Cleaning a Rusty Knife?

August 26, 2020

I just bought a couple old knives. The edge and tip is still in good condition but the sides of the blade look old and a little bit rusty. I want to ask is there a way to clean the sides but not damage the knives? Thank you a lot.



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August 26, 20200 found this helpful
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I generally dampen one of the scrubbies (2 or 3 pack green scrubbies from Dollar Tree) dip it in a little baking soda and scrub the blade but these are generally not heavily rusted knives.

I know white vinegar (never apple cider vinegar) will remove rust but it's difficult to find something tall enough to fit a whole knife blade. Maybe if you have a tall flower vase this would work. I think it is recommended to leave the blade soaking in white vinegar for 5-30 minutes but no longer.
Remove it from vinegar and use a scrubby to finish job. If it's very bad you may have to do it a second time but do not leave in vinegar more than 30 minutes each time.


Add some baking soda to your sink drain, pour used vinegar on baking soda, let it foam away grease and junk, add hot water (be careful as hot water can sometimes spout up and burn your hand) and now you've used the vinegar for 2 jobs.

If you have a rusty knife that is not used for food you you can spray it with WD40 and then scrub it with a throw away scrubby or lightly sand it.

Always be careful when doing anything with a knife.
You may have to sharpen the knives after removing rust.

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August 28, 20200 found this helpful
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Be very careful as many of these home remedies can totally destroy the knife depending on the level of rust and what it is made from. I have done that by mistake so be very careful.


Things that work in degrees are listed here. One missing is a can of cola...let the blade sit for 15 minute increments in the cola and gently wipe with a clean, white, cotton rag after each soaking.

A water and baking soda paste leave on for 15 minutes, wipe off (rag) and repeat is also the a less impactful way to try.

Be extremely careful as it is very easy to get cut, very easy to break the knives and you will almost definitely have trouble getting the rust out of the place the knives meets the base--that is the hardest part of the process.

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August 29, 20200 found this helpful
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This can take time but the best way I have ever found to clean old rusty knives is with a small machine called a Dremel and one of the cleaning heads designed for metal use. They have some metal brushes that attach to the machine and you use these brushes to clean off the rust on the machine. Once you get the rust off the machine you will need to use a sharpening stone to sharpen the blade again. Now you need to treat this with some knife oil. You will put some of the oil on the sharpening stone when you sharpen the blade and then again treat the blade with the same oil.


This is the best way to get rid of the rust so you can use the knife again and it won't be dangerous. I know people say to clean it with SOS and also dish soap but this does not get in the groves of the blade and get all the rust out of it. You basically need to use the wire brush on the small machine to get into all the groves of the blade to get all the rust out of the blade so it can be used again to cut your food with.

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June 28, 2009

How do you prevent rust from returning to a knife?

By Dee from MI


June 29, 20090 found this helpful
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I have a set of knives like that. I clean them with steel wool and cold water, dry well, then rub a little bit of olive oil on the blades, and wipe off with a paper towel. Then I wrap them in a microfiber cleaning cloth, and store in my 'knife' drawer till time to use again.

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July 1, 20090 found this helpful
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Try linseed oil and an oil cloth next time, just don't wait to you need them to take them out and wipe them down.

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