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5 Tips for Cleaning Your Gardening Tools

By Tidy Brown Wren, bringing order to your nest on Apr 16, 2012
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                                           The last of the kale and collards

I was excited to finally get out in my garden this past weekend and get some work done.  If you're like me, you didn't give your gardening tools much thought last fall when you put them away. 

When I opened the door to my tool storage area, I was ashamed at how I had stored the tools.  There was dirt still hanging from the shovels, pine straw on the rakes, and sap on the pruners.  Bummer.

I pulled everything out, swept the area clean, and got to work.  Here's what I did to get my tools back in shape.


1.  I washed off caked-on dirt, mulch and dried grass from the gardening tools.  I scrubbed with a stiff bristled brush and then rinsed with water.  I let everything dry in the sun.


2.  For pruners, loppers, and cutters (is that a proper word?) I wiped the blades with paint thinner to remove sap and tree pitch.  On one pair I had to use some steel wool because the spots were so stubborn.

3.  I sprayed all of the tools with WD40 and rubbed them well.  Then I took some paper towels and wiped off all of the excess. 

4.  I didn't need to do this step, but if necessary, I could have used a metal file to smooth shovel edges or pruner blades.


5.  I added a few extra hooks and nails to the storage area so that none of my tools were sitting on the ground.  I also added a small container  near my backdoor so I can keep my small trowels, gloves, and pruners where I can grab them as I head out to the garden. 

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Let the gardening season begin! 

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