How to Clean Pruning Shears to Avoid Spreading Plant Diseases and Pests

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Cleaning pruning shears is a crucial part of gardening that helps avoid plant diseases and pests. These tools need to be regularly disinfected even when they look clean. In this guide, you’ll find out why cleaning pruning shears is important and how to do it properly, and the best part is that you likely have all the needed ingredients at home.

An Essential Part of Gardening

As pruning shears are a huge part of the gardening process, it’s important to keep them free from rust and debris. With regular care, you’ll also prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases like spider mites, powdery mildew, downy mildew, blight, and damping-off. So what can you use to clean them?

Bleach is a very effective cleaning product. Although it works more slowly than other methods, bleach is something almost everyone has in their laundry cabinet. All you have to do is mix one part bleach with nine parts water. Let the tools soak in the mixture for about 30 minutes and let them air dry.

Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide

Rubbing alcohol is one of the cheapest cleaning products you can find. To do the job right, make sure to use at least 70% isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. This method works the fastest and is safe for all your gardening tools. You can apply it to the surfaces with a spray bottle or wipe down the tools with a damp cloth. Then, let them dry completely.

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Like bleach, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t work as fast as rubbing alcohol, but it’s still highly effective. Opt for a 3% solution and soak the gardening tools. It should take about 5-10 minutes to disinfect the items, so it’s better to wait to clean your tools until you’re sure you won’t need them for a bit.