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A bad workman always blames his tools—it’s perhaps one of the more unfair expressions. After all, without the right tools we wouldn’t be able to dig precise holes, to water our garden efficiently or snip away at dying flowers. The right tools make all the difference and keeping them clean can help prolong their use. Here’s how to keep gardening tools clean and why to do it.
It is inevitable. When working with soil and sand, your tools are going to get grubby just as your clothes will. Why bother, then, cleaning gardening tools? They’ll just get equally as dirty the next time you use them. Surely, though, we could say the same thing about our gardening clothes—and yet we will most likely throw them into the wash after a long day in the garden. We do this so we feel fresh and clean when we start work the next time—and the same principle applies to our tools. Clean tools are nice to handle and mean that we just might look forward to weeding that little bit more.
Furthermore, dirty tools might break more easily because the dirt gets in around the handles and could rust metal tools. Anyone who has encountered rust on your barbecue grill, for example, knows that rust is bad news. That is why cleaning gardening tools is important—let’s look at how often to do it and then how to clean gardening tools.
It sounds like a bit of a chore, but cleaning gardening tools after every use is best. This prevents long-term damage, and also means you avoid having to get rid of really old, encrusted dirt that could damage your tool, too. Below we’ve listed how we clean garden tools.
- Using a hose or watering can, wash off the coarse dirt from your tools. Coarse dirt might be mud or sand or lots of tiny pebbles—in any case, make sure the surface of your tools is clear before proceeding.
- Get a bucket of warm water if possible and give your tools a little soak with some gentle detergent such as liquid detergent you use in the kitchen. This will help cut through any residual dirt or grease, and also help remove any plant sap, for example.
- Now, remove the tools, give them another rinse if desired and then dry them with a clean rag—you want to avoid rust here, not add to it. Done!
Have we encouraged your penchant for gardening? We’ve got more where that came from! Here’s how to take care of indoor plants or how to cut roses.
Use caution while handling tusty tools to avoid cuts or punture wounds that might lead to complications such as Tetnanus. If a cut or puncture from the rusty tool should occur wash hands then apply an antibiotic and cover wound.