Caring For Garden Tools

Caring For Garden Tools
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Caring For Garden & Yard ToolsI'm sure many of you have been out in the yard cleaning up as I have been. As we sort through our sheds and garages we find rakes, shovels, hoes and various yard tools that need a little maintenance. And if you have kids like me, you might even find one of your favorite spades in the sandbox. Here are some tips for cleaning your tools:

-Mix together in an ice cream bucket or some other type of bucket a 1/2 of quart of motor oil and sand to almost fill the bucket. Stick your spades and trowels in the sand, or any other small tools and this will not only clean, but condition them. If the tools are rusty, take a piece of sandpaper to sand off the rust, then place in the oily sand.

Move them in and out a few times and store. You can do this with a larger 5 gallon bucket for the bigger tools if you wish. As long as the sand does not get wet, you can keep this in the garage or shed to use all year long! In fact, in the late autumn you can leave the metal end of the tools in the sand for the winter season as a storage method-just wipe clean in the spring and you'll be all set!

-You can also use handy dandy WD40 to wipe down your tools with old socks (I don't darn our socks-as soon as they have a hole-they become Mom's rags). Always clean off any soil or other residue from the tools before oiling. A wire brush is a good thing to keep on hand for cleaning the stubborn soil off. If you use the hose make sure you dry off the tool before storing or oiling.

-Richard Titterington of T's Old Things shared a tip for cleaning rusty tools of any type. Soak the metal end of the tool in white vinegar. It may take a day or more. Check at the end of the day to see how much of the rust has been taken off, and leave it longer if need be.

-Wooden handles that have gotten splintery, may need a light sanding with a sheet of sandpaper. Afterwards rub the wood with Linseed oil.

-Your pruners or shears will probably need a quick spray of WD40 as well at the joints. Before doing this make sure they are clean too. If they have a sticky residue use rubbing alcohol to wipe the blades. A good thing to have on hand is a whetstone or a file to sharpen your blades. Mark the blade with a marker that shows up on the blade and sharpen until you've removed all the color. This will help to ensure you sharpened the entire blade.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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