If you've bought a knife from me, it will be made of high carbon steel not stainless steel. I recommend to not wash it, merely wipe it over as soon as you have finished using it and put it away. You can wash it by hand if need be, but do not leave water on it, so no soaking in a sink of dishes and don’t leave it to air dry on a draining rack. Wash and dry it straight away.
No matter how well you take care of your knife it will turn a dull grey color over time, it will mark and not stay shiny.
This is normal, there is nothing unhygienic about it, it is just the nature of the steel. Some foods, like lemon and onion will mark it instantly due to the acidic nature of them. You can polish it back to a high shine finish again, (using a grinder or polisher) but it is unnecessary for the performance of the knife, it is purely cosmetic. This is what most European knives are like, what is known as black steel. To speed up the process and have a uniform color, rub the blade with a cut onion half.
High carbon steel is a tough and long lasting steel and will keep an edge for much longer than stainless steel. Used properly your knife should only have to be put on a sharpening stone once a month and on a sharpening steel once a week. This is if you are using it on a daily basis.
The only down side to high carbon steel is that it will rust if you do not take care of it. To prevent this, keep your knife as clean and dry as possible after use, and apply a light coating of oil periodically. For culinary knives, olive, vegetable, canola or sunflower oil is fine. For other knives, light machine oil like that used for sharpening is suitable, or any of the above listed cooking oils. Some oil can be poured into your sheath or knife block, and then poured out again, creating a water repellent environment to store your knife in.
If you do get rust spots, light ones can be scrubbed away with steel wool, more severe can be removed using wet and dry emery paper. Start with a 400 grit and work up to an 800 and finish with a fine abrasive metal polish e.g. Autosol.
Some common do’s and don’ts
· Don’t put knives in the dishwasher
· Don’t leave a knife soaking in a sink full of water
· Don’t store in a wet sheath
· Do keep your knife sharp
· Do keep it stored correctly and responsibly
· Do use the knife for the purpose it was made for
· Don’t use a knife as a lever, hammer, shovel, screwdriver etc
· Don’t cut on a glass, stone or steel surface, do use wood or plastic
· Do remember to clean and oil the handle as well as the blade
· NEVER put into a fire, onto a hot plate or in contact with any other heat source
Please feel free to email me with any questions on the care and maintenance of your blade.