How To Remove Rust From A Pocket Knife!

So, last week I found a century-old pocket knife in the trunk of my grandfather. He was a veteran of world war 2. It’s not unusual to find an antique in my house as grandfather has a hobby of collecting old things. But this particular antique caught my attention, and I asked my grandfather about it, and he told me it was his grandfather who had it during world war 1. It was a rusty pocket knife whose blade looked similar to an ESEE Knife, and I wanted to clean it to know how it looked.

But the problem was I did not know how to remove rust from a pocket knife. After days of online research and practice, I think I am ready to share it with you. You can clean your pocket knife from rusting using natural solvents or abrasive elements, or chemical elements. Any one of the processes will work. Are you ready to join me?

What is Rust?

If metal (except some metal like gold) is exposed to an environment for a time with an adequate supply of air and water(or water vapor), they are sure to rust. Say the metal is iron; over time, you will find a reddish iron oxide layer over it. That’s rusting. Rusting is a process of corrosion. There is a whole electrochemical process involved in it, but we will not go deep into that today.

rust pocket knife

What Does That Have to Do With the Knife? Why Does it Rust?

Since the knife(the blade part is usually made up of steel), all you need is air and water(or water vapor). This holy trinity is already available in the environment and not very uncommon. So it is destined for a knife to rust over time.

How to Remove Rust From A Pocket Knife?

Well, as mentioned before, you can remove rust from a pocket knife in 3 ways. Let us talk about the process that involves natural solvent. By natural solvent, I mean vinegar, a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice, and lastly, potato. For any natural solvent, make sure to wash your knife with warm running water first. Only then will you use natural solvent.

White Vinegar

Our mission is to remove the rust by fair, mean, or foul. Vinegar contains acetic acid. The rust will dissolve after reaction with the acetic acid. Soak your knife into the vinegar until you observe that your rust has disappeared. After it has disappeared, rinse and dry it with a clean cloth.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has citric acid. This citric acid can also be used to remove rust. But the thing is, it works better when mixed with baking soda. Soak the knife in this mixture until the rust is removed from the knife. Remember not to soak in for too long. It can damage the meta as well.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

The Potato Method!

Little did people know that potatoes also contain some acid. It’s called oxalic acid, and it can dissolve rust. So, how do we do it? Nothing special. Simply stick the rusty blade directly to the potatoes and leave for a few hours. Then, remove, rinse and dry the knife with a clean cloth. That’s it; you removed the rust from a pocket knife.

Now let us talk about removing the rust using abrasive methods. By the abrasive method, I mean the use of a toothbrush and magic eraser sponge. This can go 4 ways. Now, we will know more about them.

Toothbrush Therapy!

A toothbrush can also come in handy as well to remove the rust. Apply dishwasher or detergent and add to the toothbrush(obviously your old ones!) and scrub it all over the knife. Wash off the soap after you finish your work. In the end, dry out the knife with a clean piece of cloth.

A Magic Eraser Clean

A magic eraser sponge can also be used here. It’s not a hard play with it. Just add a little bit of water to it and start scrubbing. Rinse away the soap after you are finished. In the end, dry out the knife with a clean piece of cloth.

Now we will see about removing the rust using a chemical solvent. By the chemical solvent, I mean the use of light oil, non-toxic rust removal products, and CLR(commercial cleaner). This can go 4 ways. Now, we will know more about them.


Yes! You heard it right. Oil can also clean rust, and many people are also using it. Search for products like WD-40, 3-In-One, Clean Streak, and Metal Brite in your nearby supermarket.

So, how will you use it? You will put some oil and distribute it evenly on the blade and leave it for 2/3 days so that the oil may soak into the blade. Do not use excess oil because it will attract additional dust and dirt. After ⅔ days, scrape off the rust with another knife. Work slowly and carefully.

Use non-toxic Rust Remover

Non- toxic rust removers like Evapo-rust are easily found in nearby supermarkets. Just put some of this product in a bucket and leave your knife to soak in it. After 30-60 minutes, you will find your knife is good as new. Let it rinse. Afterward, dry the knife with a clean cloth.

They say Coke can Do the Job, Can’t They?

Yes. It can. You must have seen videos online where people clean their dirty coin in the Coke. Those aren’t some attention-grabbing fake videos. It’s true, and it works because of the high phosphoric levels that are present in a coke. You can try it on your knife and see how that turns out.

Last Words

Keeping and using it the right way is the secret of lasting anything longer. If you wish to last your pocket knife longer or want to bring back an antique swiss knife alive, you can because you know how to remove rust from a pocket knife. Don’t be sad if you could not do it in the right way or messed up the processes. In the end, you can always have a new one, can’t you?

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