Clean Your Tools—Fast!— With This DIY Cleaning Station

Don't let laziness lead to rusty blades and sticky pruners. Learn how to clean your garden tools quickly (and sharpen them automatically) by setting up a simple tool cleaning station in your yard.

All you need are a bucket of sand and a bottle of oil to do most of the work for you.

(Bonus: You'll never lose your tools again when you store them this way.)

What you’ll need for the storage bin

– Small storage bin, crate, or pail – Putty knife or plastic scraper – Shop towels or rags – 3-IN-ONE® Multi-Purpose Oil – Steel wool – Boiled linseed oil, pure tung oil, or      teak oil – 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing      alcohol)

What you’ll need for the “quick clean” bucket

– Sturdy bucket (at least 8 inches deep      and 12 inches across, depending on      how many hand tools you have) – 5-gallon bucket (optional, for large      tool cleaning station) – Sand


Remove caked-on dirt.

Scrape off any stubborn, caked-on dirt with a putty knife, then wash off any remaining dirt with a sharp blast of water from a garden hose.


Remove sap.

Apply a few drops of 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil to the sticky spots and wipe with a clean rag. Pay special attention to hinged areas and pivot joints that tend to get gummed up.


Penetrate rust.

If you see rust or pitting on your gardening tools—especially if it’s causing moving parts to stick—squirt a few drops of 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil on those areas and give a good scrub with steel wool.

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