How to clean a hole auger

A neglected auger can rust and spread plant disease around the garden, read our six step guide for tips on how to clean your hole auger quickly and safely.

To prevent decay, rust and spread of disease it is important to clean the blade of your hole auger after every use. Not only will you be prolonging the life of the tool but also keeping your storage area free of soil.

Protect yourself

Prior to cleaning an auger always wear a pair of gloves to avoid injury from the sharp blade, they will also keep your skin clean and prevent irritation from oil and disinfectants.

Remove soil

Wire wool or a stiff scrubbing brush will help you to remove soil from the auger blade and shaft. You may wish to use a hose or power washer to remove tougher dirt which has been caked onto the blade. If the handle is wooden then try to avoid allowing any water to soak in as it may swell over time.

Clean in sand

You can try running the auger blade in a bucket of sand which will remove any smaller areas of soil.


Applying a gardening disinfectant such as Jeyes or Citrox to the blade then wiping off after 20 minutes should sterilise the auger to prevent the spread of plant and soil diseases.


Although the blade is typically made of stainless steel and coated with paint or resin it still may be susceptible to rusting. Inspect the blade after use looking for any dents, rust, scratches or bends that need repairing as these could quickly get worse over time.


A fine layer of oil such as WD40 wiped over the blade and other metal parts should be sufficient in protecting the auger before placing into storage.