Want your tools to last longer?
Autumn is a great time to give your garden a good tidy up! It’s a nice season to be outside as the temperature can still be quite mild.
One task that we would recommend adding to your autumn to do list is cleaning your tools. It may seem like a pretty mundane task but keeping your tools clean can not only lengthen the life of the tool, but can also help keep your plants healthy.
So start implementing some of our easy tool care tips below, and we guarantee you will see less rust, and get more use out of your tools.
Clean your tools after each use
By rinsing your tools with water and getting rid of leftover dirt, you will prevent spreading diseases, fungi, insect eggs and weeds around your garden. Cleaning will also help keep the rust from eating into the tools.
Apply oil to prevent rust
Even after washing and drying, tools can still be susceptible to rust so for extra protection we recommend applying a layer of vegetable based oil over the metal parts. The oil will insulate the steel and prevent it from oxidising.
If your tools are showing signs of rust, this can be removed with sandpaper or a wire brush. Simply sand away the rusty areas then apply a coat of oil to protect from future rusting.
Blunt tools can be a real pain and very ineffective! Sharpening tools yourself can be a tricky job so we would recommend taking them to a local expert. Our friendly staff in store will be able to point you in the direction of a good tool sharpener!
Hanging tools up on a shed or garage wall is a great way to store them. It keeps them out of the way and also minimises damage to sharpened edges. If your tool has a wooden handle, try drilling a hole in the end and hanging it on a nail in the wall.
Cleaning your gloves
Whether your gloves are cotton, leather, or rubber, you want to keep them clean so they provide effective protection. You can’t clean all materials the same way, though, so it’s important to understand how to care for the particular type of gloves that you own.
Cotton gloves should be rinsed after use so excess soil and other materials don’t have a chance to sit in the fabric too long. Because cotton is a durable material, you can wash them in your washing machine as you would any cotton clothing, use cold water to prevent shrinkage and then dry on the line.
Leather or suede gloves can be tricky to work with if they’re dirty. Brush off any dry, loose or caked on dirt, it’s best to use your fingers, but if you’re having trouble, you can use a soft bristled cleaning brush. Place a small amount of soap on a damp paper towel or soft rag and rub back and forth to create a lather. Spend several minutes working the soap into the leather so it has a chance to penetrate the dirt, this is easiest if you actually wear the glove whilst cleaning. Once you have worked the soap into the glove, rinse away the suds with a clean, damp piece of paper towel or soft rag. Lay the gloves flat on a towel to dry. Leather can become stiff over time so it is a good idea to treat them with linseed oil or a special leather oil.
Rubber gloves should be rinsed after use to prevent caking of dirt and debris. It’s easiest to rinse with the garden hose whilst you’re still wearing them. Use dish detergent to remove dirt, carefully working all over the rubber to get it clean and rinse with cold water once you’re done. Allow your gloves to air dry.