Tools are so important to own when you’re a homeowner. It’s very likely that you’re going to need to use various tools to take care of household issues all the time.
You have certain tools that you use to help with things indoors, and you also have many outdoor tools that are meant for yard work purposes. Most people store their tools somewhere out of the way where they won’t be bothered.
One of the most common storage places for tools is a garage, and this can definitely work out nicely. The only problem is that some people have experienced issues with having their tools rust while being stored in their garages.
Is there a good way to keep tools from rusting when you store them in the garage? Or is that just something that will happen over time?
Read on to learn how to keep tools from rusting in the garage. You should have a much easier time keeping your tools safe once you know the information below.
1 – Keep Your Tools in a Toolbox
Of course, it makes sense that your tools would be more protected if they’re placed in a toolbox. Leaving your tools out in the open will make it more likely that they will rust.
Having some type of enclosed container for your tools will generally be a good idea. You might even want to get some type of cabinet where you can hang your outdoor tools that won’t fit in a toolbox.
The idea is to keep the tools away from the open air and to protect them from moisture exposure. If you don’t put some thought into how you’re storing your tools, then you’ll be more likely to have tools rust.
Toolboxes can cost a fair bit of cash, but you’ll want to own some if you own a bunch of tools already. It’s a great way to protect your investment and it can help you to keep things organized as well.
2 – Keep Your Toolbox Nicely Organized
Keeping your toolbox nicely organized will go a long way toward keeping the tools safe. You might not realize this, but tools that have dents and chips will be more likely to rust over time.
If you’re not organizing your tools very well, then they might get damaged when you’re moving your toolbox. You could even damage a tool while you’re rustling around trying to find the specific tool that you need.
Try to take a bit of time to organize your toolbox in the most logical way that you can. Consider where you’re putting tools and try not to crowd specific drawers so that you won’t damage tools accidentally.
If you have too many tools for the toolbox, then it’d be better to get another toolbox than it would be to try to jam as many things in there as possible. The condition of your tools does make a difference and tools aren’t necessarily inexpensive enough to make replacing them simple.
It won’t take you a long time to organize your tools satisfactorily. This is well worth doing and it is just one simple way that you can make a difference.
3 – Line Your Toolboxes with an Anti-Corrosion Non-Slip Mesh Liner
Another simple thing that you can do to protect your tools is to place a liner in your toolbox. You can go out and buy an anti-corrosion non-slip mesh liner that will do a good job of keeping your tools from rusting.
A liner such as this isn’t going to last forever, but the anti-corrosion aspect of the liner will last for up to five years. This is a pretty good way to protect your tools without having to spend a ton of cash.
You see, this type of mesh liner can easily be purchased at a low price. Even if you have multiple toolboxes, it’ll be possible to get liners for all of your toolboxes without spending much money at all.
Spending a little over $10 to protect your tools will be a no-brainer for many people. Even if you’re working on a tight budget, it’s recommended to look into getting this for your toolboxes.
4 – Remember to Use Anti-Corrosive Spray Cleaner
One of the first things that you should consider doing is using an anti-corrosive spray cleaner on your tools. The most well-known commercial brand of anti-corrosive spray cleaner is WD-40.
This spray is designed to lubricate, remove rust, and prevent corrosion. It’s going to be very useful when you’re trying to protect your tools from rust in the garage.
You don’t need to go overboard with the spray to get good results either. All you need to do is coat the tools in the spray and then allow them to dry.
Doing this should help to protect the tools for several months. Many people who own lots of tools will take the time to spray their tools with anti-corrosive spray cleaner every two or three months.
It’s notable that the spray is very affordable, and you’re not going to have a hard time finding it either. You can get this type of spray at online retailers, hardware stores, auto stores, and department stores.
5 – Get a Garage Fan
Getting a garage fan can help you to reduce the risk of having your tools rust. When you don’t have good air circulation in the garage, there will be significantly more moisture in the air.
This moisture is going to make it a lot more dangerous for your tools. You likely already know that moisture is a major component that will cause metal objects to rust.
What a garage fan does is that it pushes the air around and cuts down on moisture. It becomes a lot simpler to keep tools that are stored in the garage dry when you have fans.
There are several ways that you can approach putting fans in your garage, too. Some people will simply place floor fans in the garage at various points and they will leave them on at all times.
You could also install ceiling fans in the garage that will help to circulate air. Depending on how large your garage is, it might be a good idea to consider getting ceiling fans installed.
If you have a smaller garage, then one ceiling fan might be enough to do the trick. Sometimes it’s better to have two ceiling fans that are properly spaced out, though.
It’s definitely going to be one of the most practical things you can do to protect your tools. This will also make it more pleasant for you to spend time in the garage if you like to work on things there.
6 – Get a Dehumidifier for the Garage
Getting a dehumidifier for the garage is another great idea when you wish to protect your tools. If you happen to live in a place that is very humid, then the humidity can cause your tools to rust quickly.
Humidity is the enemy when it comes to storing tools safely. This means that using a dehumidifier in your garage is going to be a very wise choice.
You can find a large dehumidifier that will be powerful enough to work in your garage. It’ll help you to lower the humidity levels substantially and you won’t need to worry as much about rusting issues.
When you combine the dehumidifier with the idea of using fans in the garage, it’s going to really protect your tools nicely. It makes it far less likely that your tools will rust when being stored properly in the garage.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to look after your tools, though. It’s still necessary to be careful about how you store them, and it’s also wise to still spray the tools semi-regularly to give them extra protection against rust.
7 – Weatherproof Your Garage
Going around and checking your garage for cracks and holes will be wise, too. It’s possible that your garage could be exposed to moisture and air if you have various openings that need to be taken care of.
Sometimes siding gets messed up and there can be other issues with cracks that can cause you problems. Take the time to inspect your garage so that you can shore up any holes and seal any cracks that you find.
This is a good idea for reasons other than protecting your tools, of course. If you have openings in your garage, then pests could exploit that and become a nuisance.
You certainly don’t want to have to deal with mice or various bugs in your garage. The fact that weatherproofing your garage will help to prevent moisture issues is simply the main reason why you’re looking into this.
It might be beneficial to caulk the windows of the garage to keep air from leaking in. Doing things like this will make the garage warmer in the winter months, too, and that can help with the practicality of using the garage when it’s cold outside.
What Can You Do If Your Tools Are Already Rusty?
What if you happen to have rusty tools already? Is there going to be anything that you can do to try to save the tools?
It really depends on how bad things are in all honesty. Some tools might not be worth trying to salvage if the rust issues are significant, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take care of minor rust problems on tools.
If you notice signs of rust, then you can restore the tools if you get to them before the rust has cracked the metal. There’s a good four-part process that allows you to get the tools looking good again.
First, you’ll need to get some aluminum foil and form it into a dense ball. If the ball isn’t compact enough, then it won’t work because it’ll lose its shape when you’re trying to scrub it on the tools.
Next, you must get a bowl of warm water and put a few drops of dish liquid in there. The warm water and dish liquid combination should do a good job of loosening up the rust.
Now you need to dip the aluminum foil in the water and start scrubbing it on the rusty parts of your tools. Circular motions are recommended because you’ll be less likely to cause linear scratches.
When you’ve done a good enough job, the fourth and final step is to dry the tools off and place them back into storage. Sometimes it’s necessary to keep going with the third step several times to get all of the rust removed, though.
If you can use the above advice properly, then it’ll be fairly simple to solve minor issues with rust. When the rust issues are more significant than that, it might be necessary to give up on the tools.
There are many different things that you can do to try to protect your tools from rust. When you’re storing your tools in the garage, it’s simply going to be important to pay attention to how you’re doing things.
Storing the tools properly will be the first step in keeping them safe. You want to keep the tools in tool boxes that are properly organized so that you don’t have issues with them.
It’s also going to be necessary to address issues with humidity and airflow in your garage. If you live in a humid environment, then it might be necessary to buy a dehumidifier to protect the tools from being exposed to moisture.
Garage fans can significantly improve air circulation so that moisture issues won’t be a big deal. It’s also wise to spend a bit of time weatherproofing your garage just to be safe.
If you do have some tools that are already a bit rusty, then you might be able to turn things around if you caught the rust issues early enough. Scrubbing the tools down with an aluminum foil boil that has been dipped in warm water and dish liquid often helps to remove rust.
Be careful moving forward and try to apply anti-corrosion spray to your tools every two or three months. You should be able to protect the tools to the best of your ability and you won’t have to fear rust quite so much.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.