How to Clean Damascus Steel Using All-Natural Cleaning Materials

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From the name itself, a Damascus steel knife boasts of its distinctive and intricate pattern. Who would not love this well-adorned knife hand forge by both modern and ancient blacksmith? Their passion has made a remarkable steel knife.

The material used in creating this knife came from India and was called wootz steel. Its pattern resembles a flowing water. Being hand-forged, the blacksmith ensures its resistance and toughness to avoid shattering.

There are many reasons why knife enthusiasts love Damascus knives. It is not only about the aesthetics, but also its high performance. Each knife has a unique pattern that expresses one’s work of art. The major benefit of having a Damascus knife is its durability that can endure any force. It may be expensive but you can expect it will last long.

Thus, if you think of having this knife, we recommend you must know how to clean Damascus steel.

Guide to Clean a Damascus Steel

How to Clean Damascus Steel

Knowing the best ways to maintain the cleanliness of your Damascus steel knife is the key to have it for a long span.

Things Needed:

  • Mineral oil
  • Soft towel
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Running water

Here’s how to clean the knife:

1. Wash and rinse

After every use, make sure to wash the knife using a soapy dish sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool or rough cloths. The abrasive cleaning material will eliminate the etched oxidation on the knife. Rinse it thoroughly under running water and wipe dry using a clean cloth or soft towel.

2. Apply oil

Since the Damascus knife is made of steel, we do not recommend using olive oil or any kind of oil that go rancid. Lubricating the knife with mineral oil can prevent moisture that may cause rust on the blade and discoloration. Applying mineral oil on the Damascus steel will not only provide rich luster. It will also justify its gorgeous, natural pattern.

3. Polish

After applying the mineral oil, get a polishing cloth to polish the Damascus steel. We recommend polishing the blade regularly, especially if you are using it often. This process will give a lovelier look to the steel.

We recommend cleaning the knife blade promptly and ensure no water is left on the surface prior to storing it.

Methods of Cleaning Rust from the Damascus Steel

Cleaning Rust from the Damascus Steel

No matter how you ensure keeping the knife clean and dry, there are instances rust will develop. Thus, it’s not enough to just clean the blade. We recommend checking any rust spots. Rust most likely develops when washing the knife in a dishwasher. Leaving the steel knife in water for a stretch of time may cause rust.

In this section, we will learn how to remove the rust off your knife using natural ingredients.

Prepare the following:

  • Ordinary lemon juice
  • Potato
  • Soda paste
  • Vinegar

1. Use ordinary lemon juice

If you notice that the Damascus steel knife has some rust, you can let it set in a glass with lemon juice. The acidity of lemon juice will loosen up the rust without impacting the pattern. After taking the knife from the lemon squeeze, get a soft cloth and wipe it dry.

2. Whole potato

It may sound weird, but a potato can also help to clean the knife and remove rust. All you have to do is insert the knife into the whole potato and leave it for a day. Potato contains oxalic that is non-corrosive and has the ability to eliminate rust. You will notice after taking away the knife from the potato, it will look shiny.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is known to be an effective cleaning solution. It is accessible in every kitchen making it a good option to clean any steel knife like the Damascus steel. Vinegar is also non-corrosive and works well at cleaning rust spots of the knife. Submerge the rusty spot inside a container with vinegar until the rust loosen up. We recommend using apple cider vinegar and not the white vinegar.

4. Soda paste

Another cleaning solution to use in cleaning a Damascus steel is a soda paste. You can make a soda paste by combining soft drink and water. Heat up the mixture in low fire until achieving a toothpaste-like thickness. Apply the soda paste to the steel knife, especially the spot with rust and use a soft sponge. Re-apply the paste as many times as possible until the rust is gone.

You can also use Bar Managers Friend powder and mix it with a little amount of water. Achieve a consistency similar to a paste. Rub it onto the knife’s surface and let it set there for a few moments. Afterwards, wipe it away with a cloth.


There are many strategies to clean Damascus steel. Most of the cleaning materials are available at home and in the kitchen. We know that this knife will cost you a considerable amount of money because of its unique appearance and durable material. That is why we must ensure keeping it clean all the time.

Cleaning the Damascus steel is as easy as cleaning an ordinary knife. But the point is we must not use any abrasive material as it will impact the quality of the pattern. Avoid using metal scouring cushions as it will cause corrosions. We must not only clean the blade but the entire knife including the handle. Keep in mind that the pattern is intricately designed and the entire knife is hand forged.

Thus, we know that creating this knife takes a lot of sweat and passion. It is not a simple kitchen tool. Because for many, a Damascus steel is an investment that entails ancient history and hard work of the blacksmith.

Cleaning and polishing the knife ensures to lengthen the life span. It means you can use it for long years. Make sure to keep the knife in a dry environment to prevent moisture that eventually leads to rust formation. Do not store the Damascus knife in a leather sheath. It’s because tanning the leather involves using chemicals and acids that can cause oxidation.

Read more:

How to Sharpen Damascus Steel Knife in 3 Different WaysHow To Remove Rust From Carbon Steel Knife in 4 Different Ways

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