drastically, the kitchen knives will easily rust due to condensation or dampness caused by moisture. If there are rusty metal products nearby, be aware that rust can be transferred through contact.


When a knife rusts, it can reduce performance and require extra time and effort for maintenance. The most important manner is to prevent your kitchen knives from rusting, so take the following precautions.

  • Wash well soon after use.
  • Wipe it with dry cloth thoroughly.
  • Maintain good storage conditions.

Information about how to store knives, please see here