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What Can I Use to Disinfect My Gardening Tools?

There are many gardeners who do not want to use chemical sprays when disinfecting their garden tools. It is a difficult and messy job, not least because the chemicals that are used will damage the tools and they will have to be thrown away or sold on. This is understandable, but there is one solution. How do you keep your garden tools completely germ free when you are done using them?


Disinfecting your gardening tools may seem counterproductive, but the reason for doing this is for those who want to grow microgreens. Microgreens are essentially seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. Their vibrancy and delicateness make for an obvious choice in terms of visual appeal, giving dishes that necessary pop. But these pretty little things are also, though minuscule in size, concentrated in nutrients.

Studies have shown that microgreens are loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins, C, E, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene, 40 fold than the mature leaves of the same plants.

So, in order to grow these correctly, it is very important that all microgreen trays and tools are thoroughly disinfected. Here are some techniques on how to do so:

Research Techniques

First you need to understand exactly what is needed to keep your tools clean, disinfected and sanitized in order to make sure that they work well in the future. You cannot just use a piece of cloth and a bottle of bleach. The bleach will not kill germs as well as you need it to, and it will leave a nasty smell on your tools. As a result you need a different method.

So what can you use to disinfect your garden tools? Well, you have a few options, but you need to remember that each product has its pros and cons. So here is some information to help you with the decision you need to make. Keep in mind that these methods are not mutually exclusive; they are simply good practices to follow when using disinfectant products to clean your garden tools.


The best option is to use vinegar, as this will be able to get down deep into your soil and kill any germs that you find in there. Another good idea is to use a natural product like tea tree oil, which will work effectively as a disinfectant. You can use it straight from the bottle, which will kill the bacteria from the surface, as well as the germs beneath the surface. The key to getting it all done is keeping the area clean. Vinegar and tea tree oil will also be able to remove any remaining residues.

Once you have disinfected your tools they can still be used. They will just take longer to get ready to start working again. But they will not cause you to lose your plants to disease. Instead they will work better than ever. If they are a bit old you can even reuse them, so they will be in top shape when they are disinfected again. And as previously mentioned, they will not leave an unpleasant smell on the tools.


When you have your tools disinfectant products ready you can also use a little bleach in your cleaning solution (and not the bleach that you use to clean your bathroom). This will help kill any remaining germs in your soil that you do not see, so that means that no more germs will get through your garden tools and onto your ground or to infect your plants.

This type of disinfectant is often called an antiseptic solution, as it kills all the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that could be living within the soil. It is usually a liquid that you mix with your disinfectant solution and can be applied directly onto the soil where you have your tools. As you spray the solution over your tools you can then rinse them off with the garden hose.

The only downfall to this method is that you may need to repeat the process several times before you are satisfied with the outcome, but if you follow the directions for disinfectant thoroughly and make sure that you follow up with the correct solution you should end up with no problems at all. And it won’t take long for your tools to be completely restored to their previous condition. As long as they are kept clean and dry you should be able to use your tools for as long as you want them.


Author Bio:   Amy Sloane is an alum from Oregon State University and spends her free time as a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. Amy loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her dog, Molly


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