3 Ways You May Be Ruining Your Knives

updated Dec 31, 2020
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(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

Do you know the quickest way to dull a knife? Turns out there are three. I’m the first to admit I’ve done two out of three of these things at one time or another, but now I know better — and you can, too! 

3 Ways You May Be Ruining Your Knives

1. You store your knives unsheathed in the utensil drawer.
There are a few reasons this is bad: first of all, it’s dangerous to have a knife loose in the drawer. Secondly, an unsheathed knife rubs against other things, which causes it to get dull very quickly. The best way to store your knives is on a magnetic knife strip or in a knife block. 

If you’re really short on space and need to store those knives in a drawer, just slip them into a blade guard first! You can get a set of four on Amazon for about $10.

2. You put your knife in the dishwasher.  
Knives should never go in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent is very abrasive, and along with the banging around that happens during a wash cycle, will take the sharp edge right off your knife. (Plus, it’s not safe for the person unloading the dishwasher!) 

Always wash knives by hand in the sink with dish soap and water. Keep the blade facing away from you and the knife low in the sink. Also, don’t leave your knife to air dry. Instead, take a tea towel and, holding the knife with the blade facing away from you, dry the knife in short vertical motions perpendicular to the edge. Running a tea towel horizontally along the blade is very dangerous, and a sure-fire way to cut yourself. (Don’t worry — I did this for a long time, too!) 

3. You slide your knife, blade down, across the cutting board to clear away what you just chopped. 

Oh man. I am still trying to break this habit! Do you do this? After you’ve got a pile of chopped veggies, you scrape your nice, sharp knife — blade down — right across the cutting board to clear some space. Of course when you actually think about it (as I did) that’s a terrible way to treat the blade! 

An easy solution: just flip the knife over before you slide! That way the flat spine side does the clearing, and you don’t ruin your blade.

This post was requested by Megs1310 for Reader Request Week 2013.

(Image: Cambria Bold)