Knife Cleaning

Joined Feb 1, 2007
An issue on another thread sparked this. How do you clean your knives? I know there's no one right way, so am curious how y'all handle this chore.

My knives are always washed by hand. I can't imagine abusing them in a dishwasher. I have one of those brushes with a soap reservoir built in, and that's my primary tool.

Working under hot, running water, I wet the knife, squeeze a drop of the soap onto it, and use the brush to rub and scour the knife clean. It gets rinsed under the running water, and hand-dried immediately.

What are some other methods?
Joined Feb 13, 2008
  • Scotch-Brite ("green scrubby") with soap;
  • Regular (but not every time) baking soda on the carbons, applied with the selfsame Scotch-Brite; and
  • Thorough drying with a towel (not in the dish rack), before storing.
Joined May 24, 2009
Most of my knives have at least a decent polished finish, a brand new scotchbrite leaves scratches. I usually use hand soap and paper towel when I'm at work, side towel to dry. Baking soda on all of the carbons and should I ever get a spot of rust I sprinkle it with comet and rub it with a wine cork.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Better save those wine corks, Benway, both for that use and for when cooking octopus. More and more they're moving to those synthetic corks, which don't work the same way.
Joined May 24, 2009
Some of our older nets still have natural corks on the lines which are always breaking and being replaced with plastic ones, I've been throwing chunks of that in the pressure cooker although honestly I do it just as a superstition, I've never noticed any measurable effect.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
If you forced me to be honest, Benway, I'd have to admit that I don't see any difference in octopus cooked with and without a cork. And I'd opine that a cork ain't needed.

Uh, huh. But I still toss one in the pot. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Hot water, wipe dry on paper towel.

Spray down with sanitizer

Wipe off with paper towel.

Hate those green scrubbies......

Alot of my knives are still my Original Victorinox from the early 80's with "rosewood" handles (scales, I guess they're called), the d/washer will kill it dead in no time.  Still have some Victorinox pastry spatulas and off-set spatulas too.

Hate salmon scales and dried on vegetable peels that somehow still cling on to "washed and sanitized" knives.

So, to get rid of that stuff, and to clean off my wood baker's tables, I turn to an ancient tool from the cabinet maker's repetoire,

A "cabinet scraper"

Nothing more than a 3" x 5" piece of mild steel with a rolled burr on the edge.  THE  perfect thing to clean off a wood table or to flick off dried fish scales off of knives and equipment.
Joined Nov 5, 2009
I use a very soft scrubby-one that is not abrasive at all, mild soap and hot water and I dry them as soon as they are washed
Joined Mar 3, 2010
i never dishwash mine, it not an expensive knife(school knife made by mercer) but i hand wash with a green pad or steel. im not really worried about the scratches on the one i use because its already been abused when given to me. but holds the edge and i am used to it.
Joined Jan 2, 2007
Like others, I wash in hot soapy water then dry immediately and return to magnetic strip on the wall or block. I'm assuming nobody just throws them in the knife drawer?/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
Joined Jul 7, 2010
usually my knife is always kept in a tray of "third sink" sanitizer, and when im done using it ill wash it with soap and water and sponge, and then give it a dip in fresh sanitizer.  dry it off and into the knife guard and then into the bag
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Foodpump  Her we call it a bench scrapper. I use it for a lot of things. including wood cutting boards > Boards are no longer legal here in Florida.
Joined Mar 6, 2010
My washing varies a little by what I have used the knives for, but most times, I cold or warm rinse, then warm soap bath (giving the soap time to release the debris), hot spray rinse (may use soft towel for scrubbing or soft toothbrush for crevices by handle), then dip in sanitizer of some sort--alternating the type of sanitizer every couple of weeks or so.  If I have used my knives on foods with high protein content, I make sure as to do most of the rinsing and cleaning at around 140 to no more that 160 degrees to cut down on the risk of cooking on the proteins making cleaning harder. I also try to wash fairly soon after use.  I try not to use anything too abrasive on the blades, since scratches on the blade provides additional hiding places for bacteria and make getting into the crevices to clean more difficult. I pay special attention to any crevices, especially in the textured areas of handles--since some bacteria will adjust to living in a harsh sanitized environment (the reason I switch sanitizers) and form biofilms--sending out little connectors that form strong bonds to the surface of the knife and each other, creating a slime layers that is very difficult to penetrate and sometimes difficult to detect by human eye.   

D. Clay
Joined Jan 29, 2010
The same way as everything else: By hand. We don't have a dishwasher :( Silverware gets dumped in the soapy water and washed last - that way its soaked and mostly really easy to get clean, no scrubbing required :) 

Oh and then they get stuck in the drying rack to dry, then moved back to the block when they get put away :)
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
you mean a bench scraper?
Could be, but a bench scaper has a handle, I think.

The cabinet scraper is just a hunk of steel, many were made from old handsaws, the edge is filed and then honed a perfect 90 degress to the faces and then with hard steel bar, the edge is "turned" to form a burr, or "hook".  This burr lasts for a while and then needs to be renewed again and again.  Properly prepared and sharpened, a cabinet scraper will remove light-as-air fluffy wood shavings and a pristine wood surface.  Sandpaper is only a fairly recent invention--maybe 130-150 years old, the cabinet scraper was used to prepare furniture for finishing a looooong time before sandpaper was invented.

I've got about 10 linear feet of solid maple baker's tables in my shop, and this is the tool I use to clean off the table, but it sure comes in handy for cleaning other surfaces as well

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