You do not have to throw them away: how to clean rusty garden tools

How to clean garden tools from rust. Source: Created with the help of AI

The gardening season is in full swing, and many of us have already begun to actively care for our plots. However, after the winter, many gardeners may have noticed that their tools have developed rust, which makes them less efficient and can lead to breakage.

Thus, you shouldn't rush out and throw away the affected garden tools. First has shared several methods to help save your tools.

Rust forms when metal containing iron oxidizes when exposed to moisture and oxygen. Therefore, you should never leave your tools dirty or wet for a long time.

If you do encounter a problem such as rust, you need to act as soon as you notice it. Remember, the longer the rust stays on the tool, the harder it will be to clean.


The easiest way to remove rust from tools is to immerse them in a container of vinegar. It causes a chemical reaction that dissolves the oxides in the rust, leaving a salt that can be easily wiped off with a cloth.

A small amount of rust can dissolve in just an hour or two, but very rusty tools are usually soaked for 12-24 hours.

If you're dealing with very heavy soiling, you can use 30% vinegar. Make sure to wear gloves when working with the acid and periodically make sure that the vinegar does not damage the tools themselves.

Baking soda

Baking soda is an abrasive that can help remove dirt on slightly rusty tools. Simply make a paste of baking soda and a little water, apply it to the rust, and leave it on for a few hours. Then take a brush and give the tool a good scrubbing.

If the metal is really only slightly affected, this should help.


Actually, molasses can be used for more than just baking. It contains chelating agents that bind to rust molecules and separate them from the metal.

Dilute molasses in water in a ratio of 1:9 and leave your affected tools in the solution for 1-2 days.

To remove rust from heavily corroded surfaces, you'll need to soak them for two weeks.

Lemon or lime juice and salt solution

If you don't want to work with vinegar or wait several weeks for the molasses to work, you can use a solution of salt and lemon or lime juice for surface contaminants.

The salt will act as an abrasive, while the acid in the lemon juice is a corrosive agent that breaks down rust.

Mix citrus juice with salt, apply the resulting paste to the affected areas of the tools, and leave for about 2 hours. Keep in mind that the acid in lemon juice is not as strong as vinegar, so you'll need to use a brush or steel wool to permanently remove the rust.


There is also a way to get rid of rust without using any liquids. To do this, you will need an electric sander, metal wool, or sandpaper. With their help, you can quickly get rid of surface contamination.

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