How to Clean Hand Tools. You can clean hand tools safely and easily using a few easy-to-find cleaning products and accessories. Cleaning your hand tools from time to time will prevent rust buildup and can lengthen the life of your tools, ensuring they won't need replacement for a long time to come. Read on to learn how to clean hand tools.
Fill a bucket with hot water and add your soap, making sure you wear rubber gloves when you put your hands in the water so neither the soap nor the water temperature irritate your skin.
Place the hand tools you want to clean in the hot, soapy water.
Let the tools soak for an hour or so. Soaking tools in hot water will loosen the dirt and grime, making it easier for you to wash them clean.
Use a wire brush to clean caked-on dirt off the surface of your hand tools. To clean hard-to-reach spots, use a toothbrush or a wire brush with concentrated bristles.
Spray your tools with a high pressure hose to eliminate any problematic spots of dirt or grime. Place the tools you want to spray on a concrete surface, place your foot on the handle end of the tool to keep it in place and lower the pressure washer close to the surface of the tool so the stream of water cleans with maximum pressure.
Use steel wool to remove caked-on soil. Soak the tools in hot, soapy water as directed, and then scrub the problem spots with a steel wool bunch. You'll get the best results if you use new steel wool, rather than digging up an old bunch from under the sink or from inside a drawer in your garage or tool shed.
Remove rust with steel wool as well. Using a new bunch of steel wool, gently agitate the rusted metal surface using a small circular motion until the rust begins to lift. Continue until all the rust has been scraped away from the metal.
Dry your tools off when you have finished cleaning them. If you allow your tools to sit out while wet and air dry, you'll only increase the chances of further rust developing. Use a towel to dry them, and then store your tools in their proper places until you're ready to use them again.