When Must a Knife be Cleaned and Sanitized

when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized

Everyone knows that high-quality knives are somewhat costly. So, the tool needs proper care, storage, and handling for its long life.

Whether you are a housewife, a layman, or a professional chef, you should spend time exploring when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized and how it should be done.

Following the proper procedure and understanding the criticality of the issue is indispensable for the life of your asset.

Most people usually own a set of knives in their kitchen to serve different purposes. But still, every piece requires maintenance to sustain its sharpness and accurate functionality, normally sharpness is maintained through knife sharpener or sharpening stones.

Here, we will cover every bit of aspect on when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized and the choice of cleaning materials along the procedure to follow. Let’s find it all.

Also Check:- Best Knife Oil

When Must a Knife be Cleaned and Sanitized: Three Scenarios

We cannot precisely state when you must clean & sanitize your knife. Because there is a hell of a lot of factors that contribute, especially the frequency of knife usage and the type of food it is used for. Let’s consider the possible scenarios:

Using Single Knife on Multiple Food Types:

If you own a single knife in your kitchen and use it to cut both meat and Vegetables, then your knife needs frequent cleaning and sanitization, after and before every usage.

It is because, if you will not wash it before usage then you might transfer the bacteria from one food to another and if you will keep it unwashed then you will allow the growth of pathogen over the tool.

Moreover, don’t forget to use different Cutting Boards for both meat and Fruit or Vegetable as it is the main source of germ transfer.

A Knife used by different people:

If you are living in a family then obviously every family member will use the kitchen knife. It is a matter of serious concern and here a knife clamor meticulous sanitization along with cleaning.

It is advised to thoroughly wash your knife after every single usage and the knife must be sanitized once a week, otherwise, you might end up with serious food contamination and health issues.

Fish Scale Knife:

Every kitchen usually owns a separate knife to scale a fish and mostly this job is done by a single person. So, here you are the only one using the knife for a single particular purpose.

It will be enough to deeply cleanse and wash the knife after the job is done. You don’t need frequent sanitization of the knife.

The crux is to wash and cleanse your knife after every usage to prevent the growth and transfer of microorganisms. Now you wonder, How to clean and sanitize the Knife. Don’t worry, here we will cover how you can get the job done.

How to Clean a Knife?

It is relatively a simple task and most people master it at a quite young age. But still, certain points are left behind but contribute to the life of the knife.

Type of the water:

Whether you are going to use hot water or cold water, that’s all depends upon the type of food the knife is used for. If your knife is used to cut meat or scale a fish then it is recommended to use hot/warm water. Otherwise, cold water will get the job done pretty well.

Materials Require:

• Liquid dish wash soap
• Sponge
• Warm/cold water


Lay your knife on a flat countertop. Use the soft side of the sponge and scrub the knife in one go from the handle joint towards the blade end. Using a delicate flow will not harm the sharpness of your knife.

Moreover, it is recommended to place it over the countertop and not to hold it in hand, this is to reduce the chances of accidents at minimal, as washing a knife is somewhat dangerous.

After rubbing one side of the blade, repeat the procedure on the other side too. Pay special attention to the handle and blade joint. This joint is the main place where most of the dirt and drub get accumulated.

You can use the harder side of the sponge here too. Now, rinse the knife thoroughly under running tap water. If you have water in a sink or any container, assure that it is plenty to take off the soap deeply.

Up till now, you have a crispy shiny knife in your hand. Use a paper towel, kitchen towel, or microfiber to dry the knife. Be sure that the blade of the knife is dry well because if it’s left wet, it might catch rust.

Although most knives nowadays come in rust e=resistant blades we need to take precautions at our end for the lasting life of our asset.

How to Sanitize a Knife:

After cleaning your knife is ready to get sanitized. It is done to kill around 99% of germs and bacteria. It will even restrict the growth of microorganisms too

Materials Required:

• Alcohol
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Warm water
• Heat


Using chemicals like Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide is a full proof tested method that is used in this modern age. You need to prepare a solution of water and alcohol/ Hydrogen peroxide and dip your knife in the solution for around 20-30 mins. After that wash it with clean water and tap it dry with a paper towel or microfiber.

Another method is to use heat. Use can use direct fire or can even put your knife in the hot oven. Even after sanitizing the tool with chemicals and washing them with Plain water, you can use heat to get it dry. Make sure your knife does not have a plastic handle or any flammable material on it.

The third method is to use hot boil water. It is the most commonly used method for cleaning kitchen utensils that are greasier. You just need to dip your knife in boil water for around 20 minutes and rinse it under running water. Make it dry using a microfiber or paper towel and store your sanitized knife.

Check your Knife Block and Cutting Board too for microbe’s growth.

Points To Ponder: For Knife Cleaning and Sensitization

Consider the blade shape first:

See if the blade is wide, curved, edged, or zig-zag. You’re rubbing action should follow the blade shape. It is necessary to avoid the bluntness of the knife. Moreover, curved, zig-zag knives have more chances of bacterial growth inside blade edges. Focus on these particularly.

Using Dish wash soap or a Hand Wash soap:

It is clearly stated on the label of your knife if it is dish wash safe or not? Follow the instructions and use the soap accordingly.

When To Clean And Sanitize A Knife:

After reading the above-mentioned script you must have got an idea of when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized. Well, as many times as you use it, you must clean it and store it in a clean place. This will not only restrict microbial growth but also keep you safe against pathogens. It is vital to keep yourself healthy.

Final Verdict:

Well, saying accurately as when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized is strenuous. You should primarily consider the function that your knife serves. Furthermore, it is essential to keep your knife block and cutting board safe against pathogens too. It is important for the longevity of your knife.

Clean utensils, knives, cutting boards, or every bit of a clean kitchen brings a sense of contentment and satisfaction. So, to keep your sanity and health safe, you should restrict the growth of microbes in your kitchen and one part of it is to decide when must a knife be cleaned and sanitized to keep diseases miles away.

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