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Jul 21, 2014 07:15 AM

Cleaning carbon steel chinese clever

I just scored this old carbon steel chinese clever. It has all kinds of black stains on it. Is there a way besides sand paper, which will not use, to remove these stains? I've tried baking soda and vinegar which didn't touch the stains. Is there some chemical treatment that really works?
I've had my own carbon steel clever for fifty years. I'd like to clean this one up to give as a gift.

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  1. There are clever ways to clean a cleaver -- I'm sure you'll find help here.

    1. Hi, Puffin:

      I've been making knives a long time, and you can piddle around with chemicals, but you need abrasives to do the job right. If you have access to a bench buffer, a sewn muslin wheel charged with white chrome rouge should walk right through those stains. If you don't have access, I'd do a progression of automotive sandpaper; it's a laborious process, but you can get a mirror finish by hand this way.


      1. It depends how deep the stains are. If they are light, you can probably remove them using like Bar Keeper Friend -- which is acidic with a soft abrasive.

        Otherwise, you can use sandpapers or the sharpening stones to remove the stains.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          The top clever is the one I just scored at a swap meet. Badly stained.
          The bottom one is mine for the last fifty years. Some staining and blade wear.
          The funny thing is both mine and the 'new one' were beaten on in the past in the same place on top of the blade. Like an idiot I used mine on a hunting trip to cut through bones using a hammer. Looks like some one else did something similar.
          I agree that I'll end up having the stains buffed out with a wheel and jeweller's rouge. No way I'll use sand paper no matter how fine.
          Thanks everyone for your input.

        2. The Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are a superfine sandpaper -- maybe gently buff with that?

          2 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I'll try the Magic Eraser today. Thanks you all.