Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Nov 30
2 min read
bubble 9
How To Remove Rust From Metal Garden Tools

It happens. You may forget your shovel outside and the rain comes leaving your shovel covered in rust. Can this awful mistake be fixed? Absolutely! To remove rust from your garden tools use the following steps:

  1. Soak your tool in a 50/50 vinegar and water solution overnight. The acid from the vinegar will neutralize the rusting reaction.
  2. Scrub the rust off with a steel brush or wool using circular motions.
  3. Clean your tool off with soap and water.
  4. Sharpen your tool so it is ready for more use.
  5. Lubricate your tool with a mineral oil, WE-40, or boiled linseed oil to prevent future rusting.

Occasionally cleaning and oiling your tools will help keep them in top shape. It is understandable that after a long day in the garden you just want to put your tools up and rest. That is perfectly fine, as long as you regularly maintain your tools keeping them ready for use. Remember, a gardener is only as effective as their tools.

Take a lesson from me. This last week I needed my pruners and couldn’t find them. Finally after looking in all the usual spots I checked outside where I found them resting under the patio cover.

The only problem, It had been raining off and on all week. In this area if it rains it is also windy which is why my beautiful pruners were covered in rust.

Using this simple trick I was able to get them cleaned up and ready for many more years of use. Protecting your tools from little accidents like mine can end up saving you a lot of work in cleaning up a problem, and you will get more life out of your favorite tools.

Ashleigh Smith's photo

I'm Ashleigh Smith, a native to Northern Utah. I first gained a love of gardening with my grandmother as I helped her each summer. I decided to make a career of it and have recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University - Idaho. My studies have focused on plant production while I also have experience in Nursery & Garden Center Operations.

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Janelle Huston AKA Garden Glam Goddess

I loved your article. It was very nice. It is always interesting to learn about the language of flowers. This is a wonderful advertisement for a gift that can be given to friends and nonromantic relationships. Perfect for “Galentine’s Day” and “Palentine’s Day.” Thank you.


I learned a lot from this article! We give our cat wheatgrass but never knew how good it was for them! I just bought some seeds to grow our own so our cat can have it all the time.

Kathie Hitt

This is amazing! I had no idea you could grow your own popping corn. Will be definitely adding to my fall gardening plan to surprise my family. Thank you!


Thank you for the helpful information! As a beginner gardener it has been tempting to start everything indoors. It’s helpful to know that it best to directly sow some crops.


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I love nasturtiums. Great article.