How to Remove Rust from Carbon Steel Fillet Knife Blade

When we see the rust appear on our fillet knife then you get frustrated and eventually we look at the knife box to see where it is stainless steel or corrosion resistant. At this time everyone wants to know how to remove the rust from the carbon steel knife and protect it in future time also. Usually what happens is you place your knife in the dishwasher or may have left them soaking or wet somewhere. There is an old adage here which is really true: “ it is less stain but not stain free steel ”. 

Normally rust requires three things to form : carbon, oxygen and water. All steel knife blades are made up of carbon, some of them have more than others because carbon is the main ingredient of a knife to make it hard and sharp. If you want to prevent your fillet knife from rust then you should never put the knife in the dishwasher. Moreover in the following I have defined the various methods to remove the rust from carbon steel knives.

Learn how does rust works:

Best Methods that Helps to Remove Rust From Your Knife

Baking Soda Method

The most famous and popular method for removing a stain from a carbon steel knife is using baking soda with a scrubbing brush and pad.

Necessary Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Mineral oil and clothes

First of all you have to coat your knife’s blade with a non caustic cleaning solution and piece of cloth.and try to avoid the using of water for cleaning your knife because it mainly causes corrosion on the knife. If you must use water then use it in low quantities and dry very well. Even a small amount of moisture left on the blade, it may produce rust and cause your knife damage.

Once you clean your fillet knife with solution, take a small amount of baking soda and mix it with a little water to make paste form. Now place your knife on the surface and apply the paste mixture on one side of the knife. Wait for some time, it depends on how much rust is present on your knife. Hold up fifteen to thirty minutes to continue the further process. 

Now rub those sides of the knife which is coated with baking with a scrubbing pad or steel wool. Re-paste it and rub it again until the rust becomes removed. When you satisfy yourself then flip the knife and repeat the same process on the other side of the blade. When you’re scrubbing on both sides of the knife blade and rub off all rust particles then wipe the complete blade with cloth to remove the rust particle and remaining baking soda paste. 

After that apply a minor layer of mineral oil on the blade for giving extra protection and good health of your fillet knife. Once you apply all the oil on your knife, use cloth to remove the excess layer. Now your knife is rust free, here I also suggest you resharpen your knife because scrubbing your knife blade with abrasive material may dull your knife. That is not a good thing.

Vinegar Method

You can remove the rust from your carbon steel knife but it is a little bit more risky than the baking soda method. If you think that your carbon steel knife is expensive and special then don’t apply this method and move to baking soda one.

Essential factors:

  • White vinegar 
  • Paper Towels
  • Sponge
  • Cloth

Mineral oil

As the same, clean your fillet knife without water and dry it with a piece of cloth. Now soak a paper towel in vinegar and wrap it around your blade carefully and wait almost five minutes but not more than five because vinegar can subject your knife blade damage effectively and constant staining. After 5 minutes remove the towel from the knife blade and rub it with a sponge.

This method is useful only in the worst case of rust on your fillet knife. If some rust still stays on your knife then use baking soda method to remove the further rust. Wipe out the knife’s blade with cloth and apply mineral oil when you remove all the rust and then resharpen it again.

New Version: Baking Soda Method

If your knife is really special, expensive and user-friendly for you and you also want to remove rust from the blades then use this method instead of moving to the original method. In this method, simply scrub your knife’s blade with a stony pad or steel wool to scratch your blade. This is not a big problem for the majority of fillet knives but for some reasons you don’t want to scratch your knife then use something less rough as an abrasive thing is important.

In this method follow the same method that is used in the original process but use wine cork or balled up aluminium foil instead of scrubbing pad or steel wool. These materials are as compared to other one and take more work from you while removing rust from it but all know that great finishing on the fillet knife is effectively worth the overwork.

Potato Method

In this world, there are still some people who are trying to find natural solutions to resolve their problems. In this section we are providing a potato method for removing a rust from your carbon steel knife. Startly, I would also like to clarify that this method is less efficient as compared to previous methods but beside this it also reduces the chances of damaging your fillet knife while removing the rusting.

Essential Ingredients:

  • Normal size potato
  • Mineral oil
  • Piece of cloth

First of all take your rusty fillet knife and put the blade into the potato and make sure that all the rusted blades are fully inside the potato. And wait at the roundabout for one hour. Once the time is complete, remove the knife from the potato and clean it smoothly with a sponge. When all the rust is removed from your carbon steel knife then wipe it with cloth and coat it with mineral oil.

Why Carbon Steel Knives Become Rust

Carbon steel knives are sensitive to rust because when water and oxygen are present in steel then the knife introduces corrosion. I am not an expert in chemistry but these things I found from my experiment. Various rust’s types are introduced when steel leaves from the element and gets combined with H2o and O2 and its most typical type is Ferric oxide. 

A normal person does not have any interest to know what type of rust is present on their knife, they just want to get rid of the knife from rust and it is simple and enough information for them to take away your knives from oxygen and water for protection from rust.

How Fast Carbon Steel Gets Rust?

How Fast Carbon Steel Gets Rust

Different factors play an important role on how fast does your carbon steel rust like where your knife is located is the largest fact of rust on your knife. The other things are temperature, humidity, weather and other environmental components caused by rust on the fillet knife. 

The knife will rust faster if the salt is present with other elements which act like a catalyst. The rust on carbon steel occurs when the humidity of the circumambient environment reaches to sixty to eighty percent and temperature of air reaches above to zero celsius. Pollution in air and bad factors greatly affect the perfection of these forecasts.

Rust is Harmful and Can Cause to Weaken the Fillet Knife blade

Mostly the rust does not harm the carbon steel for a long time but if it is left on the blade for a long duration then the knife may lose its strength because rust will decay the blade easily. Usually the rust is present on the above surface and using the above method you can easily remove it.

Appearance of rust on the steel is a natural thing and the main reason that people want to take it out is it makes the knife ugly and rust can also make the food contaminate when we use it while cooking. But if we talk generally then rust on the fillet’s blade does not harm the actual tool.

Removing Rust from Fillet Knife Does Harm the Blade

If you apply the same above methods properly then it would not be harmful for the knife blade but if you do not follow the process correctly then removing rust from the knife may damage your blade. And another worst case is that it can also be damaged if rust is too severe and has worsened the blade.

Many things go wrong during the process of removing simple surface rust which damages the blade like vinegar method. In this method if vinegar is left on the blade for a long time then the acetic solution could damage the blade by drypoint and corroding your knife. 

Another method that could be harmful is scratching, using scrubbing pads, steel wood or any other thing which is harsh to grind the rust from the blade may also apply scratches on your knife. All of us know that it is not more difficult to light down the scratches and default in the blade but it is an extra hassle and almost everyone likes to avoid it. The best solution is using a baking soda method that uses various ingredients, it will not hurt your knife when you clean it.

Just Get a New One

If you have tried all ways to clean your knife but still it did not work then you should consider buying a new fillet knife. It is not a big deal to convince yourself to buy a new one but besides all these things promise yourself that you will take great care of it so it survives for a long time.


Various methods are available for cleaning the fillet knife from rust, these methods play an important role in erasing the corrosion from the blade. However, still treat your fillet knife with respect so that it works perfectly for long lasting. While performing methods on your fillet knife for removing rust, always keep in mind to dry your knife nicely because water is the main component of rust and once you dry it, store it in a dry and well ventilated place to protect the rust from slowly building up and destroying everything.

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