How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel Knives

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way how to remove rust from stainless steel knives, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to remove rust quickly and easily, so that your knives look good as new.

  1. Please ensure that your knife is clean before using it.
  2. Combine the baking soda and water to create a paste.
  3. Apply to the surface of the rust and allow it to dry. Approximately one hour should be sufficient.
  4. Apply a toothbrush to the surface. 
  5. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely.

What about stainless steel? Isn’t the name stainless steel supposed to convey this? I must admit this was a frustrating discovery. Truth be told, any steel item, particularly any kitchen item, which is not properly maintained is subject to rusting. This includes the stainless steel knives you hold dear to your heart.

As we have established that stainless steel is prone to rusting, we still want to prevent and eliminate rust. In this article we will look at why rust occurs, how it can be prevented, and most importantly, how to fix it!

Read Also: Best Yanagiba Knives for 2023

What are the causes of rusting in stainless steel?

In stainless steel, iron and carbon are combined with chromium at a minimum of 10.5% and other alloying elements, such as nickel. The chromium atom is responsible for acting as a protective layer, generating chromium oxide and sealing the surface. 

Under normal conditions, if the protective layer of chromium oxide is damaged or compromised, a new layer will be created, ensuring corrosion resistance. How can chromium regenerate when conditions are unfavorable? By rusting. It happens naturally.

Typically, this occurs in a kitchen environment when the chromium layer has been damaged or when it has been exposed to prolonged moisture. As well, some food acids and dish detergents may affect the “stainless” quality of stainless steel.

A variety of factors may contribute to this condition, including heat, extreme temperatures, contact with metals or chloride-rich environments (salt).

What is the best method for removing corrosion from stainless steel?

There are two words to describe this substance: baking soda. I am continually astonished by this wonderful substance since it appears to be capable of countless applications and uses. You should get some baking soda if you do not already have any at home. You will find it useful for this mission and a number of others in the future. 

It is beneficial to use baking soda in this case since it is not abrasive and does not damage the original grain of the material. The knife and utensils are not damaged by baking soda.

It will, however, be more effective on thin metals and lighter stains.

You will need the following materials:

  • 1 1/4 cups baking soda
  • dissolved in warm water
  • with a toothbrush
  • using a cloth
  1. Cleaning your knife properly is essential. It is possible that the results will not be as satisfactory if there is dirt on the surface. It is recommended to clean the surface with a soft cloth and an appropriate solution.  
  2. Combine baking soda and water. Water should be poured slowly and carefully into the paste in order to achieve a thick consistency. 
  3. Ensure that the paste is spread evenly over the blade or the steel surface. Allow the solution to sit for about an hour to completely cover the rust spots or rust stains.
  4. Brush the area with a toothbrush. Be sure to pay attention to rusty areas. It may be necessary to use a stainless-steel wire brush in order to remove more difficult rust spots.
  5. The paste should be rinsed away with water. The cloth should then be dried completely. 

Rust Removal Alternatives

You might be looking for a quick touch-up or a maintenance routine for your stainless steel knives, scissors, spatulas, or perhaps you would like to remove stains from your whetstone (yes, maintenance tools also require maintenance! ); Dalstrong Dust Eraser provides the cleaner, easier, best solution. 

Rust erasers are made from a special substance and are designed to remove rust from knives and other surfaces. Their appearance is similar to rubber erasers. The erasers are also quite easy to use.

Some of our customers have reported that rust erasers work well with high-carbon knives, such as the best-selling Chef’s Knife 8″ from the Gladiator Series, as well as AUS-10 steel, Damascus steel and many other types of stainless steel. 


  • It is ideal for removing corrosion or scuffs
  • and is made from the finest materials available
  • to provide a new, shiny, and clean appearance to your favorite kitchen items
  • it is also suitable for cleaning whetstones
  • Using this rust eraser will not cause any damage to engravings or logos.
  • It is inexpensive.
  • It is convenient to store.
  • In addition to stainless steel objects like scissors, spatulas, cast-iron pans, etc., it can be used on any stainless steel object.


  • Depending on your needs, you may have to purchase products specific to removing watermarks.
  • When using the product on painted surfaces, take care to avoid removing the paint.
  • Having a small item of this size is perfect for knives and other kitchen tools. On larger surfaces, it may be uncomfortable for some people.

Dalstrong rust eraser usage instructions:

  1. The eraser should be soaked in water for approximately five minutes. Please allow this time.
  2. The eraser should be used to remove the stain. Here are a few considerations: 1) Make sure the knife is on a flat surface 2) You must hold it securely 3) Always, always, always rub in the direction of the grain on your steel blade and towards the edge, especially if it is satin finished.
  3. Wet the blade as necessary.
  4. Warm water should be used to rinse the blade.
  5. Allow the blade to dry completely.

The eraser should be used gently, and only in areas that require it.

Removing Rust Using Other Methods

Vinegar de Paris

Baking soda and white vinegar are both super heroes. There is acetic acid in it, a substance that is beneficial in combating rust. Do not use any other type of vinegar since it may leave a stain.

Pour white vinegar over the stainless steel piece for a few minutes. Please be aware that if you leave the knives in for too long they may be damaged. The vinegar should be rubbed off, otherwise it should be washed away with clean water and dried. The second method, using baking soda, should be used if there is still rust.

Juice of lemons

If combined with a complementary substance such as baking soda or salt, lemon acts as a powerful stainless steel cleaner. 

People often cover rust stains with salt and then rub lemon juice on top for two hours to remove them. Other than that, the procedure is similar to the methods described previously. In addition to the baking soda method, you may also use lemon juice instead of water to create a paste. 

Crustacean Tartar

“Tartaric acid” is also effective in removing rust. It can be applied with a sponge and scrubbed with a mixture of lemon juice and tartaric acid. Then, as always, rinsing and drying should follow.

The acid oxalic 

Oxalic acid can be used to remove rust from stainless steel safely. You should use this method for larger items or stains, such as a rusty stainless steel pan. Depending on the level of contamination, you can apply it directly, purchase a cleaning product that contains oxalic acid, or follow the following suggestion despite the fact that it may sound like an old wives tale: wash your hands with dish soap and potato.

You read that correctly. The potato contains oxalic acid, which can be used to remove rust. The potato should be cut in half and rubbed against the stainless steel surface with dish soap and salt. 

Acid citric

Allow a solution of citric acid to soak into the steel for several minutes. Rinse the steel and dry thoroughly. Apply elbow grease if necessary. It is not recommended to use citric acid to clean all kinds of stainless steel, since it might damage other coatings.

Acid phosphoric

Rust caused by carbon steel contamination can be effectively treated with this substance. Protect your hands! After applying phosphoric acid, brush it into the surface. For neutralizing and removing the acid, you must use ammonia, then rinse the ammonia with water. 

5. The Best Way to Maintain Your Stainless Steel Knives

We are providing you with the best solutions for getting rid of rust. However, why not prevent rust from occurring in the first place? 

Even though stainless steel knives are some of the most durable and long-lasting knives available, here are some suggestions to maintain their performance:


  • Rust is primarily caused by moisture. To prevent your knives from becoming damp, you should keep them clean and dry. Make sure they are not kept in the sink.
  • Although they are dishwasher safe, limit dishwasher use (or avoid it entirely) if possible. There is a possibility of damaging your knives due to dishwasher chemicals and high temperatures.
  • Cleaning stainless steel utensils every day is best done with warm water and soap.
  • Dry the surface with a microfiber cloth or paper towel after rubbing the surface with a cloth then removing soap with another.
  • Cleaning stainless steel requires specific cleaning products. Using cleaning products from the chloride family can cause blade damage since they are highly abrasive.
  • Whenever you clean knives, stay away from steel wool and other abrasive tools, which can scratch the surfaces and cause corrosion.
  • Cast iron products should be kept separate from knives.
  • Stainless steel polishing products may discolor if they are exposed to intense heat. Nevertheless, you should avoid exposing your knives to high temperatures.
  • You should also avoid using tap water if there are detergents or mineral salts present. 
  • To prevent pitting and staining caused by foods such as salt, vinegar or acidic foods, we recommend that you wash and dry your knives separately from other cutlery immediately after use.
  • Knives made of stainless steel require less oiling than knives made of carbon steel, for example. Even so, it would not hurt to oil your knives on a regular basis. 
  • It is important that you sharpen your knife after removing rust and stains with a whetstone and straightening the edge with a honing rod. You will find that your knife looks and feels like new, or even better than new. 



What is the difference between steel and metal?

As far as metal is concerned, it is a natural element (that is, an element that occurs naturally on Earth); whereas steel is a product of human intervention. Iron is an element that is found in steel, along with other elements. Steel is significantly stronger than metal and essentially indestructible.

When it comes to corrosion, what is the difference between rust and corrosion?

Typically, corrosion manifests itself as rust, which is a deterioration process. Rust is thus a type of corrosion that is exclusively associated with iron and its alloys. 

What is the effect of WD-40 on stainless steel?

A product such as WD-40 can assist in removing rust from stainless steel, normally without damaging the surface. In items that come into contact with food, however, it should be used with caution.

Does Rust occur in aluminum?

Unlike steel, aluminum is susceptible to corrosion rather than rust. 

What is the best method for removing black stains from stainless steel?

Oxidation of stainless steel causes it to turn black. It should be possible to resolve the issue using the vinegar – or baking soda solutions mentioned above.

What are the best ways to remove stains from stainless steel knives?

You can generally use any of the homemade cleaning methods described above, including baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar, to remove stains on your razor. 

Do stainless steel knives retain their sharpness for a long period of time?

The knives should be honed every two to four uses. Some people do it after each use. It is advised that knives are sharpened (with a whetstone) at least twice a year. 

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