How to Clean and Sharpen Your Garden Shears

How to Clean and Sharpen Your Garden Shears

How to Clean and Sharpen Your Garden Shears

A good pair of shears is a musthave for gardeners. Like any other tool, though, they get dirty and dull over time. Here`s how you can keep your garden shears clean and sharp for as long as possible. 

If your garden shears are filthy, not only will it be harder for them to do their job, but the residue can also harm your plants. However, with a few common cleaning products and tips, your favorite shears will help you keep your garden looking gorgeous for years to come. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Garden Shears? 

Generally, there are two types of cleaning you should do on your garden shears: seasonal and usebased. Both are important to keep your shears working effectively and your plants healthy. Because your shears get dirty every time you use them, it`s best to give them a quick cleaning after each use. Because they cut all sorts of plants, shears can quickly become coated with pollen, sap, and other substances. 

Not only will this gunky buildup reduce the effectiveness of your shears, but it`ll also allow diseased bits of one plant to transfer to another. Cleaning and sanitizing your shears after each use will reduce this risk. Additionally, try to set aside some time every season (or every 36 months, depending on your garden) to deep clean and sharpen your shears. This will remove any remaining buildup not only from the blades, but also from within the little nooks and crannies in the tool. 

How to Clean Your Garden Shears

Cleaning your shears after regular use is pretty simple. Usually, just wiping them down with a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide will do the trick. 

Just be sure to dry them completely to prevent rust from forming. If you`ve been using your shears on plants with a lot of sap, you might need something stronger to get the gunk off the blades. If that`s the case, try the following approach:
  1. Dip a rag in mineral spirits and wipe down the blades on your garden shears until all the sap is removed. 
  2. Wash your shears in warm, soapy water, and then rinse them thoroughly. 
  3. Dry them completely to prevent rust from forming. 
When it`s time to do your seasonal cleaning, that process takes a bit longer, but it`s still pretty straightforward—follow these steps:
  • Unscrew the central screw that holds the two pieces of your garden shears together. 
  • Wash each part in warm, soapy water, and then rinse with clean water. 
  • Wipe each piece down with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. 
  • Wipe dry, and then also allow the pieces to airdry completely. 
  • Sharpen the blade as needed (see next section). 
  • Rub the parts with mineral oil or flaxseed oil. 
  • Reassemble the scissors.

How to Sharpen Your Garden Shears 

You should sharpen your garden shears a few times a year, or more often if you use them a lot. Generally, you`ll know it`s time to sharpen them because they`ll stop cutting as effectively, even after they`ve been cleaned.  

To sharpen garden shears, you`ll need a doublesided sharpening file. One side serves as a sharpening stone, while the other hones, polishes, and smooths out the blade.  

Once you have the tool, follow these steps: 
  1. Slide the file along the sharp, diagonal edge of the scissors blade. Push only in one direction and do not move it back and forth. 
  2. When the blade is sharp enough, use a whetstone to gently smooth the edges. 
  3. Lubricate the blade with flaxseed oil. To keep the pruning scissors as long-lasting as possible, it is important to keep the pruning scissors clean and sharp. 
If you follow these simple maintenance tips, these blades are always  sharp and ready to help  your garden look beautiful for years to come.