Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Maintaining your tools is important, but it’s often at the bottom of a beader’s to-do list. If you haven’t taken a close look at your tools lately or if you’ve acquired older, used tools take the time to make sure they’re in good working order. Stiff, rusty tools are harder for your hands to manipulate and rust flakes can stain your clothes and your project. But don’t worry – even the rustiest tools can be saved with today’s tips and a little elbow grease!

Spray rusty areas of your tools with a lubricant like WD40. Let the lubricant soak in for a few minutes and then wipe away with a clean cloth. If the rust doesn’t come right off, add more lubricant and scrub away stubborn spots with a kitchen scouring pad. Don’t be tempted to use sandpaper or a file! Harsh abrasives like these can permanently scratch the surface of a tool and the rough spots they create may mar your future jewelry projects.

If you prefer more natural cleaners, then it’s time to raid the kitchen! Pour a tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl or cup and start mixing in pinches of baking soda until it’s the consistency of toothpaste. The lemon juice and baking soda will get excited and fizzy, so keep and eye on it to make sure your mixture doesn’t overflow! Apply your paste to the rusty areas of your tools and let sit for a few minutes. Give those spots a hard scrub with a clean, dry cloth. If you have really stubborn rust, let your tool soak in lemon juice for 30-60 minutes and you’ll see the acid in the lemon juice lift off the rust! Give the tool a quick rinse to get off any remaining residue and dry it thoroughly before returning it to your tool kit. Check out my before and after pictures to see what a difference these tips can make!

Happy rust-free Tuesday! -Gretchen


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