Some kitchen knives are dishwasher safe – including SCANPAN’s. But you won’t get away from the fact that the dishwasher’s salts and other chemicals wear down both the steel of the blade and the sharp edge.
If you repeatedly wash your kitchen knives in the dishwasher, you’ll find that your knives become weaker – and need sharpening more often. Which just wears them down even more.
So wash your sharp knives by hand with hot water and detergent. Dry the knives thoroughly with a clean tea towel – that way you avoid stains on the blade and handle.
Brown rust stains on your beautiful kitchen knives are far from ideal. Rust film comes from kitchen utensils that contain iron (typical culprits are the cheese grater, garlic press and egg slicer or a damaged wire basket) and can stain knives and other stainless steel kitchen equipment if put in the dishwasher. Rust film can turn into ‘pitting corrosion’ if not removed from both the knives and dishwasher. Film rust on knives is easily removed with steel polish or steel cleaner.
By washing your kitchen knives by hand, you eliminate the risk of rust film forming on them.
Sharpness is important, for both food and safety. A sharp kitchen knife cuts clean, straight slices of your roast – instead of fraying the meat and letting out all the juices.
Use either a honing steel or a knife sharpener with a ceramic grindstone for daily/weekly sharpening and maintaining the knife edge on your kitchen knives. The honing steel/knife sharpener keeps the knife-edge sharp by correcting small dents and deformations. If you use a honing steel, remember to hone at an angle of approx. 15 degrees either side, as the knife’s total sharpening angle is normally around 30 degrees.
Read the article Honing steel or knife sharpener?.
How often should you sharpen your knives? This depends on the quality of the knife, including what type of steel it is made of: The harder the steel, the less you need to sharpen it. It also depends on how often you use the knife and what you use it for.
Always sharpen as required – and preferably weekly or monthly for frequent knife usage.
If the knife is completely blunt, sharpen it using the tungsten sharpener in SCANPAN’s 3-step knife sharpener. You can use this to hone and sharpen in three effective steps, with three different sharpening wheels of tungsten, diamond and ceramic respectively. This allows you to return a blunt knife to its former glory and make it as good as new.
To sharpen blunt knives (12 months or more without sharpening), use all three sharpeners (tungsten, diamond and ceramic). For frequent sharpening, approx. every 2-3 months, use the diamond and ceramic sharpeners. For everyday use or minimum once a week, use the ceramic sharpener. This guarantees you a sharp blade.
Do you have a favourite knife? It stands to reason that if you use the same knife for all jobs, you will wear down the knife quicker. By switching between different knives, which are each suited to different jobs, your knives will wear down more evenly.
See also: Thinking about buying new sharp knives?
Storing kitchen knives loose and unprotected in a drawer is a sure way to blunt and damage knives. Not to mention the risk of cutting yourself when rummaging through sharp tools to find the knife you need.
Keep your kitchen knives in order with a practical knife block or a magnetic track, so you always have knives to hand.
See our knife blocks and knife magnets.
Now that you know everything about how to look after your kitchen knives, you might want to know more? For instance on how to give your nonstick pots and pans a long life - here's our Use & Care Guide.