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Garden Tool Container




  • Sand
  • Motor oil
  • Rag


  1. Step 1

     Fill a trough or other small container with sand to 1 inch from top.

  2. Step 2

    Pour in about 1/4 cup of motor oil (sand should have a slightly moist texture); stir.

  3. Step 3

    When returning tools to trough, wipe them with a rag. The sand will keep tools clean and sharp, and the oil will keep them rust-free.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2006



Reviews (17)

  • lisaemc2 27 May, 2010

    I'm already doing this. The sand gets trapped in the works of my shears. I'm wondering if that's going to cause them to degrade quicker. I probably have too much oil in the sand. I think I'll go to the beach.

  • emmasyaya 3 Apr, 2010

    as it happens, i have exactly the right trough, and a bag of sand on hand. guess what tomorrow's project will be?

  • Flubadub 3 Apr, 2010

    That's so cute, and so very cat!

  • jimathome09 3 Apr, 2010

    As much as I like it, I will have to pass. I think my cats might decide to covert it to a litter box.

  • Baeb 3 Apr, 2010

    I really like this - it even has a decorative flair. I think that our storage areas need to reflect some creativity. Makes it fun! And inspirational!

  • Irishmama 11 Feb, 2009

    Use Mineral Oil -- vegetable oil WILL go rancid.

  • Irishmama 11 Feb, 2009

    Both jbwheaton4 and corsair are correct. Though the amount of oil on your tools should be negligible (it's in a large amount of sand - not coating the tool), if you're really concerned about food

  • Irishmama 11 Feb, 2009

    Both jbwheaton4

  • Marycassells 11 Feb, 2009

    We live in a high rise. We only have a balcony to do our gardening. We find it easier to not have flowers.

  • jbwheaton4 11 Feb, 2009

    Just a guess, but since its growing medium, it doesn't matter if it is motor oik - canola or corn will probably become rancid.

  • corsair 10 Feb, 2009

    Maybe food grade mineral oil? Safe for wooden salad bowls, must be safe for salad growing.

  • cleongatl 10 Feb, 2009

    I agree with KathMeg. Why would you use motor oil on gadgets you use for, say vegetable gardening?

  • KathMeg 10 Feb, 2009

    I did this several years ago for shovels and hoes etc. Now I have toxic sand because of the motor oil. If I were to do this again I would use a vegetable oil--like canola or corn oil.

  • jrmbloom 10 Feb, 2009

    Ikea has cute galvanized steel pots...and they are reasonable!

  • Judynana 10 Feb, 2009

    Any pot for plants would do. It does not have to be the same size or shape.

  • stephowens 10 Feb, 2009

    This is cute-Something else that works great is putting a mailbox up near your garden. I just put my hand tools and gloves in it and they stay dry and neatly put away until I am ready to use them again. And I don't get dirt in the house.
    Steph Owens

  • bird-lette 10 Feb, 2009

    Anyone have a source for this nifty trough?