Does Hot Water Dull a Knife?

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For many who invest a lot of money in their knives, it’s only natural to have plenty of questions about their maintenance.

For instance, does hot water dull a knife?

Unless you are going to drop your knife in a bowl of superheated water, you can use hot water on your knife.

That said, it does come with its limitations.

That’s what we aim to shed light on to ensure that your knife remains in the best possible state at all times.

What Causes a Knife’s Blade to Dull?

If you use your knife to cut any ingredient, be it a soft peach or a hard pumpkin, the blade will dull over time.

There’s just nothing you can do to prevent that.

Regularly using a knife will wear out its blade at some point, which is why you must sharpen your blades regularly.

Other than the regular wear and tear, leaving your knife in the dishwasher will also cause the blade to wear out.

Every dishwasher’s wash cycle can be pretty rough, which means that the knives get banged around in it quite a lot.

All this rough movement takes a toll on the blade, so most cooks prefer hand washing their knives instead.

If that’s not enough, using your knife on a really hard cutting board can also cause significant damage.

Doing this regularly will make the blade turn duller faster than usual.

For this, you’ll want to stick to cutting boards made from plastic and wood and avoid glass and granite cutting boards.

Blades losing their sharpness after a while of regular use is quite normal, so there is no need to worry about this.

However, if you find your blade losing its edge faster than it should, you need to consider changing the surface you are using it on.

Alternatively, opt for a blade made from a different and better quality of steel.

Does Hot Water Dull a Knife?

As we stated earlier, you aren’t at risk of dulling or damaging your knife in hot water unless you are dropping in superheated steam that is at 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, that does not mean you can drop your knife in a pot of boiling hot water either.

If the water is too hot, you end up risking softening the steel of the knife as well as dulling the blade.

While it may not be too obvious as soon as you put your knife in extremely hot water, you will notice the blade getting worn out quicker than usual.

That said, it is not just the temperature that matters.

Leaving your knife in regular temperature water for too long is also not good for the knife.

This is because keeping your knives in water for extended periods can cause the metal to rust, regardless if it is made of stainless steel or not.

If you use your knife to cut down pieces of fat, there will likely be some residue left behind.

In such cases, you can quickly rinse the knife under hot water to get rid of the fat and then use regular temperature water with dishwashing soap.

does hot water dull a knife

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Knife?

Typically, you will need to hone stainless steel knives with steel every two to four uses to keep its blade sharp.

Carbon steel knives, on the other hand, need to be honed almost after every use.

If you have been honing your knives regularly, you should sharpen your blades at least once every year.

For those who use a knife multiple times throughout the day every day, you may need to sharpen the knife professionally at least two to three times every year.

The same is true if you are a professional chef.

A simple and quick way to gauge whether your knife needs sharpening is by doing a paper test.

All you need to do is take a piece of paper and hold it between your fingers.

Then, take your knife and slide it down through the paper.

If it cuts the paper by only using the knife’s weight, the blades are still sharp.

If it does not, then it is time to sharpen your knife.

How to Maintain Your Knives?

To make your knives last longer and remain sharper for an extended period, ensure that you are properly maintaining them.

Other than not letting it stay in a sink filled with water for a prolonged period, always handwash your knives using mild dishwashing soap.

Next, dry it thoroughly with a dry cloth every time you use it.

We also recommend honing the blade before every use so that you can straighten out the edge.

Keep in mind that honing the blade does not mean the same as sharpening it.

This process primarily removes any tiny imperfections on the blade that could get in the way of your cutting job in the kitchen.

When it comes to sharpening your blades, you’ll want to have them sharpened by a professional.

Alternatively, you can use a whetstone to sharpen them yourself at least once a year.

If you are a professional chef who uses your knife constantly, you may even need to sharpen your blade up to twice a year, if not more.

Sharpening a blade is very easy. You can simply check out our previous post on how you can do so correctly.

Making Sure Your Blades Last Longer

If you only want the answer to “Does hot water dull a knife?” then you’re all set.

To sum it up quickly, hot water will not damage your blades if you are quickly rinsing them in it.

At the most, it may make your knife a little dull, which you can just then sharpen when you get the chance.

The key is not leaving your knife in a pot of water, be it hot or at a regular temperature.

Doing so will not only dull your knife but also damage it.

Ensure to follow all these tips to maintain your knife better and to make it last longer.

Alternatively, you can try investing in self-sharpening knives.