How Long Does It Take For A Knife To Rust?

When using expensive equipment, you want to make sure that it lasts for a long time. Knives are no exception. To make them last longer, we have to do what we can to maintain them and reduce their exposure to rust. But if rust should occur, how long does it take for a knife to rust?

Your kitchen knives can develop rust spots on their blades over time. The time it takes for a knife to rust depends on the type of knife, Particularly, what the blade is made of, how it’s made, and where you store it.

There are ways to prevent rusting by keeping kitchen knives dry, sharpening them regularly, and applying a layer of oil. You can read further to learn more about the process of preventing your knife from rusting.

How Long Does It Take Carbon Knives To Rust?

The carbon knives we see around us visibly start to rust after being exposed to moisture for a minimum of five to six hours. Utilizing your knife made out of carbon steel will build a patina, which will accelerate the rate at which it rusts, about an hour or even less.

How Long Does It Take Carbon Knives To Rust

Carbon steel knives are much more prone to corrosion and rust than stainless steel knives. This is as a result of chromium, a mineral present in stainless steel knives that gives it its rust-resistant and corrosion properties.

How Long Does It Take For Stainless Steel To Rust?

Stainless steel blades contain chromium, which is usually a make-up of about 15% of the blade. This helps to create a very strong oxide layer on the surface of the blade and helps to prevent the steel from further oxidation. Due to this, the rusting process of the blade is slowed down, hence, stainless steel is the best choice for knives.

How Long Does It Take For Stainless Steel To Rust

Stainless steel can stay as long as six months or even years before it begins to undergo rusting. The lifespan of the stainless steel knife blades will however be shortened under poor maintenance.

How Long Does It Take Damascus Steel Knives To Rust?

The length of time it will take for a Damascus steel knife to rust is dependent on the type of steel from which it has been manufactured.

How Long Does It Take Damascus Steel Knives To Rust

Most steels used for Damascus knives are stainless and hardly get rust. However, Damascus steel knives that are made from carbon rust quickly. On an average, Damascus steel knives can last about two to three days when in contact with moisture before it begins to rust.

How To Remove Rust From A Knife

How To Remove Rust From A Knife

1. Lemon and Salt

These are two major ingredients that are great for removing rust from steel blades when combined and used together. This is because lemon is acidic and acid attacks rust. Salt is also a sharp ingredient that helps scrub the rust off.

Simply put salt on the rust stains on your knife blades, then squeeze the lemon juice on the areas of the knife blade covered with salt. Let the blade sit for about three hours after which you scrub the knife with the steel wool. Then wash and dry thoroughly.

2. Apply Vinegar

Vinegar is not only good as a cooking ingredient but is also used as a cleaning agent that could be used to eliminate rust in your carbon steel knife. This is because white vinegar contains acetic acid that dissolves rust in metal. Furthermore, this method is used to remove rust in other tools made out of metal including stainless steel blades.

It is important to use white vinegar as other types of vinegar could cause discolouration. Simply soak the carbon knife in vinegar for some time and then scrub using steel wool, after which you wash with soap and water and then dry the knife thoroughly to prevent rust from forming again.

3. Dish Soap And Salted Potato

All potatoes contain an acid known as oxalic acid which is a major ingredient in many cleaning products. Oxalic acid dissolves rust, therefore, you can use potato to scrub the rust present on the blade away.

You should slice a potato in half, cover the cut section of the potato with dish soap and sprinkle a little salt. The salt acts as an abrasive that helps scrub the rust. Rub the rusty areas with this potato, dish soap, and salt mix to remove the rust. Then rinse and dry the knife blade properly.

4. Use Citric Acid

Citric acid is commonly found in food stores, pharmacies, or supermarkets. Citric acid is very effective when it comes to removing rust from knife blades.

The downside to citric acid, however, is that it will remove paints and other coatings, so it may not be the best choice for all knives. Simply add four tablespoons of citric acid to a bowl of hot water and soak your knife blade in the mixture overnight. Scrub off the freshly dissolved rust with a steel sponge.

5. Use Baking Soda

Baking Soda is one major ingredient that has multiple purposes in the home. It can be used for both cleaning and cooking. Apart from these, it is also very effective for removing rust in thin metal tools including knives.

You will need baking soda, water, and steel wool. Simply mix the baking soda and water to form a thick paste and scrub the knife using the paste and steel wool.

6. Make Use Of A Chemical Solution

There are above the counter chemical solutions that can help remove rust from knife blades. These chemicals are formulated for safe use on knives, cookware, and even some metal jewelry. When cleaning your knives, ensure you use these chemicals according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to avoid wrong usage.

In Essence

The length of time it takes for a knife to rust depends on the type of knife. Carbon steel knives commonly rust in a few hours while stainless steel knives will typically last longer.

There are however several ways to help prevent rust. Also, the way you maintain your knife determines if it will have a long lifespan or not.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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