Keeping your sharpening stone clean is as good as keeping your knife neat and sharp. Whenever you make use of a sharpening stone for cleaning and sharpening your knife, one thing that happens is that the debris or metal scrap of the knife is released on the surface of the sharpening stone. Therefore it also needs to be cleaned to make it efficient to use.
As a guide, the longer the time used for cleaning the knife, the higher the amount of debris and dirt present in the sharpening stone. The sharpening stones, therefore, requires proper cleaning so that it will be good for use whenever it is needed for cleaning the knife.
It is advisable always to clean your sharpening stone after ten cleanings and this will make the sharpening stone of good sharpening quality as compared to when dirty. The higher the amount of dirt present in the hole found on the cleaning stone, the lower is it's an ability to sharpen the knife well.
To clean a sharpening stone is not so hard neither is it time-consuming, you only need to spare a little of your time to put the cleaning stone in the right shape. It might require more time if the cleaning stone has been used for healing sharpening and have been left for a longer period of time with the accumulated dirt present on the sharpening stone. The following are the steps involved in the cleaning of a sharpening stone:
The heavy coating of the sharpening stone: To clean the sharpening stone, the first thing to do is to coat every area of the sharpening stone with the WD-40 (which is the recommended spray for cleaning sharpening stones). You must make sure that all the surface of the stone, be it synthetic or natural, is well covered with the spray.
Rubbing off the WD-40 coating off the sharpening stone: To remove the coating on the surface of the sharpening stone, steel wool is required for this purpose. The steel wool should be run over the stone in a short, focused stroke which is aimed at removing the dirt that must have accumulated on the surface of the stone. The dirt, metal shavings and other things that have accumulated over the years are observed to rise from the hole on the sharpening stone upon scrubbing.
Cleaning if the sharpening stone with a cloth: It is essential to wipe off all the dirt that must have been released through the scrubbing of the stone with the steel wool. This will help to remove the debris found in the hole and also over the surface of the stone. The sharpening stone should not be left with any debris or accumulated material whatsoever.
If you are cleaning a very dirty sharpening stone, it is advisable to follow the cleaning procedure over again to achieve the required thing you plan on achieving. If it is a normal cleaning then you do not need to clean again.
Place under running water: This is optional, you can either place your sharpening water under running water to remove any excess WD-40 or they can be left without doing this to it. This is because the amount of the spray that may be remaining will be very low.
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