HOW TO CLEAN AND CARE FOR YOUR KNIFE
On this page you’ll find top tips which will help you enjoy your knives for time to come, such as how to go gentle on your kitchen knives when cleaning them from day to day and how to make them last by simply looking after them right.
Good knives should be cleaned right
ZWILLING is one of the most famous knife making companies in the world and has been renowned for producing high-quality cutlery for almost 300 years. With the right care, our knives can often last a lifetime. Read on to find out some top tips on how to care for and maintain your knife, so you can make this happen.
The most important aspect when it comes to looking after your knife is how you clean it: to prevent aggressive cleaning agents from causing premature wear and tear to your knife, we recommend cleaning it by hand using lukewarm water, mild dish soap and a non-scratch cloth or sponge. Knives made from our own special formula steel are actually dishwasher-safe, but only at temperatures of 55 °C and lower.
Knife cleaning: to dishwasher or not to dishwasher?
It is recommended to keep your knives separate from other items in the dishwasher to avoid them from bumping into each other during the wash cycle. Dishwasher tablets often contain aggressive chemicals which can damage the surface of plastic and steel. So our warning to you is: putting your knives in the dishwasher can shorten their lifespan and reduce their edge retention. Knives in the dishwasher - here’s the problem:
- Aggressive chemical tablets
- High temperatures
- Bumps and bangs with other objects
- Long wash cycles that last several hours
The less you use the dishwasher, the more you’ll get from your knives
The facts speak for themselves. Even for knives marked as dishwasher-safe, everything indicates that using the dishwasher is not a good idea, unless your kitchen is kitted out with a special industrial one. The aggressive chemicals, high temperatures and contact with other objects in standard household dishwashers, not to mention the wash cycles which often last for hours, are not conducive to the lifespan of your knives.
Clean your knives by hand - it’s as easy as that
The best thing to do is to clean your knives by hand. It’s a lot quicker and still effective. To clean a knife after most standard kitchen tasks, all you need is hot water, a sponge or washing-up brush and a plain dishtowel or microfiber cloth for drying. Voilà, your knife is clean.
Good to know: storage is also part and parcel of knife care!
And after you’ve washed up? What you do then can also play a key role in making your knife last longer. It’s best for it to have its very own space away from other objects, so not simply thrown in the cutlery drawer together with scissors, salad servers and other knives. A knife block is the preferable means of storage to really look after your knife, but drawer organizers or protective sleeves can also be beneficial.
Cleaning knives with wooden handles
Knives with wooden handles, like our Japanese knives for example, are not dishwasher-safe and should only be washed by hand. We recommend regularly treating the wood with oil (e.g. linseed oil) or wax (e.g. beeswax) to prevent it from turning brittle and dry. This gives the wood effective protection, as well as a silky sheen and rich color.
The handles of our non-riveted knives are made from polypropylene. As well as being soft and comfortable to hold, this plastic is also resistant to heat, acids from food, alcohol and salts. It doesn’t break or split, nor does it retain water, meaning that polypropylene has properties that no other plastics possess and is dishwasher-safe to boot.
Cleaning, however, does bring with it an unwelcome side effect: the plastic surface of the handle may become grey or sapped of color. Whilst this is neither unhygienic nor dangerous, it does look unpleasant. You can simply restore some color by rubbing a drop of cooking oil into the handle when required, bringing it back to life and giving it a slick black sheen. If you take the time to give your knife some proper care and attention, then you’ll be able to enjoy it for time to come. Another way to care for your knife if to have it properly ground and sharpened.