cleaning ceramic sharpening sticks

What do you guys recommend using to clean the metal off of ceramic sharpening sticks sticks.

I know Lansky makes some type of "eraser" specifically for this. Has anyone tried this or know how effective it is?

I use a warm dish detergent solution and dry it with a speaker magnet inside an athletic sock.
I use Ajax, dampened just enough to make a paste, on a paper towel. A few passes through the folded towel w/paste and my sticks (Gatco) come clean.

SOS pad and Comet and warm water, rinse then towel dry.


Nov 25, 1998
If you are using the ceramic rods set in a "V" shape, be certain that all body parts, hands especially, are either guarded or at a sufficient distance to be safe if the blade slips. As noted elsewhere, I have the scar to show for that lesson.

Walk in the Light,
I use the eraser blocks to clean my Sharpmaker. They are very effective, plus
you can clean the sticks while sharpening,
always having an effective cutting surface.
Steel SOS pads are a definite no-no! They will just put more steel on the sticks. I use Comet with one of those rough green nylon scouring pads. Then wipe off excess water with a soft cloth kitchen towel and allow to air dry. I've also noticed they tend to clean up a little easier each time.

Try Bon Ami on a sponge or on a plastic scouring pad. Works like a charm. I've had my sharpmaker since mid 80's and it's still going strong.
I think Phantom4 has the right idea. The eraser works OK, but being silicon, it tends to leave a very thin film over the surface that impedes cutting ability just a little bit. I have found that "3M" brand of "Scotch-Brite" and "Comet" cleanser worked best to scrub out the steel. Demonstrating our TriAngle Sharpmaker in shows and fairs over the years gave good opportunity to test many combinations. These materials are hard on the hands (skin) if done frequently. Hand lotion is a good idea.

Good quality ceramic abrasives are technically an "ash" and are impervious to just about any chemical. They can be immersed in any acid that eats metal and be totally cleaned, but it takes longer.
Sal, this isn't strictly on topic, but you mentioned doing shows @ fairs etc over the years; did you used to do the "fishing" show in San Diego back in early 80's ? I bought my first Spydie then (stainless handle Mariner) from a fellow with as many Spyderco knives on him as he had pockets. I also got my Sharpmaker (With only one replacement of fine grit ceramics since) at that time. Was that you ? Or one of your early salesman? The fellow I delt with was a nice but scruffy semi-longhair in jeans witha hyperactive air about him(kinda like myself at the time
And the correct answer is: SOS Pads! Or any steel wool pad with detergent in it. "But Joe, you (expletive deleted)", you're thinking to yourself, "won't the steel wool just clog up the stick even MORE?" The answer is, absolutely not. In fact, not only will steel wool detergent pads *not* clog up your stone, but in fact for me has worked better and faster than anything else I've ever tried, including those plastic pads being mentioned. The steel wool detergent pads will clean a *very* badly clogged stone, literally in a few seconds.

A few people have tried to guess why the steel wool doesn't clog the stone, our best guess is that the detergent mumble mumble surface tension mumble mumble cohesion mumble mumble. Whatever, it works well, you won't re-clog your stone, I promise!


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 26 February 1999).]
Brian - There were about 4 guys rotating shows in the early 80's. I was one of them. We all carried many knives, but I think Steve carried the most. Couldn't say for sure who it was.

I stand by my original post and reiterate that I've found SOS pads and Comet (or any other cleanser) works best, IMO. This combination definately does not clog up the ceramic. I've found it works much faster than the Scotch Brite and Comet method. All I can say is: try it.


MM & Joe - tried the SOS & cleanser, was surprized to see it worked well. I think Joe's reaonsing for the results is sound.
I work 10 years in a packing plant used
the c-sticks daily we all used comet and
3m pads green ones.
I don't know, Sal, those super technical, scientific explanations just confuse me. Then again, I never graduated college.


I love the mumble mumble explanations!

I use whatever works. Up to now it's been whatever my wife keeps around the house for scrubin and cleanin. Like many others I've found comet to work well.

SOS PADS Duh! Why haven't I tried them yet? They're a staple at my house. They should work faster than just comet.

Thanks again, Joe. Some of us require spoon feeding.
I have been cleaning a pair of ceramic sticks
since ,I got them at a sports show in 1976.
I use COMET cleanser and water.The ceramic
sticks are still of great service.Try cleaning them often.

The Results:

OK, I tried Ajax with bleach instead of Comet (b/c that's what I had around the house) and one of those green scouring pads. I also used an SOS pad (a fresh one). I cleaned a pair of white Smith's ceramic sticks which I've used for about 15 years.

Both methods seemed to produce the same results although, the SOS pad method was definitely quicker and easier. However, neither of these methods cleaned them 100%. In all honesty, the sticks are probably 100% clean functionally. There is just some steel down there deep!

I think I'll go with the SOS pad method. Thanks for the suggestions.