Home Maintenance: Cleaning and Storing Tools for the Winter

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

All summer long you have fought weeds, mowed your lawn, tended your garden, and used your outdoor power tools. After a last large fall cleanup in your yard is finished, you can begin to prep all of these tools for winter storage. Keeping your hand tools and power tools in good working order is an important part of home maintenance.

To get started, spray your tools down with a hose to remove any leaves, grass or dirt that might have been left behind in your fall cleanup. After that, apply a light coat of oil to the metal portions of each tool. This will help keep them from rusting.

For any gas-powered tools, you have a couple of options.  Your first option is draining the gasoline that is currently in the gas reservoir with a siphon pump.  Don’t forget to check all your tools including chainsaws, leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and pressure washers.

Gasoline that is left in your tool over winter will deteriorate and gum up your engine. If you were to run this deteriorated gas through your engine it could ruin your carburetor, costing you in repairs or replacement.

Another option is to leave the gas in the tank, and use a fuel stabilizer. Stabilizer is a specially designed additive that keeps fuels from forming gums and solids over the winter. This will keep the fuel injector and carburetor from getting clogged in the spring.

Make sure to wipe down your machinery with an old wet towel, removing any leftover dirt and grime. Once your tools are clean and dry, you can store them in a garage or shed.

Visit The Home Depot’s online Tools and Hardware Department all your home and lawn maintenance needs. 

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

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