You've got everything you need for your favorite meal and you step into the kitchen in good spirits. That same courage immediately sinks into your shoes at the sight of your kitchen drawer or knife block. Your knife is not as sharp as it used to be, holding it isn’t comfortable anymore, or it is starting to show defects. There goes a fun evening of cooking. Shame! Time to buy a new one. But what to do with your old knife?
Do you have to apply so much force with your knife that the juices from your tomatoes end up on the wall? Then it is high time to give your knife a makeover. Every knife becomes blunt over time, this is unavoidable. Did you know that with a dull knife you are more likely to get a deep cut? That doesn't sound logical at first, but because you have to apply extra force with a dull knife, the injury becomes all the more annoying if you slip. Fortunately, there is a solution: sharpening! How often you should do this depends on the material of your knife and how often you use it. You can sharpen your knife yourself – you will need a sharpening stone or knife sharpener for this. Would you rather outsource it? Then look for a knife sharpener near you.
You can't keep sharpening a knife indefinitely: you remove a little bit of steel from the blade every time you sharpen your knife. If you want to enjoy your knife for longer, you can also use a honing (or sharpening) steel. By honing your knife, you straighten out all the minuscule imperfections in the edge of your blade. This allows your knife to cut a little more smoothly. Unlike sharpening, no steel is lost when honing your knife. Note: a honing or sharpening steel can only be used for a non-serrated knife, and only works if your knife is not already blunt. As for sharpening, the longer you wait, the more steel you have to sharpen away. So check the condition of your knife every month to keep the both of you sharp.
Give away or donate
Got a new knife set? No longer satisfied with your current knife? Or are you ready for a more professional model? Sometimes your old knife becomes obsolete but that does not mean that you have to give it a one-way ticket to the waste bin! If it is still a good knife and it cuts as it should, why not give it away? There are enough people around you who would be happy to take over your knife. A friend who just moved into his or her new home. That clumsy cousin who better not have an overly sharp knife in the kitchen. You can also think of institutions such as the scouting club in your hometown, or the thrift store. You get extra karma points and the other is happy with his or her new knife. Win-win!
Sometimes there is no way of saving it. Your favorite knife has served you faithfully for years and you have prepared the most fantastic meals together but sharpen it one more time and you will no longer have any steel left. Time to say goodbye to your good friend. If you choose to throw away your knife, make sure you pack it properly. It is best to wrap the blade in bubble wrap and secure it with tape. For extra safety, you can also pack the knife in a cardboard box and seal it properly. This way you ensure that you and the person handling the knife simply go home with all their fingers.
If your knife is already so worn out that giving it away is no longer an option, there's something else you can do than throw it away: recycle! Recycling has been hot and happening in the past few years, and rightly so. After all, in most cases, it costs much less energy to reuse a product than to make a completely new one. When recycling products, less material is needed for production. Therefore, less – new – raw material has to be extracted for a new product. All this results in less waste, fewer emissions of harmful substances, and eventually a reduced greenhouse effect. And that is desperately needed to keep our beautiful planet livable. It is not without reason that more and more companies are focusing on more environmentally friendly production chains.
Are you going to recycle your knife? Way to go! Try to find out what material your knife is made of. If you're a real hero, you can try detaching the handle from the blade so you can recycle both parts separately. Are you unsure of what material your knife is made of, or where exactly you can hand it in? Check with a recycling company near you.
Our Homey’s team noticed that there was no recycling program for knives in The Netherlands. So we started one ourselves! We work together with a steel recycling company, to recycle old kitchen knives that are handed in at a local store. They make sure your knife is recycled the right way. As a thank you for helping us recycle your knife instead of throwing it away, you get a discount on our Homey’s VITT knife. These knives have an environmentally friendly handle made of wheat fibers, mixed with a special polymer resin without harmful substances. Doing good has never been so easy! For now, the Homey’s recycling program is only available in The Netherlands. We hope to launch it in other countries someday!