sharpening stones

How to Clean A Sharpening Stone?

How to clean sharpening stones

As we all may notice, many refer to the sharpening stones by a whetstone. since whet means to sharpen. which isn’t like what many people think. they think that whet means soaked in oil or water before using.

Wondering why you have some glitzy grey lines on the surface of your stone? Well, the answer is obvious. They need to be cleaned. Let me simplify things for you first.

You will start seeing some grey lines. Appearing on the surface from the accumulated metal flecks. Metal fillings and dirt resulted from the sharpening processes.

So, before we go through how to clean sharpening stone. Instead of throwing it and buying a new one. Let us explore what the types of sharpeners available in the market are?

The main reason why there are different kinds of sharpening stones. Is that no one type serves everyone’s needs. there are knife sharpening tools that work with serrated knives only while others work with straight knives only. etc.

Types Of Sharpening Stones

Type 1: Oil stone sharpeners

The oil stones are traditional man-made knife sharpener tools used to sharpen knives. And other tools. They are made of abrasive particles bonded together with a bonding material.

They are called oil stones since you must use oil as a lubricant before the sharpening process.

There are two types of materials used in oil cleaning stone:

Aluminum oxide, which is an aggressive abrasive for fast sharpening and creating good edges. It comes in coarse grit, medium grit, and fine grit types.

Silicon carbide, which is the fastest oil stone knife sharpener.

Yet, it cannot be used to create sharp edges on your blades like Aluminum Oxide since it comes in coarse stone only. Most beginners use it before shifting to Indian or Arkansas stone.

How to Restore an Old Oil-based Sharpener?

Required tools
  • Mineral spirit or paint thinner.
  • Toothbrush.
  • A broken diamond stone.
Step 1: Clean

Start by cleaning your sharpening stones with mineral spirits or paint thinner. To be certain that any oil stains or metal shavings off the surface of the oilstone.

Step 2: Scrub

Scrub with a toothbrush in a circular motion to remove any stubborn stains. You may need to add some scouring powder to help you in this process.

Step 3: Flattening Stone

After cleaning, check if the sharpening stones require flattening. If so. Use any broken stone or sandpaper to flatten the surface of an oilstone.

Watch this video to know how to restore an old oil-based sharpener.

Type 2: Arkansas stone sharpeners

Diamond based sharpeners

Arkansas stones own its premium classification since they are razor-sharp sharpeners. They feature a rectangular-shaped cut wet stone for sharpening knives and tools.

Amazingly they come in four different gravity grades:

Soft or coarse, which is the most aggressive of the four, hard grit, which is an off-white color, black Arkansas is known as the coarser of the four types, and translucent is the coarsest.

Type 3: Diamond Sharpening Stones

Diamond based sharpeners

Diamond sharpening stones are made of a fantastic man-made diamond particle. Embedded into a metal plate offering long durability.

Suitable for sharpening high carbon, stainless steel, and ceramic knives. With extremely durable, fast-working, and will hone anything with an edge quickly.

They are known for their longevity with requiring little maintenance. But they may be a bit expensive than other alternatives in the market.

Since they are the most popular and frequently used knife sharpening tools. they require a unique way of maintenance and cleaning. So now let us go into more details about the techniques. For restoring your special sharpener.

How to Clean Diamond based Sharpeners?

Required tools

  • Krud Kutter.
  • Old nylon brush.
  • Warm water.

Step 1: Spray

Krud Kutter is a kitchen detergent that removes hard stains like grime, grease, or crayons. Start by spray a nice amount from the Krud to ensure covering the entire surface of the sharpening stones. Until the metal shavings and dirt accumulated start pudding up.

Step 2: Scrub

Use an old nylon brush like a fingernails brush to scrub the surface. However, you must be gentle and do not use a lot of pressure to work down the Krud into the particles.

Step 3: Rinse

Rinse the stone under running water, continuing to gently rub it in a circular motion. To make sure of removing all the remains of any metal shavings.

Step 4: Dry

Make sure to keep it in an open area until it dries totally before storing it.

Watch this video to get a better idea of how to clean a diamond-based sharpener.

Type 4: Water-based sharpeners

The term water-based sharpener refers to the fact that water is used to lubricate it. This knife sharpener comes in two types natural or synthetic.

A Natural synthetic stone, known as the Japanese sharpening stones. they are mostly minded near Japan. They are highly required by users who have razor-sharp tools. but unfortunately, they are becoming very scarce to find.

Synthetics are requested more by professional chefs and woodworkers. Since it sharpens more faster and quicker than Oil or Arkansas sharpening stones. However, they require more maintenance to maintain their durability and to keep it flat.

Watch this video to have a better idea of water-based sharpeners.

Now that we discussed the types of sharpening stones available in the market. We can conclude that it is crucial to maintain the sharpness of your knives.

following these tips to spend a little extra time cleaning your sharpening stones. After each use will pay off on time. As your sharpeners will remain clean, enabling you to have a sharp knife at any time.

Honing oil is one of the essential alternatives for cleansing sharpening stones. Honing oil facilitates greasing and minimizes friction while cleaning.

Excess friction might destroy the sharpener. The oil conjointly helps to float the gilded flecks. And grime from the holes and keep them from embedding.

How to clean your sharpening stones?

cleaning a sharpening stone with honing oil

Required tools

  • Honing Oil.
  • towel.
  • An old toothbrush.  
  • Steel wool.
  • Clean cloth.
  • Warm water with soap.
  • Clean running water.
  • Paper towel.

Step 1: Flushing out the mineral filings

First, you must place the towel on a clean surface under the sharpening stones. To catch the glided meta flecks during the cleaning.

To clean your stone, you must make sure that you apply a decent amount of honing oil to cover the entire surface. It is reducing friction while gliding.

Step 2: Scrubbing

After applying the oil, start scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Or dish sponge in circular motions. This is to get rid of the debris. You can also use scrap to scrub the stone.

As you scrub, you will start noticing the debris getting out of the pores. Wipe them off with a cloth or the dish’s sponge.

Repeat the rub until you clean the stone.

Step 3: Clean with soapy water

Once you cannot see any debris or metal flecks on the surface. Put the wet stone under clean soapy water. To wash away any particles or soap until you see no more flecks on your sharpener.

Step 4: Dry

Now, start to wipe the rinsed sharpener with a paper towel or a clean cloth to drop any excess water. To avoid any growth of bacteria or mold, try always to keep your sharpening stone safe.

Now that you are aware of how to clean a sharpening stone with honing oil. You may wonder what you can use if you do not have it available around the house and you need to use your sharpener.

Well, there are many other alternatives out there. That you can use instead of the honing oil on the sharpening stone. But you must know that choosing from these alternatives. It depends on the type of sharpener you have.

Alternatives For Honing Oil

Method 1: WD-40

clean a sharpening stone with WD-40 spray

Required tools

  • WD-40.
  • Steel wool.
  • Wet towel or rag.

Step 1: Spray the WD-40

Spray the WD-40 all over the stone, ensuring to cover the entire surface. The best thing to do this step in an open area space for good ventilation.

Step 2: Scrub

Start scrubbing your stone in a gentle circular motion. With the steel wool to remove any grimes from the sharpening stone. Keep scrubbing until you reach the point of satisfaction.

Step 3: Clean sharpening stone

Wipe the stone with a wet paper towel to remove any particles or debris left of it. Repeat this process thoroughly until you are confident that every dirt. And grimes are away from the sharpener before using.

Method 2: Flatten the Sharpening Stone

Required tool

  • Flattening plate
  • Water
  • Paper towel

Step 1: Wet and rub the stone

Submerge your stone entirely. Until it’s wet and the grimes start floating off it. Start rubbing it with the flattening plate or sandpaper. With an up and down gentle motion. Until the surface starts to flatten and smooth out with no metal shavings on the surface.

Step 2: Clean the stone

Use the wet paper towel or a damp cloth to wipe clean. They are removing away any flattening plate dirt or metal shavings.

Method 3: Clean with soapy water

clean a sharpening stone with warm soapy water

Required tool

  • Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Toothbrush
  • Paper towel

Step 1: Soaking

Place the sharpening stone in warm soapy water. Then let it sit for a while until the oily metal fillings start losing up.

Step 2: Scrub and rinse

While it is still inside the warm soapy water, start to rub gently with a soft toothbrush or a rag. Rinse the stone under running water the washing soap off the surface. Repeat until you make sure that all the soap and every fleck are removed.

Step 3: Dry

Start drying the stone with a dry cloth or rag and place it away in a dry area to make sure it is completely dry.

FAQs about How to Clean Sharpening Stones

What are the top tips about sharpening safety?

-Decide whether to use a steel or a stone sharpener: there are many sharpening tools. However, suppose you are not an expert in sharpening knives. It is better to use a steel sharpener. Which does a handle for a more convenient grip secure a long metal edge? Or a sharpening stone that suits best the type of knives you use. Never use a regular stone.

-Wear gloves for protection: reducing the risk of injuring yourself put on a pair of gloves. However, you cannot put on any gloves. It is recommended to use thick steel gloves crafted, especially for sharpening knives. So, logically any kitchen rubber gloves will not do the trick.

-Leave a distance between your body and the knife. Whether you are using a steel or a stone sharpener, you will find it tempting to hold it and the sharpener closer. It allows you to feel more comfortable while sharpening. However, it is always better to place your hands on the kitchen counter. To ensure that you have a safe distance between your body the sharpener. You are reducing any injury risk that can happen.

-Slow movements: one of the most common mistakes that most beginners do. Is moving the edge quickly against the steel or sharpening stone. Which can result in less sharpening smoothness and usefulness. Also, increasing the risk of your injury. So, ensure to work on your hand’s movement to be slow and consistent.

What to consider when buying a sharpening stone?

-Grit: different types of sharpening stones comes with various grift grade. Most of them are double-faced. And the level depends on the metal shavings taken off the knife. During the sharpening process when your knives get dull. If a nick or a chip damages it, then use the coarse. If the knife requires sharpening but is not damaged. Then a medium fit well, refining a knife’s edge only then go for the fine.

-Size: it is crucial to consider the sharpener’s size. However, it does not affect the quality of sharpening but affects the storing aspect. Most handheld and stones sharpeners can be stored in the kitchen drawer.

-Time: most sharpeners will get the job done. However, some will get it done faster than others. If you are a chef, you do not have a lot of time to sharpen a knife by gliding it up and down on a sharpening stone. At the same time, an electric sharpener requires a few gliding getting the job done much faster.

-Price: choose the best-rated sharpener within your budget. Suppose you can afford it and will need to hone your blades more regularly. Then buy the high-end model made of the highest material to ensure its longevity.

How to clean a clogged rusty knife?

To remove rust off your blades is as simple as it can be. It takes only 3 tools in three steps:

-Use vinegar to fill a container. To submerge your edge completely in the vinegar.

-Put your rusty knife in the container. And make sure you cover it completely under the vinegar and leave it to rest for at least five minutes.

-Take the blade out of the container and start rubbing it with a ball of steel wool. Until you remove all the spots off, and it becomes shiny as a new knife.

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