How to Clean Tools

Whether it is hand tools or power tools, they should be cleaned regularly to protect them from dust. With proper cleaning and maintenance, you extend the tools’ life and ensure that they will remain rust-free. Where cleaning hand tools is quite easy, power tools require a more delicate touch. They cannot be cleaned with water and soap, as both may seep into the crevices and cause an electrical spark when the tool is plugged in. We all like to keep a toolbox ready in our garage to make small fixes on our own. A staple that is missing from your tool box is the WD-40 specialist degreaser. This solvent is degreaser which can clean your tools. A mistake that most people make is that they throw away the instruction manual and then try to clean the tools with lubricants they aren’t even sure will remove the grease and rust. Sometimes they aren’t even aware of the fact that these lubricants might even cause some damage to the tools.

Cleaning Hand Tools

Grease and rust build-up on hand tools are quite common. We usually leave them out lying on the kitchen slab, few are kept in our car and other rot in the garage. It is important to clean these tools regularly because with time, the sharp ends become blunt and develop small cracks. It’s possible that they might shatter from a hard impact.

Using WD-40 Specialist Degreaser

So, in order to clean the rust from the tools, you need to degrease them first. Using the WD-40 specialist degreaser, apply a coat on the tool and wait for five minutes for the lubricant to loosen the grease. Wipe the grease off with a lint-free cloth and apply the degreaser once more. Now, use a steel wool to scrub away any stubborn stains and rinse the tool with water. This degreaser is very light and does not leave any residue behind. A rinse in the water will remove the remaining of the degreaser and make it ready for rust removal.

Using a DIY Solution to Clean the Rust

Since hand tools such as screw drivers, hammers, wrenches, etc are small, they can be cleaned easily. Following are the items you will need to clean the tools:

  • Vinegar
  • Toothbrush
  • Steel wool
  • Bucket
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Hair dryer
  • Sponge
  • Coconut oil


  • You will need a bucket full of vinegar if you are planning to clean all your tools together. If the rust build-up is large, leave the tools in the bucket overnight. By morning, you will see that most of the rust will have dissolved in the vinegar
  • Take out the tools and scrub them with steel wool (scrub the small, hard to reach surfaces with a toothbrush)
  • In a bucket, keep the ratio of water to baking soda 2:1 and soak the tools for five minutes (this will remove any discolouration)
  • Rinse all the tools with water and dry with paper towels
  • Blow dry the tools to prevent the smallest of oxidization
  • To prevent the tools from rusting further, coat them lightly with coconut oil and store in a box

Cleaning Power Tools

Cleaning power tools is a little bit harder because you cannot submerge them in vinegar. First, you need to take them apart using the instruction manual and only then; you can use WD-40 specialist degreaser to remove grime and dust.

WD-40 specialist degreaser can be used to clean power tools such as chain saws, drills, jigsaws, etc. Following are the items you will need to clean power tools:

  • Heavy duty gloves
  • Compressed air can
  • Bucket
  • Hot water
  • Towels
  • Cleaning rags
  • Vinegar
  • WD-40 specialist degreaser
  • Steel wool
  • Toothbrush
  • Commercial tool cleaner


  • Use compressed air can to blow off any dirt and small pieces of shavings from the crevices
  • Before you start degreasing, wear heavy duty gloves to protect your hands from the tools’ sharp edges
  • Take apart the tool and clean each part with WD-40 specialist degreaser by scrubbing with a steel wool and tooth brush. Repeat the process
  • Now, submerge the metal parts that are not connected to any wires in vinegar and repeat the steps that were used to clean hand tools
  • To remove any remaining grease and rust, submerge the metal parts in a bucket filled with one gallon of hot water and the recommended amount of commercial tool cleaner
  • Wet a small area of the rag in this solution and use it to clean the wiring (make sure that the rag is just damp and not wet)
  • Wipe down the entire tool’s surface and stay away from the motor casing
  • Use a towel to dry all the pieces and make sure that there is no moisture left
  • Using a toothbrush, clean all the toggles or switches
  • After everything is degreased and cleaned, check it once over and use the solution and steel wool to scrub off any remaining rust
  • Let the pieces dry before putting them back together. Before plugging it in the socket, make sure there are not any cuts in the wire that might have absorbed water or the commercial cleaner

The WD-40 specialist degreaser in these cleaning steps makes sure that after the grime and grease is scrubbed and wiped off, you have a clean surface to use other techniques for removing the rust. WD-40 also offers various other specialist cleaners for different purposes. Depending on the type of object you are trying to clean, whether its garden tools, car engine, flooring, motorbike or bicycle, all the lubricants for a squeaky clean job are available. Always read the manufacturers guidelines before cleaning your tools.

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The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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