How To Clean A Sharpening Stone: Make It Look As Good As New

If you love spending time in the kitchen or if you are obsessed with knives, a sharpening stone is one thing that you surely have. With the latter, it will be easy to keep the blades of knives in their tip-top condition, making them last longer instead of frequently buying replacements. These stones, however, need to be regularly cleaned to allow them to deliver optimal performance.

Using knives with dull blades can be unsafe and inconvenient. You will end up being frustrated as it is unable to perform the right cuts. Spare yourself from this situation! You need to have a sharpening stone and make sure that it is cleaned regularly.

Are you thinking of how to clean a sharpening stone? If you think that it is a difficult task, you should read this guide. I will let you know how you can do it easily. With just the basic materials and through following the steps mentioned below, it will be easy to make your sharpening stone function like it is new.​

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

The first thing that you should do before you start cleaning a sharpening stone is to gather the materials that you will need. In this case, based on the steps that will be discussed in the next section, the following are what you should prepare:

  • Towel
  • Honing oil
  • Toothbrush
  • Rag
  • Soap
  • Water

From the materials that are listed above, honing oil is perhaps the most important. The latter is the one that will be responsible for lubricating the surface of the stone. It will also aid in the reduction of friction and in making sure that the metallic crystals will remain, allowing it to keep knives sharp. However, it can also be expensive. With this, here are cheaper materials you can use:

  • WD-40
  • Water
  • Brake Cleaner

This can provide natural degreasing, which is why it will work best if you have a sharpening stone that is already clogged. However, caution should be observed as this can pose a significant health risk.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean A Sharpening Stone

Before we proceed with the discussions on the steps that should be undertaken, allow me to discuss a couple of things first. For instance, the type of the sharpening stone that you have will dictate what type of honing oil should be used. In this case, the following are the two types that you can find on the market:

  • Diamond Sharpening Stone: This type is known for the incredible sharpness that it can offer. You should use honing oil that is water-based.
  • Natural Sharpening Stone: With this type of sharpening stone, on the other hand, you have the option to either use water or petroleum-based honing oil.

Once the materials are ready, here are the simple steps you should follow.

  • Start by finding an area where you can do the cleaning. Lay a clean towel on the surface and on the top of it, put the sharpening stone. The towel is important because it will catch the debris that you will scrape off the stone.
  • Find the perfect cleaning solution that will work. Honing oil is the best because it reduces friction and helps to keep metallic residue on the surface. If it is not available, go back to the alternatives that we have recommended earlier.
  • Apply a liberal amount of honing oil on the top of the sharpening stone. Using a toothbrush, rub it while forming circular motions. Apply as much force as possible. Also, see to it that all portions of the sharpening stone will be properly covered. If the sharpening stone has not been cleaned for a long time, using a steel wool is recommended as it can easily remove tough dirt and grime.
  • In case the honing oil that is used is water-based, you need to rinse it off. To do this, simply mix soap and water in a small container. Dip the sharpening stone in the solution and brush it as well in circular motion.
  • Rinse the sharpening stone with water. Pat it with a towel and give it enough time to dry before it is used again.

Below is a short video that shows another equally effective way to clean a sharpening stone:

Pro Tips

Aside from following the steps that have been mentioned above on how to clean a sharpening stone, it will also be essential to keep these tips in mind:

  • Always observe caution when handling the sharpening stone. Hovering your fingers on the surface may seem harmless, but there is a possibility that it will reach the sharp portions and you may end up being hurt.
  • Although the sharpening stone may seem hard and durable, it can be prone to chipping. With this, always be careful so as you will not drop the stone as it is cleaned.
  • Stick to a single type of oil when cleaning your sharpening stone in the long-term. For instance, if you have used petroleum-based oil the first time the stone is cleaned, use it the next time. It will no longer be effectively cleaned if you switch to other types, especially a cleaner that is water-based.
  • Determine the type of the sharpening stone that will be cleaned. Keep in mind that they have different compositions, and hence their material will dictate what kind of cleaner can deliver optimal results. If you use the wrong cleaner, you will most likely end up not being able to address the problem.
  • Regular cleaning is a must. This is especially the case if you use your sharpening stone often. Do not wait for debris to accumulate before it is cleaned.
  • You should never clean the sharpening stone if there is no need to do so. This will lessen its effectiveness in making knives sharper. To know if it needs to be cleaned, pay attention to the possible presence of gray streaks on the surface, which will be reflective of the accumulation of debris. They should be removed as soon as possible.


By now, I hope that you were able to learn a thing or two on how to clean a sharpening stone. The materials and the steps on how to do it right are very basic. Even a beginner will surely be able to do it in a snap. Before you decide to buy a new sharpening stone or throw the old one, try cleaning it first.

Did you enjoy reading this guide? Have you tried cleaning a sharpening stone? How did you do it? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Hi, my name is Chidinma. I’ve been happily married for 4+ years (actually almost 6 years now), and my husband and I have been trying to have our own children for almost all the time we’ve been married, with no success…yet. We haven’t lost hope (far from it), and we believe it will happen very soon.

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