Preparing Summer Tools and Gear for Winter

It’ll soon be time to put away your summer tools and fun-time accessories for winter and they do need a little cleaning and care before putting away.

Garden Hoses and Outdoor Faucets – Remove hoses from faucets and drain completely.  Roll up the hose carefully and secure with tape or rope.  Hoses winter over best if hung, but don’t just hand them on a nail.  Cut the ends off a can and place the can on a nail or hook in the garage or shed, then hand the coiled hose over the can.  This prevents holes punched by the nail.  Finally, cover outdoor faucets with a fiberglass cone made for this purpose.

Pruners, Lopers, and Snips – All those wonderful hand tools that helped you maintain the garden will perform better next year if properly cleaned before storing.  Clean the metal parts thoroughly.  If you have some rust showing up, you can use steel wool along with white vinegar, baking soda, or Coca-Cola to remove the rust.  Oil springs with WD-40. When they are completely dry, store neatly off the floor.

Gas Powered Equipment – Lawn mowers, trimmers, and other gas powered equipment should be emptied of fuel before storing.  Leaving it over the winter can damage the gas tank. Sharpen and oil blades, replace strings, remove any rust, and store in a dry garage or shed.

Tents, Canopies, and Camping Gear – Make sure all tents are completely dry before storing over winter. Inspect them for rips or tears, and fold them up and place in their bags.  Keep in a dry area.  Check camping gear for wear and clean as needed.  For small items, place in plastic bins and label the bins for convenient identification when you need them again.