As a pro, you can’t afford to lose momentum because your tools aren’t ready for the job. One of the best ways to save time (and money) is to ensure that your most trusted tools are in top shape. By practicing proper cleaning, maintenance and storage habits now, you’ll save time, energy and headaches later.
Keep Hand Tools Sharp and Rust-free
For hand tools such as shovels, rakes, hoes and shears, rinse them off after each use to keep them working like new. Just adjust the pressure of your cleaning nozzle to a powerful setting (nozzles with an adjustable front tip, like the Heavy Duty Crushproof Nozzle, will let you easily alter your spray from jet to gentle rinse), and blast off any stuck-on muck and grime. If necessary, use a stiff wire brush to remove grit from the blades and handles.
Keep the blades of your tools sharp with a hand file. If you have a tool that’s more dinged-up, use the double-cut side of your file for a more aggressive sharpening. You won’t need your blades to be razor sharp, just ready to cut through roots and soil easily.
Rust stains are a pain, but fortunately there’s a quick and easy fix. Simply combine salt and lemon juice in a bucket, then apply the mixture with steel wool to scrub the rust off.
If you’re storing tools with blades for the season, give them some added TLC to prevent rust and damage. Don’t forget to hang up your tools, as moisture can creep in through concrete floors and cause damage to metal parts.
Don’t Leave Your Hose Behind
As with all watering tools, avoid leaving your hose in the elements. Store it off the ground on a hose hanger—a hook or nail will cause creases and weak spots that damage the hose.
While you use your hose to water your lawn and wash areas around your home, did you know that it also needs a rinse to prevent damage? Try soaking it in a kiddie pool filled with warm water and dish detergent to loosen dirt and debris.
A final key to keeping your hose in top shape is having repair kit on hand to fix leaks. Keep Flexogen® Hose Seals around to provide a leak-free connection between your spigot, watering accessories and Flexogen® hose. Hose Clamp Menders are also smart to have at the ready. Easily repair a cracked hose by cutting the broken section out, attaching a mender to each side and tightening the two together for a tight, leak-resistant connection.
Wash Your Watering Tools
It may seem odd to clean off watering tools, but sprinklers need some TLC to work properly. Over time, mineral deposits, dirt, grass and grime accumulate in the jets, clogging and preventing a free flow of water. Clear a clogged jet with your sprinkler’s cleaning pin, which you can find tucked away in the side of most Gilmour sprinklers. If that doesn’t do the trick, soak the sprinkler in warm water and dish soap to loosen dirt and debris. Then use a sponge to scrub the surface area, and a bristle brush to clean off any remaining mineral or rust buildup. Finish off with a rinse of water, and towel dry to prevent rust.
While some tasks need to be done after every use and others only on occasion, consistently keeping up with a care routine will ensure that your tools—and you—are always working at top efficiency.
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