*The most important step to cleaning the tools for winter is to remove the dirt that adheres to the metal surfaces. Wash heavy soil from the surface or use an old wire brush to knock off the soil.
*Once cleaned, the metal surface can be lightly oiled to prevent rusting and breakdown of the blade or point. The easiest way to prevent rusting is to lightly coat the surface with oil such as the easy-to-use spray like WD-40 or another oil.
*Before oiling, sharpening the blades or points is also a good idea. This is a practice that can be done at home with a file or many hardware stores offer a sharpening service for a small fee. Often we neglect the importance of a sharp point or blade on a hoe or shovel. The sharp edge makes the job easier and more efficient. Doing this in the fall while it is fresh in your mind gets it done before the spring rush.
*Handles that have become rough over the season can be sanded and sealed. Once sanded smooth, wipe them down with wood oil. In some cases, they can also be painted. Some gardeners paint the handles of shovels, rakes, and hoes with a bright color so they are easy to see lying around in the garden.