How to Clean a Knife Block

Your floors, fridge, countertops and even oven make in on to your regular cleaning checklist, but there’s one surface in your kitchen you have probably never even touched. Consider your knife block.

Sure, your knives are clean when you stow them in the slots, but dust and other debris can accumulate in these small spaces anyway. Despite our usual disregard for them, knife blocks should actually be washed and sanitized monthly if use frequently.

Moisture can lead to mold and bacteria build-up, so to avoid larger cleaning issues, wash knives after each use and dry each thoroughly before sliding back into the knife block.

Sanitize a knife block by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Remove any knives stored in the block and set aside. Turn the block upside side over the sink and shake lightly to remove large debris.

Step 2: Use a can of compressed air to remove additional loose crumbs or other debris that might be stuck to the inside of the slots. Your vacuum cleaner might also have a small crevice tool for this type of job. If neither of those are available to you, a hair-dryer on the highest-speed setting could also do the trick.

Step 3: Hand wash the block in hot, soapy water. Mix 1 tablespoon of bleach with 1 gallon of water and immerse block in mixture — or fill slots with water. Let the block sit in contact with the bleach mixture for at least one minute. Use a small bottle brush or a pipe cleaner to scrub out the remaining grime. Rinse the block and slots with clean tap water.

Step 4: Let block dry upside down on a clean surface. Wait several hours until block is completely dry before replacing knives to avoid trapping moisture.

You can now rest easy. You’re in an elite group of people who will stop at nothing to make sure every surface in their kitchen is squeaky clean.


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.