Keep your garden tools in top condition with this rust-busting hack from TikTok

How to banish rust and store your garden tools properly

A pair of secateurs lying on dirty ground with a T3 Garden Tech month badge
(Image credit: NFT CAR GIRL / Unsplash)

Are your garden tools looking a little rusty and discoloured? Then this rust-busting storage hack from TikTok will leave them looking and performing their best.

The best garden tools do numerous jobs to help your outdoor space look neat and tidy all year round. From pruning and digging to snipping and lopping, both manual and electric gardening tools tackle the majority of tasks around your garden… but they need to be in good condition to get the job done.

Having rusty tools not only looks bad but they impact performance. Rust affects the sharpness and movement of your tools, making it hard to snip through even the easiest of branches, and effectively, rendering them useless. To keep your tools rust-free, it’s all about how you store them.

The main reason your garden tools collect rust is due to water and moisture. By storing them in a cool dry environment, you’re avoiding this damage and giving your tools good air circulation, which prevents rust and mildew from growing on them. But a recent rust-free storage hack that’s currently doing the rounds on TikTok from Epic Gardening is being heralded by many and it involves burying your tools in sand.

TikTok user, Kevin from Epic Gardening creates informative videos that show how to tend to your garden, including pruning tips, growing advice and other gardening DIYs. His advice for storing your tools and avoiding rust is to give them a proper cleaning before plunging them into a bucket of sand.

In his video, Kevin is seen giving his secateurs a proper oiling to get rid of rust, dirt and grime that have collected on the blades. As he says in his TikTok, “I use a 3-in-1 oil and a block to start melting away rust. Then we need a few passes with a sharpener on the back to remove any burrs and then we oil it up again and massage it in.”


♬ original sound - Epic Gardening

Using oil on your garden tools is one of the most popular ways to remove rust from them. While there are plenty of rust-busting oils on the market from retailers like B&Q and Toolstation, cooking oil is also frequently used to prevent rust on metal surfaces.

After removing all dirt and rust from the tools, Kevin prepares his sand. In a bucket of sand, he adds a healthy dose of oil into the sand before giving it a stir. Once the sand is mixed with the oil, your tools can be stored in the sand and continue to be lubricated until your next use.

This hack keeps your tools clean, decontaminated and preserves them for longer. Of course, if you’ve neglected your garden tools and they’re so rusted over that they can barely move, a bucket of oily sand isn’t going to fix this problem. But, if you keep on top of their care, you can prolong the life of your tools with just a little sand and oil.

For more gardening tips, here are 10 essentials every gardener needs in their tool kit.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!