Even though your kitchen knives are made from high quality stainless steel doesn’t mean that your knives won’t ever rust. If you don’t look after your best kitchen knives sooner or later small rust spots are going to appear.
One of the main reasons for rust spots appearing on your kitchen knives is if you wash them in a dishwasher or if you leave your knives in water in the kitchen sink for a long period of time.
The good news is that in most cases minor rust spots can easily be removed at home using everyday items found in the house or cheap rust removing products from your local store.
How Does Rust Appear on Your Stainless Steel Knives?
Rust is the result of the oxidation of iron and one of the most common causes of rust spots on kitchen knives is the prolonged exposure to water (like leaving them sitting in your kitchen sink).
Any metal that contains iron, including steel, will bond with the oxygen atoms found in water forming a layer of iron oxide, or as we know it – rust.
If you have any deep scratches on your kitchen knives or abrasions this is a perfect area for rust to form. If you see any rust spots on your knives its best to remove it as soon as possible to avoid any further damage that may occur.
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Easy Ways to Remove Rust from Your Knives
Natural Lemon Juice: put some fresh lemon juice into a glass or shall container place your knives in the lemon solution for a few minutes and then take them out. The acid in the lemon juice actually helps to loosen up the rust from the knife blade which in-turn should make it a lot easier to scrub away those rust spots.
Use a Potato: crazy as this sounds it does actually work, take your knife and push the blade inside a whole potato (for larger kitchen knives this method may not work) and leave it in the potato for a day or overnight. Remove your knife from the potato and scrub away the loosened rust spots. How does this work? Simply put; the Oxalic acid in the potatoes helps to remove the buildup of rust.
Try Soaking Your Knife in Vinegar: vinegar is found in every household and this non-toxic acid works great at removing rust spots on your kitchen knives. As with the other methods simply place your kitchen knife blade into the vinegar and leave it to soak overnight then simply take it out and scrub the rust spots away.
The best vinegar to use for this rust removing method is apple cider vinegar rather than the white vinegar, while white vinegar may work it’s not as effective as apple cider vinegar.
Baking Soda Paste: everyone has baking soda somewhere gathering dust on their kitchen shelves, and if not why not? It has multiple uses in the home. You need to take enough baking soda to mix with water to form a paste that has the same density as toothpaste or just slightly thicker (you’ll need more baking soda than water to get this right).
Take you baking soda mixture and start to apply it to your knife blade using a non-abrasive scourring pad, plastic scrubbie to gently rub the affected areas of the blade; using steel wool can cause further damage. Repeat as many times as necessary until the rust spots have gone.
Bar Keepers Friend: this is a wonder product that has many cleaning uses in the house. There are a couple of ways you can use Bar Keepers Friend for removing rust form your knife blades; the first is to take a damp wash cloth and sprinkle sparingly some of the powder onto the cloth and then simply rub the affected rusty areas.
The second method involves making a paste with the Bar keepers Friend powder by mixing it with a little water to the same consistency as the above Baking Soda Paste method, rub it into the surface you want to clean and let this sit for a few minutes and then wipe ways. Repeat as many times as need to fully remove the rust spots from your kitchen knives.
There are other more extreme methods of removing rust from your kitchen knives like a grinder or a sander or even electrolysis, but to be honest if your knives are this rusty it’s time to throw them out and invest in a new set of kitchen knives.
These methods won’t reverse the underling damage to your knives that caused them to rust in the first place, but it does give you your clean knives back. Once they are back to their shiny new self you just have to make sure you hand wash them and dry them after each use so they don’t develop any new rust spots.
Tip: Avoid heavy metal scouring pads, as they can easily scratch the surface of your kitchen knives and cause more rust.