How to Remove Rust from Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife!


Rust! One stain that will happen more often than anything else to your knives. It’s annoying I know. It made me think that there’s something wrong with my maintenance and washing technique. I use to believe that the only possible solution to this ugly looking stains is hiding them. I kept my knives inside a drawer or cabinet whenever a guest was about to come.

But eventually, I realized living like this is something nobody will appreciate. I must face it and get some solution. So I did my research and talked to a few friends. I was sure that the fancy-pants dishwasher will do nothing.

And then one day I found something while sitting with my neighbor aunt. She told me a very easy method for how to remove rust from stainless steel kitchen knife. It’s so easy that I should have found it years ago. Today after trying it for almost one year, I finally thought to share.

How to Remove Rust from Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife
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Making a Liquid Solution

The first thing you need to know on how to remove rust from stainless steel knife is about the solution I use. Can you guess what the ingredient is? Vinegar! Yes, I know it’s always available and a simple liquid. You might be wondering how an ingredient so plain will ever clean such hard stains.

Well, it might look plain to you because vinegar is something to put in food. However, what you are missing is the fact that vinegar is actually acid. And it’s a scientific fact that citric or acidic acid is a great ingredient to remove rust effortlessly.

Now let’s talk about solution recipe you’ll be using to clean rust. First of all, get a huge container that will not react to materials. For example a plastic or glass container. Next, you need to fill it with distilled white vinegar. The amount should be one gallon. Now you need to take some salt from your kitchen. One tablespoon of salt will be enough. Mix the combination well.

Make sure the salt dissolves completely. The salt will help to increase the potency of acid. This will give the vinegar more power to do its effect. For smaller knives, you can use half a gallon of vinegar mixed with a half tablespoon of salt.

Bathe Your Kitchen Knives in It

Now to proceed with the next step in how to remove rust from kitchen knives tutorial you’ll need to start being a bit careful. You’ll be dealing with acid even if it’s not so powerful. I would suggest wearing kitchen gloves. Get your rusty knives and place it inside the vinegar-salt solution. You need to be sure that the knives are soaking completely inside this solution.

It needs to sit well in the liquid for half a day. If the rusting is too much, let it sit for a few days. You need to check once in a while during the soaking step. See how to lose the rust is becoming eventually.

One thing I want to mention is that vinegar will react differently to various metals. If there’s any aluminum cover or layer, then it would remove it. So be sure you don’t sue the solution for any aluminum cover knife.

A better way will be to do a patch test on a small area. If there’s no problem you can notice, go for the whole process without any worry.

Scrubbing the Rust Off

Now once again put the gloves in hand. A latex or rubber gloves will help better to scrub here. The rust will get loosened after soaking. You need to scrub it well using an abrasive item. For example, steel wool or brush with sharp edges will do well.

There are brass-bristled brushes also available to do this task. If there’s nothing available then get an aluminum foil from your kitchen. Simply crumple it to make a homemade scrubber.

Balancing PH and Removing Dampness

Now you would have to fill one more container. This time use about one gallon of water mixed with baking soda. Now stir well so that the combinations dissolves perfectly. Get your rust free knives and soak them inside this mixture. Keep it inside for about ten minutes.

This formula will help you to neutralize the acidic effect of vinegar. To finish the process once again use an abrasive cleaner and scrub it well.  Using a 0000 steel wool you can easily give a shine to the knives without harming patina. The ending scrub will help you to get rid of any leftover rust.  Once you are done with this final scrub, gently wipe it.

Get some cotton pad and soak it with denatured alcohol. Rub the pad over your knives and get rid of any excessive dampness. Now to preserve the knives well you would need to apply some light machine oil or even gun oil will do good. Camellia oil is also a great shiner for stainless steel knives. These oils will also help to keep any further rusting away.

Note: After soaking in vinegar the knives might seem black at first. But eventually, after rinsing in water it will return to the original color. Also, it’s a time lengthy process. So you need to deal with patience.


That’s it! Now you should have super clean kitchen knives free from rusts. This is an idea you can try again and again without any problem. I do! It is surely a great and simple way to get rid of all those bad looking rusts on knives. It will save you from both bad cutting and embarrassment when guests visit. Good Luck!

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