Maintaining your gardening equipment is as important as taking care of the garden itself. You need to learn how to clean your gardening tools properly so that they will not fail when you need them the most. Moreover, clean tools will ensure that your plants do not get contaminated.
So, let’s find out how to clean gardening tools effectively! But before that, let’s learn the importance of hygiene in gardening!
Why is it important to clean your garden tools?
It is important to clean your gardening tools because they come directly in contact with your plants. You do not want any type of contagion latching on your equipment when you use it on your beloved plants.
The way contamination can happen varies depending on the type of the tools.
Sensitive tools like gardening scissors and knives are very prone to contamination. If fungus or germ contaminates the blades, the next time you use them, your plant may get infected. Open wounds on plants can easily cause rots.
Moreover, unclean gardening tools may spread the contamination, infecting other healthy plants. For example, you are taking care of a sick plant with your gardening knife.
If you are using the same knife on a healthy plant without disinfecting it, the disease will spread.
It can even be devastating if you are working with seedlings. The fragile little plant babies will not stand a chance.
Grafting is another example of a case that needs sterile equipment. When you are opening a wound on the branch of your tree for grafting, you have to be absolutely sure that your blade is clean.
We guarantee that the chance of failure will be high if you use a dirty knife. Rot may develop, and no new roots will survive. Or even worse, the decay may spread onto the whole tree, killing it.
Those are the reasons why you must know how to clean gardening tools properly!
How to clean rust from gardening tools
If your gardening tools are rusting, then you have done something wrong. You should not have let your tools get rusty in the first place. Not knowing how to clean gardening tools properly definitely will make them rusty.
Do not expose your tools to moisture for a prolonged duration. Otherwise, it will oxidize the metal on your blades or spades. After washing your tools with water, make sure to dry them thoroughly.
However, if your tools are already rusty, you need to clean the impurity as soon as possible. Depending on the type of material used for the tools, you can use various chemical compounds to clean rust.
For instance, you can use vinegar and water mix with a fifty-fifty composition. You can also use baking soda paste as an abrasive agent to remove deeper rust.
And finally, use potatoes! Yes, there is a chemical compound inside a potato that can help you remove oxidation. Just mix it with dish soap, and you are good to go. It is one of the most unique ways to clean your gardening tools!
Best way to disinfect garden tools
Alcohol is the best disinfectant for your gardening tools. It will kill 99.99% of germs and fungus that have latched on your equipment.
However, before you apply alcohol, you must thoroughly wash your tools. Make sure that it is free of mud, resin, and other pollutants. Use dish soap or detergent for tools such as spades and buckets to disinfect them.
For how to clean gardening tools made out of heavy metals, you need to treat them differently. You need to use strong chemicals like bleach or chlorine.
Dry them before you put them inside storage. Avoid humid places because you do not want your equipment to get rusty.
For bladed tools, alcohol will be a good way to sterilize them. You can use regular rubbing alcohol or liquid alcohol to do it.
Bladed tools are especially susceptible to contamination because you use them to cut your plants. So, sterilizing your scissors and knives is imperative!
Alcohol is good for cleaning your metal blades because the liquid will evaporate quickly. It won’t leave any wet mess, and it will not attract rust like water. And that is how to clean gardening tools with alcohol!
In extreme cases, for example, when you need to perform grafting, you can use hot boiling water to sterilize the knife before you make the cut.
In conclusion, knowing how to clean your gardening tools is part of gardening itself. If you are new to gardening, you must pay attention to hygiene. Do not let dirty tools kill your plants because of your carelessness!
Do not forget to also read our article about brussels sprouts planting guide for extra gardening wisdom!