How to Clean A Sharpening Stone

How To Clean A Sharpening Stone

Table of Contents

You must be aware that a dull knife blade tends to slip while using it, putting you at risk of hurting yourself.

If your knife is not sharp enough, it slows down the cutting process. For an optimal experience in cutting, chopping, and slicing meat, fish, and vegetables in your kitchen, you need to sharpen the object from time to time.

And, this is when you need a sharpening stone.

A sharpening stone is crucial to use if you want to keep your knives, scissors, chisels, and other blades sharp. Also, to ensure your sharpening stone is in its best condition, ensure to clean it after you use it each time adequately.

The little investment of time that it takes to keep it clean is sure to pay off in the long run.

Keeping your sharpening stone clean will allow it to remain in good shape and form, which further would enable you to keep your knives sharp enough for easy cutting and chopping.

What Is Sharping Stone

How to Clean A Sharpening Stone 1

A sharpening stone, also known as whetstone or water stone, is utilized to sharpen the steel tools’ tip and edges, which is implemented via honing and grinding.

For instance, articles that can be effectively sharpened with a sharpening stone are scythes, scissors, razors, knives, and various other tools like hand scrapers, chisels, plane blades, etc. 

Sharpening stones are available in various sizes, shapes, and materials. Such stones come with a flat surface for sharpening flat edges.

They are also shaped as per special requirements for sharpening complex edges like the ones linked with few wood carvings and even woodturning tools.

They might be composed of natural quarried elements or from any artificial material. Such stones are generally available in various grades with different grit sizes.

Grit size refers to a number that indicates the spatial density of particles. A higher number means higher density and smaller particles, which creates a more refined finish on the polished tool’s surface. 

Why Do You Need to Clean A Sharpening Stone?

How to Clean A Sharpening Stone 2

As the name suggests, sharpening stones are longstanding instruments utilized to sharpen the blades by grinding them against an abrasive surface. The process is called honing. 

The stone needs to be cleaned regularly to enhance its effectiveness in sharpening the metal knives’ blades and other metal objects.

You can use a sharpening stone made up of numerous synthetic and natural elements with several abrasion levels.

Few sharpening stones created from artificial abrasive material come with two sides; a coarser side for conducting heavier chores and a more refined side for carrying out finishing activities. 

Materials You Require While Cleaning a Sharpening Stone

  • Honing Oil
  • Dry Towel
  • Fine Steel Wool or Toothbrush
  • Wet Cloth or Paper Towel

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean A Sharpening Stone

Step 1

Check the surface of your sharpening stone thoroughly. If you see glossy grey streaks on the sharpening stone’s body, it indicates debris build-up. Blocked pores on the stone surface mean it will not adequately sharpen your knives and scissors.

You need to get rid of these stubborn metal fillings on the surface to bring the stone back to the level of optimal functioning. 

Step 2

You can apply a quarter amount of honing oil or a mineral-grade oil on the stone’s surface and rub it down the stone’s length in a circular motion.

When doing so, you may find metal flecks coming out from the pores and as it happens, wipe the sharpening stone with a paper towel or a wet cloth.

Ensure to put a towel under the sharpening stone in the cleaning procedure’s course to catch on to the excess particles. Once done, rinse the sharpening stone under running water and then dry it with a rag or paper towel. 

Step 3

Those who use a water-based honing oil clean the stone with warm water. You can also use an old toothbrush or a scrubbing sponge to scrub off the stone’s surface and take out the embedded metal dirt.

Remember to scrub off the surface in circular lengthwise motion to ensure optimal results.

Tips on How to Clean A Sharpening Stone

Take Help of WD 40 To Coat the Stone

It is a formulated oil spray called WD 40 suitable for cleaning the sharpening stone.

Ensure to spray the oil on the stone’s surface and coat the whole surface with oil. Note, best is to use the oily spray in the area, which is ventilated superbly. 

Scour the Surface Gently

After this, take the help of a piece of steel wool to scour its surface gently. This procedure takes out grimes from the sharpening tool. Those with break up or caked oil or stubborn debris utilize steel wool or any abrasive tool. 

Thus, apply steel wool onto the stone’s surface. Do not stop rubbing till the oil and debris begin to come out. This tactic will work well for older stones with lying dormant for some time. 

Use Damp Cloth to Wipe-Off

Paper cloth works well when you want to wipe off the stone’s surface. After you are done with the stone’s scouring, take off leftover WD 40 oil and dirt.

Use a damp cloth or a paper towel to wipe off your stone in a straightforward manner. Also, you can repeat the process if you are not satisfied with the results in the first attempt. 

Flushing Out the Mineral Filling from The Sharpening Stone

Here, we will help you understand how to flush out the mineral filling from the stone. Read on to know more:

Use Honing Oil

Quarter amounts of oil will be acceptable. This honing oil is a mineral-grade oil utilized majorly in machinery shops. The requirement to use it is to lift over metal flecks from the stone.

Take the help of a soft toothbrush or use even your finger to apply the stone’s oil. Ensure to do it gently in a circular motion when rubbing.

Do not stop the brush or finger motion until you notice metal flecks coming from the sharpening stone’s pores. 

You should also apply the honing oil on the stone to notice the metal flecks. It will help keep the stone effective in use. 

Use the Damp Cloth to Wipe It Off

Take the help of a paper towel or a damp cloth to wipe metal flecks away.

On wetting the clean cloth or paper towel, make sure to wring water out before utilizing it to wipe out the surface from the stone gently.

Ensure to wipe off the slightest metal fillings that are settled on the stone’s surface. 

Rinse It Thoroughly

Ensure to put the sharpening stone under the running water and rinse it. You can thoroughly eliminate the leftover debris and metal filings on stone by doing this way.

Ensure that you rinse it for about 1 to 2 minutes to be sure that you have cleaned it well. Take the help of a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to finish the cleaning. 

Caution: Ensure to use just water. You should not use any soap in the process. 

Importance of Flattening the Sharpening Stone

Use Flattening Plate

Ensure to rub the stone with a flattening plate to eliminate the metal fillings. A flattening plate works well even on the stone’s surface and a few stones.

Begin by using the water or oil to damp the stone entirely. After this, drag the plate back in a gentle way over the stone’s surface.  Do so in the gentle round motion till the surface becomes smooth with zero metal fillings. 

In synthetic sharpening stone, honing oil should be used for wetting the surface in place of water. This kind of stone is grittier and coarser than natural stones. 

Apply the Sanding Method

Use of sandpaper can be done in case there is no flattening plate.

Adhere with wet-dry sandpaper on the flat surface. To damp the sharpening stone, use the oil or water and begin rubbing the stone over sandpaper.

Continue with the procedure until the surface becomes smooth and the metal filling is removed. 

The Bottom Line

Cleaning sharpening stones at periodical intervals makes sure that it functions well and does not get clogged.

Only a clean, sharpening stone will be able to impart the required sharpness on your kitchen knife. It is advised to clean the sharpening stone after every ten sharpening sessions.

Use a honing oil to rub off the metal debris settled on the stone’s surface, and then either wipe it off with a wet cloth or wash it under running water. And finally, pat it dry.

Rubbing off the surface with honing oil in a circular motion helps to flush out the embedded metal filling and bring your stone back to its original condition, allowing you to sharpen your kitchen knives. 



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