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The best way to maintain your knives

par Jeremie Plane

You’re Wondering yourself on how to give your knives a good life? We have the best tips for maintaining your knives and ensuring their longevity. So read carefully, and take note!

Wash it, yes, but properly.

Your very sharp Japanese knives are also very fragile. Do not risk damaging the blade by rubbing 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 by hand with soap, and rub gently with a sponge or soft cloth. As soon as the bathing part is finished, dry it directly with a cloth.

Store your blade in its blade guard and you're done.

Store it in a place where it will feel comfortable.

Your 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 may not work in favor of your knife.

Instead of the drawer, you can opt for the knife block solution or a magnetic knife holder. Be careful, however, that it is well cleaned, we do not want bacteria.

-Picture of the knife holder

Moving it safely:

When you travel with your knives, it is important that they too have a comfortable journey.

Prefer a case or a knife case in which your knives will be held and will not move in all directions.

The handcrafted Kotai Knife Case is perfect for safely transporting your knives. Its thick cotton and its inner lining allow 6 knives and a sharpening steel to be protected during the trip.

In addition, it is easy to open and close thanks to a fastening system which also includes a flap for additional and maximum protection of the utensils.

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.

Keeping your knife sharp and performing:

A knife does not stay sharp on its own. You need to sharpen it. I advise you to read this article: How to sharpen your knife)

One sharpening per week is recommended if you use your knife daily. For sharpening, once a month for a few seconds will do. You can find more information on how to properly sharpen your knife right here.

Treating small imperfections:

It happens that a steel knife shows small spots of oxidation. These purely aesthetic imperfections can be disturbing.

Why do oxidation spots form on the blade?

Blades made with premium 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 keeps it sharp longer.

The more premium Japanese steels called "carbon steels" contain a very high percentage of carbon and are extremely prone to rust, making them too difficult for most chefs to work with.

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.

Here are two easy ways to remedy these tasks

 White vinegar:

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.

Baking soda:

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, clean the blade with a cloth to remove excess baking soda.

If you really want to take extra care of your blade, you can apply mineral oil to make sure the blade is well lubricated and protected.

Do not forget to clean and dry your blade well after carrying out one of the two solutions above. Your knife is fragile.