How to Clean a Hunting Knife

how to clean a hunting knife

An improperly cleaned hunting knife is susceptible to rust, corrosion, and damage. That is why every hunter needs to know how to clean a hunting knife properly.

A hunting knife serves many functions, including skinning, butchering, field dressing, clearing the way when walking through bushes, and more. However, to benefit from this crucial tool, you need to ensure that it is well cleaned and maintained.

In this article, we give you step-by-step tips for cleaning and maintaining your hunting knife.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Hunting Knife

  • It gets rid of rust and corrosion, thus increasing its lifespan
  • Cleaning helps to keep the knife sharp. A dull or blunt knife is dangerous because it will force you to put more pressure, thus increasing the chances of slipping and injuring yourself.

When Should You Clean Your Hunting Knife?

You should clean your hunting knife immediately after use to get rid of dirt and grime that may damage the knife if left to stay for a while. Regardless of how small the stain or dirt is, we recommended you clean it immediately after use.

Step-by-Step: How to Clean a Hunting Knife

If it is your first time cleaning your hunting knife or you have not cleaned it for a while, it can seem like a daunting task. However, cleaning your hunting knife is a simple and straightforward process. In this section, I will give you step-by-step tips on how to cleaning your hunting knife.

How to Clean Your Hunting Knife When It’s Slightly Dirty

A lightly dirty knife contains a little bit of grime, dirt, and other easy-to-clean stuff on the blade. Cleaning a mildly dirty hunting knife is simple and takes only a few minutes.

Materials Needed:

  • Warm water
  • Dry cloth
  • Sponge or scrubbing pad

Step 1

Briefly rinse off the knife with warm water to remove surface dirt, and anything else stuck on the surface of the blade. Gently run the blade under warm water under your faucet, or carefully rinse it with your fingers.

Step 2

Once you have removed all large particles on the surface, careful use a scrubbing pad or sponge to wipe off the blade. This will help remove any remaining filth or dirt on the knife.

Step 3

Once you have removed all grime and dirt off your hunting knife, allow it to dry thoroughly.

Drying is a crucial step that most hunters overlook. Your hunting knife needs to dry thoroughly before storage. Any remaining moisture on the blade can cause rust that could damage the knife. So ensure that the knife dries thoroughly.

Step 4

Once your hunting knife has properly dried, we recommended you oil the blade to ensure it stays protected and rust-free.

There are many oil types to use, including coconut oil, vegetable oil, and any other non-petroleum oil. Gently work a layer of oil on both sides of the blade. Remove excess oil using a dry cloth.

How to Clean an Extremely Dirty Hunting Knife

Unlike a mildly dirty hunting knife that is easy to clean, the extremely dirty hunting knife is quite challenging to clean. But with the right tools and skills, you can get your extremely dirty cleaned.

Materials Needed:

  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge or scrubbing pad
  • Dry cloth

Step 1

Start by removing large particles and bits of grime and dirt stuck on the blade by rinsing the knife in warm water. You can rinse the knife under your faucet or use your finger to gently push dirt and grime off the blade.

Step 2

A simple warm water rinse cannot remove finer grime and dirt from the knife’s blade. The only way to get rid of them is by gently running a scrubbing pad or a sponge to your knife’s blade.

Step 3

The sponge or scrubbing pad will get rid of more grime and dirt but will still leave some stubborn hard to remove dirt and grime.

The only way to remove stubborn dirt and grime is through deep cleaning. Start by mixing an equal amount of baking soda and warm water in a small bowl, then coat both sides of your knife blade with the paste.

Leave the paste for about 20 minutes. The paste will help to remove hard to remove stains and grime.

Step 4

Use your scrubbing pad or sponge to gently remove the paste on the blade. If you notice that there are some stains on the blade, reapply the paste again.

Step 5

Once your hunting knife is sparkling clean, use a dry cloth to wipe it thoroughly. Leave your hunting knife to dry completely to help prevent rust from forming on your blade. It is not worth it to clean your knife only for it to be destroyed by rust. So, leave your knife to dry completely.

Step 6

Once your hunting knife is clean, coat both sides of the blade with a suitable non-petroleum oil to help your hunting knife in the best working condition.

How to Clean the Hunting Knife Handle

Until now, we have only covered how to clean your knife’s blade. However, the blade is not the only part of your hunting knife that needs cleaning; you also need to clean the handle. Here are tips on how to clean your hunting knife handle, depending on the material that it is made from.

Wooden Handle

The best way to clean your hunting knife’s wooden handle is by using a scrubbing or a sponge and warm water. Add a small amount of warm water to the scrubbing pad, then gently wipe the handle. Let it air dry completely.

Leather Handle

The leather handle doesn’t go well with water. So, when cleaning a leather handle, ensure you use minimal water. Add warm water to the sponge, then clean the leather handle gently. When done, wipe the handle with a dry cloth, then let it air dry completely.

Synthetic Handle

Synthetic handles are super durable and resistant to water, which means you can wash them thoroughly with water. Dip a sponge or scrapping pad on warm water, then gently wipe the handle until it is clean. Rinse the handle, then let it air dry.

Final Thoughts

Properly cleaning a hunting knife is very important. It helps to keep the knife clean and helps to prolong its lifespan and enhance its function.

Cleaning a hunting knife is not difficult. It is a simple process that will take you a few minutes.