How to Polish a Knife: Step by Step Guidelines?

When you use a knife, it encounters many things, especially food items; some of them are acidic and contain water inside. As a result, discoloration is a must on knives, rust is unavoidable; therefore, it’s essential to know how to polish a knife properly.

I used to be very afraid of the thought of polishing a knife because I used to think that the task would be challenging, but was that? Of course not; polishing a knife was pretty more accessible for me than forcing a patina on its carbon steel; by the way, you will find it interesting too.

How to Polish a Knife
How to Polish a Knife

Let’s not waste time without finding out the methods of polishing a knife, the necessary components, and some tips for beginners.

What Things Can You Use to Polish Knives?

You can have various options of ingredients and equipment that you can use to polish a knife; the ingredients you will use depend much on the metal the knife is made of. Let’s see which options you can have while choosing necessary items to polish a knife:

  • If you want a greaseless cutting item or blade, you may get a medium-sized plastic lad solid and a brush; on the other hand, you will need more components if you want to use grease items.

For instance, emery, bobs and crocus, color bars for cutting, and different types of rouges. It’s because the grease system takes a long time but gives a perfect finishing.

  • Coating and powdering are also necessary for polishing knives, but what things will you get? You may get tin oxide, aluminium oxide, and pumice for powdering, and lubricants for coating.

Please remember that experts may not need these items, but things are suitable for beginners polishing knives.

  • You will need fabric or wheels to cover the blades while polishing; satin, felt, sisal, muslin, and many other soft ones are mainly suitable for the knife polish purpose.
  • However, another thing you should take care of before start doing your work is taking safety measures. For example, you should wear cut-protected gloves as you’re going to work with a sharp and dangerous item.

Moreover, it would be better to wear a mask or a face shield because you will work with many chemicals and shouldn’t enter your respiratory tract.

These are the things you will need to polish a knife; they are not costly, and you can have other things as alternatives.

How to Polish a Knife: Step by Step Guidelines?

Let’s see the steps of how you can easily polish a knife, no matter which materials it has because the metal knives cleaning methods are almost the same.

  1. Wear your safety wears first before start working because that’s the primary thing you must do.
  2. Next, you must clean the knife well with soap, detergent, and warm water to clean the external dirt and extra grease or oil.
  3. After rinsing that, you can apply a rust cleaning layer on the blades and cover the surface with rouge for at least two hours. That successfully removes the rust that you found difficult to clean within hours; isn’t that great?
  4. After a couple of hours, you can remove the previous cloth and put another one, damp with the same chemicals. You don’t have to keep the second cloth for hours, but it would be better if you get something robust like steel wool for scrubbing.
  5. Well, you can clean the oil and other liquids with a towel to remove the oil and grease; you will see that your knife is polished.

If you want, you can follow other methods to polish a knife; the steps are:

  • You can call this method a home remedy because you don’t need to buy or get anything from outside; you can apply detergent or warm soapy water on the rusted area.
  • Next, you have to scrub it with anything; you can take a toothbrush for that because it gently cleans the rust as much as possible.
  • Lastly, you must clean the rest of the leftovers with soapy water, but you should rinse and dry it immediately; otherwise, the steel or metal can quickly reoxidize.

The cleaning or polishing of metal blades and knives won’t work if you don’t keep them clean and dry; rust will catch again. You can force a patina or create another layer on the blades and the whole metal so that it remains shiny and sharp.

What Should You Do to Prevent Rust on Knives?

I hope the tips given below will help you prevent creating rust again on a polished knife; though it’s impossible to avoid the situation, you can slow the process if you want. The things you need to do are:

  1. You should clean the blade’s surface immediately you cut something acidic like fruits, meat, or any other item because the acid will increase slowly react with the metal if you leave the knife anyway.
  2. Moreover, you should keep the knife dry because the water substances will make the steel oxidized again, creating rust.
  3. It would be better if you have a fabric cover with the knife, and you can store that in the cloth after cleaning and drying correctly.
  4. It is helpful sometimes to scrub the blade surface to increase its sharpness because the sharpness slowly decreases when you keep using the appliance for a long time.

Now, you can say that it is pretty easy to prevent rust on knives; another technique for avoiding that is to paint the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Metal Yellow Rouge Is Used for?

You can use a yellow rouge for nickel, silver, copper, brass, and other metals like them; they get the rust away without damaging the metals.

What Size Should the Wheels Be?

You will find various sizes, but that will differ due to the blade’s size; you must check the manufacturers’ instructions.

Which Is the Main Item for Polishing Knives?

Emory, the black coat on knives is the vital thing you should have along with other items, but if you include it, you will need powder.

When Should You Polish a Knife?

If you see rust or sharpen your knife for any purpose, you should polish it, or apply a layer after sharpening it.

Does a Knife Get Ruined While Polishing?

No, there’s no chance of a knife to get ruined while sharpening or polishing because they don’t create breakages or scratches.


When you need to prepare your knives before cutting, you should know first how to polish a knife because that is necessary. I hope you found the steps easy, and if you don’t miss anything, you can polish them correctly.

However, you can choose some branded items to do your task correctly; you can go through the online site to find your desired products.

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