Can You Recycle Kitchen Knives?

One of the most common items in most people’s kitchens is a knife. It performs a critical function as it allows people to make the meals that they desire. However, like most things in our world, your knife won’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll need to replace it either due to damage or long use.

It is at this time that some important questions become relevant. You’re most likely asking yourself how to dispose of this kitchen utensil. Now, as someone committed to protecting the environment, recycling your knife is something you’re considering.

However, the question remains, can you recycle knives? We bet you’re looking to get all the answers. In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about knife recycling. We’ll also address other related questions that you might have.

Cut in and enjoy!

Are Kitchen Knives Recyclable?

Recycling is a great option for the disposal of old things that we have no use for. Over the years, thanks to the increasing awareness about protecting the environment, the idea of recycling has become more pronounced. Just like you, thousands of other people are looking to safeguard the environment by recycling their waste. In fact, this area is fast becoming a vast industry.

Unfortunately, as of today, it’s impossible to recycle all things. As such, it’s necessary to know what you can recycle and what you can’t before going to that recycling center. So, are you wondering where your kitchen knife falls under? Here’s what you need to know.

The good news, you can recycle your kitchen knives. Yes, loads of recycling organizations accept kitchen utensils, including kitchen knives, for recycling. So, if you’ve got an old knife that you don’t want anymore, you’ve got recycling to try out.

You don’t need to leave it there sitting in your kitchen and taking up space. You can put it to better use. All you need to do is find if your local recycling company accepts used knives.

If they do, which they usually do, you can easily get it to them. They will get to work on it and make it useful for other purposes. You might even buy back your used knife as another object.

In case you’re wondering why this is possible. It’s quite simple. It’s because most of your kitchen knives are made from materials like steel which is generally recyclable. So, all you need to do is get it to the nearest metal recycling company.

Can You Put Knives in the Recycle Bin?

The next question on your mind is even more important. You’re wondering, can I place my knives in the recycle bin? After all, that’s one place that allows us to dispose of your kitchen knives conveniently.

Well, luckily for you, the answer is yes. You can always place your kitchen knives in the recycle bin once you decide that you’re done with them. What is actually important is how you place them in the bin when that occurs.

You’ll need to remember that even after long usage, your kitchen knife is a sharp object. Yes, even with damage to your knife, it can still cut through the skin if care is not taken. As such, you’ll need to take extra care when placing your kitchen knives in a bin.

So, what do you do?

You’ll need to ensure that you package them securely. You can wrap the sharp edges in a carton or any other material that can cover the edges. Don’t worry; we’ll get to the best ways to secure your knives when you want to throw them away.

With this, you won’t have to worry that someone might get a cut or get injured because of a knife placed carelessly.

Can You Donate Kitchen Knives to Charity?

If you’re not interested in recycling, you don’t necessarily need to leave that used knife hanging around. There are various other things you can do with those kitchen knives. Guess what? One of them involves donating those knives to charitable organizations,

Yes, you can’t use them in your kitchen anymore. Yes, they don’t match your culinary desires. Yet, loads of charitable organizations don’t just collect knives as a donation; they really appreciate it.

This is because while it might be useless to you, it is useful to them. As such, if you love to give back to society, you can do that by donating your knives to these organizations. You don’t even need to go very far. You can check with your local charity and see if they accept knives.

So, check with the local shelters, secondhand stores, and soup kitchens to see if they are interested. You can even check your local Salvation Army or Goodwill Centers. They are usually interested in getting old knives.

Once they do, get them packaged securely and transport them to the organization. This is to ensure that you don’t hurt anyone in the process of trying to give back to society. Also, it’s best to label the box where you place the knives.

This is to ensure that those transporting and receiving know what they are getting. This way, they can exercise the necessary level of care to avoid injuries. Remember, you don’t want to take any unnecessary risk when it comes to this donation.

Also, you don’t want to send dirty knives to these organizations. So, ensure that you clean your kitchen knives properly before sending them out. This way, you’re sanitary and courteous; you can always go the extra mile and sharpen the knives too. You’ll be doing these guys a huge favor. 

Are Kitchen Knives Dishwasher Safe?

Like we just told you, it’s only normal that you send a clean kitchen knife. You don’t want to appear unsanitary or uncourteous, even if it’s a donation. This is why you need to clean your kitchen knives.

Since we have mentioned that you need to clean, the next thing on your mind is putting your kitchen knife in a dishwasher. However, just before you do that, it’s necessary to sit back and ask yourself if it’s okay to do so.

This is because not every kitchen utensil is fit for the dishwater. So, is your kitchen dishwater one of them?

Well, according to experts, yes. It’s best to handwash your knives rather than put them in the dishwasher. This is because it’s believed that a dishwasher is usually detrimental to your knives’ quality and durability.

Precisely, these dishwashers are usually abrasive and can affect your knife’s sharpness. During the wash cycle, your knife would get banged around. In turn, you’ll find that its sharp edges are far from sharp anymore.

Even worse, thanks to the detergent associated with dishwashers, your knives might suffer from corrosion and rust. We bet you don’t want this. So, it’s best to avoid a dishwasher.

Beyond protecting your knife, avoiding dishwasher when it comes to knives is also to protect your dishwasher. This is because these knives can cut the plastic coating of your dishwasher. When this happens, the metal underneath the exterior becomes susceptible to rust.

You don’t want to go through all this stress just for something you could have avoided. So, go for handwashing.

Even when you get knives that claim they are good to go into the dishwasher, your best bet is to go for handwashing. You don’t want to shorten the lifespan of your knives.

How Long Do Knives Last?

If you have considered recycling your kitchen knife, you have concluded that they won’t last forever. Precisely, there comes a time when you agree that your knife has come to the end of its useful lifespan for you.

So, how long should you expect your kitchen knife to last?

Generally, your kitchen knives should last for decades. In fact, in some quarters, experts believe that your kitchen knife should last a lifetime. However, this will depend on the material used in the production of the blade. Is it stainless steel or carbon steel? This will determine the level of durability you enjoy.

Also, the frequency of your use will determine how long your kitchen knife will last. Do you use them daily? Do you have a set of knives and use them all without pressure on a particular knife? All these questions relate to the manner of your use, and they will determine how long your knife will last.

Another factor that will also determine how long your knife will last is how well you maintain it. Naturally, a well-maintained utensil will last longer than one that’s not properly maintained. So, if you’re interested in using that knife for decades, you’ll need to commit to maintaining it.

Regardless, there might be cases when you need to change your knife. So, if you realize any of the following, then it’s high time to change that knife.

  • There are chips in your blade
  • The tip of your knife is broken or bent
  • The handle is damaged
  • Your knife is less comfortable than before
  • The rivets of your knife are already loose

How to Dispose of Old Kitchen Knives?

Now that we’ve covered the field let’s also address how to dispose of your kitchen knife. As you can see above, you can choose to recycle them or donate them to charity organizations. However, beyond these two options, you can also choose to do any of the following.

Sell Your Old Knives: You can always decide to sell your old knives. This will allow you to make money off them as you get rid of them. All you need to do is sell them as scrap metal.

The good news is that metal is relevant to a wide range of use without necessarily losing its quality. So, you can count on the availability of buyers. In fact, there’s a ready-made market when it comes to steel scrap. So, you won’t have trouble selling it off.

However, you’ll need to have loads of them to make any real money off them. Once you do, then you’re good to go.

1. Throw Your Old Knives

You can also decide to throw the knives away if you can’t recycle or donate them. This way, you don’t keep holding on to unnecessary materials in your kitchen. However, as we have told you, knives are dangerous.

So, you’ll want to secure them appropriately before disposing of them. Here are some options to get it done.

2. Cardboard Wrap

This is perhaps the safest out there. However, you’ll need to be creative with this option as you can’t fold the cardboard at will. So, fold it into two and place the knife inside. You can always use tape to secure the wrap once you’re done.

3. Bubble Wrap

You can get a bubble wrap and use it to cover your knife. Don’t be stingy with the amount you use in wrapping the blade. Ensure that the blade is well covered. You can always use tape to secure the wrap once you’re done.

4. Newspaper Wrap

You can easily wrap the knife blades using newspaper. You’ll need between 6 and 7 sheets to get this done. All you need to do is ensure that every part of the blade is wrapped. You can always use tape to secure the wrap once you’re done.


Knives are indispensable in your kitchen. Unfortunately, you’ll need to replace them at one point or the other. At this stage, you’ll need to handle your old knives appropriately to avoid any issues.

In this article, we’ve discussed how best to go about it. We’ve also answered your questions about recycling. So, go on and make a choice.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.