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Why you should bury your garden tools in sand, according to experts


According to experts, you should be burying your garden tools in sand to preserve them for longer and keep them rust-free.

We think it’s safe to say that the summer season is more or less in full swing, and what better outdoor activity to engage in than a spot of gardening? With all the garden ideas you may have in your back pocket, it’s important to ensure your tools will be looking up to scratch all summer long – especially if they’ve been hiding in the bottom of your garden storage ideas for so long.

Garden tools and accessories hanging on black panelled garden wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

‘Storing garden hand tools incorrectly can cause any existing issues, such as rust, to worsen. A cheap, easy and effective way to store and protect tools is by standing them in a bucket with sand and oil,’ say experts at Toolstation.

Tim Warren, DIY expert at Adkwik adds, ‘Only add a small amount for every few inches of sand, and mix it together to distribute the oil throughout. Add enough oil so that the sand is damp, as too much will make it greasy or wet.’

‘Ensure the metal ends of the tools are submerged into the sand when storing, so that they are properly protected. If the tools have wooden handles, these may need to be treated with oil before storing for long periods to prevent the wood from splitting or drying out.’

Garden tools buried in sand

(Image credit: Future PLC)

However, before trying this out for yourself, experts at Toolstation add, ‘It’s important to note that this method should only be used for tools with no moving parts – such as shovels, trowels, and forks. Putting tools with moving parts into sand could damage them.’

‘Additionally, whilst this method is great for preventing rust, if the tools you are using have a smooth, shiny surface then the sand could potentially scratch them. Tools with painted surfaces could also be worn away by the sand, which shouldn’t matter too much on heavily used work surfaces like a shovel blade.’

Tools stored in grey box labelled 'kit caddy'

(Image credit: Future PLC)

One thing to note though is that this method of keeping your tools rust-free is only effective if they’re not already rusted in the first place. This viral TikTok video posted by experts at Epic Gardening demonstrates using oil and block to first melt away the rust on the tool, sharpening it, and lubricating it again before storing it in the sand.

♬ original sound – Epic Gardening

We think is a genius tip to keep in your roster if you were looking to grow your own fruits and vegetables or take a gander at any new and exciting modern garden ideas you have up your sleeve.

If you see us carrying a bucket of sand with us to our garden… you’ll know why.

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