The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

Rust On Knife

Elaine Sutton
• Wednesday, 09 December, 2020
• 9 min read

For those who don’t know, iron is the secret ingredient of the steel found in your knife blades. People in the 1800s found iron-chromium alloys to be more resistant to corrosion because they create a protective layer.

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Unfortunately, that means the blade will still rust (unless it’s ceramic) under certain conditions as long as it’s considered steel. There were one or two claims that the steel rusted after years of use at sea, but those were never fully verified.

Materials: Baking soda, water, toothbrush, steel wool (or sponge), cloth The first thing you want to do is spotless the blade of your knife because dirt can interfere with the removal of rust.

You can pour a fair amount of baking soda into a bowl and add some water (or lemon juice). Apply the thick paste to a toothbrush and liberally speed it across the blade.

For extremely rusty blades, you’ll need a little more abrasion to help remove the rust. Steel wool is commonly recommended though it can mess up your blade if you scrub too hard.

Be careful not to scrub too hard because you can scratch the blade or ruin the finish. Finally, clean off the blade with a piece of cloth to remove the excessive baking powder.


If you want to be wonderful to your blade, you can apply some mineral oil afterward to make sure it’s lubricated and protected from rust in the future. Our old pals at Taylor Brands (we miss you) made a video using this essential method, which you should watch if you’re the visual type.

Materials: Pan or cup, white vinegar, sponge, cloth Be sure to use white vinegar, which contains a substance called acetic acid that will attack the rust.

Here’s a cool video showing the power of vinegar on a dive knife : You’ll want to use very fine sandpaper (think 400) to gently get the rust off the blade.

When you don’t have the materials around the house to get rust off your knife, there are a few natural methods you can use. The potato is actually remarkably effective food for removing rust because of its italic acid.

The sulfuric acids in onions are they key ingredients in getting your blade cleaned. Another more natural way many people suggest is to plunge your rust -covered knife into rich soil about two dozen times and than wipe it clean.

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Rust is caused when oxygen and iron meet and a reaction happens called oxidizing. To prevent this from happening, build up a patina, clean your blade often, and store your knife in a dry place.

Preventing rust from forming on your knife blade is actually super simple and can be done in just a few minutes. A lot of people have this idea that rust is a really terrible thing to happen to a blade, but it isn’t that serious in most cases and can be fixed and prevented quite easily.

This means that whenever your knife gets wet or is in a moist environment, there is the chance that it will form rust on the blade or any other steel part. This is an important thing to keep in mind when you are trying to prevent rust from forming on your knife blade.

So pretty much if you could stop those three things from coming into contact with each other, no rust would form and you would be all good. And iron is a component of what your knife blade is made of, so good luck avoiding that one.

That just leaves water left as the only thing that we can really control when and where it comes into contact with our knives. So basically, if you don’t let any water touch your knife blade, you will never have to worry about it rusting ever again.

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Turns out that you don’t have to actually submerge your knife in a bucket of water for it to come into contact with the stuff. You just have to accept the fact that rust will eventually form on your knife and just take the steps to prevent this from happening and remove it when it does.

These techniques and methods are also not guaranteed to stop rust from forming on your knife blade. There is just no way that we can stop oxygen and water from coming into contact with our knife blades.

These methods to prevent and stop knife blades from rusting will work to a certain extent but are not foolproof. You just have to accept the fact that rust will eventually form on your knife blade at some point, and you will need to clean and remove it.

A patina is basically a type of corrosion that happens to a knife blade that is very similar to rust. There are many pros and cons to each, but they basically provide the same amount of rust protection to your knife.

Basically, if you just use your knife a lot and take good care of it, a natural patina will usually form on the blade. In fact, sometimes the term “patina” is actually used to just describe the aging and wear on a knife blade.

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Depending on what you cut with your knife often, different types and colors of natural patinas may form. Forced patinas are a great option if you just want a quick barrier to stop most rust from forming on your blade.

If you are a busy person that just doesn’t have time to stop what they are doing and go clean your knife when you are done using it for a task. Simply cleaning it once a day whenever you have free time will be more than sufficient to stop most rust from forming.

After you use your knife for a task, just carefully wipe the blade down with the corner of your shirt or a clean towel. If your knife blade is filthy, run it under some water to get the grime off and then thoroughly dry it with a towel.

In some cases, you might need to do a deeper and more thorough cleaning of your knife, but just a simple wipe down will do wonders in regard to preventing rust. It’s the sort of thing that you don’t realize until it is too late and your blade is already covered in a bunch of rust.

When you are not using your knife the best place to store it is out of its sheath and in a clean, dry drawer or cabinet. Just make sure that the place that you store it doesn’t have major temperature changes and is nice and dry.

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If you are worried about your knife getting scratched or hurt while it is out of its sheath, either just clear the drawer or cabinet that you store it in or lightly wrap it in a cloth. Water is one of the things that causes rust and you can often control when it comes into contact with your knife.

Personally, I just sit down for about twenty minutes once a month and just check all my knives for rust. It also just gives me peace of mind to check them once a month and know that all my knives are in good shape and free of rust.

Just check your knives often for rust and make sure to get rid of it as soon as possible so that it doesn’t become a huge deal to remove it. After you have removed any rust from a knife, try to reassess and do take some preventative measures like the ones mentioned above in this article to stop it from happening again.

You have to understand, rust is a natural and very common thing to happen to a knife blade. If your blade starts to form rust, don’t panic, and just work to remove it.

How to remove rust from knives may be one of those questions that you’ve asked yourself briefly but then discarded because addressing it seemed too challenging or unimportant. If you do need to clean rust off a knife, the first step is to wipe away dirt and oil stains under warm running water.

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If you have a chrome blade, it’s possible to use a crumpled-up ball of aluminum foil to remove rust, but it could, again, scratch your knife. For the best solution, mix equal parts warm water and lemon juice in a tall cup, then leave the rusty utensil soaking for ten minutes.

Alternatively, rub half a lemon along the knife blade, then wipe away the liquid and rust with a scouring pad. Make sure not to leave the lemon juice sitting on the surface for too long so that it doesn’t have a chance to damage the metal.

Increase the effectiveness of this natural rust remover by incorporating the abrasiveness of either salt or baking soda. As long as your knife does not contain paint or another coating, the best way to remove rust is to combine three tablespoons of the acid with hot water and soak the blade in the solution overnight.

The acetic acid in white vinegar makes this everyday cooking and cleaning product another versatile choice for removing rust from a knife blade. As with lemon juice, one option is to soak your knife in the vinegar, either in a tall glass or in a shallow bowl or dish.

Either clean your stainless steel knife with a cloth dipped in this mixture or, for more resistant rust stains, soak the blade in the cleaner for one hour. Another option is cutting a potato in two, spreading dish soap on one of the halves, and sprinkling either salt or baking soda on the surface to add abrasive power.

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¼ cup baking soda Water Toothbrush Dish sponge To get rust off stainless steel knives or other utensils, pour the baking soda into a bowl and add water a little at a time until you have a thick paste.

You can also rinse the rusted knife and shake off the worst of the water before dusting the metal blade with baking soda. After the knife sits for an hour, scrub at the rust with a scouring pad, then rinse and dry your blade.

Whether you choose to bake soda or a type of acid to clean rust off a knife, follow the same overall process of wiping away stains, applying your chosen treatment, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying with a clean cloth. Oil guards knives against rust by forming a water-resistant coating around the blade, even finding its way into all the tiny dips and dents in the metal.

For proper knife maintenance, it’s vital to wash blades by hand and to make sure that they’re completely dry before putting them away. It’s easy to slip up once or twice or even to neglect taking care of your knives altogether, tossing them in the dishwasher along with other silverware.

You now know how to remove rust from knives using common household ingredients, whether by squeezing lemon juice, soaking in vinegar, rubbing with a potato, or making a baking soda paste.

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