Your Pruning Shears Will Work Better Than Ever With A Little Help From WD-40

Your trusty can of WD-40 isn't just for squeaky doors. You can put it to work on your pruning shears to keep them clean and agile. Sharp shears are essential to keep your landscape looking pristine or prevent damaging your plants when you cut them. Dirty and rusty shears can harbor diseases and spread them throughout your garden as you prune your pretty plants. 

Dull shears won't cut in one try, causing you to damage and weaken the stem. A clean cut will help the stem heal faster and prevent diseases, but a choppy cut that takes a few tries will make it harder for your plants to recover. Where there's rust, there's moisture, and where there's moisture, there's probably more disease. Avoid rusty tools at all costs to keep your plants happy and healthy. Cleaning them once a year and treating them with a periodic coat of WD-40 is a great way to ensure you aren't hurting your garden.

Easily clean your shears

WD-40 is an excellent lubricant for garden shears (and even lawnmowers), but you can also use it to fight tough rust stains when you clean them. Start by disassembling your shears if it doesn't seem like rocket science. Some shears weren't designed to pull apart, so you don't need to worry about this step too much. Remove as much rust as possible with a wire brush, then switch to steel wool for the remaining rusty areas.

Once you've removed all the rust – or as much as you can – scrub them with warm soapy water and a sponge to disinfect them. The water will help loosen tough rust spots, so repeat the removal process if necessary. If you still have stubborn rust spots after scrubbing your shears well, WD-40 will get the rest. Coat the shears and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. Use a clean towel to remove the WD-40, and return to scrubbing with a wire brush or steel wool if needed. The WD-40 should make the rust easy to wipe away and leave your tools shiny and new.

Keep your shears lubricated

Once your shears are rust-free, lubricate every moving part, including where the blades meet the bolt, springs, and safety locks, with WD-40. If it's metal and moves, it needs to be oiled! Moisture and rust will build up in these hard-to-reach areas, so be as thorough as possible. Remove excess oil with a clean towel and ensure your shears are dry.

You only need to give your shears the deep cleaning treatment once yearly, but you can use WD-40 periodically for maintenance. Coat the blades to prevent rust from forming, and apply it to all the nooks and crannies of moving parts to keep them gliding smoothly. A good time to do this is if you accidentally left your shears outside and they were exposed to moisture or if they start to feel difficult to move. Wash them with soap and water first, then coat them with the oil. A well-oiled pair of shears will be easy to use. They won't resist when you squeeze them, and cutting plant stems takes only one snip.