How to Clean Hedge Trimmer Blades: Tips and Tricks from Experienced Gardeners!

This article will provide trusted knowledge on how to clean hedge trimmer blades safely and thoroughly.
Last updatedLast updated: June 16, 2022
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Top maintenance is the key to a tool’s longevity. For your hedge trimmer blades to last for long, you need to clean, service and store them properly. You must pay close attention to its critical components like an air filter, motor, blade, and handle grips in your maintenance regimen. Every time your hedge trimmer cuts leaves and small branches, sap accumulates on its blade, making it lose its cutting effectiveness eventually. A clean blade gives you easy and quick flawless cuts. Therefore, cleaning the blades is essential unless you have enough pocket change for frequent replacements. This article delves deeper into cleaning hedge trimmer blades using different methods. You will learn how to clean the blades with basic soap and water or with alcohol and Kerosene. You can also use special store-bought cleaners to keep your hedge trimmer’s blade clean and in top shape.

Why do you need to clean hedge trimmer blades?

How to Clean Hedge Trimmer Blades: Tips and Tricks from Experienced Gardeners!

When using your hedge trimmer to maintain your hedges, a lot of stuff like feathers, leaves, twigs, tree branches, and sap get caught on it. These things can jam up the hedge trimmer’s blade and reduce its cutting effectiveness if not removed.

With time you will notice your blade is not giving you clean cuts as before, and you will be spending more time and energy trimming your hedges. Besides reduced cutting performance, a dirty hedge trimmer blade has more friction that can make the motor begin to overheat. This can happen to all types of hedge trimmer blades, regardless of the brand and build quality. If you need a high-quality trimmer and have no idea what parameters to look for, check out our best hedge trimmer article for a detailed buying guide.

How to clean blades with soap and water?

Like any other type of machinery, you have to switch off the hedge trimmer and detach it from its power source, be it electricity or batteries, for safety purposes before cleaning. Also, for safety, grab a pair of hand gloves to prevent cutting yourself in case of accidental slips.

Do you need an electric hedge trimmer but have no idea where or what to look for, read our best electric hedge trimmer article for the best-rated options in the market. According to popular reviews, the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools HT10020S is one of the best electric hedge trimmers that money can buy. The corded hedge trimmer will give you up to 3400 strokes every minute. Alternatively, you can get the highly acclaimed Greenworks corded electric hedge trimmer. It is incredibly lightweight and compact, thus easy to handle. Its 22-inch dual-action steel blade also offers optimal performance and easy maneuvering.

Lay the hedge trimmer on a leveled and steady surface, then use a brush to remove debris, dirt, and other unwanted material from the blade. Give both the visible and invisible parts of the blade equal attention. If your hedge trimmer has two or more blades, check the space between them for dirt trapped in it.

It would be best if you made the brushing down technique a routine every time you use the hedge trimmer. The sooner, the better, as you would prevent sap from setting on the edges. Plus, the debris and dirt would be much easier to remove. You can use a brush or dry cloth to remove all the unwanted material from the blade if you don’t want to expose it to moisture. Use a tool to scrape off any debris or dirt that is too difficult to remove with the brush or piece of cloth.

If you don’t have the time to clean your hedge trimmer immediately after using it, the dirt and debris will dry on it, and you will be forced to use soap and water to clean it. You will need a stiff brush for scrubbing, a cloth for wiping, a bowl, soap, and water. Dip the washcloth into the soap solution, then scrub the blade’s edges to remove all the dirt trapped on it. Take the brush and scrub the blade’s teeth to remove all the stuck debris. Repeat the process on the other side of the blade, then use a dry cloth to wipe off all the moisture on the blade to prevent rusting. Finish off with a layer of lubricant.

If you find that the soap and water are inadequate, you can use white spirit to clean the hedge trimmer’s cutting edges. According to this Public Health article Trusted Source White spirit is used in paints, coatings, waxes, varnishes, adhesives, printing inks and liquid photocopier toners. In industry it is also used as a solvent for, cleaning, degreasing and substance extraction. In households, white spirit is commonly used to clean paint brushes or thin paint. www.gov.uk , white spirit is perfect for cleaning and degreasing. It will easily break down the stickiness on the blade caused by plant sap. You can soak the blade’s edge in the white spirit for a few hours, then wipe it all off before applying lubricant.

Cleaning and lubricating a hedge trimmer’s blade must go hand in hand. To prevent the blade from rust or corrosion, you must lubricate it. According to an article by WD-40 Trusted Source The Importance of Tool & Equipment Lubrication - WD-40 Australia Often tool and equipment lubrication is overlooked and considered an ‘added benefit’ that isn’t really all that important for the overall condition of your equipment. In reality, lubricants are substances which play a major role in bearing and machinery function and longevity by reducing wear of moving parts, reducing friction between rotating and stationary parts, absorbing shock and reducing operating temperatures. Lubricating your tools and equipment can also help to minimise corrosion of metal surfaces, keep contaminants out of the system as well as seal and protect the components. wd40.com.au on the importance of tool and equipment lubrication, you need to use lubricant oil regularly but only after you have cleaned the trimmer. If you add the lubricant oil to the blade when it is still filled with dirt and debris, it will form a gunk that may clog it and reduce its cutting effectiveness. To lubricate, lay the hedge trimmer on a leveled surface, then apply oil to every tooth along the blade’s length. Use a rough rag to remove extra stains of oil before storing the blade.

How to clean blades with alcohol or Kerosene?

Alcohol and Kerosene are both excellent cleaners. You can use either option to clean your hedge trimmer’s blade, but alcohol is a better option if you worry about contamination. According to WebMD Trusted Source What to Know About Rubbing Alcohol You can buy rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70% or 99% isopropyl alcohol. Even though you may think the higher concentration is more effective, experts say 70% is actually better for disinfecting. It has more water, which helps it to dissolve more slowly, penetrate cells, and kill bacteria. The disinfecting power of rubbing alcohol drops at concentrations higher than 80%-85%.  www.webmd.com , rubbing alcohol has excellent disinfecting properties. All you need to do is dab a piece of cloth with alcohol or Kerosene, then use it to wipe the blade. Remember to lubricate the blade after cleaning it with alcohol.

Kerosene is a fantastic cleaner for removing old lubricants before re-lubrication. According to Nationwide fuels Trusted Source 9 Facts About Kerosene You Might Not Know | Nationwide Fuels Kerosene oil is a flammable liquid which is used in many industries and homes around the world as a fuel for light, heat and power. It is generally non-viscous and clear, however viscous substances such as wax and other thicker substances can be made from kerosene. www.nationwidefuels.co.uk , it works really well as a cleaner and barrier fuel. A quick tip: Cleaning your hedge trimmer shouldn’t end with the blade. You cannot store the machine with a clean blade and a dirty exterior. Other parts of the trimmer like buttons, screws, springs, adjusters, and switches can all be victims of poor maintenance if the exterior of the machine is not kept clean. You also need to keep the trimmer’s exterior clean so that air can flow freely to the motor.

Cleaning a hedge trimmer’s exterior is such a breeze. You only need water and a cloth. Dampen the cloth and use it to wipe down the entire exterior. You can use gentle compressed air to blow out stubborn dirt. Just ensure the rubbing action is gentle and avoid any chemicals or cleaning solutions that may corrode the trimmer’s surface. Let the trimmer dry properly before storing it.

Final thoughts

If you want to get the most out of your hedge trimmer for many seasons, you have no choice but to give it proper maintenance regularly. Cleaning the exterior, blade, and other parts is a critical step in maintaining a hedge trimmer. We have provided all the pro tips on how to clean hedge trimmer blades. You can use the good old soap and water solution or be a little extra with alcohol or Kerosene. You can also get a special blade cleaner from the stores. What’s important is that all dirt and debris are removed from the blade, and it is lubricated properly to prevent rust. After cleaning the blade, you can sharpen it before lubrication and storage.

References

1.
White spirit is used in paints, coatings, waxes, varnishes, adhesives, printing inks and liquid photocopier toners. In industry it is also used as a solvent for, cleaning, degreasing and substance extraction. In households, white spirit is commonly used to clean paint brushes or thin paint.
2.
The Importance of Tool & Equipment Lubrication - WD-40 Australia
Often tool and equipment lubrication is overlooked and considered an ‘added benefit’ that isn’t really all that important for the overall condition of your equipment. In reality, lubricants are substances which play a major role in bearing and machinery function and longevity by reducing wear of moving parts, reducing friction between rotating and stationary parts, absorbing shock and reducing operating temperatures. Lubricating your tools and equipment can also help to minimise corrosion of metal surfaces, keep contaminants out of the system as well as seal and protect the components.
3.
What to Know About Rubbing Alcohol
You can buy rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70% or 99% isopropyl alcohol. Even though you may think the higher concentration is more effective, experts say 70% is actually better for disinfecting. It has more water, which helps it to dissolve more slowly, penetrate cells, and kill bacteria. The disinfecting power of rubbing alcohol drops at concentrations higher than 80%-85%. 
4.
9 Facts About Kerosene You Might Not Know | Nationwide Fuels
Kerosene oil is a flammable liquid which is used in many industries and homes around the world as a fuel for light, heat and power. It is generally non-viscous and clear, however viscous substances such as wax and other thicker substances can be made from kerosene.
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