How Do You Clean Sticky Tools (Experts Guide)

Published on: April 7, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Who wants to work with dirty and sticky tools? No one. There is a direct relationship between your efficiency of using tools and the tools that are taken care of. If the tool is dirty, you will less likely have negligence to hold it properly or work with it long without hesitation. 

Trust me, it takes seconds to clean a tool after use. If you know the right method and have the right cleaner, then you can also have the luxury to work with sparkling tools instead of sticky ones. Ways to clean plastic, metal, rubber parts of tools are mentioned here for your convenience. 

how do you clean sticky tools

Cleaning Dirt and Grease from Regular Use Tools

The prominent enemy of your tool is grease. Once it comes in contact with a smudge of grease from your hand or from your car, it just keeps spreading. Grease spreads like a virus from one tool to another, to the toolbox, the shelf, and where not. For being greasy, it also keeps sticking to dirt, and dust as well. So, the first thing we will focus on is, how to deal with greasy tools. 

Materials Needed

  • Paint thinner or alcohol 
  • Rugs 
  • Large tray 
  • Safety gloves 
  • Safety gears

Step: 1  

First, pick all your dirty and greasy tools that need a thorough clean-up. Place those on a large tray. 

Step: 2

Now, soak a rug with a little bit of paint thinner or rubbing alcohol. Any kind of alcohol will work. Paint thinner is cheap and usually found at home or local stores easily. Try taking the thinner in a narrow opening bottle. It helps to use a little amount at a time. 

Step: 3

Now rub the soaked rug on the greasy, spotty, and dirty tools. All the spot, dirt, and grease comes out with this simple trick. Keep following these steps till all the tools are sparkling clean. When done, just leave the tools to dry and keep those in a clean toolbox or shelf. 

Cleaning Rust off Metal Tools

Alcohol is quite good at erasing grease. But it is ineffective on rust. Metal tools easily catch rust if left for long. If the tools can be cleaned off rust then those will work as new again. Besides, sometimes, family heirlooms like an axe, knife, and similar tools need to be restored. There are multiple methods described to remove rust using the common good. 

Using Over the Cabinet Items

This step will help you to remove light rust from metal tools and parts. This is the cheapest way to remove rust. You won’t need to buy any miracle potion to do this. 

  • The ingredients you will need are Vinegar, a large container, and rugs. This method is helpful on tools that are delicate and can not be scrubbed to clean. 
  • Place the tool into a large container or plastic bag. 
  • Pour vinegar into the container so that the tool sinks in vinegar completely. 
  • Leave overnight. 
  • The next morning you will have a sparkling clean tool free from rust. Just wipe the vinegar off the tool and apply machine oil before storing it. 

Using Baking Soda

Soaking in vinegar only works on delicate metal and light rust. If the rust on your tool has thickened up over time, and rough scrubbing won’t hamper it, then this step is just for those tools. You will need baking soda, steel wool, dishwashing liquid, rugs, and oil. 

  • Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. 
  • Apply the paste to the rusted parts of your tools. 
  • Leave the tool for 4 to 5 hours to soak in. 
  • Use steel wool to scrub the tool thoroughly. 
  • All the rust will come out in no time. 
  • Now wash the tool with dishwashing liquid and water. Wipe dry and apply oil to the store. 

Using Sanding Method

Sanding is the least time-consuming way of removing stubborn rust from thick metal. You can use sandpaper manually or use power tools like an angle grinder or belt grinder

  • If you don’t have any power tools, then manually sand the rust off the metal tool. Use 60 or 80 grit paper to do it.
  • If you have a grinder, then use the appropriate sandpaper and speed to remove rust. Try to go slow so that it can not remove large chunks from your tools in the process. 
  •  Once sanding is done, wipe it clean with alcohol. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Clean Rubber Parts?

Rubber parts on the tools like handles and switches become gummy after a while. Due to high heat or overuse, rubber usually melts and becomes sticky. It becomes annoying working with those parts or touching those gummy rubber substances. So, here we have an effective solution to this problem. 

  • Put alcohol or paint thinner in a spray bottle. 
  • Spray a generous amount on the rubber substances. 
  • Scrub and wipe those parts with a rug. 
  • It may take several attempts to fully get rid of the stickiness. 

How to Keep Tools Clean Forever?

Keeping tools tidy and well organized is a habit that takes time to master. If you are new to mechanics or using serious tools for personal use, then these tips are for you. We don’t clean tools every day. Rather, we develop a habit so that we don’t have to spend time cleaning tools so frequently. 

  • Keep your tools organized. There is no alternative to keep the tools clean. 
  • Use a toolbox or make a shelf dedicated to tools only. 
  • Make a habit to wipe the tool after each use and keep it back to its designated place. 
  • Avoid leaving tools around when those are not in use. 
  • Regularly apply machine oil on metal parts and tools to prevent rust. 
  • After use, apply alcohol to tools when it is greasy. 
  • Make sure to keep the toolbox clean as well. 

Bottom Line

Nowadays only a few people prefer reusing their belongings rather than buying new ones. So, cleaning tools is also somewhat a boring or time-consuming chore. But your performance improves as the tools are spotless. 

It is obvious that if you need to work well, keep the tools in perfect condition. It merely takes a minute to clean the tools but the habit or organizing tools may take years. However, if you plan to stay working with your tools, then this is the right time you chose to take good care of other kids too. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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