How to Clean and Care for Garden Tools

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There’s nothing like a garden to spruce up a an outdoor space. But (and you know there’s always a “but”) a cultivating a garden takes time and care.
If gardening is something you like to do around your home, then you know how much having the proper tools can help. If you do have gardening tools, then you need to keep them clean and maintain them so that they don’t get dirty or dull.
You can find some helpful cleaning tips and long-term care hacks for your garden tools below.

List of Common Garden Tools

For many homeowners, their yard is a perfect place to provide some extra beauty for their home. Whether in the form of a flower garden beside the front porch or flower beds in the yard, you’ll need garden tools to make these areas look their best.
Some common garden tools you might want to have in your arsenal include:
  • Hand trowel
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden rake
  • Shovel
  • Garden spade
  • Garden hoe
  • Lopper
  • Weeder
  • Spading fork
  • Pruning saw

How to Clean Your Garden Tools

It’s important to routinely clean your garden tools. The best time to clean them is right after you use them, but you don’t always have the time. Here’s a quick and easy garden tool cleaning method.
Remove any dirt, rust, or sap: Start by removing any foreign substances, such as dirt, sap, or rust, from the surface of your tool. The best way to do this is by using a garden hose to knock any caked-on dirt off. Follow this, if needed, with a putty knife to scrape away any stuck-on dirt and debris.
To remove rust, use a piece of steel wool to scrub the area until the rust is removed. To remove sap, put a little bit of solvent or turpentine on a rag and wipe the surface. Make sure to dry tool blades using a clean, dry cloth.
Soak in hot water: Next, fill a large bucket with hot water and dish soap. Allow the tools to soak for a little bit.
Rinse and dry: Rinse the tools off with a hose to remove any soap. You should also dry the tools with an old towel before putting them away. This will keep them from rusting.
Oil and Lubricate: Once your tools are completely clean and dry, rub them down with an oil like boiled linseed oil to tung oil. If you are cleaning tools with a wooden handle, know that you can use this on both the metal and the wood parts of your tool. This will keep the tools healthy and rust-free after cleaning.

How to Care for Your Garden Tools

Once your garden tools are clean, you need to take steps to keep them in great shape. Below are some simple hacks that can keep your garden tools in great shape for years to come.
Use a quick clean bucket: To keep your tools in great shape year-round, fill a large bucket with sand. Next, add a cup of vegetable oil and mix it in. Finally, if your tools aren’t too dirty, simply dip them into the mixture at the end of a day of gardening to remove any dirt and keep them protected.
Disinfect and sanitize: If you have to use your tools on any plants with a fungal or bacterial problem, then it’s best to disinfect them before you use them on any healthy plants. Wiping them down with a bleach-free disinfectant can keep any fungus or bacteria from being spread to your other plants.
Long-term maintenance: You can also soak your tools in a solution of two cups of bleach to a gallon of water after you’re done for the day to keep any annoying fungal or bacterial infestations from spreading. Just make sure to rinse and dry them after use to ensure that your tools don’t rust.
Garden tools allowed to sit uncleaned will wear down over time. And while it’s inevitable that you’ll have to replace a garden tool, the methods above can help them last for much longer. By taking care of your garden tools, you can ensure that you’ll have them for years to come.

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