The best way to maintain your knife.
Posted by Lilou Gonnachon on May, 09, 2022
Beautiful quality knives are often worth their price. But you know that these knives last a lifetime, if you take good care of them. What follows is not magic, it's just a few simple tips to give your knives a good life. So read carefully, and take note!
Wash it, yes, but properly.
Your sharp Japanese knives are also very fragile. You should not risk damaging the blade by rubbing it with the abrasive side of a sponge to remove a stain or worse, put it in the dishwasher.
To take care of it, wash your knife with clear water directly after use.
Clean it with soapy water, and rub gently with a sponge or soft cloth. As soon as the swimming part is over, dry it directly with a cloth.
Store your blade in its blade guard or safely on your magnetic knife holder and you're done.
Store it in a place where it will feel comfortable.
We don't have to remind you anymore, your Japanese knife is quite fragile. So be careful not to store it in a drawer with your ladle, forks and other kitchen utensils. All this could clash and it might not work in your knife's favor.
Instead of the drawer, you can opt for the knife block solution. Be careful though that it is well cleaned, you don't want bacteria.
You can also opt for something magnetic, like a knife holder. This will keep them scratch-free, handy and clean.
The Kotai knife holder, with its magnet hidden in the bamboo, allows you not to damage the knives, and to easily take them and put them back.
Moving it safely:
When you travel with your knives, it's important that they too have a comfortable trip.
Choose a case or a knife case in which your knives will be held and will not move around.
The Kotai handmade knife case is perfect for carrying your knives safely. Its thick cotton and inner lining allow 6 knives and a sharpening steel to be protected during travel. Plus, it's easy to open and close thanks to an attachment system that includes a flap for extra, maximum utensil protection.
Keep your knife sharp and performing:
A knife doesn't stay sharp on its own. You need to sharpen it.
For sharpening, once every three to six will do. You can find more information on how to properly sharpen your knife right here.
To sharpen your knife, you will need an honing steel and a sharpening stone.
Start at the heel of the blade and slide it to the tip on your sharpening tool.
Don't overdo the sharpening, this could also have consequences.
Treating small imperfections:
Sometimes a steel knife has small spots of oxidation. These imperfections, purely aesthetic, can be disturbing.
First of all, why do oxidation spots form on the blade?
Blades made with high-end, high-carbon steels are more prone to oxidation, due to the high carbon content of the alloy.
Carbon is the element that gives steel its hardness and allows it to stay sharp longer.
The higher end Japanese steels known as "carbon steels" contain a very high percentage of carbon and are extremely prone to rusting, making them too difficult for most chefs to use.
Kotai knives are made of 440C, an alloy containing a high percentage of carbon but also 17% chromium to make the blade more resistant to oxidation.
However, only titanium and ceramic knives are 100% protected from oxidation because they do not contain iron.
Oxidation stains are not dangerous and you can still use your knife safely, but it is unsightly.
So here are two simple ways to remedy these stains.
Soak your knife in white vinegar (or just cover the area to be treated with white vinegar) for at least 30 minutes to let the vinegar work.
Then use a sponge and rub lightly to remove the rust. If necessary, use the green (more abrasive) side of the sponge, gently to avoid scratching your blade.
Create a little baking soda paste. You can pour a good amount of baking soda into a bowl and add water. Stir until you get a thick paste. Apply the thick paste to a toothbrush and apply generously to the area to be treated on the blade. You may scrub with the toothbrush.
Finally, wipe the blade with a cloth to remove the excess baking soda. If you really want to take good care of your blade, you can apply mineral oil to ensure that the blade is well lubricated and protected.
Don't forget to clean and dry your blade thoroughly after doing either of the above. Your knife is fragile.
You now have all the cards in hand to take care of your knives, pamper them to the level they deserve. Remember, if you take care of them, you will keep them for a lifetime.