Ask a Question forum: Repost re: Mineral oil

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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 1:55 PM CST
Hi everyone,

I thought I posted this question before but can't seem to find it now so maybe it didn't go through. If it did, I apologize for the repost.

I've read that one really good way to store garden tools and prevent them rusting is to plunge them into and then store them in a bucket of sand mixed with mineral oil. I'm all ready to do this BUT, I'm concerned that when I use my tools (shovel, spading fork, trowel, etc.) in the spring, the coating of oil might come off in the soil and harm my plants.

Has anyone ever tried using sand with mineral oil to store their tools? What was the result? Does anyone know whether it would be harmful to the soil or plants? I have lots of lovely worms and other beneficials and I prefer to nurture them if I can.

Thanks in advance. Hope someone will advise!
AKA Joey.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 12, 2017 3:45 PM CST
I have never heard of storing garden tools that way. In the fall, I give mine a good cleaning, dry them thoroughly and spray them with WD40. In the spring, you can wipe any excess off and they are good to go.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 12, 2017 3:48 PM CST
I've had a bucket of coarse sand in my garage for 20 years. Alas - it has clean motor oil in it - added just once. Probably would have used something else if I knew then what I know now. But it still keeps my shovels from rusting and it's not goopy. I think mineral oil is worth a shot.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 3:50 PM CST
DaisyI said:I have never heard of storing garden tools that way. In the fall, I give mine a good cleaning, dry them thoroughly and spray them with WD40. In the spring, you can wipe any excess off and they are good to go.


Thanks Daisy. Do you have any garden problems that might possibly be related to getting some WED40 into your soil?
AKA Joey.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 3:52 PM CST
Shadegardener said:I've had a bucket of coarse sand in my garage for 20 years. Alas - it has clean motor oil in it - added just once. Probably would have used something else if I knew then what I know now. But it still keeps my shovels from rusting and it's not goopy. I think mineral oil is worth a shot.


Cindy, I read that one too so obviously, people are still doing it.

Have you ever had any garden problems that might possibly be related to getting some of that oil into your soil?

I should mention that my garden is right over the water table that supplies the well water several families use over here.
AKA Joey.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 12, 2017 4:00 PM CST
I can understand your concerns. The tools don't come out of the sand bucket with an oil slick on them but you could always wipe them off before using. Often my tools don't go back in the bucket during the growing season but it is nice for over-winter storage. I think the mineral oil is a brilliant idea but have you considered plant-based oils? Coconut, grape seed, etc?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 4:38 PM CST
Shadegardener said:I can understand your concerns. The tools don't come out of the sand bucket with an oil slick on them but you could always wipe them off before using. Often my tools don't go back in the bucket during the growing season but it is nice for over-winter storage. I think the mineral oil is a brilliant idea but have you considered plant-based oils? Coconut, grape seed, etc?


That's an excellent idea Cindy! But I still have the same concern. I think oils might make it difficult for certain things, maybe microbes? to function in the soil. I don't have any information about that, just the concern.
AKA Joey.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 4:51 PM CST
I just found this online (https://www.growveg.com/guides...)

"I don't yet know how well it will weather, but I just built my raised beds with wood coated in mineral oil. Unlike vegetable oil it does not attract pests, however it is food-safe. It is used in industry to lubricate machines that handle food as well as to treat wooden kitchen utensils. I bought mine in a pharmacy, it's in the laxative section. Not sure how it measures up to organics "standards" but it has a long history of human consumption so by my personal standards this is sufficient."
Sara on Wednesday 31 October 2012

So it looks like mineral oil isn't poisonous if ingested which is good (I've also read that it's used to relieve constipation) but I'm still concerned on the affect on soil and microbes.
AKA Joey.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 12, 2017 4:56 PM CST
Oh - you can get food grade mineral oil. I wasn't sure if you were thinking about a non-petroleum product. I don't think soil contamination is a big concern unless the tools are heavily coated with it. Again, you could always wipe off the tools before using.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 12, 2017 5:05 PM CST
Im gonna catch hell on this one 😁
WD-40 is a fish oil base. Spray it on your fish bait to cover up your smell. I'd still wipe it off though.
Just cause !!!
I never ! At anytime of year. Leave my tools outside. Keep them inside garage. I have some old tools from my dad and uncle. Still great !!!
Point is !!! Even rusty ! Do you know how long it takes for them to rust away??? A lifetime !!!
Rust is good for your soil anyways ! Heck i dont get benifit of rust ! Because mine are stored in garage, when im not using them.
If you must use oil ! Dont go buy any fancy grape.sunflower.olive oils. Buy some cheep ol vegetable oil. It will do the job 😎 and probably cheeper than mineral oil, i bet ?
I'll catch hell ! Because there are a few people that dont read very good. 😁😁😁😜😜😜
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 5:25 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Im gonna catch hell on this one 😁
WD-40 is a fish oil base. Spray it on your fish bait to cover up your smell. I'd still wipe it off though.
Just cause !!!
I never ! At anytime of year. Leave my tools outside. Keep them inside garage. I have some old tools from my dad and uncle. Still great !!!
Point is !!! Even rusty ! Do you know how long it takes for them to rust away??? A lifetime !!!
Rust is good for your soil anyways ! Heck i dont get benifit of rust ! Because mine are stored in garage, when im not using them.
If you must use oil ! Dont go buy any fancy grape.sunflower.olive oils. Buy some cheep ol vegetable oil. It will do the job 😎 and probably cheeper than mineral oil, i bet ?
I'll catch hell ! Because there are a few people that dont read very good. 😁😁😁😜😜😜
😎😎😎


Philip, I don't see why you would catch hell. You know, I think you're right! Rust is iron oxide and iron is good for plants and soil! I do wonder how long it would take for me shovels, etc., to rust to the point of non-usability.

I do store them indoors in the off seasons, but it rains a lot here during all seasons so....

I'm going to buy one of those plastic storage thingees that will keep my gardening tools dry when outside. It can get very humid here during summer, so I'll have to keep an eye on that.

Vegetable oil can get very sticky--I've already had some bad experiences with that. The mineral oil is very cheap--found a nice bottle of it at the dollar store for, you guessed it, $1. But thanks to everyone's help, I think I'll do an experiment and see how long it will take my tools to rust. I've had them for two years now and they only have a small amount even though they spend summers outdoors. And *Blush* , I confess. Sad I have never cleaned them. Will update!

Anyone want a bottle of mineral oil? Rolling on the floor laughing
AKA Joey.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 12, 2017 5:50 PM CST
Hilarious!
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 12, 2017 6:24 PM CST
This is not a thick coat of oil, WD40, whatever. Spray some WD40 on your shovel and spread it around to coat the whole shovel with a paper towel. It just needs to be enough to coat the surface with a thin layer of oil, WD40... Wipe off as much as you can and it will still leave a protective coat behind.

I spray it on my lopping shears during the season also. It keeps them from rusting after using. Plants contain a lot of water.

My best friend's Dad used to soak his hands in WD40 - he said it helped his arthritis.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 6:37 PM CST
DaisyI said:

My best friend's Dad used to soak his hands in WD40 - he said it helped his arthritis.


Thanks Daisy.

Your friend's dad reminds me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding! I knew a luthier who used WD40 to polish out scratches and dirt on fine guitars. It worked beautifully. Green Grin!
AKA Joey.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 12, 2017 7:03 PM CST
joannakat said:
Anyone want a bottle of mineral oil? Rolling on the floor laughing


Don't toss it or give it away. Mineral oil is also what is used to treat cutting boards to extend their life.
When buying a new cutting board the rule is to treat with mineral oil:
Once a day for a week;
Once a week for a month;
Once a month forever.




Of course if I could see my butcher block counter tops I do it once every couple of months! However I never cut right on them, but over the years they have become the storage area except for one corner on the island.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Jan 12, 2017 8:06 PM CST
It is just an ''urban legend'' that WD 40 is or contains fish oil
main ingredient is Stoddard solvent , a petroleum based product very similar to white mineral spirits.

As for mineral oil I have used it on my tools in the way described in this thread (in sand in a bucket ) It works well

I have also used it on Horses with colic(vet recommended) also works well.
and cutting boards
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 12, 2017 9:18 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing I am visualizing treating my plastic cutting board with mineral oil. Rolling on the floor laughing Sorry! Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Jan 12, 2017 10:13 PM CST
DaisyI said: Rolling on the floor laughing I am visualizing treating my plastic cutting board with mineral oil. Rolling on the floor laughing Sorry! Smiling


LOL Rolling on the floor laughing nodding
AKA Joey.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
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Leftwood
Jan 13, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Iron oxide (rust) is not beneficial or detrimental to plants. The iron in iron oxide is in a form that is not available to plants. That is why there are chelated forms of iron in fertilizers. These have iron combined with particular elements that make them resistant to oxidation, and keeps the iron available to plant life for a much longer time.
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Jan 31, 2017 4:51 PM CST
Hey Jo,
In my humble opinion it's your handles you should care for more than the tool head.,( I live in an arid area ) and any environment detrimental to tool steel is even more so for wood or plastic. Here at work ( and home ) we sand the handles a bit and coat them with boiled linseed oil, if we're not using the tool for a while, like a thatch rake, we give it a thick double coat and in no time the wood has soaked it in. I have tools that have their original handles that are over 20 years old and perform great.

Hopes this helps. Smiling

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