Last for Years Without Sharpening: How to Extend the Sharpness of Kitchen Knives

Nothing lasts forever, not even super-expensive kitchen knives. Because of improper use, every housewife’s handy helper loses not only its attractive appearance but also its performance – it rusts or becomes blunt.

Why the knife blade rusts or blunts the tip – causes and solutions

Despite the fact that a sharp knife looks quite durable when purchased, it is still a fragile object that needs to be handled carefully.

Do not leave knives in the sink

The first point is the answer to the question of why you can’t wash the knife. Or rather, you can, but right away – soaking them or throwing them in the sink is strictly prohibited, even if the knives have food stuck to them. The thing is that from a long stay in water on stainless steel knives, rust stains form. That’s why experienced cooks recommend washing them right away, especially if you’ve cut something acidic – acids also cause stains to form.

Don’t put them in the dishwasher – wash them with your hands

Can I wash knives in the dishwasher – no. Absolutely not. If you put the dishwasher on a long cycle and put the knife inside, the technique will deform the blade. A stainless steel knife blade will dull against mechanical parts, and a ceramic product can be damaged.

That’s why you should clean your knives by hand under a stream of warm water, using a soft sponge and some detergent. Any abrasive cleaners, including baking soda, are prohibited – they can quickly scratch the blade.

Don’t cut what you can’t cut

Poultry, fish, and other animals that you want to cut should be boneless. If you regularly try to cut bones or tendons with a knife, then be sure – it will soon become blunt. For the same reason, it is better not to use a knife to cut frozen pieces of meat or chicken shanks – either the knife will get blunt or a piece will break off, which is not safe in any case.

Use the right slicing technique

First, keep in mind that a knife blunts faster if you were like chopping food with it. The ideal slicing technique is when the knife slides over the food. You should not pull the knife away from the cutting board – it is better to lift it slightly and put the food under the blade.

Secondly, it is better to use only wooden or plastic boards. Despite the fact that ceramic and glass ones look great in the kitchen interior, they are very blunt knives.

Follow the rules of knife storage and care

Knives should be stored separately from forks and spoons – ignoring this rule will lead to scratches on the blade. If it is not possible to allocate a separate container for knives, then use special covers or dividers in the tray with cutlery.

It is optimal to sharpen knives once or twice a year – not more often. The rest of the time the blade needs only a slight dressing, as a completely blunt knife is easier to cut yourself than to cut food. Proper care and a careful attitude to knives guarantee that they will last you for many years.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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