How To Clean Garden Tools

clean garden tools

As a gardener, the important part of the day ends with cleaning your tools and getting the tools ready for the next farm day. It’s important to clean tools because you need them to be a successful gardener, and you don’t want to go to the store every month to purchase a new garden tool. 

It’s a basic rule that you should know how to clean garden tools. Some tools include shovels, pruning shears, and a wheelbarrow. Cleaning your tools is a good way to keep them clean and prevent rusting. 

So, why should you clean garden tools? I mean, it’s the same tool you will use the next day on dirt. Here are a few reasons why your garden tools should be clean after using them: 

  • To prevent rust from forming on the metal parts
  • To ensure the edges are sharp. Dirt left on the edges can make it blunt.
  • To remove disease soil from the tool. It ensures you don’t transfer the soil to another plant. 
  • To prevent cross-contamination of diseases from one plant to another. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Graden Tools

clean garden tools

Many people ask when they should clean their tools. And often, the answer given is just after using the tool and before you store it. That means you should store a clean tool. 

So, yes, you should clean them after use but at the end of the season, ensure you give them a thorough inspection and cleaning. However, this changes if you use a tool on an infected plant. To avoid cross-contaminating with healthy plants, ensure you clean it after cutting the diseased plant. 

The Best Way To Clean Garden Tools

Step 1: Remove the Dirt on the tool

After you have finished using a tool, you should first scrape the dirt off the tool. You can use a stick or a knife to remove the soil. On the other hand, you can use a spray nozzle to wash off the dirt; it’s fast and more accurate. 

Once you have washed the dirt off, dry the tools with a cloth. If you let them dry in the sun, they start forming rust from the moisture present. 

Step 2: Remove Residue

Residue can be a by-product of plants such as sap or resin. These substances stick to the tool, and you can feel the stickiness even after cleaning the dirt. To remove the residue, you can clean it with cooking oil. Apply the oil to the sticky part to remove the residue, then wipe it with a clean rag. Ensure that oil passes through hinges and pivots to remove any residue. 

Step 3: Remove the Rust

Since tools are made of steel, it is common for them to start rusting after some time. However, you can prevent rusting once you spot it on your tools. There are different ways in which you can remove rust from the tools. Here are a few simple methods: 

  • Use steel wool to scrub the rust, then clean with water and soap. Dry off the water with a dry cloth.
  • Use vinegar — Place the tool in vinegar and let it soak overnight. If there is still rust in the morning, scrub it off, then clean the tool with water and soap. Once it is clean, dry it with a cloth. 
  • Use vegetable oil to loosen the rust, then scrub it off the tool. 

Step 4: Clean The Wooden Handles

Some people forget about the handles and only think about the sharp surfaces. However, the handles are important because they can cut your hands if they start wearing off. 

To clean the handles, you can soak the whole tool in soapy water and add warm water. Leave the tools in the water for 30 minutes, then scrub any dirt on the handles. Dry the water from the handles with a clean cloth. 

You can also clean the handles using oil. Rub oil onto the handles and let it stay on the wood for a few minutes, then clean it off with a rag. Applying oil onto the handles ensures that they don’ become too dry for your hands. If they are still dry after applying oil, you can soak them in oil overnight and then clean them off. 

Step 5: Disinfect Tools

The last thing you should do after cleaning the tools is to disinfect them. It ensures you kill any fungi or bacteria on the sharp parts. To do this process, use chlorine bleach mixed with water. Soak the tools in that mixture for about 10 minutes to ensure that all the bacteria and fungi die. Rinse the tools and then dry them with a cloth. 

Basic Tips To Maintain Garden Tools in Good Condition

Every gardener wishes their tools don’t break down or don’t stop working perfectly. Even though that is impossible, you can still ensure that you use your garden tools for a long time. So, here are a few tips to ensure that your tools are in good working condition. 

Store your tools well — After the day’s work, you must place tools in a dry, cool place. It ensures that they don’t rust or break. You can’t leave the tools outside every night and expect them to last for a year or two. In most cases, if you don’t store them well, they will become blunt and won’t cut properly. Also, ensure that you hang the tools with sharp ends on hooks. 

Oil Moving Components — To ensure the parts are moving perfectly, you should oil all tools with moving components such as wheels, snips, shears, or pruners. Oiling ensures they have enough friction to move around smoothly. Oiling also helps to remove rust that has accumulated on these moving parts. 

Sharpen Sharp Edges —- You should occasionally sharpen tools such as shovels, hoes, snips, and pruners. Before you sharpen any surface, wipe down the blade with WD-40. Then file at a 20 to a 45-degree angle, or you can follow the original part. After filling, wipe down to remove the metal shavings. 


Tools are important to the success of a garden. The choice of tools can help you succeed as a farmer or fail in farming. Things like a blunt tool can cause you to prune plants in the wrong, affecting the plant’s growth. 

Or you can use a tool with rust on a plant and then transfer the dirt onto the plant. All these factors will affect the growth of your plant. The best thing to do is to ensure that your garden tools are always clean. By that, you should know how to clean garden tools. 

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