How to Clean a Knife

A well looked after pocket knife can last for a very long time; probably until you lose it. The knife should be kept dry. If it gets at all wet during use, it should be wiped dry as soon as possible. When you're not using it, store the knife in a dry place. Don't store the knife in its sheath, if it has one. The blades should be oiled a few times a year to protect them from rust. Above all the knife should be kept clean [source: Buck Knife]. Here are three ways to clean your pocket knife.

This method is good for removing sticky debris from the knife blades.

Materials needed:

Here's what to do:

  1. Make a mild solution of detergent and warm water.
  2. Scrub the blades with the solution until the debris has been removed.
  3. Dry thoroughly
  4. Apply WD-40 to the blades and hinges.

Here's a good way to remove tar from the knife blades.

Materials needed:

  • Turpentine
  • Toothbrush
  • WD-40

Here's what to do:

  1. Dip the toothbrush in turpentine. Scrub the blades carefully to remove any bits of tar.
  2. Dry the blades thoroughly.
  3. Apply WD-40 to the blades and hinges [source: Leatherman].

The following method isn't suitable for a pocket knife with plastic on it.

Materials needed:

  • Pot of boiling water
  • Toothbrush
  • WD-40
  • Towel
  • Tongs

Here's what to do:

  1. Open all the blades on the knife.
  2. Dip the knife into the boiling water for just under a minute, using the tongs.
  3. Remove the knife from the boiling water.
  4. Dry the knife with the towel.
  5. Remove any softened dirt from the knife, using the toothbrush.
  6. Drop a little WD-40 on the hinges after the knife is quite dry.
  7. Wipe off any excess WD-40 before closing the blades [source: Hodgson].

If debris or sticky substances have accumulated between the blades, your Leatherman may also be cleaned in a mild solution of detergent and water.

To remove tar and similar substances, clean your Leatherman with turpentine or other mineral spirits. Do not use chlorine products.

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