I'm looking for information on sanitizing carbon steel blades. I have 2 high quality knives that my girlfriend wants me to spray with Clorox cleaner as I wont put them in the dishwasher, but my manual says that I shouldn't use corrosive agents like bleach and citrus. Is there anything comparable I can use to sanitize these knives after cutting meat that won't compromise the knives? The manual says soap and water but that doesn't really sanitize anything.
Hot water provides perfectly acceptable sanitizing without corrosive chemicals I'd not want in my food anyway...
Immerse in hot water that is 77C (171F) for 30 seconds. Reference here.
The manufacturer knows best what can and cannot damage the knife. If the manual says "no corrosive agents", then using any such agent is a risk, no matter what some person on the internet told you.
So, if you have to sanitize your knives, you can either
- Use whatever you like using for sanitizing and hope it does not damage them, or
- Buy different knives from another material.
There is no magical way for us to know when an aggressive cleaner will leave some specific knife undamaged.
Professional-style "quat" sanitizers used following instructions might be your best bet for a non-corrosive, food safe, "official" disinfectant. Failing that, high proof edible alcohol (~80%) would likely deal decisively with most things that could remain on a clean, albeit tarnished, blade.