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Stupid question time: wiping down a carbon blade

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Ruso

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Instead of RW you can use board butter (mineral oil+beeswax) type of mixture. Works very well to preserve carbon blades.
 

josemartinlopez

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So just to be sure, blue and pink Scotch Brite sponges are OK for knives, and you should keep a separate sponge that has no grease from washing dishes?
 

esoo

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I've never used pink, but I've used blue on everything without issue.

And I don't worry about grease on the sponge - what do you think happens when you're trying to wipe down a blade that you just used to make bacon lardons?
 

josemartinlopez

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Touche, I was thinking of those days when you are only chopping up vegetables.
 

chiffonodd

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Depends what I'm cutting. If it's something real acidic, I'll be more OCD about it. But honestly, once a stable patina has set in, I've had very few issues if any.

Have found the two towel method easy and effective if acidity is a concern:

 

jacko9

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Might want to rethink that step. RW contains a significant amount of benzene which is highly carcinogenic. RW is not food safe
I appreciate the MSDS information but, after applying a skim coating and allowing it to dry and buffing off I highly doubt that any of the benzene which has a high vapor point would be left over. If I was using it in a commercial kitchen I would probably avoid it but since RW has been on my furniture and knives for many years I'm not concerned about it for home use.
 

Bert2368

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"Renaissance wax" is pretty similar to the "Johnson's paste wax" I use on guns but NOT kitchen knives. About 20% wax and 80% stoddard solvent/white spirit/cheap petroleum sourced paint thinner. Only a "technical" level of chemical purity, hence the presence of .1 -1% of several non food contact safe chemicals such as benzene, ethylbenzene, napthalene, isopropyl benzene.

Benzene and the related compounds as noted have pretty high vapor pressures. Napthalene, not nearly as high VP (or as toxic) but the smell would put me off.

I would still avoid technical purity petrochemicals intended for the floor and furniture contacting my food handling surfaces... Bees wax and food grade mineral oils smell/taste better too.
 

daveb

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I use Martell's board butter on my guns. Nice knowing that if i had to I could eat a forearm.
 

Corradobrit1

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I appreciate the MSDS information but, after applying a skim coating and allowing it to dry and buffing off I highly doubt that any of the benzene which has a high vapor point would be left over. If I was using it in a commercial kitchen I would probably avoid it but since RW has been on my furniture and knives for many years I'm not concerned about it for home use.
Yes, benzene has a high vapor point but its embedded in a non volatile matrix of wax. Thats going to slow down and impede its transition to gas phase. Some are concerned about PTFE's in their rice cookers, but I'd be a lot more concerned about benzene and its petro chemical brethren.
 

inferno

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i have coated blades with olive oil and tung oil. the tung oil is a bit more permanent solution. no rust after oil.
 

thebradleycrew

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I know this is a thread for a couple months ago, but I wanted to ask the group a few more specific questions about wiping down blades. Do you all use a specific TYPE of towel? I know there are some self-defined OCD folks (@Corradobrit1) out there who might have tried 3,427 towels to find the best one to wipe a carbon steel knife with. What is it? Microfiber? Cotton? Williams & Sonoma bath towels? Secondly, is there a practiced method for cleaning (like heel to tip, web of thumb/pointer riding between the blade? I've been bitten a bunch by cleaning my blade (as much as cutting with it, if not more) and am curious how folks do that too.
 

Corradobrit1

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As resident OCD expert, I would avoid microfiber. Not adsorbent enough for the short time the material is in contact with the blade. Cotton is king. I actually like super cheapie Ikea dish cloths. Fairly open weave so snagging can be a problem but removes moisture faster than anything else I have. Next would be glass cloths I got off Amazon. These were recommended here

My standard procedure. Up down spine to heel to dry area near handle between thumb and forefinger, then several swipes heel to tip, ensuring no streaks from kanji. Finally a quick swipe along spine and choil. Done
 

M1k3

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I use the dry kind. I don't think it matters that much, as long as it's clean and not made of steel wool or shredded sandpaper, the towel doesn't have to soak up very much water.
 
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josemartinlopez

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I know this is a thread for a couple months ago, but I wanted to ask the group a few more specific questions about wiping down blades. Do you all use a specific TYPE of towel? I know there are some self-defined OCD folks (@Corradobrit1) out there who might have tried 3,427 towels to find the best one to wipe a carbon steel knife with. What is it? Microfiber? Cotton? Williams & Sonoma bath towels? Secondly, is there a practiced method for cleaning (like heel to tip, web of thumb/pointer riding between the blade? I've been bitten a bunch by cleaning my blade (as much as cutting with it, if not more) and am curious how folks do that too. Try
+1.

So the Nonabrasive microfiber cloths for polishing car exteriors are not so good?
 

ian

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Cotton towel. The dry kind, as @M1k3 says, and the kind that actually absorbs water as opposed to push it around. I prefer thinner towels I guess, or at least untextured ones. The very textured or stiff ones don’t absorb water as well.

I wipe heel to tip, just being careful not to clip the towel with the heel. I’ve never cut myself while drying, but my towels do have some holes in them. @Michi told us about the double wiping technique where you start at the middle of the blade and wipe toward the tip, then start at the middle and wipe toward the heel. That indeed saves you from nicking the heel, and I was super excited about this for a day or two, but it turns out I’m too lazy to do that regularly.

I do wipe both sides of the blade on the side of a paper towel roll after toweling them, though. Since I started doing that, I’ve never had any problems with residual moisture.
 

josemartinlopez

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How about a paper towel wipe before the cotton, so the cotton does not get too moist?
 

spaceconvoy

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I use the dry kind. I don't think it matters that much, as long as it's clean and not made of steel wool or shredded sandpaper, the towel doesn't have to soak up very much water.
Easy to say living in California. Here in Florida, I can wipe down a knife with a dry towel a few times and still have enough moisture to create rust if I put the knife on my magnetic rack without paying close attention. Only happens with poly-blend towels, so +1 on the consensus recommendation for cotton.
 

M1k3

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Easy to say living in California. Here in Florida, I can wipe down a knife with a dry towel a few times and still have enough moisture to create rust if I put the knife on my magnetic rack without paying close attention. Only happens with poly-blend towels, so +1 on the consensus recommendation for cotton.
Can't be that bad? I know someone in that state that hates using stainless and doesn't have a problem.
 

zizirex

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+1.

So the Nonabrasive microfiber cloths for polishing car exteriors are not so good?
On contrary, the Microfiber towel doesn't absorb water as good as a normal towel. since they are plastic, they don't absorb moisture unless you force it. the reason people use it on car exterior is it doesn't scratch the paint job.

FYI, Alcantara is Bougie Microfibre
 

AT5760

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I use cheap restaurant supply cotton towels. I guess I do a modified “michi” method: start about 1/2 inch from the heel, dry toward the heel without moving my elbow, the slide down toward the tip. Repeat, then into the drawer or back on the board.
 

spaceconvoy

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Can't be that bad? I know someone in that state that hates using stainless and doesn't have a problem.
Does he live next to a swamp or in sand-flats sinkhole country? Does his house have naturally dehumidifying central AC or damp blasting window units? Is his idea of a 'cheap' towel 35% poly blend, 65%, or pure Save-A-Lot brand plastic garbage? Is he as lazy as me, and what exactly does 'a few' wipes mean? Lot of factors to consider
 
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