How to Clean Pruning Shears Image

How to Clean Garden Pruning Shears? – Guide for a Clean Cut

Pruning shears are an essential go-to tool for any gardener. A person who loves gardening knows the importance of using this tool. Garden pruners are strong tools designed to last longer if taken good care of. With time, they might get rusted, and their blades might get dull and rough. But cleaning the rusty clippers regularly will solve and avoid all these issues. To keep your pruning shears in good condition, you need to take care of them. You have to clean, sharpen, sterilize and lubricate them from time to time. If your garden clippers are clean and bacteria-free, then your plants will also be healthy. Read on further to know how to clean pruning shears and maintain them rust free.

What are Pruning Shears?

A pruning shear is an effective gardening tool. It is a type of scissors that is used for plants. This sturdy and well-built tool is used to prune trees, shrubs, and overgrown branches of the tree. The equipment is strong enough to cut the hard branches and woody shrubs. Pruning helps remove dead and old branches to make room for new ones. A pruning shear thus helps you to maintain your plants by removing the unwanted parts.

Things you will need to clean the pruning shears

  • A cup or bowl.
  • Dish soap wash.
  • Hand gloves, if needed.
  • Stiff brush (wire brush).
  • A dry clean towel.
  • Lubricant oil.
  • A file for sharpening(optional).
  • Let’s start cleaning!
  • Clean the dirt or any debris.

How to Clean Pruning Shears?

Start the cleaning process by removing the dirt or debris from the pruning shear. For this, wash the shear in the wash basin under running water. Remove the debris using your hands but be very careful of the sharp blades. Don’t rush while running your fingers across the blade. The blade’s sharpness might harm your fingers. To avoid any injury, wear hand gloves.

Step-1 : Soak the Shears in Dishwater

After removing the ocular debris, you should soak the shears in the dishwasher for about 8 to 10 minutes. This will make the remaining debris mitigate and lose the surface easily. For doing so:

  1. Fill the cup or bowl with warm water.
  2. Pour the dishwashing soap into the warm water and properly mix it.
  3. After pouring the solution, get your pruners and let them settle in the water for about 10 minutes.

Note: Do not use hot water for this process. The hot boiling water can melt the rubber of the handles.

Step-2 : Scrub the Shears

Once you are done soaking the pruners, it’s time to scrub them. For scrubbing the pruners, you will need a stiff brush. A wire brush is perfect for this purpose. All you have to do is take out the shears from the mixture. And scrub them with the wire brush. Scrub the blades carefully. Remember to clean\scrub the corners and edges of the shears well. To remove the tenacious stains, you will need to put some effort into scrubbing.

Tip : If the pruning shears are rusty, you can also use vinegar or alcohol to make them rust-free. To get the best results, you will need to soak the pruning shears in vinegar or alcohol for at least 12 hours.

Step-3 : Rinse and Dry the Shears

After scrubbing and removing the hard debris, you can rinse the shears with clean water. Post rinsing, pat dry the shears with a dry clean towel or a piece of cloth. You can sharpen the shears after this cleaning process. Use a file with a fine, coarse surface for sharpening pruning shears. If your shears are dull and do not give a fine cut, you should sharpen them soon.

Step-4 : Apply Lubricant Oil

Finish this cleaning process of your pruning shears by giving them a final touch. Apply some lubricant oil to the blades. For keeping it natural, you can use linseed oil in place of any artificial lubricant.

Step-5 : Cleanse your Shears with Bleach

After completing the cleaning process, some bacteria might still be present in the pruning shears. To remove the bacteria and disinfect the shears, you can use bleach. Before using bleach, remember and carefully note that bleach is highly corrosive to metal. Therefore, to avoid any future corrosion, you will need to dilute the bleach.

You will need a bowl and the required amount of bleach for this. First, start with mixing the appropriate portions of both the elements (water and bleach). Next, soak your shears in the solution for about 1 hour. After an hour, rinse the shears thoroughly and dry them.

Note: Do not immerse the rubber handles of the shears in the bleach solution.

You will need to clean your pruning shears whenever you feel any signs or symptoms of plant infection or disease. Cleaning your pruning shears will avoid any harm to your plants.


1. How to sharpen pruners?

Ans: Just take a medium-coarse diamond hand file if you want to sharpen your pruners at home. After cleaning the pruner, file the blades to get sharp edges.

2. How often should you clean and disinfect your shears?

Ans: It is better to disinfect the shears after every cut. You have to clean the tools after atleast three cuts.


Cleaning garden tools isn’t a difficult task. You need the required supplies for the task, and you can easily clean them. The only topic of concern is safety while using or cleaning the sharp tools. The purner blades must be finely sharpened to cut the strong branches. At the same time, cleaning, be mindful of taking all the necessary precautions. For example, wear gloves to escape any untoward happening to your fingers. Clean pruning shears means there are fewer chances of infection to your plants. However, to maintain a beautiful garden, you will need to maintain the garden tools.