Shears are one of the most common tools found in a gardening toolbox. It is used to trim branches and stems.

If kept clean and well-maintained, garden shears can last a long time.

The first step in caring for garden shears is to clean them thoroughly. Scrub the metal surfaces with a wire brush until they’re free of dirt. Soap and abrasive materials like sandpaper aren’t necessary; all it takes is a hard washing.

Sharpening comes after. File the metal with short, firm strokes, working your way up from the base of the shear to the tip. Carefully check how sharp the blades are.

Next, disinfect the shears after they’ve been washed and sharpened. Use 10 parts water with one part bleach to create a mild disinfectant. Apply the solution to the garden shears after cleaning and sharpening, and immediately after use to avoid the spread of plant diseases.

To help keep shears opening and closing smoothly without getting stuck, apply a generous amount of oil, preferably WD-40, on the metal surface. Use a rag, paper towel, or dry washcloth to wipe off any excess oils, leaving only a thin coat on the tool. The oil also helps prevents future rust buildup.

If a quick clean is what you’re after, wipe down the blades with a cotton pad soaked with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. Vegetable or olive oil can be used as a substitute for WD-40.

The entire process should only take about ten minutes or less.

Using dull or dirty shears for a gardening job is frustrating and makes the task harder to perform. Once the tools are spruced, they will be a lot easier to handle.

The process of cleaning, sharpening, and maintaining garden tools is quick and easy and lessens the likelihood of struggling in the garden.

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