Why You Should NEVER put Knives in the Dishwasher and other Knife Care Tips You Should Know

Good, high-quality knives are the engine that powers a kitchen, from chopping, dicing, slicing and cutting, they are a paramount necessity for anyone who calls themselves a cook. Perhaps you have wondered how best to care for these knives that make each dish possible. Well, you have come to the right place. We are about to look at why putting knives in the dishwasher is a big no, no and consider how to best care for your knives, getting the most out of your investment:

Why You Should NEVER Put Your Knives in the Dishwasher 

While it can be tempting to throw your knives in the dishwasher right along with plates and forks, it can cause irreparable damage to your knives and can reduce their longevity. According to Viola Wusthof, CEO of Wusthof Knife Company, it is a grave misconception to assume you can wash your knives in the same way you do other cutlery. In fact, she said the following about the practice of adding knives to the dishwasher:

“A dishwasher can be detrimental to the quality of your knife. They are often too abrasive and based on the type of detergent used the process can cause rust or corrosion.”

Owner of the Whole Bowl (vegetarian food restaurant, cart and truck), Tali Ovadia, added her thoughts about cleaning your knives in this manner:

“You might as well stick your knife in a washing machine. The wash cycle can bang your knife around and compromise its sharp edges.” 

How to Properly Clean Knives

Now that we know it is most certainly a bad idea to clean knives using the dishwasher, it’s time to contemplate how to go about the process, then, in the correct manner. In general, you shouldn’t leave knives to soak in soapy dishwater either. Of course, they do need to be cleaned in order to remove harmful bacteria and food particles. Experts agree the best course of action is simply to rinse the knife off immediately after use before food or substances can dry on its surface. Then, when you are ready to clean them, set them in soapy water, alone (without pots and pans), and immediately rinse off and towel dry with a cotton towel. It is not a good idea to let knives air dry as this can lead to tarnishing and rust. Yes, this is true even if your knife is stainless steel. 

Proper Knife Maintenance For Longevity

In addition to proper washing practices, knives need to be maintained to ensure the greatest longevity possible. Storage is an important factor as storing them loosely in a drawer can damage the blades. A magnetic strip or wooden countertop storage block is preferable, but be careful inserting and removing the knife though when using a block as this too can cause damage. To ensure as little damage occurs as possible, experts recommend using knife covers. Then, as the next maintenance step, you need to sharpen them. This outline explains how to go about testing your knives’ current sharpness and then sharpening them if needed. Keeping all these factors in mind and your knives out of the dishwasher will help you get the most life out of your knives. 

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