Prevent Rust or Bust! Clean and Put Away Your Tools
Hand Tools and Small Engine Equipment Prep & Storage
There is a nearly endless variety of small-engine-driven equipment and hand tools, but a few common ones include:
- Pressure washers and pumps
- Lawn mowers and edgers
- Stump grinders and log splitters
- Weed whackers and leaf blowers
Clean, dry equipment fares better during long-term storage because there is no dirt or other debris that can lead to corrosion. If you have an air compressor, you can use that to remove superficial dust and debris. You can used your garden hose to quickly and thoroughly clean all your lawn and garden tools, as well as your lawn mower. After you’ve used it one last time for the season, you should properly store your pressure washer for winter. (See section below). Either dry your equipment by hand or allow it to dry completely before storing.
To clean hand tools, simply wipe them down with a damp rag, or wash them with soap and water. Dry them well. For metal tools and parts, spray them with WD-40 or linseed oil and wipe with a clean rag. If your power tools have cracked housing with more than a hairline crack, don’t use them. Talk to a professional who make be able to repair them.
Remove minor rust by brushing it off with a metal brush.
Preparing Your Pressure Washer for Storage
Part of proper pressure washer maintenance means correctly storing your pressure washer during the off-season. It involves first preparing the fuel system by training it or adding fuel stabilizer. The engine will also benefit from an oil change. Finally, all water must be drained from the unit—especially the pump—and you should use Generac Pump Shield to lubricate the pistons and seals.
A complete description of prepping your pressure washer for storage can be found here
(And Finally), Storing Your Tools
When you’ve done all this prep work, now you can store your tools for winter. Store all tools in a cool, dry place to avoid rust. Work with the amount of space you have and choose whatever storage method works best for you. This could mean:
- Hanging on pegboards
- Storing in boxes, bags, or chests
- Storing on a rack or in a cabinet
- Putting them in drawers
- Keeping them on shelves
- Storing in toolboxes
- Keeping power tools in their original cases
Keep in mind that toolboxes can be used for storage, but they can also be a place to keep the tools you use most often. If your garage or basement is damp, use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. Hang your garden tools so that they aren’t resting on the floor where moisture can seep in. You can also use silica packs, rust inhibitors or anti-rust drawer liners. It’s also important to clean your tools after every use.