How to Remove Rust from Kitchen Knives

How to Remove Rust from Kitchen Knives

Rust is an iron oxide (compounds made up of iron and oxygen) and usually has a reddish-brown color. It forms when iron and oxygen react together in the presence of humidity. Having it on an object may actually seem like the object is ruined and has lost its credibility, but that’s not the case.

If one happens to learn the trick of getting rid of iron oxide then the kitchen knives can turn out to be as good as new. How to remove rust from kitchen knives is a question that has left millions of people worried now and then but getting rid of rust is something that is not entirely impossible.

Explore More Shun Vs Wusthof

Explore More White Steel VS Blue Steel Knives

Explore More Santoku Knife VS Chef Knife

Why Do Knives Rust?

The combination of iron, water, and air results in rust if not taken care of. Iron is the furtive constituent of the steel found in kitchen knife blades so any mistreatment would result in rust. Unfortunately, kitchen knives are the most ignored piece of item in any kitchen. They easily get rust when not dried properly or left in the moisture.

Few manufactured knives claim to be made up of stainless steel, but that doesn’t mean that they are totally rust-free. In fact, it actually means that they are more stain-resistant having an extra protective layer which makes them stain-less but not stain-free completely.

How to Remove Rust from Kitchen Knives?

There are a number of various different methods to remove rust from kitchen knives and most of them have the core ingredients already available in the kitchen. In simple terms, you need to use something of acidic nature to get rid of oxidized iron.

Remove Rust with White Vinegar

White vinegar is something very common and easily available in every kitchen. It is known as a natural cleansing agent. It also contains a substance called acetic acid which is a weak acid and attacks rust. Soaking your knife in vinegar for about 30minutes will do the magic.

After removing the knife from vinegar you need to scrub it off with steel wool or a wire brush. If after this there are still remains of rust on your blade then repeat the process until you end up with a clean knife. Once done with the soaking and scrubbing wash it with dish soap and dry properly.

Remove Rust with Baking Soda

It works well on items with light rust stains or items made out of thin metal. For this particular method, you will have to make a baking soda paste. Take a decent amount of baking soda in a bowl, add water to it and mix it until it turns into a thick paste. Apply this thick paste with the help of a brush on your rusty blade and wait for an hour.

After leaving it for an hour or so scrub it with a wire brush and later wash it with water and dish soap. If there are still remains of rust on your blade then repeat the process. Just remember to dry the knife properly in the end.

Remove Rust with Lemon Juice and Salt

This procedure fundamentally combines the sharpness of lemon with the abrasiveness of salt that handles and removes small rust spots. For this method to work cover the rusted areas with salt and then squeeze lemon over them. Let it sit for two or more hours depending on the amount of rust. Later scrub the blade with lemon rind or wire brush. Rinse it off with water and dry it thoroughly to see the desired result.

Remove Rust with Citric Acid

Citric acid is a common product that can be easily purchased from any supermarket or health food store. It is also quite an effective method of removing rust from kitchen knives. For this particular method add about three tablespoons of citric acid to a bowl full of hot water. Leave your knife in it overnight and do not forget to soak it properly. Scrub it off in the morning to see the desired result.

One of the disadvantages of this method is that it not only removes rust but also removes coatings and paints, but it works well for knives made up of stainless steel.

Remove Rust with Metal Glo

It is a popular chemical available in the market used to remove stubborn rust from your kitchen knives and other utensils. This solution is safe for cookware, knives, and jewelry, etc. Apply a thick paste of metal glo on the desired area and leave it there according to the amount of rust you are dealing with. Just keep in mind to apply its paste on your knife in the grain pattern to avoid metal scratching. Once done, scrub your knife well and wash it thoroughly.

Natural Rust Removal Methods

There are few natural ingredients that can also help you around in getting rid of rust from your kitchen knives.

1. Potato Method

The oxalic acid present in potatoes can be surprisingly effective in removing rust from your kitchen knives. Simply cut your potato in half and scrub it onto your knife or stick your rusted knife into the potato and allow the oxalic acid enough time to do its magic. After you remove your knife from the potato scrub it by using oil and the result would be a clean and rust-free knife.

2. Onion Method

Onion is another food item easily available in every kitchen that helps in removing rust from your kitchen knives. The sulphonic acid in onions is the basic ingredient that helps in keeping the knife rust-free.

It is the same ingredient that brings tears to many eyes with its unavoidable harshness. This method is the easiest and the rust comes off only by sliding the blade back and forth while cutting the onions.

How to Prevent Rusting on Knives?

Maintaining your kitchen knives from the very beginning is the main key but there are also some preventive measures that you can go with. The main key to maintain your knives and have them rust-free is to keep them clean and dry as much as possible. Water is the main culprit behind rusty kitchen knives, so keep them as dry as possible. Other than that these preventive measures can also be adopted.

  • Mineral oil should be applied from time to time as it keeps rust at bay and works as a protective layer against rust.
  • Washing knives in the dishwasher can be problematic in the long run. The intense heat will cause the metal to swell and contract causing pressure points for the rust to settle in.
  • After every wash the knives should be dried off properly otherwise the oxygen in the water will react with the iron and will result in rust.
  • If working with saltwater then use a titanium or ceramic knife.
  • Do not leave your knives in the moisture for long as this will fasten the overall rusting process affecting the total life span of a knife.
  • Store your knives in an area where they are dry and safe from moisture.


How to remove rust from your kitchen knives might be a question that has possibly worried a lot of people but it sure has solutions that are easy and manageable. Things used to remove rust from knives are already commonly available in every kitchen. So this particular question of how to remove rust from a daily used kitchen item knife has its solution in your very own kitchen and you just need to look around.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top