Cleaning a Shovel Properly

Cleaning your shovel after every use makes your shovel last longer, keeps the point and edges sharp, and makes your next job easier. No matter what the job, take time to clean your shovel. If you've used it to shovel cement or mix concrete clean it immediately to keep the cement from setting up on it.

Cleaning Dirt, Mud, Cement

After finishing your project, knock off any dirt and debris or cement remaining on the shovel blade and handle. Use a wire brush to remove any stubborn dirt. Rinse with a garden hose and wipe the wood handle with a soft rag to dry. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with clean sand. Add 1-quart of standard motor oil to the sand and mix with the shovel. Work mixture until oil and sand are thoroughly mixed. Keep the bucket and work the shovel around in the sand each time after cleaning the shovel so you coat the blade lightly with the oil. The abrasiveness of the sand will help keep the edges sharp, and the oil will prevent rusting. Periodically wipe down the wood handle with car or floor wax to preserve the wood.

Cleaning Snow Shovel

Snow shovels should also be cleaned before being put away after each use. Use a bucket of warm to hot water to melt any ice or chunks clinging to the blade, then dry immediately with a soft rag. Spray with WD-40 and store as usual.