As the nation embraces DIY like never before there’s never been a better time to learn some tips and tricks for cleaning tools – to make sure they’re up for the job!
To help us improve DIY skills and extend the lifespan of our tools, Lisa Evans from MyJobQuote reveals her top tips for efficiently cleaning tools. Proper cleaning will prevent trusty tools from deteriorating – when we need them most.
How to clean handheld tools
Lisa advises, ‘To clean handheld tools, you should use a cleaning solution or degreaser, wire brush, hot water, steel wool, soft rag and household oil. Let the tools soak in the cleaning solution for at least half an hour; but the longer they soak for the easier they should be to clean.’
She says we should scrub the tools first using a wire brush, then using the steel wool to remove any rust. Adding, ‘If your hand-held tools are prone to rusting, you should be coating them in WD-40 or a household oil every 6 months using a soft rag.’
DIY hack for removing rust
‘The most effective cleaners are degreasers, such as WD-40’ Lisa says. However she does share some ingenious home hack solutions that will do the job too. Saying, ‘If you don’t have any rust removing solutions, there are some DIY options that work great.’ All of them are store cupboard essentials, so cost nothing to implement.
‘A cold solution of black tea works great at removing rust – leave the tools to soak for at least an hour and you should be able to take the rust right off. Soaking hand tools in white vinegar overnight and scrubbing with a wire brush also removes stubborn rust.’
When using the vinegar solution Lisa does advise mixing baking soda and water to rinse, to neutralise the acidic vinegar.
How to clean power tools
Safety first when cleaning power tools – always ensure that they are disconnected from all power supplies before you clean. Lisa says, ‘If the power tool is used in woodwork, and in turn collects saw dust, this should be cleared out using compressed air.’
‘Using a cleaning solution and rag you should wipe clean your power tools, ensuring not to get the solution anywhere near the power cables or motor. A toothbrush is a great way to clean around buttons and toggles.
Once you’ve finished cleaning with the solution, wipe down with a dry rag to remove any residue. ‘Check for any rust on the metal components and remove with steel wool.’
Regardless of whether you’re carrying out a generic clean or a deep clean to remove rust it’s recommend that you oil your tools every six months at least. This will prolong their life span and ensure they function perfectly whenever they are needed.
‘A dirty and rusty adjustable spanner is no good to anyone if it is seized up solid’ says Lisa rightly.