Don’t throw the rusty garden tools away

SAVE YOUR MONEY and just soak your rusty garden tools in a pail of vinegar (plain ol’ vinegar you get at the grocery store, no need for the horticultural vinegar) and water (I use about a 1:1 ratio).

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This is my spade, and I just soaked the bottom part on purpose so I could show you how well this works.

This is an example of how clean and rust-free your garden tools will be after a good soak and wiped down.   The rust will turn black, a sign the vinegar has done its work and the tool is ready to be cleaned.

Be sure to use gloves when cleaning off the tools after their vinegar soak! The black residue you wipe off is hard to get off your hands! PLUS – the acidity of the vinegar isn’t good for your skin.  I use rubber gloves when I wiped this down.  I also used old rags that I just threw away when I was done.

I did the same with my pruning shears over the weekend.  I had have a bad habit of buying new ones because the old ones were all rusted.  Well, now I have a whole supply of shears that are ready for the new gardening season!

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All oiled and ready to go!

Once you have cleaned your tools, be sure to wipe them down with mineral oil, this will stop them from rusting.   Re-applying mineral oil to the tools after each use and cleaning is necessary to keep them looking brand new!

I admit, have a bad habit of not cleaning my tools after I have used them.  Why?  Well, usually because I am so tired after working in the yard I just don’t feel like it.   I remember hearing a little trick (I think it was from a Martha Stewart show) where you take clean sand in a large bucket and add mineral oil, mix it well.  Then after using your tools, clean them off with water, dry them and stick them in the bucket – this will help to prevent rusting of your tools.  Haven’t tried it myself, but I will soon – once I get my tools cleaned!

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I can’t wait to get this little garden shovel cleaned up! It is from my Grandma Helen who loved to garden.

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