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Thread: vinegar bath fundamentals

  1. #1
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    vinegar bath fundamentals

    OK, Cleaning up an older 14" chef's knife and trying a vinegar bath for the first time. The knife being so large I had a hard time finding the right vessel for the bath--I wound up using a sheet pan and laying the knife diagonally. I used wax to protect the wooden handle but that didn't work so well. I used the bath until the vinegar lost most of the heat and the blade reaction slowed; removed the knife and it was basically black. Proceeded to scrub the blade with some 0000 steel wool. I'm left with a slightly darker blade, but think I'm missing some steps.

    I tried to find a thread here that gave full instructions (googled site:kitchenknifeforums.com vinegar bath) and came up with lots of bits and pieces but nothing with a complete step by step.

    Where do I go from here?

    Thanks
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  2. #2
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    theres some good how to videos on you tube....heres one but theres several, also search vinegar etching...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRtEPDzCa2A

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    I noticed that to when I did a bath on a little French paring I have. Blade came out black, now its grey. It does react less now, but not the effect I was hoping for. I want to try it on one of my whites, but I'm a little hesitant.
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  4. #4
    Clean blade with windows cleaner or alcohol to remove finger prints
    Mix some soap in vinegar.
    Heat up the mixture to boiling hot and dip the knife in it, wait 10 min.
    clean with some steel wool and some soap.
    rinse and repeat if you want.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mainaman View Post
    Clean blade with windows cleaner or alcohol to remove finger prints
    Mix some soap in vinegar.
    Heat up the mixture to boiling hot and dip the knife in it, wait 10 min.
    clean with some steel wool and some soap.
    rinse and repeat if you want.
    I do not think you are missing steps, if you are looking for darker finish you may have to try etching solution, but I am not sure if it will give better results.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    Thanks folks. I think I just have some cleaning to do after all is said and done. The blade looks pretty clean albeit a bit darker than it was, so the next step seems like just to scrub the blade a bit more and sharpen it up good.
    Mainaman, not trying for darker finish, but really just wanted to get a nice clean start on it. I had forgot to add soap, but think this did fine.
    Labor, your thread on your Sab is what got me going on this, but your Sab seems to still be fairly shiny in the after pics.
    JM, vintage American chef's looks nice, guessing you didn't do a vinegar bath on it?
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    OK, Cleaning up an older 14" chef's knife and trying a vinegar bath for the first time. The knife being so large I had a hard time finding the right vessel for the bath--I wound up using a sheet pan and laying the knife diagonally. I used wax to protect the wooden handle but that didn't work so well. I used the bath until the vinegar lost most of the heat and the blade reaction slowed; removed the knife and it was basically black. Proceeded to scrub the blade with some 0000 steel wool. I'm left with a slightly darker blade, but think I'm missing some steps.

    I tried to find a thread here that gave full instructions (googled site:kitchenknifeforums.com vinegar bath) and came up with lots of bits and pieces but nothing with a complete step by step.

    Where do I go from here?

    Thanks
    Vinegar is just perfect for cleaning. I have used the chemical many times and it has never failed. There are some good cleaners in market but I still stick with vinegar

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnmichelsr View Post
    Vinegar is just perfect for oven cleaners gold coast. I have used the chemical many times and it has never failed. There are some good oven cleaners brisbane in market but I still stick with vinegar
    Guys out there who love to use other cleaner apart from vinegar please share your experience.

  9. #9
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    after vinegar bath i cleaned my sab up with brasso. i learned from my experiences catering that brasso removes tarnishes from display pieces and dishes with ease. you can swipe a knife clean with mild patina very easily using brasso. i did polish my knife with automotive sand paper and micro mesh pads, which is why it appears so shiny.

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