When was the last time you washed your knife block? If you can’t remember, then more than likely it’s dirtier than you think. But, no need to panic! If you clean your knives correctly and clean your knife block regularly, you’ll be just fine.
Don’t have one? Get a knife block here.
Why You Should Clean Your Knives
Your knives are dirty. After cooking a homemade dinner for the family, your best-loved knife is covered in food residue and crumbs. If you put the knife back into the block, all those crumbs fall into the slot and never leave. Even when you do wash off the knife, crumbs can still build up over time.
Additionally, if there’s a hint of moisture in the slot of a knife block, bacteria can start to grow. That’s why it’s extremely important to dry your knives completely before putting them back in the block. You want to eliminate any chance of moisture getting in there.
Avoid a dirty knife block altogether by using one of these alternative knife holders.
How to Properly Clean Your Knives
You already know to NEVER clean your knives in the dishwasher. The blades will dull and the handles can crack after repeated washes. Instead, always hand wash in warm, soapy water (here’s how to nail dish washing). The faster you wash them after use, the easier the knives will be to clean because food won’t have had time to dry and get stuck. And of course, wait until they’re completely dry before putting them back in the block.
Test Kitchen tip: Never leave knives at the bottom of a soapy sink. Since they’ll be out of sight, there’s a bigger chance of cutting yourself when reaching for one. (Check out all these kitchen safety do’s and don’ts.)
How to Clean a Knife Block
To start, remove the knives and turn the block upside down over a garbage can. Shake to get all the loose crumbs out. Use a small vacuum attachment to suck out whatever doesn’t come out initially. You can also use a pipe cleaner to loosen the crumbs.
Next, clean the outside of the knife block with hot, soapy water. Use a small brush, like a baby bottle brush, to get into the slots. Rinse and set it upside down to dry completely.
If you properly clean your knives after every use and clean out your knife block regularly (about once a month if you use your knives almost every day), your knife holder will be the cleanest one on the block.