Carbon Steel Stain Removal

Joined Jun 11, 2001
On a recent trip to Paris (good gosh at the food!!), I picked up a pure carbon chefs knife at a pretty good price. Recognized it was an experiment going in, but the blade, balance, etc. are excellent. I have been neurotic about rinsing and drying it each time I use it - after cutting each group of ingredients, not just once after a full day of cooking. Nevertheless, it has some slight discoloration on the blade that started to show up on the first use, and has continued each time.

Any tips on how I can clean this without scratching the blade or damaging the finish (or lack of finish...)


Joined Mar 3, 2002
I'm probably not the person to give advice considering the appearance of my old carbon steel knieves, BUT: after washing and drying them, lightly oil them.
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Don't bother; it's a losing battle. All of my knives are made of CS and the blades are simply rinsed and wiped dry after each use. Therefore, stain removal is performed religiously...once per year after the annual stoning of the blade.

Furthermore, be forewarned that over time the blades will pit slightly - unavoidable. Think of it this way: some women like their cowboys slightly weatherbeaten!

But for stain removal, do this:

moisten blade;
sprinkle dutch cleanser on the blade;
scrub the moistened abrasive with the flat end of a wine cork.

Placing the blade on a flat countertop surface and with the knifehandle overhanging the floor, simplifies the cleaning task. The flat surface provides proper support for the blade.

Was your CS knife purchased at Dehillerin? Which brand is it? Blade length and price? Inquiring minds want to know! Hurry while supply lasts!!! ;)

Now remember, weatherbeaten...


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Mineral oil is the best general CS preservative for food use. But it will wipe away during your chopping so you'll still get staining.

BarTender's Friend, (or is it Barkeeper's?) is a good polish. Also Flitz, which you can find in a sporting goods store in the gun cleaning supplies.

A more lasting protection can be had from Tuf Cloth. The ingredients in Tuf-Cloth individually are considered safe. They have not been tested in combination and as applied by the Tuf-Cloth. I don't use this on my kitchen knives, but on my pocket and outdoors knives, it's a wonder.

Joined Mar 3, 2002
Anyone unfamiliare with Bartender's Helper. Run, not walk to get yourself a can. I just discovered it recently and wish I had years ago. It's great on stainless steel, and it will even clean the crud off copper.
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