Do you know why cleaning the handles on your knives is so important? No, it’s not to hide fingerprints in case of a crime! Spots or rust on knives can ruin a knife set or possibly just your next meal, but knife blades aren’t the only thing you want to wash properly. There are a few reasons to make certain your knife handles are properly cleaned…
Most importantly, you should know that food can get trapped between the blade and handle, creating a hotbed of bacteria growth. You should brush and disinfect any joints and small gaps where bacteria can lodge. Do not soak your knives, because knives made from two materials – one for the blade and one for the knife – can become loose and pull apart over time.
If you happen to purchase knives in which the handles and blade are one piece made of metal, you will not have this problem. You can also place this type of knife in the dishwasher because there are no worries about wood cracks. However, keep in mind that, if you do use the dishwasher to wash this type of knife, you should sharpen that knife regularly, as dishwashers can blunt them.
Water is damaging to wooden handles, so don’t place them in the dishwasher, don’t over wash them, don’t leave them out to dry and don’t store them in a place with too much moisture. When wooden handles soak up excess water, they can swell and crack.
The best rule of thumb is to hand wash your knives, including their handles (facing away from you while you do it), and dry them immediately. That’s the skinny on knife handle washing. So now you are well equipped to handle it!