The Common Sandwich Spread That Can Keep Garden Tools In Tip Top Shape

This isn't another ketchup-related rust-cleaning hack. This particular condiment pulls double duty as a sandwich filler, works as a dip, and now, it can add protector of gardening tools to its list of many talents — we're talking about peanut butter. And, while it might seem like a strange concept to slather your outdoor tools in this nutty spread, it actually makes a lot of sense.

You may have noticed that some peanut butter separates if you leave it unattended. The oil rises to the top and the nutty solids remain at the bottom. Because of this oil content, it turns out that peanut butter can also be quite effective at cleaning, lubricating, and protecting pretty much any steel gardening tool, including those that open and close as well as your typical trowel or shovel. 

On top of that, this tasty spread can also help remove rust from tools that you thought were long past their expiration date. That being said, it goes without saying that you should try and use smooth peanut butter as opposed to crunchy, because that could just end up leaving your tools, well, in a worse state than they were before.

A product of many talents

In its foodie form, peanut butter is more than just a children's sandwich filler, it's also considered to be relatively healthy when eaten in moderation. In fact, UNICEF has crafted a specially blended form of peanut butter that's used to feed children suffering from malnutrition — it's pretty much a superfood!

Moreover, it's also great for extending the life of your gardening tools. Proper gardening tool maintenance states that after use, you should clean your tools, dry them thoroughly, and finally wipe them down with an oiled rag or cloth to prevent gunk build-up and rusting. If you're in a bind or are missing your WD-40, head over to your kitchen and sneak a scoop of Jiffy — as using peanut butter helps to keep tools lubricated. Just remember to clean the spread off of your tools with soap and water before using them again.

It also adds an element of protection

Not only is peanut butter a great lubrication alternative, but it also helps clean rust off of your tools. If you live in an area that doesn't allow for much gardening during the winter,  then it's common for tools to rust if not properly stored or treated before they're put into seasonal hibernation. Moisture and oxygen cause metal to oxidize, which spells out rust and possibly having to purchase new tools when springtime comes. 

Luckily, peanut butter acts like a protective barrier that keeps moisture out. It can also help make rust removal a bit easier, and save you a trip to the hardware store. Just apply some to the rusty area, and let it sit anywhere from a few minutes to hours (depending on the amount of rust). The oils should begin to break down the oxidized metal, which makes it easier to remove with a soft wire brush.