Rust spots have long been the bane of many a chef. Not only are these spots unsightly, they also put the performance of your blades at risk.
Unless your knives are ceramic or titanium, it highly likely that their blades will be susceptible to rust. Carbon steel blades are the most vulnerable, but even “stainless” steel blades can fall victim to rust if not cleaned and maintained properly.
Luckily, following a few simple tips can ensure your knives stay rust free.
1. Always hand wash your knives
While some knives are dubiously labeled “dishwasher-safe”, we’d caution against throwing any of your knives in the dishwasher with other utensils. Dishwashers clean using very high heat, powerful detergents and rinse cycles that leave your knives sitting in moist environments for prolonged periods. Combined, these factors are very likely to cause rust spots to appear on your knife blades.
If that wasn’t reason enough to hand wash your knives, putting your knives through the dishwasher also causes them to bump against other cutlery during cleaning. This prematurely blunts your knives and could even chip the more brittle blades in your collection.
2. Dry your knives immediately after washing
It’s tempting to allow your knives to drip dry in your dish rack, but it’s important that you remove moisture from their blades as quickly possible. Leaving your knives wet for an extended duration is a common cause for rust spots and should be avoided. This means that letting your knives soak at the bottom of the sink while you clean your other dishes is also unadvisable.
3. Store your knives in a clean, dry area
You’re probably seeing a trend at this stage. Keeping your knives dry is of utmost importance when it comes to ensuring their blades stay free of rust spots. Make sure you keep your knife block away from common sources of moisture like the kitchen sink and the dishwasher and make sure all blades are completely dry before storing them for future use. Putting a knife away with even a couple of water drops still lingering on the blade is a recipe for corrosion. This moisture will linger in the recesses of your knife block, unless you’re fortunate enough to have this premium bamboo ValJax knife set.
4. Bonus Points: Apply a light layer of mineral oil to your blades after washing
For the most ardent knife enthusiasts (especially those with valuable knives), we recommend applying a light layer of mineral oil to a knife’s blades after washing and drying. This provides an additional layer of protection against rust. As an added benefit, mineral oil can also be used on your wooden cutting boards to prevent them from drying out and warping. There are many brands of mineral oil available, just ensure you purchase one that is food safe, like this offering from Sanco.
A strict cleaning regimen is imperative when it comes to maintaining your knives, but this regimen doesn’t have to be complicated. Following these four simple tips will make sure your blades stay rust-free for years.