Gardening Tools

How to Clean and Sharpen Pruning Shears

Pruning Shears

It’s important to always keep your pruning tools properly maintained. It means they have to be cleaned, sharpened and sanitized. If you don’t take care of your pruning shears they can cause more harm than help. You can get hurt and you can also damage your plants.

The good news is that even old, dirty and rusty pruning tools can easily be cleaned and made as good as new. It doesn’t even take more than 20 minutes to properly clean your pruning shears.

Cleaning Your Pruning Shears

To properly clean, sharpen and disinfect your pruning shears, you will need:

  • Water
  • A sharpening file
  • A small wire brush about the size of a toothbrush
  • Water
  • Some bleach
  • Oil
  • A clean rag
Pruning Shears

Cleaning is made using a wire brush. Scrub all the metal parts with the brush using only clean water. No soap or other cleaner is needed. Make sure to scrub over all the metal areas until the metal is clean.

Sharpening is easily done using sharpening file. Use short, firm strokes and work your way from the base of the pruning shears to the tip. It can take some time but at the end your pruning shears will be sharp and ready for use.

Disinfection. To disinfect your pruning shears, mix 1 part bleach with 10 parts water and wash your previously cleaned and sharpened tool for a few seconds. Allow to dry. Disinfection is important in order to prevent passing any plant diseases around.

Finally, you should coat your pruning shears in oil. This will prevent rust from building up and it will also make your pruning shears open smoothly. Wipe off excessive oil using a clean rag and your pruning tool is ready for use!

For even better results, you may choose to dissemble your pruning tool to clean each part individually.

Photo credit: Kristine Paulus via photopin cc