how to clean bonsai tools

It’s essential that when you finished with the day’s work, you must clean your tools.

  • One. It helps to keep the tools fresh and strong.
  • iTwo. It helps with the hygiene of the trees because you get rid of all the bugs and pests that may linger on the bonsai tree and then get passed from tree to tree.

When you’re cleaning, for example, a pair of scissors, make sure that you use a toothbrush and get off any visible dirt that you have on it.

Then use an emery rubber. An emery rubber is just a rubber infused with sandstone, but it is much softer to the tools as compared to normal sandstone.

Use the emery rubber to clean up any lingering rust or persistent sticky sap, whatever other things that may want not to go.

I’ve used these for years to clean up rust from my carbon steel bonsai tools , and they work great.

Rust and corrosion take place very fast on a bonsai carbon steel tool, and if you’re not diligent about cleaning and oiling your blades regularly, you can expect rust to form.

You want to get rid of rust fast so that it doesn’t pit the metal too badly.

rust eraser for bonsai tools

Clean up the rust from yout bonsai tools with the emery rust eraser.

For light cleaning which believe it or not this is still considered light cleaning you’re just going to use sand flecks. Better said, a rust eraser

On your  tools you can use fine, medium or coarse, depending on how dirty it is. Tools are not going to get very scratched up like pots well. I recomend you the fine one.

Now for harsher cleaning you might have to soak these in CLR or some chemical rust remover, and what you need to do at that point is soak them for about 20 minutes, then clean them off, scrub them down and then continuing with the oiling process.

When you have a straight edge tool, you want to make sure to clean the inside. Emery rubber it’s kind of amazing because it just scrubs it right on, It’s almost like magic

claeaning rust on a bonsai shears
rusted bonsai shears

That’s the first time go over it again comes even cleaner.

You want to make sure that you clean as far into the groove as possible and this might mean you have to alter it so you can see like right there where you missed the spot we can clean up

Continue to move that up . Now these tools have been exposed to a little bit of water to rest them to give you an understanding of how quickly these tools can be injured if they’re not properly cleaned and oiled.

There’s a sealant that the tools come with it’s oil-based and it turns the tools a little bit black. You want to make sure when you clean them that you’re cleaning off any debris but you’re not scrubbing off that protective coating.

Once the protective coating is gone it’s going to become a lot dirtier a lot quicker

You also notice that where your tool pivots often becomes dirty,  you have to scrub that too you want to make sure you get the back of it, the inner gap which we already talked about and any part that is dirty.

I’ve shown you how to do a straight edge one, you basically just hold it firmly and rub it down.

claeaning a curved tool
working on a branch cutter

When you work on a curved tool the method is basically the same for the outside. When it comes to the inside you have to get a smaller one, and be very careful how you clean it

It’s very easy to cut yourself on the inner curve of a concave cutter or any other curved tool.

It also becomes harder to get the gap on these tools because unlike the gap on a straight edge, there’s always a protective gap.

Eventually as you wear down your sand flux you can cut it into different shapes, this one is a wedge which is perfect for getting into that little spot

Now that we have our tools nice and clean and you can see they’ve gotten a lot cleaner we can explain how to sharpen our bonsai tools

Once you’ve cleaned them, make sure that you apply a dose of oil on the tools. It makes the tools stay fresh and keeps away any humidity from the tools or rust is kept at bay.

Make sure that you wipe it down with a cloth, a cloth with some oil in it and that helps to keep your tools shine.

Tricks and tips for bonsai tools

It is convenient if you use them occasionally provide a general description of the cleaning and care to prevent them from becoming dirty and oxidizing.

If the tool is dirty, it is sufficient to clean it with an oil-soaked cloth rather than water to avoid possible oxidation. 

If not, if we kept the tools dirty and oxidized them a bit, then it’s more difficult to get the tool to the initial shine. We also need to use a fiber cleaning tool and rub with little patience. If the tool is more oxidized, a slightly more abrasive material can be used, an oil-impregnated bicarbonate-impregnated cloth that runs one at a time with the finger.

bonsai wire cutter made in carbon steel alloy

The surface is gradually cleaned by removing a minimal amount of metal. And if the tools are very rusty and these techniques have no effect, we would preferably polish with silicon carbide polishers. 

When working with sharp tools, it is recommended to wear gloves to avoid cuts. And if the quality of our tools is good and we use them well, years can pass without having to sharpen them.

So remember, the emphasis on cleanliness and to keep pests and disease and your tools lasting longer.