Hey there, foodies and kitchen enthusiasts! Are your kitchen knives losing their sheen? Do you spot those tiny reddish-brown specks ruining their smooth surface? Those are rust spots, and they can be a real killjoy. Today, I’m going to share some hands-on, do-it-yourself techniques on how to remove rust stains from your rusty knives and restore them to their original gleaming glory.

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of rust removal, it’s important to know how rust forms. Rust occurs when iron, or an alloy containing iron like steel, is exposed to oxygen and moisture over a period of time. Those succulent steaks, delicious roasts, or sizzling grills can, unfortunately, contribute to this corrosion process. Now that we have a basic understanding of our enemy let’s gear up to defeat it!

Detailed Steps To Remove Rust

How To Get Rust Off Steak Knives

Following are the different methods to remove rust from steak knives in detail:

Using Baking Soda

Our first DIY method employs baking soda, a homemade rust remover easily found in your kitchen pantry.

  • Preparing a Baking Soda Paste: To begin with, grab a bowl and mix a cup of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste. It should be thick enough to stick to your knife but thin enough to spread easily.
  • Applying the Paste and Scrubbing the Rust Off: Apply this paste on the rusted areas of your knife using a toothbrush or cloth, making sure every rusty spot is generously covered. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Afterward, scrub the knife gently with a toothbrush or a scrubbing pad, moving along the length of the blade and not across for safety reasons.
  • Rinsing and Drying the Knife: Rinse the knife under warm water to wash away the paste and lose rust particles. Make sure to dry it thoroughly immediately after rinsing to prevent rust stains. Use a soft, dry towel to pat it dry and leave it out to air dry completely.

Using Vinegar

If baking soda doesn’t do the trick, our next go-to rust remover is vinegar, another common household item.

  • Preparing a Vinegar Soak: Fill a container large enough to fit your knife with white vinegar. This will be your soaking solution.
  • Soaking and Scrubbing the Knife: Submerge the knife in the vinegar and let it sit for approximately 5 hours. The acid in the vinegar will react with the rust, helping to loosen it. After the soak, scrub the knife gently with a scrubbing pad or a nylon brush to remove the rust.
  • Rinsing and Drying the Knife: Rinse the knife under cold water to remove the vinegar and lose rust particles. Remember to dry the knife thoroughly to avoid additional rust.

Using A Potato And Dish Soap

Kitchen knife to cut

Sounds peculiar? Trust me; it’s a wonderfully easy and surprisingly effective method.

  • Preparing the Potato and Dish Soap: Cut a potato in half. Apply a generous amount of dish soap to the cut side of the potato. The soap aids in lubrication, while the potato acts as a scrubbing agent due to its oxalic acid content, which is excellent for dissolving rust.
  • Using the Potato to Scrub the Rust Off: Use the potato half like a scrubber on the rusted parts of the knife. You should see the light rust stains starting to come off.
  • Rinsing and Drying the Knife: Once again, rinse the knife and dry it immediately and thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Using A Commercial Rust Remover

If the rust is too stubborn or widespread, you may need to resort to a commercial rust remover. This is particularly true if your knives are carbon steel knives or stainless steel knives.

  • Choosing the Right Commercial Rust Remover: Select a rust remover suitable for kitchen utensils. I recommend products like Evapo-Rust or Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings carefully before use.
  • Application and Rust Removal Process: Apply the remover as per the instructions on the bottle. Typically, this involves applying the solution, leaving it on for a certain period, and then scrubbing it off.
  • Rinsing and Drying the Knife: Rinse the knife well and dry it meticulously. You can also use a little bit of lemon juice to add some shine to your now rust-free knife.


Voila! With these easy and practical methods, your steak knives should be shining like new, rust-free, and ready to slice. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so ensure you dry your knives thoroughly after each wash to prevent rust from forming in the first place. Happy cooking, and enjoy those delectable steaks with your newly restored knives!


Eliza is a culinary maven with an undeniable passion for the art of cooking and a deep understanding of all things kitchen-related. She is a renowned kitchen expert and a source of inspiration for aspiring chefs around the world. With years of hands-on experience and a knack for creating delectable masterpieces, she has established herself as a leading authority in the culinary industry.

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