Cleaning your knife correctly, protects your investment. I use my paring knife and my chef's knife almost every day. I’d estimate that I’ve used my paring knife at least 7,000 times and my chef’s knife around 4,000 times. Because I clean them properly and hone them before almost every use, they still cut as well as they did when I purchased them almost 20 years ago.
Here are a few simple tips I’ve learned from caring for my knives:
I always wash my good kitchen knives by hand. I never put them into the dishwasher. Banging around against other items in the dishwasher can dull the knife and could tear up the dish washer rack over time.
Always keep the knife out of the water until you’re ready to wash it. If getting cut by a knife is no fun; getting cut by a dirty knife in dirty dishwater is a thousand times worse and you can get a nasty cut feeling around in the sink for a knife. Wash the knife by hand very carefully with soap and water and a sponge. Keep the knife blade pointed away from you.
If you need to soak it for a few minutes because there is something stuck on the blade, fill a pot with water and put the knife in the pot. Make sure the knife handle is clearly visible.
Let the knife air dry or carefully dry it with a towel with the blade facing away from the towel and you.
Never put a wet or dirty knife back into a knife block. The knife may start to rust and if food or dirt gets into the knife block, it can be very difficult to remove.
If you follow these simple steps, a good kitchen knife should last for decades.