Hedges, trees, and shrubs contain a lot of sap and moisture which can quickly gum up or corrode your hedge trimmer blades, so what’s the best cleaner to use to keep them in good shape?
There are many specialist hedge trimmer blade cleaner products on the market today that both dissolve resin and lubricate the metal teeth at the same time. You can also clean blades with cleaning vinegar or even soapy water as long as you dry them thoroughly afterward.
Choosing the right blade cleaner can make all the difference to your garden shrubs and hedges so keep reading to find out my top favorites.
Why Clean Hedge Trimmer Blades?
Before diving into what cleaners to use, it’s important to know why you need to clean your hedge trimmer blades in the first place.
When you trim your hedges, plant residues can stick to your blades. Over time, this build-up can dull the blades, making your trimmer work harder than it needs to.
This may eventually cause damage to the trimmer and leave your hedges with a poor cut as the blades are no longer slicing cleanly through the leaves and branches.
By regularly cleaning your trimmer blades, preferably after each use, you can maintain their efficiency and increase their lifespan. Plus, it’s kinder on the plants and helps them heal faster.
Another benefit of this important maintenance task is that it disinfects your tool and helps stop the spread of disease around your garden.
What To Look For In A Hedge Trimmer Blade Cleaner?
Choosing the right cleaner is not hard as there are plenty available and it really comes down to what you can get hold of in your location and what works best for you. The best cleaner should have these qualities:
Effectiveness: The cleaner should be able to remove stubborn sap and plant residues with ease.
Protection: Look for a cleaner that not only cleans but also offers a protective layer against rust if you can (although you can use an additional product for this after cleaning). This can affect the potential lifespan of your trimmer (more about this here).
Non-Corrosive: It’s vital to ensure the cleaner is non-corrosive to avoid damaging your blades. A simple soap and water solution is fine as long as you dry and lube the blades before storage.
Easy to use: The best cleaners are straightforward to apply and shouldn’t require any special equipment or extra steps. Some you just spray on and run the machine to do the job!
Top Hedge Trimmer Blade Cleaners
Now that you know what to look for, here are some of the best cleaners for hedge trimmer blades:
Hedge Trimmer Blade Cleaner & Lube
Simply apply these before and after trimming to keep your hedge trimmer free of sap, and rust and running smoothly.
Resin Solvent Spray
This is one of the most common and effective cleaners for hedge trimmer blades. It’s specially designed to dissolve stubborn sap and plant residues that have stuck to your blades after trimming.
Typically it’s easy to use – just spray it on the blades, wait a few minutes, and wipe clean with a cloth. Make sure to choose a solvent that’s non-corrosive and offers rust protection.
Cleaning or White Vinegar
Vinegar is a fantastic, natural cleaner that can help you remove sap and dirt from your trimmer blades. For the best results use cleaning vinegar, but you can also use the white distilled variety you often have in the pantry.
To use, soak your blades in a vinegar solution (one part vinegar to two parts water) for 30 minutes to an hour, then scrub off any remaining residue with a brush.
Rinse with clean water, then dry and lubricate thoroughly to prevent rusting.
Soap And Water
The simplest method and one that’s available to anybody is to just mix a soap and water solution and then use it to wash down your cutting blade with a stiff brush.
Remember to spray down with clean water, dry, and then lubricate well to stop any rust from forming.
Something like WD-40 Multi-Purpose spray is great to use after rinsing with water as it penetrates into all the contact areas and drives out moisture. You will need to use a better lubricant before trimming though as WD-40 is too thin to use for this.
How To Clean Hedge Trimmer Blades
Now that you know the best cleaners to use, let’s go through the general cleaning process:
- Safety First: Keep hands and fingers away from the cutting blade to avoid injury. Wear protective gloves to keep your hands safe from any sharp edges. Read and follow the instructions on the label of any cleaning product you are using.
- Expose All The Blades: Run and stop the machine so that all the moving teeth are exposed.
- Remove Loose Debris: Use a stiff wire brush with a long handle to remove any loose dirt or plant material from the blades. This will make the cleaning process easier and more effective.
- Apply Cleaner: Spray or apply your chosen cleaner to the blades. Make sure it covers all areas. You can pour the solution into a shallow pan and soak the blades with cleaners that need to soak in, like vinegar.
- Let It Work: Allow the cleaner some time to work its magic. With some clean and lube solutions you just run the trimmer to make sure it’s fully coated and you’re done. However, residue solvents will probably need a few minutes to work, while vinegar will need even longer. Soap and water are very quick of course.
- Scrub Off Residues: After letting the cleaner do its job, if required use a cloth or soft brush to scrub off the sap and other residues.
- Rinse And Dry: Again, only do this if required. Rinse the blades with clean water to remove any cleaner residue. It’s super important to dry the blades thoroughly afterward to prevent rusting.
- Lubricate If Needed: Once dry, apply a lubricant to keep the blades moving smoothly. This also adds an extra layer of rust protection.
Keeping your hedge trimmer blades clean is an essential part of tool and garden maintenance. Clean blades lead to healthier plants and make for easier trimming so make sure to do this regularly.