How To Remove Rust From Carbon Steel Knife in 4 Different Ways

If there is a single tool in the kitchen that a cook would consider as the most important one, we would be certain that it would be the knife. While the pan and the ladle certainly helps in cooking and mixing the food, knives help in preparing the food before cooking, which is the first and most important step in cooking.

While stainless steel knives are the home cook’s blade of choice, carbon steel knives have a reputation among cooks and chefs for a good reason. For one, it is much easier to sharpen the edges of a carbon steel knife than those of a stainless steel knife.

Furthermore, the edges of the carbon steel knife stay sharp for much longer compared to the edges of a stainless steel knife. This makes slicing and dicing ingredients, from onions to meat, easier.

Why Does Carbon Steel Rust Easily?

Why Does Carbon Steel Rust Easily

In spite of these benefits, however, carbon steel knives are more prone to corrosion and rust than stainless steel knives. This is because stainless steel knives contain chromium, a mineral which gives stainless steel knives its corrosion and rust-resistant properties.

This comes at a cost, however, since this element makes sharpening stainless steel knives a little more difficult. In addition, carbon steel knife’s vulnerability to rust and corrosion could also be a hidden advantage, as this forces users to take care of these types of knives more often to increase their longevity.

While you could prevent rust from appearing in your carbon steel knife by minimizing its exposure to moist surfaces, drying it immediately after use, and coating the blade with mineral oil to prevent rust from building up, rust could still show up on your carbon steel knife.

How To Remove Rust From Carbon Steel Knife

Method One: The Vinegar Method

Remove Rust From Carbon Steel Knife

Vinegar, specifically white vinegar, is not only an all-around cooking ingredient, but also a cleaning agent that could be used to remove rust in your carbon steel knife. This is because white vinegar contains acetic acid which helps dissolve rust in metal. Furthermore, this method is also used to remove rust in other metallic tools, including stainless steel blades.

However, there is a warning in using vinegar to remove rust from your carbon steel knives When doing this method, do not use other types of vinegar as this could cause discoloration in the blade. Use white vinegar only.

For this method, you will need the following ingredients:

  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Water
  • Steel wool or a wire brush

Steps:

  1. Pour white vinegar in a tall glass or in a large bowl
  2. Soak the carbon steel knives in the white vinegar and let it sit overnight.
  3. After being soaked, scrub the blades of the knives using a steel wool or wire brush to remove the remaining rust.
  4. If the rust remains, soak the knives in vinegar again for much longer.
  5. After the rust has been completely removed from the blade, clean the knives using soap and water and then dry them thoroughly to prevent rust from forming again.

Method Two: The Baking Soda Method

The Baking Soda Method

Baking soda is another ingredient that has multiple purposes in the household, from cleaning to cooking. It is also effective in removing rust in thin metal tools including carbon steel knives. Nevertheless, you can also use this method if you have a stainless steel knife at home.

For this method, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Steel wool or wire brush

Steps:

  1. Mix baking soda and water together until it creates a thick, white paste.
  2. Cover the blade of your carbon steel knife with the baking soda mixture. Make sure that the rust stains on your knife are well-covered.
  3. Let the knife sit for an hour or more if necessary.
  4. Scrub the blade with steel wool or wire brush to completely remove the rust.
  5. Wash the paste away from the blade with water then dry the knife thoroughly.

Method Three: The Lemon and Salt Method

The Lemon and Salt Method

Lemon and salt are two ingredients that could create a great rust-removing combination when used together. This is because lemon is an acidic ingredient that attacks rust and salt is a sharp ingredient that could help scrub it off.

For this method, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon rind
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Steel wool or wire brush

Steps:

  1. Put salt on the rust stains on your carbon steel knife.
  2. Pour or squeeze lemon juice on the areas of the blade that are covered with salt.
  3. Let the blade sit for about two hours.
  4. Scrub the knife with lemon rind or a steel wool/wire brush if necessary.
  5. Wash the lemon and salt residue and then dry your knife thoroughly.

Method Four: The Bar Keepers Friend

he Bar Keepers Friend

For those who have never heard of it, the Bar Keepers Friend is a cleaning brand that greatly helps in removing rust from knives, regardless of the type. You can purchase this product either online or in your supermarket if one is available. This method is useful if all other methods mentioned above have failed to remove rust from your carbon steel knife.

For this method, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Bar Keepers Friend
  • Wet Sponge or Rag
  • Dry Towel

Steps:

  1. Pour a generous amount of Bar Keepers Friend on the carbon steel knife, especially on the rusty parts.
  2. Use a wet sponge or rag to rub the powder-covered blade for a few minutes.
  3. Rinse the residue off the knife and use a dry towel to clean the blade and remove excess moisture.

Conclusion

There are numerous ways to remove rust in your carbon steel knife. From using baking soda to a popular cleaning brand, these methods can help erase the rust off the blade of your knife. But even with this, always treat your carbon steel knife with respect so that it would last long. In performing these methods mentioned above, always dry your blade thoroughly since water is a component of rust and store your carbon steel knife in a dry and well-ventilated place to prevent rust from slowly building up.

Read more comprehensive post:

How to Keep Knives from Rusting in 4 Easy Ways How to Sharpen VG10 Steel Knife in 3 Super Easy Ways

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