Does Hot Water Dull A Knife?

* We're reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.*

When it comes to knife maintenance, there a lot of questions that people have, especially if it’s a fairly new concept for them.

And one of the most asked questions out there is whether or not hot water can dull your knife.

Hot water can’t damage your knife unless you put it in supersteam that is heated to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit!

However, hot water can still soften the metal on your blade if it’s very hot, which could temper out the edge a little bit and make it easier to dull when being used.

On top of that, leaving your blades in water can also increase the risk of them getting corroded, which is why it’s best to dry your blades right away.

In this article, we’re going to answer even more popular questions that people have when it comes to knife maintenance, so if you’ve been looking to keep your edge as sharp as possible, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

Does Hot Water Dull A Knife?

As we mentioned earlier, putting your blades in hot water will not dull them unless you put them in supersteam which is heated to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

That being said, if the water is too hot, that may soften the steel and might even cause it to dull when you use it.

This shouldn’t be too much of an issue though as just about anything you cut will cause a blade’s edge to wear a little bit, it’s just that hot water might cause it to wear a bit more than usual.

You shouldn’t keep your knives in water for too long, however, regardless of the temperature.

This is because prolonged exposure to water can cause the metal to rust, even if it’s stainless steel.

What Makes A Knife Dull?

Any ingredient you cut will dull out an edge, whether it’s a soft tomato or hard root crop.

So with regular use, a blade will eventually wear out, which is why chefs have their knives sharpened regularly.

But aside from the regular wear and tear, you can also wear out your blades by leaving them in the dishwasher.

The wash cycle of the dishwasher can be fairly rough, and your knives will be banged around a lot if you put them through it, which is why it’s always recommended to handwash your blades.

On top of that, using a cutting board that’s too hard may also cause your blade to dull out faster than usual, so avoid granite and glass cutting boards and instead opt for wooden or plastic ones.

So if your blades wear out after a while of regular use, there’s no need to panic as this is something that happens naturally.

But if you find that they lose their edge faster than they should, then consider either using a different blade made out of better steel or change the surfaces that you’re cutting on.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Blades?

Ideally, you should sharpen your blades every year at the very least.

But if you tend to use your knives a lot or if you’re a professional chef that does kitchen prep work daily, you might have to do it at least twice a year.

The best way to check if your blade needs sharpening is to do the paper test.

Simply get a piece of paper and hold it between your fingers, then slide the knife down, and if the paper gets cut only using the weight of the knife, then it’s still sharp enough, and if it doesn’t, it might be time to sharpen.

How Do I Maintain My Knives?

To properly maintain your kitchen cutlery, you will first have to make sure to hand wash them and dry them after every use.

On top of that, you also need to hone it before every use to straighten out the edge.

Honing doesn’t sharpen the blade, instead, it removes tiny imperfections that could get in the way of work in the kitchen.

Lastly, it’s very important to have your blades sharpened by a professional or sharpen them yourself with a whetstone at least once a year.

And if you’re a professional who uses their knives every day, you might even have to do it twice a year if the edge requires it.

Conclusion

And with that, our quick and easy guide to knife maintenance comes to an end.

So don’t worry about hot water damaging your blades, as at most, all it will do is cause the blades to dull a bit faster than usual, but unless you’re putting it in supersteam, you won’t dull a knife by simply putting it in hot water.

And as long as you know how to properly maintain the tools in your kitchen, then you can rest assured that your knives will stay sharp and in tip-top shape for years to come!

Last Updated on April 27, 2021 by Andy Wang

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Knife Knowledge
  4. »
  5. Does Hot Water Dull A Knife?

My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.