Garden tools are an investment in your gardening experience. For optimum performance, garden tools must be cleaned and stored properly. Unfortunately, some people neglect their tools after the growing season. When spring arrives, the dirt-caked tools are usually rusty from being left out in the elements. With some sanding materials and elbow grease, you can have your garden tools looking like new. And by keeping them clean and away from moisture, you can keep them rust-free.
Put on a pair of safety goggles and a pair of leather gloves to prevent rust, dirt and loose bits of metal from getting into your eyes or cutting your hands.
Place garden tools with major rust accumulation in a bench vise. Use a drill and wire brush attachment to remove the rust. The wire brush attachment is a wire wheel with a stem that fits into the drill chuck.
Remove surface rust and dirt with a stiff wire brush for those garden tools with lighter rust accumulation. Work the brush up and down vigorously to remove the majority of the rust.
Sand the rust area by hand with 80-grit sandpaper. Try to stay away from the cutting edge of tools to prevent dulling the edge with the sandpaper. Work from the center of the rust area to the end of the tool.
Rub the area with steel wool to smooth out the tool surface.
Wipe the tool surface with a clean cloth to remove the rust dust, and apply a coat of mineral oil to the tool surface with a clean cloth.