Spring cleaning your garden tools

We know that spring cleaning is not exactly the part of spring that you look forward to, but giving your gardening tools some TLC is essential if you want to keep them in good working order as you begin to spend more and more time in the garden now that the days are getting longer.

Taking some time to clean, sharpen and oil your tools will make your summer planting that little bit easier and prevent the spread of disease amongst your plants. And, as gardening tools are not exactly cheap to replace, you want to get as much use out of them as possible before they head to the bin.

gardening tools

Soap those spades

You don’t need any special products to clean your tools; a bucket of hot soapy water and a wire wool scourer pad or wire brush will do the trick. Remove as much mud and dirt as possible, but avoid scraping too hard as you don’t want to damage the metal. For shears and secateurs, it’s a good idea to disinfect the blades to avoid any diseases spreading when pruning – use a household anti-bacterial spray for this.

dirty spade

Sharpen those shears

Blunt blades can be counterproductive in the garden, damaging the branches of your hedge rather than cutting through them cleanly, so keep your tools sharp with a metal file. Always remember to keep the blade still and move the file.

Polish those pruners

A little bit of oil on the pivot point of your tools can go a long way to ease rigid joints, and applying a general purpose oil to the surface of your tools can help to prevent rust build up.

applying oil to garden hose

Charge that chainsaw

Don’t forget that your power tools could do with a clean too. Ensure they are unplugged and then wash with soap and water as above. Check the cable and plug for wear and tear and replace if they are damaged.


If you’d rather be getting your hands dirty in the soil than from washing your tools, you can prevent dirt build up by cleaning them after each use, and always storing them in a dry place such as a shed to avoid rust.

If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else relating to your garden, please tweet me @best4hedging and I’ll be happy to help.

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