Store Your Garden Tools In This Sand Mixture So They Don't Rust

Have you noticed rust forming on your garden tools after storing them all winter? Simply throwing them into your shed or garage is not enough when it comes to caring for your trowels and clippers. During winter, you're less likely to use them for months. That's when moisture in the air has the chance to settle onto the metal and cause them to rust. Instead, you should fill a leftover planter with sand and oil. Then stick your clean garden tools into it with the handles exposed. When spring rolls around again, they'll look just how you left them.

Not only does rust on your tools negatively affect their aesthetics, but it also risks your plants' health. If your shears are damaged by rust, they'll begin to deteriorate and become dull. Then they won't be able to easily cut through the foliage. This causes more damage to the plant than necessary since you'll have to work harder to remove the stems instead of just giving them one clean cut. Once this happens, it's better to replace them. By keeping your tools in oily sand, you can avoid damaged plants and save money from being spent on new tools.

Fill a pot with sand and oil

Before storing your garden tools in oily sand, you need to clean them. That way, they'll be in tip-top shape when you need to use them again in the spring. Start by removing any stuck-on soil with steel wool or a brass-bristle brush. Then wipe down the metal with ethanol or isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them. Next, move onto the handles, washing them with soapy water and a stiff brush. If it's made of wood, give it a light sanding with 120-grit paper and apply linseed oil afterward.

The type of oil you use for your sandy mixture depends on what you have available. Mineral oil, linseed oil, and WD-40 are great options. Many people like to use leftover motor oil, but this is no longer recommended because it can transfer carcinogens into your soil when you use your tools. You also want to avoid cooking oils because even though they work well for this, they will go rancid after enough time has passed. You'll want to use construction rather than play sand for this hack, because it needs to be coarse enough to scrape dirt off. You can use any container or leftover planter that's big enough to fit your tools. Fill it most of the way with sand and pour in enough oil to wet the mixture. Then stick your garden tools into the container with the metal ends submerged. Leave them there all winter, and they'll look just as good as when you left them.

You can revive rusty tools that weren't stored properly last year

Don't worry; if your garden tools are already rusty, you can still revive them and store them in the sand mixture. The first step is to remove any leftover dirt from your tools. Simply scrape it off with some steel wool. Once the metal is as clean as possible, it's time to soak the rust off. Distilled white vinegar is the perfect ingredient for this method. It's a natural product that is acidic enough to clean your garden tools.

To start removing the rust, you'll need to find a container large enough to submerge the rust parts of your tools in the solution. When you have one, fill it the vinegar and some salt. Then add your trowels and shears. Leave them to soak for about a day, and then use some elbow grease to scrub the rust off with steel wool or sandpaper. Just be careful not to go too hard and scratch the good metal that's underneath. When they look clean, dry them off and wipe them down with oil before putting them into the sandy mixture.