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Remove rust stains from kitchen knives with vinegar

If your kitchen knives have started to gather rust spots, giving them a soak in vinegar will help restore them to their original shine.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Get rid of this rust with a little vinegar magic.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Kitchen knives are easily one of the most abused pieces of equipment in the kitchen, not only because they're put through a lot of hard work, but also because the vast majority of people don't properly care for their kitchen knives.

What I mean by that is, many people don't treat their knives with any special care. They throw them in the dishwasher, toss them in a drawer with all the other utensils and don't keep them properly sharpened.

I'm easily one of the worst offenders, as demonstrated by the picture to the right. And if you're anything like me, you probably have a few knives with rust stains that you simply can't remove. However, a tip from the OnePotChefShow YouTube channel can be the quickest and easiest way to remove rust from your cutlery.

How to remove rust spots from cutlery

You only need three things to quickly remove rust spots from your knives: white vinegar, a tall cup and a scrub sponge.

Once you've gathered your materials, the rest is very easy and will only take a few minutes per knife.

  • Fill the glass with enough white vinegar to submerge the entire blade of the knife.
  • Place the knife in the vinegar and let it sit for at least five minutes.
  • Remove the knife from the vinegar and use the sponge to scrub away the rust.

To see it in action, below is the original video from OnePotChefShow.

All clean!

Taylor Martin/CNET

Some rust stains on my knives simply wiped away, while some were more difficult and required quite a bit of scrubbing. But this is definitely the easiest way to remove rust from knives that I've come across.

I will say that I struggled to find a cup large enough to fully submerge some of my larger knives. It may not work for all knives, but if the handle is all metal, you can simply flip the knife around to work on rust near the heel of the blade. Just be careful when removing the knife, as the sharp end will be pointing upwards.

Ideally, this should work for just about any of your metal kitchen utensils. And it's likely the rust will come back over time, especially if you run the knives through the dishwasher. Hand washing and a coating of oil every few months will help fight -- but not definitively prevent -- future rust stains.