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Easy EDC Knife Cleaning

Exploring practical methods for you
EDC Care & longevity

As the owner of an EDC (Every Day Carry) knife, it’s important to keep your tool clean and well-maintained. Not only will this extend the lifespan of your knife and keep it looking pristine, but it will also ensure that it performs at its best when you need it.

You may be wondering how often you should clean these type of knives, and what is needed to get started? The more you carry and use your knife, the more dust and grime it’s going to collect – not to mention sweat and lint from your pocket.

We’ll go through some steps that will make EDC knife cleaning easy.

easy edc knife cleaning - knife shown with water on it

Common types of EDC cleaners

First things first, it’s important to choose the right  knife cleaning materials. A soft cloth and mild soap are usually all you need to get the job done, but we’ll go through some other great options. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the blade or handle of your knife.

Soap and water: a handy way to clean your knife is by using soap and warm water. Scrub the blade with a brush or sponge, then rinse it off under running water. The key here is to avoid touching the sharp edges of the blade while cleaning. If you don’t have any brushes around, you can always use a washcloth or dish towel to wipe down the blade.

Wet wipes: If you only have wet wipes, that is fine to use. Rub your knife over the surface in an even motion with one of them. Once you’ve finished wiping off any dirt or grime, remember to rinse the blade with warm water to remove any residue from the wet wipe.

Toothbrush/toothpaste: You can also try toothpaste and a soft toothbrush for a more thorough knife cleaning. Just apply some paste onto the bristles and scrub away at any stubborn dirt stains. Once they’re gone, be sure to rinse off all of that leftover grit before putting your knife back in its sheath.

At some point, knives will start to get dirty and smelly. You shouldn’t touch the edge of the blade with your hands. Use a washcloth or dishtowel instead, and always dry your knives properly after handling them.

Easy EDC Knife Cleaning

Steps on how to clean you knife

  1. Safety – Wear rubber gloves. When cleaning a pocket knife, you should always wear rubber gloves. They protect your hands from getting cut by the blade. You can use oils or cleaners to ensure your EDC knife stays pristine, but you must be cautious of the potential skin irritation.
  2. Determine the level of cleaning you’ll need to do. Assess your knife to determine the level of cleaning it will need to do by inspecting it paying special attention to crevices, debris, dirt, or discoloration on the blade. For general dust, you can use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe it clean. For a more thorough knife cleaning keep reading.
  3. Gather the necessary materials needed to clean your pocket knife. If your knife has dirt or debris that can’t be removed with a cloth you will want to use mild dish soap (Not the soap you use in your dishwasher!). The soap you use for day-to-day dishwashing is fine but do not use soap intended for a dishwasher as it is too harsh for the knife and can cause rust and other damage. WD-40 tends to work well on a pocket knife. You will also need household oil to lubricate the knife after washing. The first step in washing a knife is a sponge or toothbrush. Nylon pads are needed to remove rust. It is also helpful to dry the knife with a soft cloth.
  4. Open the knife completely. Some pocket knives, like a Swiss Army knife, might have multiple utensils attached. Make sure the knife is in an open position to allow thorough cleaning. Carefully remove the pivots and bushings/washers. If your knife has bearings, be very aware of these as they are tiny and easy to lose.
  5. Scrub the knife with the dish soap. Spot-clean the knife using a sponge and the appropriate knife cleaning agent. Lather the sponge in warm, soapy water and clean off the blade of the knife. If you notice anything stuck on the knife, apply soap directly on the spot and scrub.
  6. How to Remove rust. Use a household lubricant. If the knives are very rusty, use a steel brush to scrub them clean. Take your scrubbing pad and scrub the blade until the rust disappears. You may need to add additional oil on stubborn spots. Upon completion, rinse the knife off with clean running water.
  7. Dry the knife COMPLETELY and apply lubricant. Add a few drops of oil to your knife after it has been cleaned and dried. Rub the knife with a dry cloth until it is shiny and clean.

How To Care For Micarta Knife Handles

Micarta knife handles can be cleaned using mild soap and warm water. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water in a bowl.
  2. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring out any excess moisture.
  3. Gently wipe down the Micarta knife handles with the soapy cloth or sponge, making sure to remove any dirt or grime.
  4. Rinse the handles with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  5. Use a dry, soft cloth to wipe down the handles and remove any remaining moisture.

It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools, such as scouring pads or steel wool, as these can damage the Micarta material. Additionally, you should NEVER soak the Micarta handles in water for an extended period of time, as this can cause the material to warp or swell.

Easy EDC Knife Cleaning

Tips to maintain your knife

This knife maintenance guide is to keep your EDC knives in top shape. Just a few minutes of care can greatly extend the life of your favorite knife.  If you chose a good knife, it should last you a long time with proper care.

The first tip is not to use a folding knife for dirty jobs, but instead to have a fixed blade that is easier to clean and has no pivot point, washers or screws to get damaged by trapped dirt and grit.

Remove grime.  Folding knives inevitably collect small bits of debris on the blade and in the pivot from use and storing in a pocket or elsewhere. To begin, remove any bits of dirt or other detritus from the knife’s nooks and crannies. Toothpicks are particularly good at this task.

Wash the knife. Use warm water and mild dish soap to wash the knife thoroughly. You can submerge your knife but you must be sure that it dries completely before lubricating and storing it again. Once wet, use a toothpick, Q-tip, or cotton swabs to get into those tough spots and a toothbrush to collect leftover bits and scrub away dirt.

Alcohol is also a go-to solvent for knife cleaning tape residue and other gunk from the handle and the blade itself, wiping along that short axis from the spine to a sharp edge.

Dry the knife. Dry the knife with a rag or, better yet, compressed air (like the kind used to clean keyboards). Leave it out to air dry completely before lubing and storing.

Keep it lubed. Once it’s clean and dry, lubricate the knife. As you use it to cut food, ensure that the oil is food-safe (like mineral oil). Use oil sparingly, dabbing it onto the hinges and moving parts. Put a drop or two on the pivot and blade, followed by wiping it down with a microfiber cloth.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe away. Use paper towels to wipe excess oil from the surface. As a cheaper option, you can use food-grade mineral oil or simple vegetable oil.

Keep it tight. Screws might come loose as you use a knife over time, so it’s a good idea to make sure all are secure regularly, and cleaning is an excellent time to do so.

Loctite. Blue Loctite creates a seal that can come apart easily when you need to adjust a screw or replace a part. Locks and seals threaded fasteners, which require normal disassembly with standard hand tools. Other sealants tend to produce a permanent seal, and if you need to adjust a screw, you could end up stripping it in the effort.

Sharpening. Professional tune-up at least once a year, even if you are sharpening at home, is ideal. A sharp knife is always safer than a dull knife.  A leather strop and honing rod are helpful tools to maintain a sharp and even edge. Honing rods do not sharpen the knife but remove microscopic steel bits, improving the blade’s edge.

A good knife cleaning followed by a few drops of oil will keep your knife opening and closing smoothly and safely. In carbon steel blades, you can also add a light coat of oil to prevent the blade from rusting when not in use.

As long as you have a knife maintenance regimen, keeping it dry and sharp, a well-built everyday carry (EDC) can travel with you indefinitely.

Storage. Store knives in a soft sheath for longer periods so they are not sitting on hard surfaces that could scratch them up over time. Ensure good airflow in your EDC knife storage area. Blades will need to breathe. This method helps prevent corrosion from water seeping into any splits in the metal around their handles if stored near moisture like pools or streams.

Tanto One - LMD mokuti clip

Caring For Mokuti Knife Clips

If you own a Mokuti knife clip, you know that it’s a beautiful, intricate piece of hardware. However, with its unique finish and multiple layers of titanium, it requires special care to maintain its appearance and function. Here are some tips on how to care for your Mokuti knife clip:

  1. Be careful when brushing it up against your car or other hard surfaces. The Mokuti clip is not a forgiving finish and can scratch easily.
  2. Remember that the Mokuti finish is a dressed-up finish, with different layers of titanium visible. When you heat it up with a torch, you’ll be able to see the different layers. Keep in mind that any scratches or dings will be visible on this finish.
  3. Be cautious when putting the Mokuti clip in your pocket. It’s not meant for everyday wear and should be treated with care.
  4. If you need to change the clip, it’s a simple process that should only take a couple of minutes. Loosen up the screw with a T8 Torx screwdriver and remove the old clip before attaching the new one.
  5. If you wear a ring, be mindful that it could scratch the titanium finish.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Mokuti knife clip stays in great condition. Remember to handle it with care and appreciate its unique and intricate design.

Practical ways to store your edc knives

You may want to purchase these products based on your storage requirements.

  1. Knife Bag – A knife bag is a great option for folders, especially if you like carrying your knives from time to time. There are bags made from top-grain leather, vinyl, canvas, and heavy-duty polyester with insides that include felt, thick foam padding, and soft cloth material for scratch-free storage. Most come with adjustable shoulder straps for easy carry and zippered or Velcro closures for safekeeping.
  2. Protector Cases – like those used for guns — are a surprisingly effective method for storing knives. Cases that feature egg crate material hold them in place extremely well.
  3. Knife Roll – A convenient storage in a rolled-up bundle to save space and still effectively keep your collection out of harm’s way.
  4. Knife Case – This can be similar to knife rolls, except they don’t necessarily roll up — think more like a briefcase.
  5. Knife Display Case – A nice display case is for those who simply like to leave their collection at home and never move them. If you are looking for a quality display case that can add decor for presentation purposes, you can opt for a walnut wood case with a glass top for storage and visibility.
  6. Tool Cabinet – There are a few downsides to this. First, they can be very expensive. Second, they may be a bit too large, but you could use the extra space for storing other tools.
  7. Safe – Depending on how many you have, the value, and other factors, a safe may also be a good place to store them. The benefit of a safe is that it not only keeps your items protected from criminals and your family, but it can also save your collection in the event of a fire.
  8. Stackable Plastic Drawers – another popular storage method because it’s easy and cheap. However, these plastic drawers won’t protect knives or keep them hidden, but they provide quick access and storage.
  9. Go Handmade – For something a little more special, there’s always the option of creating it yourself.

Keeping Your Knife's Legacy

Applying these simple steps to take care of your EDC knives should ensure they’re always sharp, clean, and well-maintained. Use these tips regularly to achieve the best results! Take care of your knives by cleaning them regularly with soap and water or an alcohol solution. Make sure you know how to sharpen your blades as needed to stay in good working condition. Store knives carefully away from food items since they may transfer microbes onto the blade, which can cause illness if consumed later on.

If you’ve found these tips useful let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Our goal is to provide you with premium essential knifes and the knowledge to preserve them.

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