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How to Clean Pruners

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Pruners come in many shapes and sizes, from small hand pruners to long handled loppers. They aid gardeners in maintaining healthy trees, shrubs and flowers throughout the season and should be cleaned and cared for properly. Clean pruners on a regular basis to avoid ruining the tool with rust and infecting plants with diseases the pruners may carry. If you clean your pruners well every few weeks, they will stay sharp and helpful for years to come.

Remove any mud or dirt from your pruners with water and a wire brush.

Fill a bucket with warm water about halfway full. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of liquid soap as you fill the bucket to get a foamy lather.

Place the pruners in the bucket and scrub them with a cloth until all grim, sap and other unsavory elements are removed.

Dry the pruners with a clean towel.

Wipe down the pruners with alcohol or bleach to disinfect them.

Spray WD-40 or another lubricant oil spray on the metal parts of the pruners to help keep them in good working order.


Things You Will Need

  • Bleach or alcohol
  • Liquid soap
  • Lubricant oil spray
  • Wire brush
  • Bucket
  • Cloth
  • Clean towel
  • Steel wool


  • Disinfect pruners every time you cut diseased plants to avoid spreading the disease to other plants.


  • Do not allow rust to form on your pruners. If rust has formed, scrub it with a steel wool cloth to remove it.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.