How To Clean An X-acto Knife Safely

The knife’s blade is extremely sharp and can easily cut through most materials. However, the blade can become dirty over time and require cleaning. Here is how to clean an x-acto knife blade safely.

How To Clean An X-Acto Knife Blade Safely

What You Need

  • Safety goggles or glasses
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Multipurpose lubricant (WD-40, AC-90)
  • Pliers (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Cotton swabs (optional)
  • Non-abrasive scrubbing pad
  • Paper towel
  • Knife oil (optional)
Useful Safety Glasses

3M Safety Glasses, Virtua, 20 Pair, ANSI Z87, Anti-Fog Scratch Resistant Clear Lens, Clear Frame, Wraparound Coverage

Dewalt DPG54-1D Protector Clear High Performance Lightweight Protective Safety Glasses with Wraparound Frame

Kleenguard V30 25679 Nemesis Safety Glasses


  1. Gently unscrew the collar with on hand while holding the handle with the other.
  2. Pull out the blade and set it aside in the bowl
  3. You can choose to also clean the collet by setting it aside as well
  4. With one hand, give the x-acto knife handle a quick wipedown with the microfiber cloth to remove any dust.
  5. Genly wipe down the blade with the microfiber cloth
  6. Use a cotton swab to clean the opening of the knife handle.
  7. Use a cotton swab to wipe down the collet.
  8. Spray multipurpose lubricant on the handle and blade.
  9. Wipe away the multipurpose lubricant with the scrubbing pad, removing any stuck residue
  10. Wipe down the handle and blade with the paper towel to remove most of the lubricant.
  11. Add a drop of knife oil to the exacto blade to protect from any rust or oxidation.

Do X-Acto Blades Rust?

Yes, x-acto knife blades can rust.

X-acto blades are made of carbon steel, or alumimum. This means they are susceptible to rust or oxidation from exposure to moisture in the air.

Living in a low humidity climate can help slow down rust from forming, but it is likely going to happen.

What Can I Do About Blade Rust?

There is no way to completely prevent blade rust from forming over time. The moisture in the air will cause rust or oxidation to form on the handle and blade.

What you can do is wipe the knife down if it gets any moisture on it and store it in a dry place. Adding a drop or two of knife oil will help coat the knife and inhibit rust.

Exacto Knife Plastic Model

Does X-Acto Make A Rust Remover?

No, but you can use a general purpose rust remover / inhibitor, such as Boeshield T-9 or Free All to remove rust when cleaning the knife.

Where To Store An X-Acto Knife?

Storing an x-acto knife properly is very important for safety reasons. The best ways include using plastic, wood, metal, or nylon containers. Plastic or nylon containers come with x-acto knife kits. DIY containers can be made as well using any hard material, such as wood or metal.

X-Acto Knife Storage

Best places to store an x-acto knife include:

  • A closet
  • A locked desk drawer
  • Work bench drawer
  • Inside a tool box
  • In a hobby supplies box
  • In its case (if it is a part of a kit)

In Closing

X-Acto knives are very useful precision cutting tools capable of making fine cuts of many different materials. However, since they are so sharp they can easily cut the skin. So, make sure to be careful when cleaning them to prevent any injuries.

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Nick Klamecki, Author
About Nick Klamecki, Author

Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use. Learn more about Nick here or connect with him on LinkedIn | Medium