Tips / Tools

How to Clean Your Hand Tools

Today we’re going to be moving into something important to me and should be important to a lot of other mechanics do-it-yourselfers. I’m going to go over the process that I use to clean my tools and keep them clean because I’m pretty OCD so I like my stuff not just organized but clean as well. Granted obviously after a lot of use of using some tools especially if they’re pushing grits or anything like that they’re going to become damaged. You can’t fix that if you have like you know cuts in the handles or anything like that.

Usually, I clean my tools after every job. There are two times that I clean them. Right after the job and then about once a month. I like to go through my entire toolbox and do an entire cleaning on everything. After a job I usually just use WD-40. Then when I do a monthly cleaning I like to use steel wipes and some oil (3 in 1) to lubricate my pliers and ratchets and stuff like that.

Best Cleaning Products For Your Tools

Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes

It protects coating repels against dust and dirt leaves a nice shine streak-free removes fingerprints residue smudges and grease. It’s really good and I find it works well on like my ratchets and wrenches.

Turtle Wax Chrome Polish Rust Remover

Or any chrome polish for wheels or anything to polish chrome. Turtle Wax Chrome Polish works well in not just cleaning the wrenches and ratchets but it fills in those small scratches and the wrenches and stuff so it keeps them looking nice.

Hoppe’s 9

Another thing you can use which works well is if you just go pick up a gun cleaning kit.

Properly Maintaining Your Cleaning Tools

When you have comfort grips or something with the rubber handles that kind of have the grit to them, not like smooth rubber you don’t need to try to use fuel and solvents to clean them. Because this type of rubber absorbs those chemicals and can ruin the handles. Fuel really clean as cool as well but tools tend to absorb it. And you got to be aware of some chemicals will eat away at Chrome on your tools. It’s very important to use the right chemical. I try and keep grips in a light coat of WD-40 or anything like that because it will clean them nicely without letting them absorb a lot of the chemicals.

Never soak your tools in a chemical you just need to lightly apply a coat like a rag or a paper towel and lightly go over them it will get them clean.
Just lightly spray WD-40 on a rag and then I also have another rag that’s dry for wiping off excess. You need to leave a real thin coat on there just to keep tools protected.

Take 3 in 1 oil and just apply it to the pliers. Just a small dab to keep them lubricated. That’s simply how I clean my pliers and everything when I’m done using them after a certain job.


Once again here are the products that I use:

  • WD-40 for weekly cleaning,
  • 3 in 1 oil for lubricating every once in a while
  • Chrome polish you can get any chrome polish
  • Stainless steel wipes for fridges and stoves and stuff like that these things work great once again when you wipe tools down with these you do need to go back with a dry rag
  • Same thing if you’re using CLP or polish from a gun cleaning kit or anything like that you want to go back and clean that off.

All of these products work well. Just keep them protected especially if you live in a humid area your tools will begin to rust. So it’s very important to keep them protected from the environment and just to keep them clean from dirt to keep them operating low just like ratchets and rashing wrenches and stuff like that. You can clean out keep them from gunking up and you have issues with them.

Let me know what you guys think or if you use any other compounds or chemicals on your tools. Please leave it down in the comments below for other people that are looking for you to know lubricants or chemicals to keep their tools clean.

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