Methods and means to successfully remove rust from knives

There is a wide range of methods and means to remove rust from knives. First of all, it should be decided what effort is appropriate. The condition of the blade, which can range from flash rust adhesion to substantial pitting, plays a crucial role. Often, rust removal can be combined with sharpening.

Cola and potatoes

When a knife has rust on it, the first thing that comes to the owner’s mind is often classic removal methods such as grinding or polishing it out. However, there is a whole range of so-called home remedies that are surprisingly effective in removing rust. They often develop their effect through pure action and require only a small amount of force, which is similar to wiping.

Two typical and effective home remedies are potatoes and cola. In raw potatoes, oxalic acid contained therein acts on the rust. In cola, aggressive ingredients of the formula kept secret by the manufacturer are helpful. With both remedies, a soaking time of several hours is the key to success. The blade of a knife can both be simply stuck into a potato of sufficient size or placed in a container with potato chunks. Pure Cola helps as a soaking bath for the entire knife.

After the soaking time of at least twelve hours, the dissolved rust can usually be easily removed with a rag or brush. Microfiber cloths also help.

Acid baths

In general, household acids such as vinegar essence, lime or citric acid are also good rust removers. The knife is also soaked. Here, a few hours are usually sufficient. However, it must be checked whether the handles and attachment points of the blade can withstand the acid in question.

Grinding pastes

For mechanical rust removal by grinding, self-mixed grinding pastes are recommended. This method is especially suitable for higher quality knives and heirlooms with sentimental value. Baking soda, cream of tartar, hydrogen peroxide can be used as the base of the paste, which is mixed with water to a consistency similar to toothpaste.


Of course, the rust on smooth blades of a knife can be ground off. For this purpose, grits between 120 and 400 are recommended, always starting with the coarsest grit.

Tips & Tricks

Never combine the different active or home remedies. When they come together, they can form undesirable chemical reactions that can be harmful to health or even destructive.

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green is a seasoned home chef and culinary expert who has a passion for all things kitchen-related. With her extensive knowledge of the latest kitchen products and appliances, Elizabeth provides insightful reviews and recommendations to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Whether you're looking for a new refrigerator, blender, or cookware set, Elizabeth is your guide to finding the best kitchen products available in the UK.

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