How to Remove Rust From Kitchen Knives – Quick & Easy Ways

Kitchen knives are among regularly used items expected to last for a lifetime. That is why almost every kitchen knife is made of steel which makes it weak against moisture. That’s because moisturized steel can get rusty if not cleaned properly.

Luckily it is easy to remove rust off a knife with regular baking soda or vinegar. An adequate baking soda and water mixture can clean rust off a kitchen knife. Make sure to let it rest for at least an hour and clean it with a damp cloth.

Besides this simple technique, we will discuss some more effective methods to clean rust off a knife. This article will feature a step-by-step approach to cleaning rust off a kitchen knife without hurting yourself.

What Causes Rust and How to Avoid it?

Rust is natural when steel, iron, or metal contact oxygen and water. In simple words, water interacting with metal or iron can leave rust effects on them.

Daily items like kitchen knives can quickly get rusty if not wiped off after use. Do not put kitchen knives in a dishwasher unless you have a dishwasher-safe knife set. It may expose rust on the knife’s blade as the dishwasher applies extreme heat and moisture to clean the items.

Best Ways to Remove Rust from a Kitchen Knife

It is not that rust affects the cutting ability of a kitchen knife.


But using a rusty blade can transfer bacteria into your food, raising serious health concerns. Therefore, it is hygienic to clean off a rusty knife regularly by following these effective methods:

Lemon Juice

Citric acid is an effective chemical to get rid of sticky stains, and yes, it is capable of removing rust. Citric acid can be purchased in packaging from healthcare stores. No need to mix lemon juice with anything. You can directly apply it under the following directions:

  • Take a lemon and cut it in half. Squeeze the lemon to extract some juice and apply it to the rusty portion of the kitchen knife.
  • If the rust is more extensive in form, apply a good amount of juice and let it sit for an hour. The amount of lemon juice depends on the amount of rust. The point is to cover the whole area.
  • Use a damp cloth or a scrubbing pad to rub the lemon juice extract on the rusty area. Firmly clean the rust off the knife using some cloth or scrub.


Besides citric acid, acetic acid is yet another fantastic product to avoid stains and scuffs. White vinegar contains a small amount of acetic acid, and it is available in almost every home kitchen.
Be sure not to confuse white vinegar with apple cider vinegar as the chemical composition is different. Vinegar itself is sufficient to deal with rust stains, so you don’t have to include anything additional:

  • Take a bowl and fill it with white vinegar to the level where a knife can quickly dip.
  • Dip the blade portion of the kitchen knife in the vinegar bowl and leave it for 30 minutes.
  • After the mentioned time, take out the knife and rub off the rust with a scrubbing pad.
  • If the knife is rusty, use a damp cloth or vinegar to clean off the kitchen knife.

Baking soda

A considerate kitchen item that is very effective at cleaning kitchenware, silverware, and in this case, kitchen knife blades.


The method is simple yet effective and requires making a cleaning mixture following these steps:

  • Take a good amount of baking soda and add water accordingly to make a thick paste.
  • Make the mixture according to the number of stain marks.
  • Apply the mixture to the rusty blade portion and leave it there for an hour.
  • Use a scrub pad or piece of wood to clean off the stains. Try not to scratch too much, as it may ruin the blade’s finish.


WD-40 is a unique blend of lubricants with anti-corrosion agents best for water displacement, soil remover, and stain removal from iron or steel. WD means “Water Displacement” formula, which helps to develop a resistive quality against rust and moisture:

  • Spray a slight buff of WD-40 on the rusty part of the kitchen knife blade.
  • Use sandpaper to remove the rust from the kitchen knife.
  • This method might affect the finish of the knife blade. Therefore, try not to apply this technique too expensive kitchen knives.

How to remove rust from carbon steel knife

The best method to remove rust from carbon steel is by applying baking soda and water mixture.


An acidic mixture to separate oxidized iron from iron or steel can help remove stains from the carbon steel knife. Oxalic acid can be used to remove rust off the butcher knife sets.

How to Remove Rust From Kitchen Knives FAQs

How to Prevent Your Knives and Scissors from Getting Rusty?

Keep your knives and scissors covered to save them from moisture. Always clean them after use and adequately dry scissors and knives before storing them in a drawer.

How to remove rust from a pocket knife?

Soak the blade end of your pocket knife in white vinegar for about 30 minutes. Use a scrub to clean off the stains from it.


Kitchenware like knives can suffer from rust over time. These items are unsafe to be placed in the dishwasher as they may contract or expand the steel. Extreme heat can develop pores in steel, and moisture tends to get in quickly. However, simple cleaning items like vinegar and baking soda can help to avoid rust and stains.

Steve here! I like to research and write about best kitchen and home appliances. If you are on the hunt for the best products, quick hacks, and interesting food options, my writing will surely help you out!