Give your garden tools a spring clean
Well cleaned and maintained tools will last longer, perform much better and will repay your financial outlay in buying them initially.
As a keen and conscientious gardener you will of course have been keeping all your equipment in tip top condition and cleaning it regularly throughout the year as you have been using it. Or maybe, like some of us, you threw everything down in a heap on the shed floor at the end of October and haven’t ventured in there since!
Whichever type of gardener you are (and most of us will be somewhere in between the two!), we all know how important it is to give your tools a much-needed blitz and spritz.
Always put your tools away as clean as you can manage. This is important because tools that retain moisture can lead to the development of rust. Also, when you have tools and blades that come in contact with various twigs, branches, leaves and dirt, you can easily spread the disease of one plant to another. It is important to not only remove dirt and grit but to kill any bacteria that may have come in contact with your gardening tools.
Always wipe tools with a dry rag after using them and before putting them away. A quick rub over with tool maintenance oil may be all that is needed on a regular basis. For deep cleaning soak the metal end of tools in a tub of hot soapy water. After soaking for 10 or 15 minutes, then rinse. Using a bleach solution of 3 parts water and 2 parts bleach in bucket, take clean rags and dip into the bleach solution and wash all surfaces of the gardening tool. Dry the washed gardening tools, by hand then lay them down on a dry, clean surface, such as another old clean towel or piece of cardboard.
Lats, but not least, sharpen the blades. If your tools have really been neglected and are very blunt then the Darlac tungsten sharpener is ideal. This sharpener is recommended for very blunt workshop & garden tools, knives and scissors. It has an integral oil holding sponge which allows you to oil tools after sharpening.
For other tools in your shed, Darlac’s diamond sharpeners in coarse and fine create the ultimate edge on garden tools, workshop tools, kitchen knives and scissors. With approx 52 billion diamond particles per sq. inch these sharpeners continue sharpening even when they "smooth out", exposing more sharpening edges to keep your tools and cutlery in "like-new" condition. Always file in one direction away from you. Adjust your angle as needed to file the entire edge evenly; usually 10 strokes will expose clean metal over the entire edge. Then do the same with the other blade, and never use small jerky strokes, because it will cause you to lose the factory edge.
So even if your tools have been a little bit neglected until now, they can still seem as good as new, ready for action!