When using your pruning shears, you should be sure to keep them clean so they can continue providing you with years of service. Here are some ways to do it!

The “how to clean rusty pruning shears” is a question that many people have. There are 8 ways to remove rust and clean your pruning shears.

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Every work has a tool to help it get done, just as “there is a season for everything.”

A pair of shears is an essential tool for many household tasks, particularly those involving gardening.

However, as useful as they might be, they can cause serious difficulties if you let your shears to rust. Even if you have the toughest pruning shears on the market, a little amount of rust may cause the blades to lose their sharpness.

Allowing them to rust further may cause them to become dull, ineffectual, and dangerous.

That’s why you should follow the procedures below to keep your shears from rusting in the first place and, if that doesn’t work, to clean and restore them to their former brilliance.

Prevention is the first step.

You may not have to deal with rusty garden shears if you can avoid it in the first place, so that’s where you should start.

First and foremost, make certain that you are thoroughly cleaning them.

After each use, wash your shears and let them air dry. This is vital because if you store them while they are still wet, moisture might be trapped inside, making corrosion more likely.

Clean the blades using a cloth or brush and a good quantity of dish soap, Pine-Sol, or something similar.

After cleaning the instrument and allowing it to dry, you should consider sharpening the blades if required.

Most essential, make sure that any sticky residue or sap that has been adhered to the shears is removed. If you’ve been cutting through plant material, sap from the branches may be discharged, clinging to the blades and making them sticky, rusty, and dull.

After you’ve cleaned, dried, and sharpened the tools, you’ll want to use an oil-cleaning, rust-removal product like WD-40. This is one of the most vital items in your rust-fighting armory, and it may be applied to the blades with rags by spraying or rubbing it on.

Vinegar is the first treatment method.

If prevention fails, this is an excellent place to start when it comes to cleaning your shears. Vinegar is readily available, and when paired with the approach, this is one of the most simple and accessible rust removal solutions.

Put your shears in a basin of vinegar, totally burying the metal components in the solution and letting them rest overnight. A 50/50 combination of vinegar and water should be used in the solution.

Take them out after they’ve soaked for a while and clean them with steel wool or something similar.

Even cleaning oil or vinegar can’t always beat some good old-fashioned elbow grease, so don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with the steel wool or other scrubbing tool.

Don’t be scared to keep the metal in for longer if required.

It’s crucial to note, however, that this procedure isn’t suitable for everyone or every pair of shears. Because various metals react differently to vinegar, although most metal alloys should be OK, some, such as stainless steel, may corrode.

If you’re not sure what to do, try a drop of vinegar and observe what happens before plunging your shears in.

Tea and soda are the second treatment method.

You may use Earl Grey or Coca-Cola instead of vinegar if you don’t have any on hand (or simply have a lot of it in your fridge).

The soda’s phosphoric acid may aid to dissolve the rust.

Strong black tea might also aid in this process.

Lemon and salt are the third treatment method.

Salt and lemon juice may also be added to the latter recipe.

Because of some fundamental chemistry, this strategy works. The abrasive quality of the salt, along with the natural acidity of the lemon, may assist loosen and remove rust spots.

To make this procedure work, add salt to the rusted-over areas before applying lemon juice. Allow two hours for the two to combine before cleaning it with a lemon rind or, if the rust is really obstinate, a metal scouring pad or something similar.

Rinse the lemon and salt away, and the rust should disappear.

Baking Soda is the fourth treatment method.

You may use a box of baking soda instead of a can of soda to aid with your rust problems.

This, together with carbonated soda, tea, and lemon, is ideal for mild rust stains. It may also be useful when used on lighter metals, so if that describes your shears, it’s worth a shot.

Mix the baking soda and water together until a thick paste forms, then apply it to the metal. On the areas where the rust is the heaviest, you’ll clearly want to distribute it heavier.

Allow the paste to settle for about an hour before scouring it with a steel wool brush or other cleaning tool. Remove the paste, dry the metal, and you’re done.

To get to this point, we’ve tried a number of various approaches.

This is a more do-it-yourself way than the tried-and-true WD-40 and other methods listed before.

If you don’t have any of those items on hand, or if you’re handy with DIY projects and don’t mind the treatment’s experimental character, it can work wonderfully.

Power Tools are the fifth treatment method.

This may sound severe, but if you’re dealing with a particularly tenacious rust buildup, desperate times call for desperate measures. If the procedures listed above haven’t worked, you may wish to investigate this alternative.

Power tools, when used correctly and cautiously, may be an efficient approach to remove caked-on rust.

However, not just any power tool will suffice. Drills with wire brush attachments and Dremels particularly designed to remove rust should be used.

Bench grinders may also be used.

Whatever you select, be very cautious, wearing gloves and safety goggles at all times, sharpening your tools before each use, and stopping at the first hint of difficulty.

Do not attempt to make this approach work by “forcing” it to work.

Dish Soap and Salted Potatoes (Treatment Method #6)

This may seem like a strange combination, but dish soap combined with salted potatoes may result in rust-free pruning shears.

Oxalic acid is found in all potatoes and is a common component in cleaning solutions, notably those that may remove rust.

This may be aided by using dish soap.

Slice a potato in half and cover the rusty section of your pruning shears with dish detergent to get the most out of this procedure. Dish soap should be used to cover the portion you’ve sliced open.

To help the potato “work” better, sprinkle it with a little of salt or baking soda.

This should be rubbed against the rusty spot on your pruning shears. Rinse and thoroughly dry everything.

Metal Glo and Similar Metal Cleaners (Treatment Method #7)

Get a product like Metal Glo or a comparable premixed solution and use it as required. In the absence of Metal Glo, you may experiment with similar compounds.

In any case, make sure you massage the substance following the metal’s grain pattern to prevent damaging it.

Naval Jelly is the eighth treatment method.

We’ve arrived at another way that’s a little more experimental this time. Even though it may seem improbable, naval jelly may be quite efficient in removing persistent rust stains off pruning shears.

You should spray it over the corroded area to get the best results. It should take around 5 to 10 minutes to dissolve the rust.

This approach is only applicable for thicker metals, it should be mentioned. If your shears are made of thinner metals, this approach could be too harsh for them; instead, try one of the other, gentler ways.

Last Thoughts

As you can see, you have a lot of alternatives when it comes to dealing with rust on your pruning shears.

Which option is best for you depends on how much rust has built up on the shears, how robust the metal is, how confident you are in your DIY abilities, and the resources you have available.

Again, WD-40 is a tried-and-true rust-removal solution.

If you don’t have it, any of the ways listed above may help you shake off the rust and get your tools ready to use again for whatever work you need them for.

The “how to clean and sharpen garden tools” is a guide that offers 8 different ways to remove rust from your pruning shears.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove rust from shears?

A: I am not a shears.

What should I use to clean pruning shears?

A: Most people will use a mild soap like dishwasher detergent or hand-sanitizer. Many gardeners also recommend using olive oil as it is an excellent lubricant and cleaner.

How do you clean old pruning shears?

A: The best way to clean old pruning shears is to pour rubbing alcohol over the blades and let dry. You should also use a toothbrush so that you can scrub out any leftover dirt or debris from within the mechanism of your tool.

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