When Must a Knife Be Cleaned and Sanitized – Hello Grinder

Cleaning kitchen equipment is mandatory after every use to get the best outcome all the time. Unfortunately, many of us don’t follow the undeniable tips sometimes and finally get an inefficient tool in hand.

From homemakers to professional chefs will agree that a knife is one of the essential kitchen tools. Efficient functionality and sharpness of a kitchen knife for a long time are confirmed when you take proper care and maintain the knife accurately.

For this reason, you have to know when a knife must be cleaned and sanitized.

However, you might be curious to know more about cleaning and sanitizing a kitchen knife.

Read this write-up; I shared all the necessary information to quench your curiosity.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Knives: When It is Mandatory to Follow

The truth is, a precise answer is unavailable to the question of when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized. The factors vary from one user to another in terms of cleaning and sanitizing kitchen knives.

But you can’t avoid cleaning your kitchen knives, and some models require frequent cleaning and sanitizing because of their usage.

Many possible scenarios are there when knife cleaning is unavoidable.

Clean the Knife When You Use It for a Specific Purpose

Some knife models are available in the market, designed for specific purposes only, such as scaling a fish. You must clean it when you use it for a specific purpose, even if you are the only user of it. Clean your knife once the cutting process is finished and store it safely. This will ensure that you will have an efficient fish cutting experience the next time.

Proper Cleaning is Necessary When Used for Cutting More than One Item

Buying multiple kitchen knives for a variety of tasks is impractical. So, most of us use a common knife that can be used for numerous purposes. This type of knife requires special attention and maintenance.

For instance, after cutting raw meals, proper washing is required before cutting vegetables or fruits. Another thing that needs to be ensured is the use of different cutting boards for other food items. You can decide to cut fruits and vegetables on one cutting board, which meat should be cut in another cutting board. If you don’t do so, bacteria can transfer from one food item to another.

Sanitize the Knife When Multiple People Use It

From the year 2020, the burning factor is, wash your belongings thoroughly to save yourself from Covid-19. When multiple people are using the same knife, you have no other choice except to sanitize it. Mistakes at this point can lead you to serious and unwanted matter.

Meticulously sanitize the knife after every use. This will not only prevent Covid-19 but also food contamination will also be prohibited.

Wash a Knife After Unboxing It

Not washing a knife after unboxing is a common mistake. We buy a new knife, unbox it and start cutting fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, etc., without washing it. A fresh knife might seem to be the kitchen’s cleanest equipment, but it can be destructive because of harmful viruses and bacteria. So, washing a kitchen knife is inevitable since the knife has a direct connection to your food.

Sterilize Your Knife After Honing

Over time, the knife gets dull and offers inefficient performance. And your knife will deliver an efficient performance after you hone it.

The bad news is, approximately 20% of Americans don’t clean their kitchen knife after honing.

Honing and sharpening will improve the lifespan of your knife for sure. It would be best to hone your blade every 7 days. Give 3 months’ interval between two knife sharpening periods.

What is the Proper Knife Cleaning Process?

By now, you have understood the importance of cleaning a knife. In this section, you will learn about the proper knife cleaning process.

Our environment is not completely clean and full of unsafe pollutants. For this reason, thorough cleaning of the knife is essential.  

So, what is the meaning of thorough cleaning? It means cleaning the handle and edges carefully. Most components get trapped in the handle corner when cutting food items, although the blade is doing the prime job.

The cleaning process is extremely straightforward. Follow the below steps.

Step 01: Cleaning the Blade and Handle

Warm water is a good option for cleaning and sanitizing the knife blade and handle. Adding cleaning or washing soap with warm water will be useful because it will kill bacteria and viruses.

You also can use a brush to apply cleaning or washing soap.

  • Avoid using a harsh or strong chemical like bleach. The unfavorable effect will come in the knife, and you will regret your decision to use harsh chemicals.

Step 02: Let the Knife Dry

After sterilizing your kitchen knife, dry it. Use a soft and clean cloth to wipe off the water from the knife. If you don’t do so, the blade may become dull soon.

Now, one question might have popped up in your mind. How will I know that thorough cleaning of the knife is crucial?

Inspect the knife carefully. If you washed your knife earlier with great care, the blade would give a shiny and fresh look. Even if your knife is a bit old, it will appear close to this look.

Ensure the handle and corners of the blade are free from unwanted accumulation of food or other debris.

How to Increase the Lifespan of a Kitchen Knife?

Many homeowners invest an enormous amount of bucks to buy a kitchen knife to cut fruits, seafood, vegetables, meat, and other food items. So, it is significantly essential to ensure your knife’s long lifespan, and it will only happen when you take proper care of it.

To ensure the good health of you and your family, cleaning the knife is one solution. If you are a restaurant chef, the customer will not come if the food is unhygienic.

Find the below bullet points to increase the lifespan of a kitchen knife.

  • Don’t think that only cleaning the knife is useful to ensure the longevity of a knife. The cutting board also needs to be cleaned. A clean cutting board is one of the prerequisites of keeping the blade efficient.
  • Always inspect your knife before and after cleaning it to make sure no debris is trapped in the blade’s edges and corners.
  • Proper drying and safe storage of the knife is also obligatory similar to the cleaning of it.
  • Use a good sharpener, which will keep your knife sharp for long days.
  • To retain the knife quality, the detergent or washing soap has to be good quality.

What is the Natural Knife Cleaner?

There are a few effective natural knife cleaners available, and you can find them in your home.

White Vinegar

White vinegar has many benefits, and cleaning kitchen knives is one of them. Cleaning the knife with heated white vinegar will boost up the efficiency of the blade. Soak a rag into the white vinegar and rub it onto the knife. Wait for a few minutes, rinse it well, and finally dry out.


Starch is one of the main components of potato. Starch performs as resistant to rust. The process is so simple. Cut the potatoes into medium pieces, rub them on the blade. Rinse with warm water, and dry the knife.


You may find black spots in your kitchen knife blade after using it for a long time. Lemon is an effective natural cleaner in eliminating these black spots from the kitchen blade. Prepare a mixture of lemon juice and water following the 1: 5 ratio. Then submerge the knife into the water. Give it a rest for a few seconds. Rinse it well in running water. Take a soft and clean cloth to dry it.

Dishwasher or Hand wash: What is Best for Knife Cleaning?

All knives don’t come with a dishwasher-friendly feature. So, it would be best to clean your blade with your hand. However, wear hand gloves to keep you safe from harm.

On the other hand, some knives can be washed in the dishwasher. For such types of knives, don’t forget to wash them daily.

What Should be the Frequency of Cleaning My Knives?

The frequency of knife cleaning entirely depends on the usage.

Always clean and wash your knife before and after using it. Whether you cut the same food item or different, cleaning and washing are compulsory.

And sanitizing is a must when several people use the same knife.

Final Words

Who doesn’t want to be an owner of good health? We all want this, and it will be confirmed when you have clean and sanitized equipment to cut your foods.

Hopefully, reading this article, you got the answer to the question – when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized. Proper maintenance of the blades directly makes an impact on the lifespan of the knife. As a result, valuable money will be saved since frequent knife buying becomes unnecessary. Also, ensure the use of a suitable cleaner.

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