How to Properly Clean Your Utility Knives

How to Properly Clean Your Utility Knives

Posted by Clayton on May 5th 2015

If you’ve invested in some high-quality knives, then you know that they can last an incredibly long time if they’re well taken care of. Taking care of your knives will be important to their overall functioning as well as their sharpness, so taking the steps to keep them in good shape ensures that you’ll be able to use them for a very long time.

There are a few different opinions about proper knife cleaning, and you may have your preferences based on the types of knives that you own. However, there are a few key elements to keeping your knives clean and in their original shape and functionality. Consider the following tips to help you keep your knives clean and working perfectly:

  1. Do An Overall Check First

Your knives won’t need constant cleaning if you don’t use them very often, so make sure that you do a visual check of them before you start putting them in water or lubricating. If you tend to do a monthly cleaning after a lot of use, then look over the knife and check for spots that need focus before doing anything. This way, you can get rid of small pieces such as dirt and lint before getting the tool wet.

Play around with the tool a bit and make sure that everything is easy to lock and unlock. This will tell you if there’s anything else you need to focus on.

  1. Clean Out the Pivot

Check the pivot for any small obstructions or small objects that you can remove with tweezers or a cotton swab. Do this before you clean the rest of the blade so that you don’t push anything further into the cracks or pivot of the knife.

  1. Scrub

To clean the blade and remove any sticky dirt or grime from small spaces, use warm soap and water to loosen the debris and remove it. You can use a toothbrush for scrubbing or a cotton swab, as neither will scratch the surface of the knife.

When scrubbing the knife, make sure to do it with the sharp end facing away from you, and in a slow motion. Scrubbing quickly or aggressively can result in injury, so use some gloves if necessary and take your time. Consider laying the knife flat and cleaning each side to avoid any possible injury.

If you find that you cannot easily remove grime, then leave the knife to sit in warm water for a few minutes to loosen it further. Take care not to use boiling water for this cleaning method, and always make sure to dry the knife thoroughly before lubrication and use. It’s fine if the internals of a knife become wet, as these areas can get very dirty without your knowing, and they will need a good rinsing. Once the knife has sat long enough, try to remove the grime again. Be aware of the make of your knife and any care instructions they’ve included so as not to damage it during cleaning.

  1. Disassemble

If you know that there is more dirt and debris within your knife, then you do have the option of disassembling it. This is only suggested for those who are knowledgeable about their products and who have the tools to properly assemble them back together again.

If you do know have the knowledge, then it is best to take the knife back to the seller or manufacturer to have them clean it properly. Many companies will void offers or reject any refunds if you have tried to open the tool on your own, so take this into consideration as to whether or not it’s worth it.

  1. Use Proper Lubrication

The only thing uglier than a dulled knife is a knife covered in rust. Rust is a result of poor cleaning habits, and, once you’ve let it sit on the knife for too long, it can be very hard to remove. To make cleaning your knife much easier over time, it’s a good idea to have it lubricated as much as possible.

Lubricating the knife will make it less susceptible to moisture and water damage, which can rust knives very easily. Using a good lubrication with little or no scent is the perfect tool, because even if rust does creep up, you can easily remove it with the lubrication you’ve been using.

Especially for those who are exposed to a lot of moisture in the air or water, having lubrication will be an important component to keeping knives clean for a very long time. Proper lubrication in the fold of folding knives will also help with the functionality of the knife, so it’s best to have a few favorite brands on hand in case you need it.

If you’ve just started using high-quality knives, then it’s important to know that you cannot simply treat them as regular kitchen tools. Never clean your tools using a dishwasher, and never use boiling water to let your knives soak. The heat will warp and break down the knives over time, so it’s best to do the cleaning by hand. Follow these steps, and you’ll have sharp, shining knives for a very long time.