When Must a Knife Be Cleaned and Sanitized

The answer to this very question depends on several factors and it is almost impossible to provide a specific answer in most cases when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing knives.

First of all it is very important to understand that some knives need more aggressive cleaning than others due to their usage.

It depends that for what purpose a specific knife has been used then accordingly its cleaning and sanitization process will be done.

When Must a Knife Be Cleaned and Sanitized

When Must a Knife Be Cleaned and Sanitized Deeply Explain

There are mainly three different scenarios in which cleaning and sanitization of a knife is required.

Filleting a fish

If you are the only person who uses the knife on daily basis and you are only using it for filleting a fish then it is absolutely fine to wash your knife after completing your filleting and cutting process.

As in this way, you are using knife for only one kind of meat and not for other meats and vegetables and no other person has touched the knife. So, you can wash it after completing your task.

Using knife for different foods

Now comes the second scenario which is pretty different from the first one. In this case, if you are still the only person who is using the knife but you are using it for cutting different kinds of foods then you need to pay specific attention to cleaning and sanitization of the knife.

Say that you are cutting the raw red meat with the knife and then use it for cutting vegetables then you must wash it after cutting red meat and using it for vegetables.

It is also highly recommended that you use different cutting boards for different kinds of foods as bacteria have the capacity to transfer from one food to another which can contaminate your food pretty quickly.

Many people have been using the knife

This brings us to the third scenario which is pretty serious and which requires thorough cleaning and sanitization of your knife.

If there have been multiple users of the same knife and who have been using it for various foods then it is highly important to ensure that your knives are sanitized properly before further use so that your food is not contaminated.

If it is not done properly, the results can be pretty worrisome for your health.

Why it is so vital to wash and sanitize your knives these days

Well, this is a question that many of you would ask yourself after reading the above information that why has it become so important to sanitize knives these days? Well, there is only one simple answer to this question:

We are not living anymore in a clean environment, rather we are residing in a world today which has mushrooming growth of viruses and bacteria.

In minutes, diseases are being spread like epidemic in the world. In most of the cases, these diseases are being spread through hand contact or through food as we have lately seen in the case of corona virus.

Not only in personal capacity but mainly in commercial settings, knives are being used on daily basis by several people.

Different people are cutting different foods with their knives which make it more likely to spread bacteria with the hands and food contact.

Cutting with knife

So, if you do not wash and sanitize your knives on daily basis before putting them in contact with different foods, there is a high chance that diseases would spread at much higher rate to other people as viruses travel quickly and can cause life threatening problems for people.

Even if different foods are not cut with same knife, germs have the capacity to transfer by handles of the knives to other people. This is why, it is highly significant to sanitize and clean knives before using them.

How often should you wash your knives

The answer to this very question, as I mentioned earlier, lies in the fact that how often you use your knife and for what purposes.

If you are the only user and using your knife for only one type of food then there won’t be any issue if you wash your knife after finishing cutting of all that one particular food.

But if you are going to use your knife for cutting meats after vegetables then you must wash it before switching to next food item even if you are the only user of the knife.

But there is one scenario when you must wash your knife irrespective of the fact that which foods have been cut before and if it has been used by multiple users then you must sterilize your knife before use.

How can you clean your knife in the most appropriate way

Cleaning your daily use knives is not less than mastering an art and I assure you that you can surely master it in no time. Two main things must be kept in mind while you are cleaning your knife is to follow proper procedure so that no harmful ingredients are left on the knife which can contaminate your food later.

Second important thing is to be very careful while handling knives as they are sharp and can cut you. The most accurate way is always to hold your knife while cleaning from the handle. This minimizes any chances of accidental cuts to your hands or body.

You must remember that although you cut foods with the blades of the knife but handles are a huge source of dirt and food particles trapping. So, you must give special attention to cleaning blades as well as handles.

While you are washing or sterilizing your knives, make sure that you get the cleaning product right in to the handles so that all food particles and dirt can be removed properly.

What washing agent should you use for washing knives

This is another important point of consideration for cleaning your knife that what type of washing agent is best to maintain quality of the knife as well as sanitize knife properly.

Always make sure that you use mild type of detergent for cleaning your knife as a wrong or too strong detergent can kill the quality of knife which can be impossible to repair.

Washing procedure

Washing procedure is pretty easy but you must follow a certain order to clean your knives. First of all, rinse the blade of your knife thoroughly and then apply any mild type of detergent.

Make sure that you only hold your knife from the handle and then rinse off the entire washing agent from your knife while gently scrubbing it.

Dry knife with cloth

Do not forget to check handles for any remaining dirt particles, if there is left anything rinse it off thoroughly.

After washing knife, with a soft towel or kitchen cloth, dry it completely and then put it in storage for next use.

How to ensure maximum life of your knives? Things to remember!

As most of us spend enormous amount of money on buying the right sharp kind of knives which can help us in the kitchen for cutting foods like red meat, sea food, vegetables and fruits etc.

So, it is crucial to ensure maximum life of the knife which can be done only by properly taking care of knife and proper washing.

Moreover, always remember that clean and sharp knives ensure maximum health for you and your family or the general public if you are working in commercial kitchen.

So, it is important that you remember few key points which are crucial for extending life of your knives.

  1. Always keep in mind that cutting boards are as important factor in ensuring safe food as is a knife. If cutting boards are not clean, they will contaminate your knife.
  2. Before and after washing, check your knife from blade to handle thoroughly to ensure that no dirt or food particles are trapped.
  3. After cleaning your knife, make sure that it has been dried well before storage.
  4. Keep your knives sharpened for maximizing their lives by using a good knife sharpener.
  5. Make sure that you use a good quality mild detergent for cleaning your knives so that quality does not get damaged.


As far as health and food is concerned, washing and sanitizing your knives is a must do activity. You should not take this activity for granted and should pay special attention to clean your knives on regular basis so that contaminations of any kind can be avoided which can otherwise be life-threatening.

When your knives are clean, it can ensure healthier food which will have positive impact on your body. Moreover, as long as you keep your knives clean, their lives get longer and you do not have to spend money every now and then on new knives.

As a foodie or a chef, a clean knife speaks volumes about your commitment to food and healthy life. This is why, you should make sure that you keep your knives fully clean from any dirt.

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