If you’re the type of person who loves to get their hands dirty in the garden, then you know that gardening tools can quickly become dirty with soil and mud and lose their luster over time. If you follow these tips for maintaining your gardening tools, however, you’ll be able to keep them looking great and working at peak performance until your next gardening session!
Clean your garden tools with soap, water, and a brush
One of the simplest things you can do to keep your garden tools in good condition is to periodically clean them with soap, water, and a brush. Most garden tools are made from a steel or carbon material that has been covered in some kind of plastic or paint. The combination of these materials makes it much easier to maintain your garden tools than if they were made from just one of the materials. Using a non-abrasive type of soap will help protect the surface while removing dirt and grime.
Dry them carefully
It’s important to dry your tools after you’ve used them in the dirt. This will prevent rusting. To dry them properly, be sure to follow these steps:
- Cover the top of the tool with a rag or old towel.
- Carefully tip it back and forth until it no longer feels moist at all.
- Clean off any loose soil with a stiff brush before moving on to the next step.
Prevent rust by oiling them
Some garden tools, such as clippers, shears, trowels, can also be made of metal. Metal tools are easier to care for than those made of wood. But metal needs care too—oil it frequently with an oil such as WD-40 or motor oil to prevent rusting. To apply the oil, use a clean cloth and a liberal coat of lube, then wipe off any excess after several minutes. Finally put away your tools in a dry place until you use them again!
Avoid storing your tools in the shed in the winter
While it might seem like a good idea to store garden tools in the shed during the winter, the truth is that salt, water, snow and cold will take their toll on them. If you want your tools to last through more than one season, store them indoors where they will be protected from these elements. You should also clean all of your tools before you put them away for the winter so any dirt can get removed before water damage sets in.