1. Lubricate carbon steel Damascus blades.
Most hand-forged Damascus blades are made of high carbon steel, which means that they have a relatively low amount of chromium in the steel. Carbon steel and carbon steel Damascus can rust when not cared for properly. You will need to make sure the blade remains clean and dry in order to prevent rust or discolouration.
2. Avoid abrasives.
Avoiding abrasives--rough cloths, metal polishes, steel wool, etc--is important to maintaining the look and quality of the blade because if you do use an abrasive or metal cleaner it will remove the etched oxidation that you want on a Damascus knife to show the pattern. Once the etch is significantly altered, we recommend sending your blade back to the maker for re-etching service.
3. Be mindful of when and where you use your Damascus blade.
A carbon steel Damascus blade is especially susceptible to damage when used on acidic foods (fruits, for example), in wet, humid environments, and for field dressing game. These uses and environments can remove the etching of the blade.
When you do use Damascus, remember to wash and dry it immediately, taking care to not rub the blade roughly. Using a microfiber or cotton cloth to dry it, the softer material will not wear the blade.
4. Store it properly to keep it rust-free.
When not in use, it's important to keep the Damascus steel knife in a dry interior environment, where it will not be affected by extreme moisture or temperature changes. After cleaning and waxing your knife, storing it in a box or padded zipper case, your knife will keep well.
By taking good care of your Damascus steel knife, your knife will last longer and maintain its unique look.