What’s the Safest Way to Throw Away Old Knives?

What’s the Safest Way to Throw Away Old Knives?
Photo: Alex Kosev, Shutterstock

Good knives have a long shelf life if you take care of them: wash them by hand, store them in a dedicated place, and keep them sharp. Even dull blades can be salvaged.

But if you’re looking to upgrade to higher-quality knives, you’ll need to dispose of those you no longer need with caution. Don’t simply throw them in the trash without any type of protection. Here’s the safest way to toss old knives, according to Bob Vila.

Wrap the knives up

No matter how you end up disposing of old knives, you’ll need to wrap them carefully. Otherwise, they’re likely to cut through trash bags or be dangerous for anyone handling them.

First, wrap the blade in multiple layers of newspaper or packing paper and tape the paper in place. Then cut a piece of cardboard that is at least twice as long as the blade, and fold the cardboard in half over the wrapped blade, with the sharp side in the fold. Tape around the cardboard to keep the knife in place.

Once your knives are safely wrapped, you can dispose of them in one of the following ways.

How to sell your knives

Knives in good condition — especially those from well-known brands like Wustof — may be in demand on your local classifieds site or Facebook Marketplace. This is likeliest to be an option if your blades are intact and sharp and you’re simply looking to upgrade your own set. Check other posts for an idea of what yours are worth.

How to donate your knives

If your knives are still usable with some TLC, one option is to give them away to donation sites like Goodwill or to nonprofit or startup kitchens that take gently used equipment. A friend or family member who is stocking a home kitchen could also take them off your hands.

How to recycle your knives

Scrap metal recycling centres may take old knives. Do a quick Google search to find scrap metal companies in your area. You’ll need to know what metal your knives are made from when you call.

How to throw away your knives

The final option, and perhaps the last resort, is to throw away your old knives. This may be the best bet if the blades are chipped or broken beyond safe use. Before tossing them in the trash can for collection, seal your wrapped knives in a cardboard box with heavy tape.

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