Rust is a problem that can affect all knives, whether they be for cooking, in an old toolbox or if one has been left outside in the rain – rust can often find a way to appear and ruin a good knife. In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to remove rust from knives, so you can get back to doing the cooking or DIY that you want with the right tools.

The key ingredients when it comes to rust are iron, water and air, and unfortunately for most knives, iron is the main component found in them. This means that when you combine your knife with the air or with water, you’re going to get some rust.

So how do we get rid of this rust so it isn’t going to affect our cooking or our food?

Clean The Rusty Knife

The first step is always to clean your knife before doing any sort of rust removal. This means a bowl of hot soapy water and a clean cloth, and then just clean the knife like you would after using it to get anything else off it, such as grease or general dirt. Dirt can interfere when it comes to the removal of rust, so before we do anything, we need a nice, clean blade.

In preparation for the next step, you will need to equip yourself with some protective gear, such as gloves or protective glasses as you will be handling some strong rust removing chemicals. If you have particularly sensitive skin however and want to be extra careful, we would recommend using our Jenolite non-hazardous range of products to make sure you don’t have any problems at all cleaning your rusty knives.

Removing the Rust From Your Knife

The first step to take when removing any rust from a knife, is to take an old cloth and give any big bits of rust on the knife or handle a firm rub, to try and dislodge any large parts, making them easier to remove.

The next step is to apply some of Jenolite’s rust remover gel to the knife and the handle using a brush. Tip the required amount of jelly into a plastic container, and then work it into the rust with a brush every five minutes, adding more if required. You will also need to be quite generous with the amount of jelly you are using, otherwise you may not get rid of all the rust. You will know when you have worked the jelly into the rust for long enough, as the jelly will turn dark grey in colour. Once you have achieved this, wipe the surface of the knife with a clean, lint-free cloth.

To ensure all of the rust has been successfully removed, brush away the dark grey residue with a wire brush or piece of steel wool, which should now remove the rust completely. If there is still any rust on the knife or its handle, then simply repeat the process described above until all the rust has been removed.

If you have a very rusty knife that is not too large, then these can be fully immersed into a plastic container full of Jenolite Rust Remover Liquid. Simply leave the knife in the liquid until the rust has been removed, drain the excess liquid for one minute, and wipe dry immediately with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Finally, make sure to wash your knife again in hot, soapy water to ensure that no traces of the rust removal products are on your knife. As great as Jenolite is, you certainly don’t want it coming into contact with your food! Make sure to give the knife a thorough wash, rinse, and dry before you use it again.

Always make sure to wash any brushes or equipment you have used to remove rust in clean water immediately after use, otherwise they could become damaged if exposed to the rust remover chemicals for a long period of time.

Rust Prevention for Knives 

The last key step involves rust prevention, and how you can prevent your knives from rusting in the future. Here are our three key tips to avoid a rusty knife:

  1. Wash your knife thoroughly after every single use, and make sure to store it correctly in a clean drawer or a knife block.
  2. Mineral oil can be a good rust-preventer, and can be rubbed onto the knife after each use to keep rust away.
  3. Don’t put your knives in a dishwasher! Long-exposure to water will rust a knife, so always hand wash them.

We hope that this guide has shown you exactly how to remove rust from knives. If so, feel free to browse our full range of how-to guides for tips on how to remove rust from just about anything.