How To Clean Rusty Garden Tools: The Best Way To Get Rust Off Of Your Gardening Tools


Having a beautiful garden can be a lot of work, but if you have the right tools and take care of them properly, the effort will be greatly lessened and the process will be most enjoyable. When you have found the best pair of clippers or the most handy trowel, the process of cultivating and maintaining a lovely garden can be so rewarding and fun.

When you’ve used your tools for a long time and they start to rust, garden maintenance can become more difficult and laborious which leads some people to stop maintaining their garden the right amount all together. Of course you could always buy new tools, but why waste your money on a set of brand new tools when the ones you have can easily be cleaned to work like new?

If you find yourself faced with the problem of rusty garden tools, don’t worry, this article will show you the best way to remove rust from garden tools so that you can get back to cultivating a patch of beauty and goodness.

Why do Tools Get Rusty?

how to clean rusty garden tools

Garden tools are obviously used in an outdoor environment most of the time you use them, meaning that they are susceptible to the accumulation of rust through a build up of water on the metal over time. If you want to prevent rust from building up on your gardening tools, you should make sure to clean them thoroughly after each use with soap and water and to rub them with oil or WD40 in order to prevent them from getting water damage.

It is important to store your garden tools in a place that is cool and dry. Most often it is best to hang them in order to allow any water or condensation to drip down and off of the tools rather than sit and pool on the tools or in their grooves and crevices. So we know that these are the ways that you can take care of your garden tools in order to prevent rusting, but if the rusting does happen, not to worry! There are certainly ways to remove rust from garden tools.

If you really love your tools and you don’t want to have to keep buying new ones, there are ways that you can keep them in good condition for as long as possible by regularly treating them for rust. You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive rust removing solutions in order to get rid of the rust on your favorite garden tools! In fact, the things you need might already be in your pantry, cabinets or refrigerator. Believe it or not, household items like a crumpled up ball of tin foil as a scrub brush and vinegar, cola or lemon juice as a rust treatment can be effectively used to get rust off garden tools.

How to Clean Rusty Garden Tools

How to Clean Rusty Garden Tools

The easiest way to clean rusty garden tools is with a bit of elbow grease and vinegar. Cleaning garden tools with vinegar is the most popular solution and can be done cheaply and easily. All you will need to do is soak tools overnight in a solution of vinegar and water with a 1:1 ratio. You can do this in a bucket or a jar that is big enough to fully submerge all of the rusty parts of the tool in the vinegar solution.

Once they have soaked for 8-12 hours, you will need to then scrub them with steel wool or another abrasive metal sponge or cleaning tool. Then wash the tools with soap and water, rinse, and hang them out to dry. Once they have dried it will be important to put some oil or WD40 on the tools to prevent future rusting and sustain the cleanliness of the tools that you have achieved through the vinegar soak.

While vinegar may be the most popular, there are similar ways to clean rust off garden tools that involve simply the use of a different acidic or strong soaking solution and an abrasive sponge like steel wool, a metal wire brush, or a crumpled piece of tin foil. Some people use cola, lemon juice, or store bought rust removal solution to soak their tools in instead of vinegar.

Power Tool Method

Another method of cleaning rusty garden tools involves the use of power tools. If you own power tools that can be used to buff out rust and make metals shine, you can speed up the process and restore rusty garden tools more quickly. If you are going to use power tools be sure that you clean them well so that there is no rust or residue left on your tools for future uses.

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