How to Clean a Rusted Pocket Knife Blade


If you notice reddish-brown spots on your pocket knife blade, rust is the likely culprit. Rust forms when metal comes into contact with moisture and oxygen. If your knife blade got wet, it is susceptible to rust. Not only is rust unsightly, it decreases the performance of your pocket knife. It is important to remove rust from a pocket knife blade promptly so the rust does not spread.

Things You'll Need

  • Household lubricating spray
  • Rags
  • Metal polish
  • #0000 steel wool pad
  • Spray the rusty pocket knife blade with household lubricating spray. Let the spray sit on the blade for about five minutes.

  • Wipe down the blade with a rag. Apply more lubricating spray and continue wiping until the rust has lightened or is gone.

  • Apply metal polish to the rusty knife blade with a clean rag. Wipe the blade several times with the rag to remove any remaining rust.

  • Rub a #0000 steel wool pad over the spots if the rust is still present. Use even strokes and run the pad only in one direction. Apply metal polish to the steel wool pad, if necessary.

  • Wipe off the knife blade with a damp rag to remove any residue. Dry the blade thoroughly with a dry rag.

Tips & Warnings

  • Insert the pocket knife blade lengthwise into a large potato for an alternative method of removing rust. Let it sit overnight in the potato. Remove the knife blade the next day and clean the blade with a damp rag.
  • Cut up a large onion with your rusty pocket knife for yet another method for removing rust. The acid in the juice of the onion will help to remove the rust. Wash the blade with soapy water and dry thoroughly after cutting up the onion.

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  • Photo Credit pocket knife image by Pix by Marti from
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