Essential lawn care tools may sit unused for most of the year, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Caring for them properly during the summer and winter seasons ensures they’re ready to go when spring arrives and will also help extend their life. Here’s how to maintain your essential lawn care tools.
Lawn care tools often get covered in dirt and grass, but that doesn’t mean they should be left that way. After each use, wipe down tools to remove the grime. Keep an eye on the handles, too. Use sandpaper to remove any splinters and smooth any nicks in wooden handles. Before storing for the winter, apply a coat of linseed oil to protect the wood and prolong its life.
Apply Lubricating Oil Regularly
Shears, pruners and anything with a hinge will benefit from a squirt of lubricating oil to make sure they open and close smoothly. Because a shovel‘s surface gets scratched quickly, apply lubricating oil or silicone spray after each use to prevent rust. This is especially important when you store your tools for the winter.
Store Hoses to Avoid Cracks and Kinks
It’s never a good idea to leave a hose lying haphazardly on the ground. Store it after every use so that it doesn’t trip anyone or get run over by the lawn mower or car. A hose is best stored coiled neatly to resist kinks. Before you coil the hose, turn off the faucet and release the water pressure so it coils more easily.
At the end of the season, be sure to drain all the water from hoses before storing them for the winter. If possible, they should be stored indoors to protect them from the elements. Don’t forget to remove any nozzles and let them drain completely, so they don’t crack when residual water freezes.
Tune Up Engines Once a Year
Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws and any other engine-powered tools need a tune-up each year. Check to be sure air filters are clean, and replace them if needed. Change spark plugs, and clean air intakes. Check the oil, and top it off at the start of the season if it’s low.
Do a visual check of things like pull cords to make sure they’re not frayed, and tighten any bolts that worked their way loose over the previous summer. Blades on mowers and chainsaws should also be sharpened periodically following the instructions in your owner’s manual.
The summer season is short, but there’s plenty of lawn work to be done. Take the time to properly maintain essential lawn care tools, and they’ll be ready to help make your yard beautiful year after year.
Check out all the lawn care products available on NAPAonline.com, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA Auto Care centers for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on lawn tools, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.