How To Keep Kitchen Knives From Rusting

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 01/30/21 •  5 min read

To prevent rust from developing on a knife, you need to keep the blade clean and dry. Avoid over-exposure to acidic foods and make sure to store your blade in the proper place. By doing this, you reduce the risk of rust and corrosion on your knife.

A rusty knife is any chef’s nightmare.

Aside from significantly reducing the quality of a blade, using a rusty knife is also dangerous.

Rusty knives can contaminate food and since they won’t be as smooth and sharp, these blades are at a higher risk of slipping.

To avoid these risks, chefs need to make sure that their knives are rust-free as much as possible.

Keeping a knife clean and rust-free can be especially challenging for some chefs, especially those who live in moist and humid areas.

To help you keep your knives clean and safe, we go through everything you need to know about keeping kitchen knives from rusting.

Read on to learn more.


Keep the blade clean and dry

Keeping your kitchen blade clean and dry does more than simply preventing rust. This is because it guarantees that the sharpness in the cutting edge lasts longer.

It is recommendable to clean and dry the knife in between ingredients to limit cross-contamination of allergens and flavors.

Also, some ingredients are reactive and may be detrimental to the blade’s quality when left on the blade for too long.

Rinse the blade under running water in the sink and then use a soft cotton towel to wipe it dry. Avoid storing the blade while still wet, as the water on the blades can lead to rust spots.

Avoid over-exposure to acidic foods

Stainless steel has better resistance to acidic foods than carbon steel. Therefore, if your kitchen knife is made from carbon steel, you should limit the blades’ exposure to acidic foods. For instance, if you are constantly slicing acidic fruits like tomatoes, onions, and citrus fruits, you should use a stainless-steel knife.

Generally, when you cut through an acidic food with your kitchen blade, you should rinse and dry the blade immediately. If you leave the blade to stay for long without rinsing it, the reactivity will likely cause corrosion and consequent rust on the knife.

For excessively acidic foods, you may consider rubbing the blade down with baking soda to counter the acidic reaction. Additionally, consider having a stainless-steel blade for acidic foods.

Appropriate storage

Kitchen knives, just like other blades, hate neglect. In line with this, if you want to keep your knife collection from rusting, you need to store your blades correctly.

There are several methods of storing blades in the kitchen. For instance, you can store the blades in a knife block or on a magnetic strip. You can also store your blades in an in-drawer knife block.

When it comes to blade storage, the primary goal is to ensure that you keep the blades in a safe, secure, and dry place, away from all types of damaging effects.

When storing your knives, it is crucial to ensure that you keep them in safe storage, not potentially causing injuries and cuts.

Clean off rust immediately

Even with the best usage and maintenance, it is still possible for your kitchen blade to last. This is particularly true for people who live in places with salty water. When you notice traces of rust on your blade, the best thing to do is clean off the rust immediately.

Use sandpaper to grit the rust spots and then apply oil, preferably cooking oil, on the affected parts. This goes a long way in ensuring that the rust does not spread.

Avoid scratching the blade’s surface extensively so as not to damage the protective finish on steel blades.

Kitchen knives with deep scratches and abrasions on the surface are more susceptible to rust than any other type of blade. If your blades have scratched surfaces, you need to be extremely careful when it comes to preventing rust on the blades.

Handwashing your blades goes a long way in ensuring that they remain in a pristine condition and hence less likely to rust or corrode. In line with this, you should never place your blades in a dishwasher as the collision with other utensils can lead to scratches and abrasions. These scratches become breeding grounds for rust.


There is no better way to take care of your kitchen blades than ensure that the blades do not corrode or rust. Therefore, according to the best care, attention, and maintenance to the blades guarantees that the knives can withstand all forms of wear and tear, including rust.

For knives with steel handles, it is necessary to ensure that even the handles are dried extensively before being stored. This will help ensure that the blade remains in perfect condition from the handle all through to the tip of the cutting edge.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.