Garden tools can be expensive. But choose good ones and with care, they’ll last a lifetime. Like a favorite pair of shoes, your old reliable spade or pruning shears can give you an edge of comfort and familiarity, making even the toughest gardening chores seem a little easier.
However, if you don’t clean and take care of that spade or those shears at the end of the season and they spend the winter in a damp basement, you’ll shorten their life and effectiveness. Actually, you should clean your tools after each use. But who has time for that? If you’re a procrastinator, at least take the time to give all of your hand tools an in-depth cleaning before you put them away for the winter.
No more rustOnce the blades are sharp and ready for next spring, you need to keep metal parts from rusting. Wipe all of the metal down with a paper towel or rag soaked with a petroleum-based lubricant, such as 3-IN-ONE® oil. Rub the oil in well, making sure you get it into all of the nooks and crannies. Wipe off the excess when you’re done.
If you left a tool out in the rain last summer, you know how the wooden handles can get rough. Now’s the time to sand them smooth again. Then dip a rag in boiled linseed oil and rub it over the handles to seal the wood.