How to Clean Mechanic Tools: Easy Instruction

Most of us do not need to use mechanic tools every day. Therefore, when we want to use them, they might have dust and grease if we have not cleaned them often enough. So, how to clean mechanic tools to get rid of easy grease and hard stains or dust? In this article, we are going to guide you on how to do it step by step and give you some tips about maintaining them. 

If you still do not know how to clean your mechanic tools properly, keep scrolling to get the answer!


How to Clean Mechanic Tools for Certain Types of Dirt?

While some dirt is easy to clean with regular detergent, stains and dust on metal are not. So, to get the best results, we need proper cleaning techniques for easy and hard dirt. Here are two methods you can use!

For Easy Grease and Dirt – Basic Cleaning Methods

Step 1: Prepare

With easy grease, you can use regular cleaners and some basic cleaning tools to get the job done. Prepare some degreaser, a cloth, and a brush to clean the dirt off. To protect your hands’ skin, you can use plastic gloves and a mask while cleaning the tools. 

If you do not have a degreaser available in your house, then vinegar will be a good option. Vinegar will be much safer for your skin and can clean off some easy rust off at the same time.

Step 2: Clean with Water

You need to clean your tools with water first. Water will clean away sand and other dirt types; therefore, your cleaning process will be so much easier later on. 

Step 3: Clean with Degreaser or Vinegar

  • Option 1: Degreaser

Put on your gear before cleaning the tools with a degreaser. When you are ready, apply some degreaser on your tools and rub all the dirt off. 

  • Option 2: Vinegar

We recommend using distilled white vinegar as it is cheap and will work the best for your tools. Mix vinegar with water with the ratio of 1:1, then apply it on the tools and start rubbing it.

Step 4: Clean with Water

After all the dirt comes off, clean it again with water to wash away all the grease, degreaser, or vinegar. Then, use a cloth to dry your tools, and let the air or sunlight dry it again before putting it back in your storing box. 

For Rust and Hard Stains

We recommend you use this cleaning method when the previous process does not work. Here is what you need to do next!

Step 1: Prepare

For hard stains and dust, you need more than just a quick cleaning process. One of the best ingredients used for rusty metal tools is baking soda or baking soda and vinegar. 

Moreover, you also need more tools to clean off the dust, such as a container for soaking tools, steel wool or sandpaper, and some hot water. As you are going to use your hand and rub the dust in this process, you must wear gloves to protect your hands. 

Step 2: Create Your Cleaner

Make a mixture of vinegar and baking soda with a ratio of 1:1. If you do not have vinegar, then add enough water in baking soda to make a paste. Do not add too much water because it will make the mixture less effective for the rust. Carefully stir them until they all dissolve.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaner on Your Tools

If you use baking soda and vinegar, you can soak your tools in the mixture. In case you use the paste between baking soda and water, you need to apply the paste on the whole mechanic tool. 

Next, use sandpaper or steel wool to rub the easy dust first. If the dust does not come off, leave it there for a few hours and rub it again. When you go back and rub it one more time, try your best to clean off the dust. In case it does not come off, you can clean it off with water and apply one more layer of the paste.

Step 4: Clean with Water and Dry

When you are happy with the results, clean all your tools with running water and dry them with a cloth. 

Tips to Keep Your Mechanic Tools Clean for a Longer Time

Cleaning many mechanic tools at the same time can be difficult and time-consuming. Moreover, the look and quality of your tools might also reduce one way or another, no matter if you successfully clean all the dirt from them or not. 

So, the best way to maintain the quality of your tools is to keep them from getting dirty and dusty in the first place. Here are some of the best ways you should use to do so!

Oil Them

If you do not use your mechanic tools so often, you can think about oiling them with a thin oil layer such as WD-40. Oiling is one of the most common methods people use to prevent rust from forming in metal, and you can do the same with your mechanic tools. You can follow these steps to successfully oil the tools. 

  • Step 1: Clean your metal tools with one of the two methods we mentioned above to remove all the dirt on their surfaces. 
  • Step 2: Oil your tools with a thin layer of oil
  • Step 3: Rinse the tools with a cloth if you use too much oil
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Clean Any Fluid Dirt Right Away

Fluid dirt not only makes your mechanic tools dirty but also makes it dusty after being left there for a long time. So, make sure you always clean your tools after using, especially the fluid one. 

Keep Them in Dry Places

Wet condition is ideal for rust to form on the surfaces of metal products. So, make sure you do not leave your tools outside because natural conditions such as rain, snow, and humanity will speed up your tools’ rusting process. 

The best place to store them is in a dry box with a cloth underneath. Ensure you also keep your tools’ box in dry areas to maintain their quality for a longer time. 

Check and Clean Them Once in A While

Except when we are a machinist or really into working with them, we do not need to use them often. For this reason, most of us leave the tools in one place and only use it when we need to. When we touch them after months and years, they might be so dirty and dusty because we have not cleaned them often enough. 

To prevent grease and dust from forming, you should check and clean them once in a while. If you already store them in dry places and use the three techniques above to keep them clean, you only need to check them once or twice a year. If you have time, you can check them more frequently. 


To clean your mechanic tools successfully, you need the right methods. Until this point, we think you already know how to clean mechanic tools that have easy or hard stains on with the information we provided. 

By following these guides step-by-step, you will be able to make your tools clean or bring again. Moreover, do not forget to prevent them from having dirt or stains on in the first place.

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