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How To Clean, Maintain, and Store Home Garden Cutting Tools?

Imagine entering your garden, ready to tend to your beloved plants and flowers. As you reach for your trusty garden cutting tools, you notice they gleam like brand-new treasures waiting to unleash their magic upon the foliage. With a few simple tricks, you can transform your garden cutting tools into everlasting companions, making every gardening session a breeze. In this guide, we’ll unveil the art of maintaining your home garden cutting tools, keeping them sharp, rust-free, and ready to charm your garden into flourishing beauty.

Essential Garden Tool Cleaning Checklist:

Before delving into the enchanting world of garden tool maintenance, assemble your very own magical cleaning kit that must include the following:

  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Clean cloth or towel
  • Linseed Oil or Tung Oil
  • Rust Remover
  • Disinfectant
  • Tool Sharpener

For advanced care, consider including a wire brush for tough grime and steel wool for battling rust that may have lost its way onto your tools.

Missing something? Well, check the best garden tool cleaning kit here.

Why is Garden Cutting Tool Cleaning Important?

Prevention of Disease Spread:

Well-cleaned tools will help prevent the spread of soil-borne plant diseases from one to another. It often transfers when you use dirty tools, and they can destroy your garden in a few days. Therefore, cleaning your tools is essential, and it will help to avoid spreading pathogens from tool to soil and vice versa.

Rust Prevention:

Tools made of metal are particularly susceptible to rust, which can severely compromise their functionality with time. By removing moisture-laden, rust-enhancing soil from steel surfaces, you can significantly extend the life of your tools.

Improved Tool Functionality:

Dirt and sap can dull the edges of cutting tools, making them less efficient and potentially causing damage to your plants, while clean, sharp tools work better and help keep your plant healthier. If you regularly clean your tools, it will keep them strong and ready to use anytime.


Safety comes first; if you properly maintain your tools, they will be safer. Regular cleaning allows you to check for missing or broken parts, ensuring your tools are in good working condition.

Daily Cleaning Of Your Garden Tools, During the Growing Season:

In maintaining a healthy garden, the cleanliness of your tools plays a crucial role. Daily cleaning of your garden tools during the growing season can help prevent several diseases from spreading among your plants and extend the life of your tools. It will also save you a lot of money and time. So, make it a habit to clean your tools after each use and store them properly.

Essential Steps To Clean Your Garden Tools:

  • Pre-Cleaning Inspection: Always start with a pre-cleaning inspection of your garden cutting tools. Look for any signs of damage or rust and check the sharpness of their blades to ensure they’re ready for any gardening quest.
  • Brush Off Dirt and Debris: Use a stiff brush to remove caked dirt from your tools. A hard spray of water or a pressurized sprayer can also be helpful to remove this dirt, especially in tight spaces like between the tines of a tiller.
  • Dip Tools in Soapy Water and Scrub Thoroughly: Soaking your tools in warm water with dish soap can help loosen any stubborn dirt. Make sure to scrub all parts of the tool, including the handle. Professional gardeners prefer cleaning garden tools with sand and oil, while some home gardeners love cleaning garden tools with vinegar. You can also try cleaning garden tools using baking soda to get similar results.
  • Dry Each Tool Completely After Washing: This is essential to prevent rusting, or you will spend a lot of money buying new tools after a few months. You can wipe them down with a dry cloth or leave them out to air dry.
  • Oil Wooden Handles: After washing and drying out your tools, use lubrication on the wooden handles. It will keep the wood from drying out and cracking. You can use linseed oil or tung oil for cleaning garden tools in this oiling process.
  • Disinfect Your Tools: If you are working with an infected plant, it’s important to disinfect your tools before moving on to the next plant. You can do this by wiping or dipping them in a solution that is 70–100% alcohol. This amazing solution will also help clean poison ivy off garden tools.
  • Banishing Stubborn Rust: If rust has dared to appear, fear not! Use sand and mineral oil for cleaning garden tools. All you have to do is to take sand for cleaning garden tools and gently scrub, which will remove the rust. Then, pamper your tools with a touch of mineral oil for cleaning garden tools, and rust will never dare return. You can also try cleaning garden tools with pine sol, which will remove grease and heavy soil stains.

Why Oiling is Important and How to Oil Garden Tools?

The Importance of Tool Lubrication:

Bestow your tools with the gift of oil; it is the key to their everlasting magic. Proper lubrication keeps blades sharp and fends off rust and corrosion.

Selecting The Right Oil:

Choose the best oil for garden tools; you can use mineral oil, vegetable oil, or the mighty linseed oil for garden tools. Each holds unique qualities to safeguard your tools from the ravages of time.

The Art of Oil Application:

Gently apply the chosen oil to the cutting edges. A light coating on all surfaces will shield your tools from rust.

What is The Best Oil for Cleaning Garden Tools?

Garden tools care is complete with perfect oiling that prevents rust and maintains functionality. But what is the best oil for cleaning garden tools? Let’s explore!

Linseed Oil:

This is a popular choice for oiling garden tools. Most expert gardeners have labeled it as the best oil for wooden garden tools. It penetrates deep into the wood and provides protection from moisture; it also prevents cracks and splits.

Tung Oil:

Another excellent oil for cleaning garden tools. Tung oil is a bit more water-resistant than linseed oil. It dries faster and provides a slightly glossy finish.

Mineral Oil:

This oil is great for metal parts of your tools as it can help to prevent rust. It’s also safe for use on wooden handles, which makes it the best oil for garden tools.


Known for its rust-preventing properties, WD-40 can be used on the metal parts of your garden tools. However, this oil is not recommended for wooden handles, as it can dry out the wood over time.

3-In-One Oil:

This multi-purpose oil is another good option and is popular among home gardeners. They found it the best oil for wooden garden tools as well as for metal parts. It lubricates, cleans, and prevents rust for a long time.

Regular oiling keeps your garden tools in top condition, extending their lifespan and saving you money in the long run. Choose the oil that best suits your needs and make tool oiling a part of your regular maintenance routine.

Still finding difficulty in choosing the best Oil? Check this Top-Rated Review!

Where Can I Store Gardening Tools?

Storing your garden tools properly is essential for their longevity and convenience. Here is how and where to store your gardening tools.

Outdoor Storage:

Garden tools are most likely needed outdoors, so it makes sense to store them in a place that’s easily accessible while working in the yard. However, they should be stored safely and neatly to prevent accidents.

Shed Storage:

An existing shed makes an optimal storage space for garden tools. You can install a pegboard inside the door for small tools and use shelving for pots, soil, and seeds.

Cool, Dry Location:

It’s best to store garden tools in a cool, dry location to keep them in good shape and last for many years. Heat can cause wooden handles to split, so find out cooler areas to store them safely.

Wall Space and Containers:

Utilizing wall space or containers for storage is a great way to keep your tools organized and easy to find. You can use hooks, racks, or strong containers that can hold your tools, and it will be an excellent choice.

Storage Without a Garage:

If you don’t have a garage, you can still effectively store your garden tools. A permanent shed, or even a compact storage solution like a chest or trunk, can be used. If you don’t have any of the above, buying a new container would be great.

Avoid Leaving Tools Outside:

Never leave your tools outside after work. Some heavy tools like shovels and rakes can be stored outside; still, it’s generally advised not to leave your gardening tools out in the open. Proper storage keeps unnecessary moisture away from your tools and protects them from theft.

Need garden tool storing accessories? Check gardeners’ recommendations.

Troubleshooting Common Tool Issues:

  • Dealing With Sticky or Stiff Hinges: If your tools’ hinges lose their fluidity, a touch of the best oil for garden tools will set them free.
  • Addressing Handle and Grip Problems: Revive the grip of your tools with a bit of DIY care, and they will remain steadfast in your hands.
  • Fixing Loose or Misaligned Blades: Tame mischievous blades with a tightening spell, ensuring they remain true to their course. This practice will resolve the issue if it is manageable.


The proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage of your home garden cutting tools are essential aspects of effective gardening. Regular cleaning prevents the spread of diseases, while routine maintenance ensures optimal performance and extends the lifespan of your tools. Appropriate oil can protect your tools from rust and keep them in top condition.

Using sheds or pegboards for storage can protect your tools from damage and make them easily accessible. By investing a little time and effort into these practices, you not only enhance your gardening experience but also save money by reducing the need for tool replacements.

“Take care of your tools, and they’ll take care of youHappy Gardening!


Can cleaning garden tools with disinfecting wipes damage them?

No, it will not damage the tool, but we do not recommend bigger tools as it will take more time and effort. You can use them to clean hand tools.

What fluid/spray can I use to clean my garden shears?

You can prepare a light alcohol solution, spray it on shears, and gently wipe it with a towel or cloth.

Can I use Lysol for cleaning garden tools?

Yes, that’s a perfect choice to sanitize your garden tools.

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