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Lawn & Garden

How to Clean Rusty Garden Tools


Having clean and good working tools for your garden is just as important as having a good working circular when you are building a nice bench.  But, sooner or later, you may forget to put your nice sharp and shiny trimming tool away after using it to trim your bushes, leaving it on the wall or table outside exposed to the elements. 


Mother Nature is rather harsh on bare steel tools and rust will start to form shortly after the tool is left outside exposure to moisture.  The longer the exposure, the more rust will form.  The sooner you can take care of the rust the better.  Rust will eventually eat away at the exposed metal and damage the tool beyond repair so the sooner you can get to your tool and clean off the rust the better. 


The traditional method of removing this rust has been a bench grinder with a wire wheel.  What happens if you do not have a bench grinder?  Got some steel wool, a wire brush and some white vinegar?  


One easy way of removing the rust is to immerse your tool in White Vinegar.  HDX has cleaning vinegar which is available in a one gallon container.  Vinegar is slightly acidic and will gently eat the rust off your neglected tool. 



The length of time the tool will need to be immersed in the vinegar will depend on the amount of rust on the tool.  For light rust, you may only need to just wipe the tool off with a sponge soaked in vinegar.  For the heavier rust issues, you may need to let the tool soak for 7 days to remove all the rust. 



Vinegar is an acid.  Be sure to immerse the whole tool into your vinegar solution.  Once you have reach the desired level of “clean”, remove the tool and rinse off the vinegar and then wash the tools in a Baking Soda solution. This will neutralize the acid effects of the vinegar.  Dry off your tools and apply light oil to all the metal surfaces.  WD40 works well as does 3in1 Oil, especially if you are in a humid environment. 





For any areas that may still have a bit of rust like the spots that are close to the handle, use a small wire brush or even a bit of light sand paper to remove the rust in the hard to reach areas.




After you have finished using your garden too, it is always a good idea to coat the tool with light oil and then wipe off the excess.  This light coating of oil will help to protect your tool while it is hanging up in your storage area. 






The difference is amazing!  


Be sure to share your tool cleaning project with us and do not forget to include your pictures too!



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Posted 2015-05-22T18:19:33+0000  by Rick_HD_OC Rick_HD_OC