How to Clean Your Knives (in 8 tips)

A clean knife following being wiped and cleaned.

Every chef knows that the knife is the most important tool in the kitchen. Properly taking care of them is a sure-fire way to prolong their life and get the best use out of them. Knives are the greatest tool of any chef (or home cooker). Keeping them clean and sharp ensures efficient cutting and your own safety when using them.

1. Don’t put the knives in the dishwasher!

First things first, don’t put your precious knives in the dishwasher. While some knives can be dishwasher safe, the dishwasher rattles the blades around with your other cutlery and utensils. In doing so, you can really do some damage to the blade. Either blunting or chipping it. Your best bet is to clean your knives the old fashioned way. Grab some soap and a sponge and scrub them with water. In doing so you will ensure the longevity of your blade.

2. Safety first!

Be super careful when you’re cleaning your knives. Keep the sharp edge pointed away from you and your fingers. You don’t want to slip and slice yourself. Similar principles apply as with cutting. Prepare your cutting and cleaning position so that you’re in the best possible spot NOT to get cut. Face the knife away from you, clean slowly and don’t move your hands towards the blade.

3. Soak in shallow water.

Firstly, we recommend not soaking your knives at all. Clean them as you use them! But if you must soak them, do so in shallow water. This ensures you can see them when you go to pick them up. The worst thing you can do is forget your knives are in the sink before dipping your hand in to grab something else and getting a painful surprise. Soaking is great for dislodging hard-stuck gunk from your knives, but you will certainly regret it if you pull out your hand with a giant gash!

4. Clean right after you use it!

Simple but effective. As discussed before, give your knives a quick clean right after using them. Finished chopping the chicken? Give it a quick wipe. In doing so you will prevent nasty gunk building up making it harder to clean later. We also believe it’s much nicer to clean as we cook. The worst thing is to eat a delicious meal and then look up to see a massive pile of pans that need scrubbing.

5. The folded sponge trick.

Put your knife inside a folded soapy sponge, with the blade pointed outwards. Rub the sponge up and down the blade. Because the blade is pointed outwards, away from you and the sponge, you can clean effectively and safely.

6. Dry them off!

You have cleaned them well and now they need to dry. Don’t let them sit amongst your other utensils to drip dry. Dry them with a tea towel or paper towel to prevent build potential rust or build ups forming. It also stops them clinking around with other utensils which can damage and blunt your precious knives.

7. Store them well.

This is very important for the longevity of your blades. Don’t throw them in the cutlery draw to be tangled with other knives and utensils. Use a knife block so they are not bouncing around with other tools. Doing so will prevent unnecessary damage and blunting. Keeping them in a knife block also keeps them safe. You know exactly where they are when you need them and you won’t be poked by a surprise blade in your drawer.

8. Keep them sharp.

Sharpening your knives is the most important way to take care of your blades. In doing so, your knives will be effective when cutting and much safer when using them. Cutting with a blunt blade is a sure-fire way to slip and cut yourself in the process. There a bunch of gadgets and gimmicks on the market for knife sharpening but the best and original way is by using a steel (insert image). A steel is a metal rod with ridges along its length. When you run the knife’s edge along the steel it becomes sharper, simple.