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Caring for Hand Tools

Gardening tools can be expensive. And if you're like me, you're so busy during the spring and summer, you really can't take care of them properly. And it's not until fall when things slow down that you can give them the attention they deserve.

Recently, I've discovered a way that makes taking care of them much easier, there's really nothing to it. It involves three basic ingredients; a bucket, some mineral oil and sand.

Bucket of Sand and Mineral Oil with ToolsTools like my pruners always seem to be pitted and covered in rust. It's because a lot of times I leave them out in the garden. Now by keeping them well oiled, I can keep them rust free and the mechanism in good working order. I do this by storing them in a bucket of sand and mineral oil. It's easy.

Start by filling a 5 gallon bucket with a bag of play sand and then pour about 1/2 gallon of mineral oil evenly over the top, let it sift through and then push your tools in. One of the great things about this idea is that the coarseness of the sand serves like sand paper, it keeps debris off of the tools. And of course, the oil keeps water from damaging the metal.

Now, an easy way to take care of larger tools is to take vegetable oil in a can and just spray it on a tool. What I like about the bucket is that it's become a permanent home for my hand tools; I always know where they are as long as I put them back.