This is a garden tool stuck in the dirt and will need to be cleaned after use

How to Clean Garden Tools Properly

Your garden tools are essential for pruning, maintaining and cleaning your garden.

These implements play a vital role in keeping your garden looking lush and vibrant, so it’s advisable to invest in good quality tools will get the job done right. Additionally, taking care of your tools will also help prolong their life.

Here we’ll cover all the details about how to clean garden tools properly.

Being proactive about your tools’ cleanliness and smooth functioning will make your gardening chores much easier.

If you’re watering your garden every day and spending considerable time in the yard, you’ll definitely want to do whatever you can to make the task easier on your body.

(If your garden is still in its fledgling phase, check out our suggestions for must-have garden plants and must-have garden herbs to fill it out.)

With the proper tool maintenance, the effort in your garden will be even more rewarding  Let’s take a look at the following cleaning essentials to understand how to clean garden tools properly.

How to clean garden tools properly

Below we’ve listed a checklist of supplies to maintain your garden tools.

Lubricating Oil: To lubricate your tools and their machinery, you require a good protective oil. You can choose from lamp oil, motor oil, tung, or boiled linseed oil.

Sharpening Tools: Your sharpening tools should be of anti-rust material for added durability. You can choose from a stone or metal sharpening file to keep your garden tools sharp-edged in all the seasons. 

Sandpaper: Add gritty sandpaper to your garden tools to work on metal as well as wood surfaces with ease. You can choose from 80 and 120 grit ones. 

Cleaning Implements: A reliable rotary wire brush, scrub brush, and steel wool brush will come in handy to clean your tools. 

Cleaning Supplies: Keep cleaning sponges, towels, clean cloths, garden hose, and detergent at hand for effortless cleaning.

Also, keep a moisturizing hand wash close by to get your hands clean after cleaning dirty garden tools.

How to clean garden tools

Each tool will require different cleaning steps; however, the basic needs to make the tools work like new will remain the same. Follow the below-listed steps to clean your tools effortlessly.

Step 1: Clean and Scrub

The first essential step is to get excess dirt off the tools. Whatever you can’t shake off can be removed by scrubbing them well with soapy water.

This will remove all the grime from the blades, handles, and joints. You can use heavy-duty brushes and scrubbers to remove the accumulated dirt from the tools.

To clean saws (including pole saws for tree pruning), pruners, and shears, you can use bleach. This will prevent any diseases or mites from spreading from plant to plant.

After scrubbing, wipe the tools with a dry towel. Leave your tools to dry overnight to prevent any moisture build-up.

Step 2: Remove Rust

Rust may accumulate with the weather effect and moisture in the tools. This can impact power tools, chains, casters, wheels, and motors.

You can get a multipurpose oil to remove the rust from the blades, hinges, nuts, bolts, fans, and wheels. An all-purpose oil is great for removing rust from moving parts of the tools. 

You may use a wire brush or steel wool to get rid of the rust on the metallic parts of your tools. Besides, you can use rotary wire and drill to easily remove the rust.

Ensure that you do it slowly so that the metal does not thin down and weaken for further use. 

Step 3: Sand Tools And Wooden Handles

The splits and cracks in the wooden handles of the tools can be managed with an efficient sanding routine. This will help in smoothening the joints and cracks.

You can use gritty sandpaper along with some linseed oil to sand the tools and handles. Make sure you do this at least two times per season to improve the life of your tools.

You can wipe the excess oil and dust with a cloth or towel.

Step 4: Sharpen the Blades

This is one of the most crucial rituals to make your gardening work easier and less energy-consuming. Your tools require sharpening at regular intervals as the blades may become dull due to soil, water, and digging.

You can sharpen your tools by running a stone or metal sharpening tool across the edge at a 45-degree angle; repeat this two to three times.

Do not use oil in this step and use adequate safety gear to protect your fingers and hands. You can get a tungsten carbide material sharpener, which is durable and rust-resistant.

Also, it can be washed in the dishwasher without any damage.

Step 5: Care and Maintenance

Regularly oiling your tools for their smooth working is necessary. This will prevent any premature wearing out and splitting.

Oil enables the machinery to work with no obstructions and friction between the parts. Moreover, it helps in reducing the accumulation of rust. You can use a clean rag or towel to wipe this oil post-cleaning.

Tools in good condition are easier to work and more efficient. This cleaning routine should be kept up regularly as part of the effort to maintain a healthy and beautiful garden that’s good for the environment.

Ready to upgrade your garden tools?

Now that you know how to clean garden tools properly, you’re ready to upgrade your tool kit. Check out our roundup of must-have garden tools as well as our picks for the best garden scooters and the best retractable garden hoses.

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  1. Ava Miller

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