How To Clean and Maintain Ceramic Sharpening Rods

Many people don’t know that ceramic sharpening rods require care and maintenance to work at their best. Ceramic is a very strong material, but it will dull over time.

This blog post looks to teach you how to clean and maintain your rods.

ceramic sharpening rod cleaning and maintenance

Ceramic Sharpening Rods Backgrounder

Ceramic sharpening rods are abrasive tools used to sharpen kitchen knives. They revolutionized knife sharpening and continue to be one of the best options for those who want a fast, long-lasting, and durable edge.

As the name implies, they are made out of ceramic which produces an extremely fine abrasive surface that is effective at removing burrs and sharpening. The majority of these rods require manual stropping on leather to remove burrs, but modern options have removable abrasives that can be taken out and used with a separate leather strop or other tools for maintenance.

Cleaning and Maintenance


When to Clean

The frequency of cleaning depends on how you use your rod. If your ceramic rods are used daily, you will need to clean them more often.

For example, if your kitchen knives are sharpened once or twice a week and the rods are cared for properly, they should last several months before needing to be cleaned.

The heavy buildup that prevents the knife from being effectively sharpened is a sign that it needs to be cleaned. The buildup could result from using a coarse abrasive or having a harder composition.

What to Clean

In the process of cleaning, make sure to spot the following:

  • Dust

Dust is often caused by the abrasive buffing of ceramic rods against leather. This makes it particularly important to clean your leather strops regularly as well.

  • Metal filings

Metal fillings are often a sign of improper use or resharpening with an abrasive that is too coarse for the knife’s blade. This can occur when proper care is not

  • Debris

Also known as gunk, this is a thick substance that forms when leather and other materials are exposed to the high temperature of ceramic sharpening rods.

It should be removed carefully to ensure that you do not damage the metal spine of your knife’s blade. This can lead to uneven wear, which in turn can make reprofiling

  • Metal shavings

These are usually found on the ceramic rod’s surface and near its edges. They can be removed using fine sandpaper or other abrasive material.

How to Clean

  • Wash your ceramic rod by hand, never with a dishwasher.
  • To clean your ceramic rod, rinse it with warm water and then wipe it down with a cloth to dry it off.
  • Be careful during the drying process so that you do not break it.
  • You should lay it flat on a dishtowel so that it will dry evenly, and never leave it unattended.
  • You can clean most ceramic sharpening rods by carefully rinsing them with water under the kitchen faucet before drying.
  • When cleaning your rod avoid abrasives such as dish soap that may scratch or dull the surface of the rods.
  • To steer clear of thermally shocking your water, always use warm rather than hot water.



  • Using honing oil will help to keep your sharpening rod from cracking.
  • When applying oil, make sure you only use a very light coat.


  • You should also refrain from storing it in places where it may come into contact with other ceramic objects, as doing so may result in chipping or breakage.
  • In possible store, your rods in their original packaging when not in use.

Final Verdict

These rods are a great investment for those who want to give their blades a long-lasting, sharp edge. Hence, they deserve care that equates to the service they provide for us.

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