How To Polish Damascus Steel: Most Effective Method

Damascus steel kitchenware and jewelry are nothing less than any other luxurious item. But over time their shine also starts to fade. That doesn’t mean you can get back the shine again. 

Many people don’t know how to polish the Damascus steel to bring back its shine. So this common question often occurs, how to polish Damascus steel

To polish a Damascus knife, first, you have to clean the steel and remove the rust. Then you have to spray penetrating oil. After that, rub the steel with lubricate-dipped sandpaper. Finally, you have to apply metal polish and rub the steel. Damascus jewelry can be cleaned with toothpaste only.

I know, all this information is a little overwhelming. But no worries, that’s not all. I am going to explain the whole process in detail. Keep reading. 

How To Polish Damascus Steel

How To Polish Damascus Steel

This is the most effective method of polishing steel and it won’t damage your Damascus steel. It keeps the iconic Damascus pattern intact. This polishing method is especially used for knives. 

But here’s a catch, this method will cost you a little money. Although, it’s worth it. Here’s what you need to execute this method. 

  1. Clean My Steel Rust Remover
  2. Abrasive Cloth
  3. Free All Penetrating Oil
  4. Hoppes No.9 Lubricating Oil
  5. 320-grit sandpaper
  6. 400-grit sandpaper
  7. Brasso Metal Polish

These are the brands that I have used. You can go for any brand you want. 

Okay, a little tip before starting the process. Always use a good wooden cutting board while chopping. And you will enjoy a sharp knife for a long time. You can go for rubberwood, as rubberwood is a good cutting board wood

Now, let’s see how to polish a Damascus steel knife

Step 1: Cleaning And Removing The Rust

No matter which knife you are using, clean that first. Remove all the grease or food residue from the knife. 

For cleaning, dampen a paper towel and wipe the knife downward. You have to also wipe the handle’s little in-between spaces of the knife. By doing that, the dust and grease will go. But you can’t get rid of the grime and rust from it. 

Which requires thorough lubrication. You have to remove all the rust from the Damascus steel before polishing. Thinking about how to get rust off Damascus steel knife? Here are some tips for that. 

  • Sink the Damascus steel knife into some lemon juice. Keep the knife sunk for a while. Then take it out and wipe it dry with a cloth.
  • You can stick a Damascus knife into a large potato for a while. It sounds insane, right? But it actually works. The oxalic acid potatoes contain help remove the rust. 
  • Or for the most effectiveness, use a rust remover. Thake the remover in a clean cloth. Cover the Damascus steel on the cloth for at least 2 hours. And use an abrasive cloth to remove the rust. 

After you are done with cleaning and removing rust, let’s get into the next step. 

Step 2: Spraying Oil

Now, you have to spray some penetrating oil all over the knife. Pay special attention to the blade joints. You can polish a knife with opening and closing options. 

Have a vintage knife?  If you stock it for a long, it will feel creaky when you use it. In that case, the oil will also work as lubrication. Rinse the knife after wiping away the oil with a paper towel or a polishing cloth. If you feel the need, repeat the whole step. 

Step 3: Rubbing With Sandpaper

Take some Hoppes No.9 in a dish and dip 320-grit sandpaper in it. Now apply a little pressure and rub the Damascus knife with the sandpaper. After a few minutes, it will remove the accumulated grime. The rubbing should be done thoroughly.

Switch to 400-grit sandpaper and re-rub the blade. Wipe away any remaining grit and oil. Keep repeating this step until you get your desired shine.

Also, don’t forget to clean the hinge and tiny grooves. To help the Hoppes No.9 reach the grooves use a brass brush. 

Step 4: Applying Metal Polish

Now it’s time to use metal polish. Take a dry cloth and dampen it with metal polish. Gently rub the Damascus knife. 

So, that’s the process. This effort will give your Damascus knives a great shine. And they will feel new. 

You can go for polishing the steel with sandpaper. But it will ruin the unique texture of the Damascus steel. But still, if you wanna go for that, never forget to strop the knife afterward. 

Now, there goes the process of Damascus steel knives. But you may think, how to polish Damascus steel ring? Or any other Damascus jewelry? For that, you just need some whitening toothpaste. 

Dab some toothpaste on the jewelry, and keep it for 3-4 minutes. Then clean it out by using a soft cloth. Don’t let any water be on the Damascus steel. It may make your jewelry rusty. 

Along with polishing the Damascus steel, another important thing you should know. Read the next segment for that. 

How To Make Damascus Pattern Stand Out? 

how to polish a damascus knife

Damascus steel knives are famous for their sharpness. But it is also famous for its unique pattern. But when the knife ages, it’s normal that the pattern fades out. It actually doesn’t go easy, it just hides. 

And you can easily regain this pattern through a simple process. Let’s discuss that. 

  • First, you need to wash the Damascus blade. Remove all the oil and grease.
  • Brew a good amount of strong black coffee. Take the hot coffee in a bowl large enough to accommodate the Damascus knife. 
  • Submerge the Damascus blade into the hot coffee. Make sure the knife handle doesn’t get into it. 
  • The coffee needs to be hot. Reheat it if it gets cold. 
  • You can check after every 15-20 minutes if the blade is clean or not. You can do it by taking the knife off the bowl. 
  • The process can take up to an hour depending on how old your steel is. 
  • When you notice the desired shine, remove it from the coffee. And then, hand wash it regularly. 
  • Finally oil and store the knife. You need to use mineral oil for that. 

After this process, you will notice the pattern of Damascus standing out. Also, never forget to give your knives a nice sharpening in a while. Easy-to-use Cutco knife sharpener can help you with that. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How To Clean Damascus Steel Knives?

Clean the Damascus knives by hand washing them. Place the knife under running water. Take regular dishwashing soap in a soft sponge and gently rub the knife. And rinse it. Completely dry the knife with a napkin as soon as possible.

Do You Need To Oil Damascus Knives?

Yes, you need to oil the Damascus knives regularly. They tend to get rusty. And not oiling them regularly will make their unique pattern fade out. Use mineral oil for that. Also, regularly polish the knives too.

What Is Special About Damascus Steel?

The special thing about Damascus steel is it has a unique wood-like pattern all over it. The texture or pattern is uniform. And you won’t find it in any other steel. Also, Damascus steel is very durable.

Is Damascus Expensive?

Yes, real Damascus is expensive steel. Their unique wood-like pattern makes them special. Alongside kitchenware, They are used for making jewelry too. It is luxurious and costly steel.


That was all of my discussion on how to polish Damascus steel. I hope the process seems easy to you. And you can make your Damascus still shine like new again by following this. 

Always be safe while using polishing materials, and sharp blades. Have a good day, and keep shining.

Robert Dennis

I am Robert Dennis - A professional grill and smoker technician, I have over 10 years of experience in the industry. I am skilled in the repair and maintenance of all types of grills and smokers and am knowledgeable in the use of a variety of tools and techniques. I share my knowledge and experience to help readers understand the inner workings of grills and smokers and how to maintain them properly. I am dedicated to providing the best information to help readers keep their grills and smokers in top working condition. - Serve Yourself -

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