So your ceramic knife sharpener is dirty and filled with ceramic knife bits. How do you go about cleaning it? It depends on your type of knife cleaner. Some systems use ceramic rods with a V-shaped setup. These rods can become steel grey over time when they're originally white. They also won't work as effectively while dirty and filled with ceramic material. The grittiness of your sharpeners are directly affected by how much ceramic has bonded or stuck on their hones and pores.
How Do You Sharpen a Ceramic Knife?
A ceramic knife is a blade made by pressing and firing the powdered ceramics made of zirconium dioxide into a solid-state sintering that eventually translates to a product that never rusts and takes a while to need sharpening. They're famous for their corrosion-resistance, hardness, and sharpness.
Eventually, when they do need sharpening, these brittle knives require diamond rods, stones, rods, or special sharpener tools in order to get back to their former sharpness when you originally bought them. When they get blunt, they need a very fine diamond or alumina oxide ceramic knife sharpener to become sharp again. However, in turn, the sharpener itself could become dirty and ineffective.
Can Ceramic Knife Sharpeners Be Cleaned?
Yes. Some might use ordinary soap and water but that's best used for maintenance of the sharpener anyway. Furthermore, some fear that the sharpener's embedded powdered steel might rust and cause bigger problems later. Maybe like busted and blunt ceramic knives, you might need to buy a new sharpener once it gets too dirty? No, you should definitely clean it first.
Diamond sharpeners are mostly made of crushed diamond, but even those can get coated with ceramic that limits their effectiveness. You need to remove the ceramic residue in order to get more mileage out of your sharpener every time. Maybe some sort of weak acid should be used? Keep on reading to find out how to clean ceramic knife sharpener!
What Can You Use To Clean A Ceramic Knife Sharpener?
There are a number of tools, ingredients, and agents available that you can use to clean your ceramic knife sharpener. Here they are.
- Honing oil
- Magic eraser
- Warm or hot water
- Foam sponge with scouring pad
- Bar Keepers Friend Cleaning Agent
- Dishwashing or laundry detergent soap
1. Cleaning Your Stick Rods with Honing Oil:
The pores of your sharpening stones tend to get filled with filings and debris. The more shavings clog your sharpening rod, the smoother its surface becomes, making them ineffective in doing their job. You should clean these rods by putting honing oil on them. They shouldn't be used on diamond hones but instead on standard hones made of alumina oxide. Just put a few drops of oil on them to let the agent lift the shavings off of the stone's surface. From there, wipe away the debris with your rag.
2. Dish Soap and Warm Water Can Also Be Used:
Honing oil is effective on dual-grit combo stones, pucks, benchstones, and whetstones. But what about diamond products? With diamond hones for diamond ceramic sharpening stones, wheels, or systems, you might have to resort to preventive measures or using dishwashing soap and warm water to lift up and remove all remaining ceramic residue away from your sharpening tool with a rag. Make sure your diamond hones are completely dry before you use them next. Instead of liquid soap, you can instead use the Bar Keepers Friend cleaning agent.
3. The Magic Eraser Might Do the Trick:
The mildly abrasive magic erasers aren't just dependable on removing way crayon scribbles on your wall care of your creative yet naughty toddler. They can also magically erase the ceramic shavings and metallic remnants on your sharpening tool. You just need to learn how to approach the erasing properly and how much of the eraser is called for in order to make the erasure as clean and effective as possible. The eraser works with no mess plus it is cheap and small to boot.
4. Avoid Aggressive Abrasives:
It's kind of ironic, but avoid aggressive abrasives when cleaning your aggressive abrasive sharpener. It's like rubbing two sheets of sandpaper together; it will only lead to mutual self-destruction. Instead, use something mild like soap and a sponge with a scouring or scrubbing pad, warm water to make the remnants of steel and ceramic less sticky on your sharpening block or rod, and/or a magic eraser that's mildly abrasive but mostly absorbs and removes all of those ceramic particles away from your sharpener.
5. Rags versus Paper Towels:
Each has their own pros and cons when it comes to sharpener cleanup. Rags last longer while paper towels are like oversized tissue paper that tends to bunch up and turn to pulp when it's too waterlogged. Rags last for a long time and can be rewashed for further use with the caveat that you should be careful in using it lest you end up putting the residue back into your sharpening stone or rod. A paper towel is a one-use wonder that instantly dries in several wipes.
6. Some Sharpeners Require Disassembly:
Sharpening stones or rods made of diamond or alumina oxide are parts that come whole in one block or stick, so you don't have to worry about moving parts being altered. If you're using a ceramic sharpening system instead that looks like a sewing machine or electric egg beater, follow its cleaning instructions and disassemble it if needed in order to properly use soap, hot water, honing oil, and/or magic eraser on it as needed.
Only use the honing oil if you're using an alumina oxide crock sharpening stone, rod, tool, or kit. It doesn't work on diamond sharpeners. What could work on both types of ceramic sharpeners are dishwashing or laundry detergent soap and some hot water, funnily enough. You can use this treatment to continuously clean your sharpeners after use as preventive maintenance.
If that's not enough, you can use stronger cleaning agents like Bar Keepers Friend to assist you. A cheap yet effective way to remove ceramic residue is through the magic eraser block. Don't forget to wipe with a rag or paper towel until the sharpener is completely dry. Never use a sharpener, especially a diamond sharpener that's not a whetstone, unless it's been dried out.
Did you enjoy the tutorial? Have you learned how to properly clean ceramic knife sharpeners? What do you think? Please share your feedback in the comments below and share the article if you like it.