Picture of Cleaning A Knife
The knife, used for aeons by humans as a tool of war and a tool of craft. For centuries, humans have relied on a good knife for their survival. If it was dirty, the knife rusted, and if the knife rusted, they would be dead before they had time to make a new blade. Today, I'll take some time to show you how to go about cleaning a blade, so your beautiful $100 knife (see below) won't be a piece of scrap metal.

Let's get started!

(I am not responsible for any injury received following the steps of this Instructable)
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
Most of the materials needed you probably have...You will need:

-A sink

-A dirty Knife

-Rotor Oil (Used to oil valves on trumpets, cornets, baritones, etc... easily attained at Sam Ash, or where brass instruments are sold.)

-An old rag

Step 2: First Oiling

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Ok, this step is basically what the title says... You want to get your oil and run a line of oil from the handle (the hand guard in my case) and stop at the end of the blade. Then, you will want to VERY carefully rub the oil out on the blade with your finger.

Repeat this step on the other side of the blade, then using your rag, carefully remove the oil.

Step 3: First Washing

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This step is very important, as if it is done incorrectly, your blade is very susceptible to rusting. Turn on your faucet and put the blade under the water. When the water becomes about .5-1 in. away from the handle, turn off the water.

Why be so careful, you may ask? Well, if the water gets in between the knife and the handle, you'll have a rusty tang, and a ruined knife, just take the extra effort and don't lose your $100+ deposit on a good knife!

Step 4: Second Oiling

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Now that the first oiling and washing have come, we are going to do both steps again. First, dry off your knife blade, then repeat the oiling of the knife I already taught you... now that you have re oiled and removed said oil, we can move on to the second washing...
I found a large knife in the garden and it is caked in mud (my mum is finally letting me near it) and I was wondering if there is an easy way of getting it clean and sharp again or whether it isn't worth it.
Schmidty161 year ago
how do u get rust off of a knife
mcee23 years ago
Thanks for the information about cleaning knives. My husband has a few gerber folding knives that he used to gut some fish. He usually washes them, but he had to go to a meeting and I got stuck with his dirty knives!
That's not a Kniofe, this is a Kniofe!
mayo2915 years ago
 Yes slicing your finger open would hurt but it would also get the knife dirtier.
awoodcarver5 years ago
I know Schrade went out of business in 04 but are they gouging people this bad on these knives already ?
Future filmaker (author)  awoodcarver5 years ago
seems like it! haha, I was lucky, this knife wasn't $100, but I've seen them sold from 40-60 still
15zhangfra5 years ago
can i use cork grease or just vege-oil? i don't play a brass isntrument, and i doubt my friends would like me to go and clean a knife with their oil
Future filmaker (author)  15zhangfra5 years ago
I'm not sure about vegetable oil and cork grease, but two things that I know will work is WD-40 and Cooking Spray, just be sure to spray only the blade and to wipe off the excess...
thanks, i'm going to give cork grease a try though- if it doesn't clean it it can't break it because it's also used on oboe keys.
i don't have wd-40 or cooking spray though...
lemonie5 years ago
Which is cleaning the blade - oil or water? (Or is it both?) As far as I read this, the last step on the blade (6) involves wiping it with a damp-cloth, how do you ensure it's dried to a non-rust degree? And have you any tips for removing rust? L
Water cleans oil seal and prevents rust(i think). On a little rust use steel wool if It looks really bad hit it with a wire bush then sandpaper.
Future filmaker (author)  Coffee bean5 years ago
Yep, oil is used as a sealant, you can see in this picture, the water beads and rolls off instead of rusting the blade...
I'm not seeing the purpose of running it under a tap, after being sealed. Does this not work as well if you oil - wipe- oil -wipe, or is wiping the oil with a cloth something to be avoided? L
Future filmaker (author)  lemonie5 years ago
IN theory, one could skip the first oiling, but I normally choose to oil first as it removes most of the materials from the blade quicker than if one was to sit there scrubbing at his blade with a rag.
Right, I get it thankyou. L
oil does a good job of cleaning the blade when buffing with the cloth it takes off light rust and leaves a light coat of protection on the blade. the water is mostly to clean the oil off.
I will often wipe the knife down with a silicone cloth as the last step as it leaves a level of protection on the blade. like this: "" I have no idea how long they last, but I've been using the same one for 6 months and it still does the job. my cloth is also a different brand, cabella is a brand name. my guess is they're mostly the same.
Kozz5 years ago
I recently inherited some rather abused knives. One of them seems to be of a good make, but perhaps poor care resulted in dark stains and some mild pitting. There's nothing to be cleaned from the surface, it seems. Do you think that perhaps the stains and pitting can be remedied in any way, or at least somehow I can prevent it from getting worse?
I, too, inherited some rusty knives a long while ago. I found somewhere on the internet, the location escapes me, that you can wad up some aluminum foil and then wet it and scrub the blade. It takes surface rust off very well. I am not aware of any easy remedy for pitting though. To prevent it from getting worse, however, I would try a light gun oil. I usually use Remoil on my knives.
I had a few knives with the same problem. The most mild solution I've tried that worked (this sounds sorta stupid, but bear with me) is to stick the knife into an onion (cover the whole blade) and leave it there for a couple days. Take the knife out and wash it off, then oil it. It took the stains off from some of my better used hunting knives. If the onion trick isn't enough, fill a cup with white vinegar and suspend the knife so that just the blade is in the vinegar. Make sure ONLY STEEL is in the vinegar as it will eat softer metals. Check the blade every day. Remove all black deposits with steel wool. All of the rust should be gone in a couple of days. Clean, oil, and polish your blade. Although these methods remove the rust, there is no remedy for pitting (that I know of). The best you can do is keep the knife oiled to keep it from rusting more.
scoochmaroo5 years ago
If your knife is dirty from cutting and gutting, is oiling still the first step, or should you rinse it off first?
I wouldn't go from gutting right to the first oiling. a quick rinse and wipe to get the knife generally clean is a great start if it's coming from immediate use.
Future filmaker (author)  scoochmaroo5 years ago
I oiled first because my knife had recently cut some fresh wood, and if you rinse the dry juices from fresh wood with water, it'll just become sticky again.
yep rinse, then dry, then oil.
Arbitror5 years ago
This 'ible blew my knife cleaning 'ible out of the sky... Yours even got featured...
O well! You did a good job! This is a five star(er?) for sure! *****
greybunny5 years ago
Oil removes surface rust