How to Clean a Toolbox: Tips and Tricks for a Sparkling Toolbox

dirty toolbox

A toolbox is an essential item for any DIY enthusiast or professional tradesperson. It keeps all the necessary tools in one place, making it easier to carry them around and keep them organized. 

However, after constant use, it’s easy for a toolbox to get dirty, grimy, and rusty. A dirty toolbox can affect the performance of your tools, and it’s just not pleasant to look at. 

In this article, we’ll cover how to clean a toolbox step by step. We’ll also give you tips for maintaining a clean toolbox, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Let’s begin.

Gather Materials

Before you start cleaning your toolbox, gather all the materials you’ll need. Here’s a list of things you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses(optional)
  • Dust mask(optional)
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Degreaser or all-purpose cleaner
  • Rust remover (if needed)
  • Lubricating oil
  • Water

Empty and Sort Your Tool Box

Empty your toolbox and sort the tools into piles based on their type. This will make it easier to clean and reorganize your toolbox later.

Clean the Inside of Your Tool Box

First, vacuum the inside of your toolbox to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. Next, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the inside of the toolbox, paying special attention to any corners or crevices. If your toolbox has any grease or oil stains, you can use a degreaser or all-purpose cleaner to remove them.

Clean the Outside of Your Tool Box

To clean the outside of your toolbox, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water. For tougher grime, use a degreaser or all-purpose cleaner. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool, as they can scratch the surface of your toolbox.

Remove Rust from Metal Tool Boxes

If your metal toolbox has rust, you can remove it using a rust remover. Apply the rust remover to the affected areas, let it sit for the recommended time, and then scrub it off with a soft-bristled brush. Once the rust is removed, wipe down the area with a microfiber cloth and lubricating oil to prevent future rusting.

Clean Foam Tool Inserts

If your toolbox has foam inserts, remove them and clean them separately. Foam inserts can be washed with warm, soapy water and left to air dry. Once they’re dry, you can place them back in the toolbox.

Reassemble and Store Your Tools

Once your toolbox is clean and dry, it’s time to reassemble and store your tools. Make sure to put everything back in its proper place to keep your toolbox organized. 

If you have any loose screws or bolts, now is a good time to sort and organize them.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Tool Box

  • Clean your toolbox every few weeks to prevent dirt and grime
  • Store your toolbox in a dry, cool place to prevent rust and mold growth.
  • Consider using a toolbox liner to protect the bottom of your toolbox and make it easier to clean.
  • Avoid overstuffing your toolbox, as it can make it harder to find what you need and can cause tools to rub against each other and get damaged.
  • Use a label maker or permanent marker to label the compartments in your toolbox, making it easier to find what you need.


Cleaning your toolbox doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a few simple steps and the right materials, you can have a sparkling clean toolbox in no time. 

By keeping your toolbox clean and organized, you can ensure your tools last longer and are always ready to use.

Do you want to learn more DIY cleaning tips? Read How to Use Toothpaste to Clean Razors.

Thanks for reading my blog.

-Baking Soda Guy  


How often should I clean my toolbox? 

It’s a good idea to clean your toolbox after each use. If you use your tools frequently, you may want to clean your toolbox every few months.

Can I use bleach to clean my toolbox? 

Bleach can be harsh and can damage the surface of your toolbox. It’s best to use a mild degreaser or all-purpose cleaner instead.

How can I prevent rust from forming on my toolbox? 

Store your toolbox in a dry, cool place, and use a rust inhibitor to prevent rust from forming.

What should I do if I have a lot of loose screws or bolts in my toolbox? Sort and organize them by size and type and consider using a small compartmentalized storage container to keep them organized.

Can I put my foam tool inserts in the washing machine? 

No, foam tool inserts should be washed by hand with warm, soapy water and left to air dry.

Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels