Use a Wine Cork to Give Your Knives That First-Day Shine

There’s a smarter way to get your knife sparkling, so pop that bottle open.

Published Mar. 10, 2022.

Where would we be without our kitchen knives? If you’ve invested in a good-quality knife, you know just how important it is in every aspect of your meal prep, from chopping onions to breaking down an entire chicken.

So, naturally, it makes sense that we want to take the best care of these handy tools. While coarse scrubbers may do a good job of swiping grit from our knives, they end up damaging the finish and dulling the blades.

So how can we get them sparkling clean without the extra damage? Enter: your bottle of wine.

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You may not usually save the cork from your pinot, but you should start. Using a wine cork to clean your knife will not only keep it scrape-free but also as shiny as the day you got it.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start with a clean, dry knife. (The best kitchen sponge in our testing has an abrasive side and a softer side. Using the softer side to clean your knife blades helps minimize scratching.)
  2. Rub the flat end of the cork down the length of your knife to remove gunk and then carefully across the sharp blade. 
  3. Once all the excess residue has been removed, simply wash the knife in warm, soapy water, rinse, and dry immediately.
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This handy tip is recommended by ATK test cooks in The Menu Cookbook, which includes not only chef-designed dinner party menus for any occasion but also a list of handy tips for when you’re hosting.

Cleaning your knife with a wine cork is among many useful tidying tips included in the cookbook, such as lining your sink with a silicone baking mat while washing your glassware to ensure that even if the vessel slips out of your hand, it won’t shatter in the sink.

Next up? Cleaning your knife block.

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