Whether you’re a professional mechanic, DIY enthusiast, or simply use mechanic tools to fix your car from time to time, cleaning your tools will make them last longer. If you’re a person who prides themselves on their tools, clean tools should be a priority for you, and you must know how to clean them right. Most people believe that cleaning mechanic tools require a wide range of cleaning supplies and products, and this is not true. While cleaning supplies and products can improve your cleaning, they are by no means necessary. We’ll show you how to clean mechanic tools without excessive supplies and products.
Learn How to Clean Mechanic Tools
Dirt and grease are common elements that dirty up your mechanic tools. Most importantly, excessive grease can affect the proper functioning of your tools. Additionally, rust not only looks bad but can also diminish your tools’ full capabilities over time.
What You’ll Need
Before answering “how to clean mechanic tools,” we’ll share a list of things you’ll need to clean your mechanic tools. You’ll find most of these things in your home, while others may easily be found in your local stores.
- Pair of vinyl or latex gloves
- Dishwashing soap
- White vinegar
- Soft cloths
- Aluminum foil
- Machine oil
- Brake oil
- Air compressor or a can of compressed air duster
- All your dirty, greasy, and rusty, chrome-plated, and non-plated mechanic tools and power tools
Cleaning Chrome-Plated Mechanic Tools
Using just soapy water and a sponge to clean your chrome-plated tools is a much less corrosive manner than using degreasers or WD-40. Also, it’s a much safer cleaning method because it does not involve organic solvents that absorb into your skin easily to cause illnesses.
Mix some dishwashing soap with warm water in a bucket to create some soapy water.
Dip the sponge in the soapy water and use it to thoroughly clean your chrome-plated tools.
Dip a toothbrush in the soapy water and use it to clean the hard-to-reach areas of your mechanic tools.
For stubborn grease stains, you can repeat the steps given above using a white vinegar solution instead of a soap and water solution.
Rinse your tools properly with clean water and make sure no soapy residue or vinegar remains on the tools.
Dry the tools properly.
Once dried, spray a little WD-40 on the tools and use a soft cloth to buff them thoroughly. This method will prevent the tools from rusting.
Cleaning Non-Plated Mechanic Tools
Non-plated mechanic tools typically require organic solvents or degreasers for proper cleaning.
Wear vinyl or latex gloves to prevent harsh degreasers or organic solvents from damaging your skin.
Spray some WD-40 on the non-plated tools and wipe them thoroughly using a cloth until the grease and dirt are cleaned off. WD-40 will not only clean but also prevent your non-plated tools from rusting.
For tougher greasy stains, apply some degreaser to the tools and thoroughly wipe using a cloth.
Cleaning Power Tools
Even though cleaning power tools is a bit more complex and time-consuming, they need cleaning to last long and function properly as well.
Make sure the power tool is unplugged.
Remove the dust and dirt from the crevices of your power tool using an air compressor or a can of compressed air duster.
Use machine oil to buff the metallic parts of your power tool.
Use oil or WD-40 to properly lubricate all the moving parts of the power tool.
Removing Rust from Chrome-Plated Tools
The following steps use a simple chemical reaction between aluminum and rust to clean all your chrome-plated mechanic tools. It is a highly effective rust cleaning method that does not damage your tools or cost a lot of money.
Pour white vinegar into a basin; this will act as the medium for rust removal.
Cut out small pieces of aluminum foil to match the size of your mechanic tools’ rusted parts.
Dip the oil in the white vinegar.
Scrub the rusted areas of your chrome-plated tools gently with the aluminum till the rust wears off. For pitted areas of rust, crumble the foil into a ball shape to scrub off the rust.
Once the rust wears off, use a sponge to gently clean the scrubbed areas.
Let the tools dry completely.
Spray a little WD-40 on the dry tools and buff them thoroughly using a soft cloth to prevent future rusting.
Reducing Rust from Non-Plated Tools
Non-plated tools can easily get damaged from chemical reactions. Therefore, your best option is to reduce the rust damage from further building up and corroding the tool.
Use a wired brush to scrub off the rust from the tools gently.
Clean the rusted areas with a cloth sprayed with WD-40 or typical brake oil.
Buff the entire tool using WD-40 and a cloth to prevent rust damage on non-rusted areas.
Our Final Thoughts
To summarize, you do not need to buy a wide range of cleaning supplies and products to clean all your mechanic tools. You can mostly do it with things you find around the house, and the rest you can easily purchase from local shops without breaking the bank.
It is always best to separate your chrome-plated tools from your non-plated tools when cleaning grease and dirt or removing and reducing rust. They both require different approaches, and it is best not to use the same cleaning technique on both.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to clean mechanic tools using the simplest household products. By following the cleaning instructions mentioned in this post, you can ensure that all your mechanic tools, including power tools, are cleaner than ever and rust-free for longer. For the best results and longevity of your mechanic tools, we recommend you thoroughly clean them 3 to 4 times a year.