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When I teach Knife Techniques, I always ask my students to bring their knives into class. Many times I’m amazed (ok, shocked) at the condition of their knives. So today’s blog entry is offering suggestions on how to make your knives last longer.

1) The best way to store your kitchen knives is in a wooden knife block that sits on your kitchen counter. If you need to save space, get a “magnetic” knife rack that go onto the wall. Never store your knives in a drawer (unless you have specifically a knife block designed to fit into a drawer) as this will dull the edges and tips.

2) To clean your knives – always wash them in hot soapy water. NEVER put them in a dishwasher as this will ruin the handles and the blades! Dishwashers, by the way will NOT disinfect your knives, and exposing your knives to high heat can permanently damage them. As a safety precaution, never leave your knives in a sink full of soapy water!

3) Cutting on wood and plastic will help to preserve a knife blade. Avoid cutting on glass and stone.

4) Sharpen your knives regularly yourself with a “Sharpening Steel”. If you have the popular Santuko knife, use an Asian Style Knife Sharpener. When done sharpening your knives, be sure to wash the blade to remove microscopic bits of steel created when sharpening.

5) Foods like onions and potatoes will discolor carbon knives – and the knives in turn discolor those foods! It’s a good practice to wash and dry your knives right after using them to keep them in top condition.

6) Once a year or so, have your knives professionally sharpened. This breathes new life into your knives. To find a professional knife sharpener, look on the internet for a restaurant supply house as they normally do knife sharpening for the local restaurants and for a reasonable price.