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How To Clean And Sharpen Garden Tools – Classic Tips in 2024

Garden tools are what keeps a determined gardener moving. Most gardeners have almost all expertise in gardening activities.  However, only a few know how to clean and sharpen garden tools. Before we even get to that, can you imagine keeping garden tools dirty and unsharpened for a long period?  Can they even function properly? Well, they will not.

That's why cleaning and sharpening garden tools are important. These two activities are in shorter terms, the key to tool maintenance. If you have the best garden hoe, you can be sure that maintenance will be easy. Best hoes come in a perfect head type and size, depending on the users' preference. 

However, you might not enjoy using that hoe unless you maintain it. Just as they do a great job for you, you need to show that you appreciate them by taking care of them. Trust me, and you will have a lot to gain from that.

Importance of Maintaining Your Garden Tools

Importance of Maintaining Your Garden Tools

Have you ever come across a garden tool that has been used by many generations and still performs well? What do you think keeps such tools functioning for all those years? The answer to that is straightforward ' proper maintenance.' You may need to spare a little time cleaning and sharpening gardening tools.

However, you will ever regret sparing that time regularly. What we are trying to say is that cleaning and sharpening make gardening tools last longer. I mean, you will even enjoy a properly sharpened and cleaning tool.

Don't use your hula hoe and store it without cleaning. Even a quick scrub will help a lot. Now that you know why it is important to clean and sharpen your garden tools, it is time to know how to do that.

Clean and Sharpen Garden Tools

How to Clean and Sharpen Garden Tools

All gardening tools, including scuffle hoe, reel mowers, loppers, pruners, and others need a proper clean and grinding. The aspect of cleaning and sharpening only need you to know the right way to do it. Many people do clean their gardening tools, but they do it all the wrong way.

There are a few activities involved in cleaning and sharpening. All the activities should be done in the right way, to ensure that the process is effective. Well, grab your garden tools and let's clean and sharpen them the right way.

Get the materials needed

To be successful in cleaning and sharpening, we need weapons. This is the first step. If you don't have cleaning and sharpening equipment, there is no cleaning or sharpening. If you don't have this equipment, you can simply purchase or use alternatives. Here is what you will need in different stages:

Lubricating oil

It doesn't matter what kind of oil you use. As long as it is lubricating oil, you are good to go. The most accessible oils to use for lubricating include; cooking oil, motor oil, and lamp oil. If you have any other, just use it.

Cleaning materials

For cleaning, you need supplies and tools like a sprayer, pieces of clothes, hose, brush, drill with a wire brush and steel wool.

Safety equipment

Most of the garden tools you will be handling are very dangerous. That's why you need safety equipment like masks, goggles, and gloves.Some of these materials are optional. Therefore, get what you think you need to do it right. For others, you can just use alternatives.

Cleaning the Tools

Before even heading to the sharpening and other activities, you need to clean your garden tools. Clean the tools one after another. Make sure that you thoroughly clean the one tool before heading to another. Garden tools come into contact with mud.

To remove the mud, scrub using a brush. The tools with hard to remove dirt, soak them in water for some minutes for the stuck mud to loosen. If the dirt is easy to remove, spray the dirt off the hula hoe with water.

After cleaning, use a piece of dry clothes or towel to dry the tools. After drying, you can choose to leave the tools overnight before heading to the next step. If this is not possible, air dry them in the sun after wiping.

Removing rust

Removing rust

Even long handled grass shears are prone to having rust. To remove the rust we use steel wool. At this point, you can also use the drill with the wire brush attached to it. It will be easier than scrubbing manually. The metal parts of the garden tools are where to find rust.

Scrap the parts with steel wool or the wire brush attached to the drill. As much as we are removing the rust, we want to prevent the tools from getting thin at the same time. Therefore, make the scrap as gentle as possible. Once you are done you can continue to sharpen the tools.

Sharpening the tools

Almost all garden tools; grass shear lowes, hoes, and others need sharpening. Gardening tools are ready for sharpening if you have done all the above activities. It is easier to sharpen clean tools than dirty tools. You will impact a lot of effort to sharpen dirty tools.

When sharpening, you need to take into consideration all safety measures keenly. You can use manual or automatic grinders to sharpen. Be sure not to alter the angle in which a certain to is supposed to operate. Most people prefer to use a grinding stone to sharpen tools like pruners.

For long handled grass shears, shovels, scuffle hoe use bastard files. Sharpen all tools that need sharpening. With sharp garden tools, you will notice a change in how they cut and dig.


If you have the best garden hoe, you probably considered the handle type before purchasing. A good hoe will have a handle from quality wood material and long enough for the user to hold perfectly. If your hoe has a wooden handle, this is where sanding comes in.

The handle needs to be smooth to give you a comfortable grip when you dig. At the same time, the handle should help you gain control over the hoe or other tools with wooden handles. For sanding, you use sandpaper. You can choose sandpaper with 120 grits, 80 grits or both.

Sanding will remove splinters that can cause harm to your hands. You can also sand the metal parts with remaining rust. Wipe dust and rust after you are done with sanding.

Applying lubricating oil

Applying lubricating oil

The main purpose of applying oil on the tool's metal parts is to prevent oxidizing. Well, if you are not a science individual, I will explain that in simple terms. Oiling prevents rusting. How does oiling reduce rusting? Well, the oil will prevent air from getting into contact with the metal parts.

 It will simply act as a barrier between the air and steel. No matter how regular you clean your grass shear lowes, they will always be prone to rust if oiling is not in the picture. Use cooking oil, lamp oil, or motor oil at this step. Ensure that all metal parts of all garden tools are applied with oil.

Just apply enough oil on the surfaces and joints. Apart from oiling, painting paintable tools is also an option. It will prevent corrosion on the tools' surfaces.


It is time to make a change. Now you know how to clean and sharpen garden tools. All you need to do is put that knowledge into practice. Make cleaning the garden tools a habit every time after using them. It is for your benefit. Do you want to have effortless digging and cutting and tools that will last longer?

Well, then take care of the tools by cleaning and sharpening them in the right way. And if you have a grow room, and need efficient and energy saving grow lights remember to invest in the digital ballasts to provide your plants with the best lighting.

William Jones

I launched this blog as a product reviewer and passionate blogger. Beside provide advance material, guiding you towards a better home and outdoors gears essentials reviews. I devote my maximum time creating research-based product recommended to you for an easy pick.

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