Knife Maintenance

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CARBON STEEL KNIFE

Simplified:

  • Keep clean / Free of debris
  • Keep dry
  • Oil with mineral oil
  • Once the patina naturally forms it will continue to develop further and help retarding any flash rust. More care required initially as bare polished  metal likes to flash rust

 

Elaborated:

You are the owner of a fine blade that will last literally lifetimes if maintained properly. A knife is a cook’s single most important tool. It should be treated with care. Carbon steel demands more attention than its stainless counterpart.

The main thing to remember and practice with a carbon steel knife is immediately after using, wash the blade with a mild soap or wipe it clean with a moist towel. This is particularly critical with acidic foods such as citrus or onions. After washing, hand dry immediately. Never place your knife in the dishwasher. If you are planning on storing the knife for a while, a good coat of mineral oil on the blade will help to protect it.

With care, over time, a carbon steel blade will develop a deep gray, sometimes blue patina from exposure to different elements. This coating is normal and will protect the blade from rust and discoloration. This dark patina is the sign of a cherished, well-used knife.

If you leave water and/or food stains on the blade it will begin to form rust spots. If your blade does develop rust spots, we recommend using a Scotch-Bride pad and a little soap. Please note, the Scotch-Brite pads will leave small scratches on the steel. For many people, this just adds to the overall rustic look of the blade. Using the pad add soap and then gently scrub the blade, rinse, and hand-dry.

Initially your carbon blade may discolor some of your food. This is normal and is simply oxidation of the metal reacting with the acids in the food. As the knife forms a deeper patina, this will subside but in some cases this will persist indefinitely and is simply the nature of using a carbon steel blade.

As your handle begins to look more and more dry we recommend that you apply a small quantity of mineral or Danish oil to your handle periodically. Both are entirely food safe. Apply with a paper towel or soft cloth and allow it to soak for 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, wipe off all excess oil and make sure the handle has dried before storing it away.

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