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Cleaning and Storing Your Masonry Trowels and Floats

Cleaning and Storing Your Masonry Trowels and Floats

Masonry trowels and floats are essential tools for any mason or DIY enthusiast working with concrete, mortar, or other masonry materials. These tools help to spread, shape, and finish the material, ensuring a smooth and professional-looking surface. However, like any other tools, trowels and floats require proper cleaning and storage to maintain their effectiveness and prolong their lifespan. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best practices for cleaning and storing your masonry trowels and floats, ensuring that they remain in optimal condition for future use.

Cleaning Your Masonry Trowels and Floats

Cleaning your masonry trowels and floats after each use is crucial to remove any residue or build-up that may affect their performance. Here are some effective methods for cleaning these tools:

1. Removing Excess Material:
– Before cleaning your trowels and floats, remove any excess material, such as mortar or concrete, using a wire brush or scraper.
– Gently scrape off the material from the surface of the tool, being careful not to damage the blade or the handle.

2. Soaking in Water:
– Fill a bucket or basin with warm water and submerge the trowels and floats in it.
– Allow the tools to soak for a few minutes to loosen any remaining residue.

3. Scrubbing with a Brush:
– After soaking, use a stiff-bristle brush to scrub the tools, paying attention to the blade and handle.
– Scrub in a circular motion to remove any stubborn residue or stains.

4. Using a Cleaning Solution:
– For more stubborn stains or build-up, you can use a cleaning solution specifically designed for masonry tools.
– Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the solution to the trowels and floats.
– Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a brush.

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5. Rinse and Dry:
– Once the tools are clean, rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove any cleaning solution or residue.
– Dry the trowels and floats with a clean towel or allow them to air dry completely before storing.

Storing Your Masonry Trowels and Floats

Proper storage is essential to protect your masonry trowels and floats from damage and ensure their longevity. Here are some tips for storing these tools:

1. Clean and Dry:
– Before storing your trowels and floats, ensure that they are clean and completely dry.
– Any moisture left on the tools can lead to rust or corrosion, compromising their performance.

2. Hanging Storage:
– One of the best ways to store your trowels and floats is by hanging them on a pegboard or wall-mounted rack.
– This method keeps the tools organized, easily accessible, and prevents them from coming into contact with other tools, which can cause damage.

3. Toolboxes or Cases:
– If you prefer to store your tools in a toolbox or case, make sure it is clean and dry before placing the trowels and floats inside.
– Use dividers or compartments to keep the tools separate and prevent them from rubbing against each other.

4. Blade Protection:
– To protect the blade of your trowels and floats from damage, consider using blade guards or covers.
– These protective covers can be made of plastic or fabric and help prevent nicks, dents, or scratches.

5. Moisture Control:
– Moisture can be detrimental to the condition of your masonry tools, especially if they are stored in a damp environment.
– Consider using moisture-absorbing products, such as silica gel packets or dehumidifiers, in your storage area to control humidity and prevent rust.

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Maintaining Your Masonry Trowels and Floats

In addition to regular cleaning and proper storage, there are a few maintenance practices that can help prolong the lifespan of your masonry trowels and floats:

1. Sharpening the Blade:
– Over time, the blade of your trowels and floats may become dull or worn.
– To maintain their effectiveness, you can sharpen the blade using a sharpening stone or file.
– Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take care not to remove too much material, as this can affect the tool’s balance and performance.

2. Lubricating the Handle:
– The handle of your trowels and floats may benefit from occasional lubrication to prevent drying out or cracking.
– Apply a small amount of linseed oil or another suitable lubricant to the handle and rub it in with a clean cloth.
– This helps to keep the handle in good condition and prevents it from becoming brittle.

3. Inspecting for Damage:
– Regularly inspect your trowels and floats for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or loose handles.
– If you notice any issues, repair or replace the tool as necessary to ensure safe and effective use.

4. Proper Handling:
– When using your masonry trowels and floats, handle them with care and avoid excessive force or misuse.
– Dropping or mishandling the tools can lead to damage or breakage, rendering them ineffective.


Cleaning and storing your masonry trowels and floats properly is essential for maintaining their performance and prolonging their lifespan. By following the best practices outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your tools remain in optimal condition for future use. Remember to clean your trowels and floats after each use, store them in a dry and organized manner, and perform regular maintenance to address any issues. By taking care of your tools, you can enjoy their benefits for years to come.

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