They say a gardener is only as good as the tools they use – which is why it’s important you know how to take care of your garden tools.
Keeping your garden tools in tip top shape will ensure they last longer, and that they’re nicer (and safer) to use. By regularly cleaning and maintaining them, you will save money in the long run, as they won’t need to be replaced often.
To help you learn this essential gardening skill, we have put together this handy How To Maintain Your Garden Tools guide.
Before you begin any garden tool maintenance work, it’s recommended that you read our DIY Safety Tips guide. Always wear gloves when handling chemicals, unplug all power tools before cleaning and be careful with sharp blades.
Let’s start with what you’ll need.
- Dry cloth
- Stiff brush
- Pressure washer
- Rubbing alcohol
- Multipurpose oil
- Warm, soapy water
- Whichever garden tools you decide to clean, of course
Make a habit of cleaning your tools after every use
If you are cleaning your garden power tools, ensure they are disconnected from the electric mains first. Then, use a dry stiff brush to remove any soil or dirt.
If the dirt is stubborn, use a hose or pressure washer to remove the bulk of the residue – but you will need to be careful of your power tool’s engine. Make sure you dry off any wooden handles before leaving to air dry completely.
Doing this after every gardening session will ensure you have clean garden tools to use for next time.
Dry storage locations
One of the best ways to care for garden tools is to store them in a dry and sheltered location to protect them from rust.
When left outside and exposed to poor weather conditions, gardening tools can easily rust and split, so keeping them somewhere like a shed or garage is a good option.
Wearing gloves, use a dry cloth or brush with some rubbing alcohol to disinfect your garden tools. Leave for the instructed time before rinsing and wiping them down, and leaving to air dry.
Gardening tools that are prone to rust and residue build-up may require lubrication. Use a stiff brush to loosen dirt from any crevices, then wash with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly.
Apply a few drops of lubricating oil to the pivot joints and blades, then wipe away any excess with a dry cloth. This will help to prevent rust and corrosion.
Check plugs and leads
When maintaining garden power tools, it’s important to do regular safety checks. Ensure the plugs of your garden power tools are in good order and are safe to continue using.
Inspect for damage inside and out and check the cord length for general wear and tear. Any damage should be repaired professionally.
Lawn Mower checks
Always disconnect the sparkplug lead when your lawnmower is not in use. Make sure any grass residue has been removed from the rollers, blades and grass boxes.
If the blades of your lawnmower look blunt, have them sharpened or replaced by a professional. If needed, grease or oil the machine to prevent any mechanisms from seizing up.
Bare wooden handles should be oiled with a rag to prevent them from drying out and splintering. Remove any soil or debris with a stiff brush first – if you need to use water, gently damp a cloth to prevent soaking the wood.
Now you know how to maintain your garden tools, it’s time to tackle those outdoor jobs. Check out how to level your lawn here.