Garden Hack of the Month: DIY Tool Cleaner

August 17, 2018

Once you’re done pruning and trimming in your garden, you’ll want to take care of your gardening tools as best as you can. This DIY tool cleaner will help keep the metal parts of your handheld tools clean and sharp and if you have wooden handles, the oil will keep them from drying out and cracking. It’s best to wipe your tools down with a soft cloth and clean off any sap or sticky residue before placing them in the sand/oil mixture to help limit the spread of diseases and fungi from plant to plant.

Supplies Needed:

  • Terra cotta pot (or any kind of small pot or bucket)
  • Duct tape (or a pot without a drainage hole)
  • Sand
  • Boiled Linseed Oil (make sure there aren’t any additives in this) or Mineral Oil


  1. If you’ve chosen a pot with a drainage hole, use a piece of duct tape to cover the hole so sand doesn’t leak out of the bottom.
  2. Fill the pot with sand and mix in boiled linseed or mineral oil. You want the sand to be damp but not completely moist.
  3. Once you’re done pruning and you’ve wiped down your tools, stick them in the sand/oil mixture to clean and condition.
  4. Tools can be stored either in the sand/oil mixture or hung up.
Sand Oil Cleaner Photo Courtesy of Backyard Buildings

Sand Oil Cleaner Photo Courtesy of Backyard Buildings

What are your tried and true ways of keeping your tools in the best shape? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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