How To Take Care Of Your Garden Tools Properly

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Always clean your gardening tools after using them. Hose them with water to remove the dirt, and dry them with a clean cloth to avoid oxidation and rusting when storing them. Please place them in cool, dry, and secured storage.

Suppose you haven’t been properly taking care of your gardening tools and leaving them outside to rust or damage. Now is the right time to take action, and after reading this article, you will know how to take care of your garden tools properly.

Protecting Your Garden Tools From Rusting

Gardening tools are mainly made from metals (handles made from wood or plastic) that are prone to rust. Rusting is caused by oxidation that corrodes many kinds of metals. A rusted garden tool is not very safe for the gardener and plants.

To prevent your metal garden tools from rusting, always dry them after cleaning and store them in a dry place where moisture has a low chance of accumulating. Even when not using your garden tools, it is essential to maintain them in good condition frequently.

When left outside in the rain, make sure that you dry your garden tools immediately because rainwater sometimes contains high acidity, which will cause your garden tools to oxidize much faster.

Storing Your Gardening Tools In a Shed

When you have a pretty large backyard, providing a space for a storage shed is desirable. Gardeners should always consider putting up a garden shed for their gardening tools. Gardening tools do not take up much room; proper placement, hooks for hanging, wall racks, and even a small shed can store many tools.

When buying a garden shed, make sure the shed walls are strong enough to nail hooks and wall racks, or a shed with built-in shelves is also an option.

Are you thinking of putting up a garden shed of your own? Check this article out.

Be sure to store your tools properly inside the shed. Many tools have sharp edges or spikes like rakes, spades, and forks. These could injure you if you do not store them properly.

Buy zip ties and additional hooks to keep the bottom of the tools secure.

Unsecured tools will rattle against each other and cause them to chip and eventually break. Storing the garden tools securely and appropriately will ensure we can keep using them for a long time.

By storing tools properly, you will always be able to put your hands on them when they are required. This makes gardening more manageable and much faster. Nothing is worse than needing to do a job in the garden and not finding the required tool.

Other Places to Store Tools

There are many other places you could store garden tools.

  • Dedicated room of the house
  • Plastic storage boxes
  • Garage

Wherever you decide to store them, ensure they remain safe and dry. If you have small children and pets, ensure the pegboards are out of their reach.

Do not store dirty garden tools inside your garage or home they may also have bacteria and other contaminants on them.

Cleaning And Proper Maintenance Of Your Garden Tools

It is essential to clean your tools after use. Not only does this keep them in good order, but it also makes them much easier to use and saves you money from buying new ones.

When a metal tool gets wet after use or soaked by rain, moisture will build up, and oxidation will occur when not dried immediately.

If it’s sunny outside, let the garden tools dry for a couple of hours, but if you’re in a hurry, use a clean, dry rag to wipe your gardening tools.

Avoid storing the gardening tools when they still have soil on them, especially when the ground you worked with is moist and wet. Use steel wool or a stiff brush when cleaning the tool’s hard-to-reach places, particularly with those stubborn clumps of dirt. Get a hose and gently spray to get the earth off, and don’t forget to let them dry before putting them back.

Use a clean, dry rag and Pine-Sol or WD40 on the garden tools to prevent wear and tear for the wooden part and rusting on the metal ones.

After you clean them with Pine-Sol, please avoid using the tools immediately; give them a day to dry because your hand could slip, and you can cut or hurt yourself.

Other Oils For Protecting Wooden Handles On Tools

Another type of cleaner is oil, such as boiled linseed, tung, lamp, or cooking, but avoid using motor oil if possible. Said oils will prevent rust during the winter months and protect the finish of the wooden parts. For the gardening gloves, make sure to put them in the washer after each use.

Cleaning your gardening tools is very important because they are used to dig up your fruits and vegetables or gather soil to begin planting. If they start to rust, that part will transfer from the tool to the food.

Easy Steps On Cleaning Your Garden Tools

Follow these simple steps on how to clean your garden tools properly:

  • Remove the dirt: Use a high-pressure garden hose to knock off the dirt. For the hardened dirt to remove, use a putty knife or a stiff brush to remove the dirt altogether.
  • Remove rust: If your tools are rusted, scrub the area with steel wool. Using protective gloves when working with steel wool and rusted areas.
  • Remove Sap: Use lighter fluid, dab on a cloth, and wipe your garden tools.
  • Soak Tools: When the dirt and grime are removed from the tools, soak them in a bucket of water, you can also add dish soap for extra cleaning power.
  • Rinse and Dry: Rinse with clean water, then dry the tools with a towel. Putting the tools away wet will cause them to rust prematurely.
  • Cleaning Maintenance: Keep the tools in good shape year-round with a “quick clean” bucket. Fill the bucket with sand and one cup of vegetable oil, then dip larger tools in the bucket at the end of a heavy gardening day to remove dirt and protect the finish.
  • Disinfect: Disinfect your garden tools when you use them on plants with fungal or bacterial problems. Especially on shears that helped you cut down those infected plants. Use bleach-free wipes to remove those bacteria and fungi so they will not spread to other plants through your garden tools.
  • Sanitizing Soak: A quick soak in a bleach solution with two cups of bleach for every gallon of water can help curb the spread of annoying infestations. Just be sure to rinse and dry the tools thoroughly.
Picture of cleaning secateurs

Different Ways To Remove Rust From Your Garden Tools

Removing rust with vinegar is the most popular method. You will need a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% water to soak your garden tools overnight.

Then use a ball of steel wool to rub the rust off. After that, rinse the garden tools with soapy water, then clean water. Wipe them with a cloth or by hanging them to dry. Lastly, rub the garden tools with mineral oil or WD-40.

Another thing you can use to remove rust from your garden tools is a can of soda or cola. Use a piece of tin foil or a wire brush soaked with soda to scrub away the rust. The phosphoric acid in sodas helps dissolve the rust.

Using salt and lemon juice is another popular method of cleaning rusty tools. This recipe uses 1 part table salt, 1 part lemon juice, and 1 part water in a homemade rust solution. Rub on with steel wool, then rinse and dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does rust accumulate on my metal gardening tools?

Primarily metal gardening tools are for digging and manipulating soil. The moisture from the ground is the leading cause of rust on your metal tools. Ensure to wash and dry them, and don’t let your tools lie on the soil if you are not using them.

What things can I use to prevent my metal gardening tools from rusting?

A corrosion inhibitor or anti-rust spray is an ideal maintenance item to prevent metals from rusting even in extreme environments with high humidity. Their long-lasting formula blocks rust and corrosion for a very long time.

How can I preserve my gardening tools?

There is a cheap trick for maintaining your gardening tools in good shape. Fill a bucket with sand and pour one or two cups of vegetable oil evenly over the sand. Dip the tools into a bucket after a day of use and gardening to remove the dirt and protect the finish of your gardening tools.

Can I hang garden tools on a pegboard?

You can store small and non-heavy garden tools on a pegboard. It is a cheap and straightforward way of storing your tools. Only ensure they are evenly separated so they don’t touch.

What type of material to pick when using a Tarp Shed?

The Iron Horse Polyester Tarp is the most robust tarp material. It is waterproof and does not stain or smell of plastic. But it comes only in colored ones. If you are looking for good transparent tarps, look for Fire Retardant Translucent Tarps.

In Summary

These tips and tricks on caring for your garden tools are essential to prevent damage and save money as you need to replace them less often.

Always clean, dry and store them securely to protect them from the weather and keep them out of reach of small children and pets.

It will also prevent unnecessary accidents and protect you and your loved ones from hurting themselves.

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