How to Clean a Pruning Saw Safely

What You'll Need
Pruning saw
Solid vegetable shortening
Paper napkin

A pruning saw is a common gardening tool which is very handy to use when you need to remove dying or unwanted branches or to thin off dense growth. Pruning is also helpful to provide a better yield and quality of fruits or flowers, to harvest, for a better shape and ultimately to improve the health of a plant. Using a pruning saw can help you carry out these tasks. However, needless to say the pruning saw will end up rather dirty after having completed its job. Hence it is important to be knowledgeable on how to best go about cleaning and maintaining it appropriately so as to improve its performance. There a few variations of pruning saws, however they all share the same basic principle of including a toothed saw blade.

Step 1: Make a Mixture Of Solid Vegetable Shortening and Water

When you notice that the pruning saw is dirty with debris, sap and sawdust after having finished a pruning job you need to clean it well as otherwise the teeth of the saw will not function well due to some clogging. A good method to clean the pruning saw is by mixing some solid vegetable shortening with water. Basically solid vegetable shortening is made up of soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and citric acids amongst other components. These are ideal for scraping off the dirt residuals more easily and effectively. Stir the solid vegetable shortening well with just a little bit of water until the consistency still remains rather thick. 

Step 2: Wear Gloves

At this point it is crucial to put on gloves prior to proceeding. Use thick gloves such as garden gloves since you will be touching the teeth of the pruning saw in order to clean it. Hence, make sure to wear gloves and to cover your hands well to avoid any accidents. Find an old, unwanted piece of cloth and dip this into the mixture. You will be using this cloth to apply the mixture on the pruning saw and to clean it.

Step 3: Start Scrubbing

Start scrubbing the pruning saw with the cloth so as to apply the mixture of solid vegetable shortening evenly all over the teeth. Once you have covered all the areas and both sides well, leave it to work for a few minutes. The shortening, if applied well, should in time start dissolving the sap.

Step 4: Wipe Clean

Next use a paper towel to wipe away the shortening and any residuals it dislodged from the pruning saw’s blade. Make sure to keep your gloves on.

It is crucial to clean the pruning saw because otherwise it will not cut properly, apart from the fact that the moisture accumulated from the various pruning jobs caught up in the blade’s teeth will cause it to rust if it is not removed. After all it is not a time consuming cleaning job so it is worth being careful.