How To Clean Your Drill Bits? [An In-Depth Discussion]

It is very crucial to clean the drill bits while working for smooth and accurate penetration. This is a very basic rule and maintaining the drill bits will also help you drill any materials more efficiently. But, most people do not know that cleaning and maintaining the drill bits can save you a lot of money.

You can easily re-use your drill bits for a long period of time, but only if it’s sustained and preserved properly. In this article, I will give you some basic knowledge of how to clean and maintain the drill bits with different techniques. You need some key materials and tools as well.

There are many different types of drill bits in the market and most of them can be easily cleaned with the same materials. All you need to do is collect the necessary equipment. Following the right techniques and guidelines will help you to easily clean and eliminate the rusts from your drill bits. Let us find out:

5 Different Ways To Clean Your Drill Bits:

In order to keep your drill bits sharp and work in the long run, cleaning them and maintaining them is very important. Here are the 5 different ways  to clean your drill bits:

Way 1- Soak The Drill Bits Into A Container With Apple Cider Vinegar:

In order to clean the drill bits, it is necessary for you to figure out the ones that are affected and damaged. You are planning to drill a hole, but the drill bits do not look good because it was kept in a box and not used for a long time. 

Gather all your drill bits and put them in a container or bowl, depending on the number of drill bits or tools you want to clean. For a few drill bits, a container or bowl is good enough. Fill the container with enough water for the drill bits to soak properly.

Use the basic procedures to clean the wastes that come off after drilling any materials. When you keep the drill bits in the toolbox for too long and do not clean the box from time to time, this is bound to happen.

It is required to soak the drill bits into the water with an effective chemical like Apple Cider Vinegar. Even though the process is easy, it is very time-consuming. Apple Cider Vinegar contains 5% acid, which will help to clean the drill bits.

Way 2- Use Abrasive Tools To Clean The Tip Of Your Drill Bits:

For a chemical-free alternative and an instant fix, use abrasive tools, such as screwdrivers to gently scrape off the dust and waste materials from the tip of the drill bits. The machine generates a lot of heat and it can damage the tip of the drill bits.

Dull drill bits are of no use and in order to keep it sharp, always clean after the drilling is done. Make sure to give some time for the drill bits to cool off before you clean them with sharper tools. You can also use sandpapers to finally remove the stains from your drill bits.

Way 3- Use DIY Solutions Immediately To Clean Your Drill Bits After Use:

You can use DIY solutions to clean the drill bits before putting them back in the box. However, soaking the drill bits into a mixture of liquids requires some time as I have already explained. However, if you give a few extra hours after the drilling to clean and maintain it, the drill bits will last longer. 

You can use a mixture of salt and lime water and soak them for a few hours. Apply the same technique with baking soda or vinegar to completely remove the waste and debris from your drill bits.

If you have enough time in your hand you can use this method to maintain your drill bits. Another technique is to soak the drill bits into a container full of molasses and keep them for a few hours. 

Way 4- Use Ultrasonic Cleaner To Clean Your Drill Bits Quickly:

This is a very shortcut method to clean your drill bits as quickly as possible. In order to do that, you need to have an ultrasonic cleaner, metallic brushes, and disinfectants. Take all the drill bits and put them right into the ultrasonic cleaner. Then fill it with the water and the water should cover the drill bits completely.

It is better to measure the water that needs to be poured into the ultrasonic cleaner. Add the disinfectants proportionately into the water and set the timer of the cleaner to a minimum of 8 to 10 minutes. Once the cleaning is done, it is time to open the ultrasonic cleaner and brush them off properly.

You will notice most of the drill bits are already cleaned properly. But if some uncured gel or color gel is still stuck, you need to take them off using a metallic brush. You do not need to apply much pressure to brush them off and once it is properly cleaned, disinfect the bits to properly use it again.

Way 5- Use Alcohol To Clean Your Clogged Drill Bits:

Alcohol is another very useful liquid that can clean your drill bits effectively quickly. If you want to clean your diamond drill bits or clogged nail brits, soak the bits into a container with acetone liquid cleaners for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to wear hand gloves or take protective measures as the liquids can harm your skin.

Once the drill bits are properly soaked with water, take them off and put them into a paper towel or napkin, and spray some acetones again for the remaining particles to come off easily. 

Like the usual process, use a metallic brush to gently clean the tip of the drill bits. Now it is time to wait for another 10 minutes to completely evaporate the liquid from the drill bits to re-use it again. 

Related Questions:

Things You Must Have To Clean The Drill Bits:

Before we get into the details and procedures of cleaning the bits, it is essential for you to know the kind of tools and kits that are required. 

Here is the basic necessary equipment you must have to clean the drill bits:

  • Bucket, Gallon, Bowl or Containers,
  • Apple Cider Vinegar,
  • Toothbrush, Brush,
  • Papers Towels, Dry Clothes,
  • WD-40 Spray,
  • Machine Oil,
  • ultrasonic cleaner,
  • Disinfectants.

Basically cleaning any type of drill bits requires the same procedure. The only thing that differentiates the entire process is the choice of liquid. Here are some of the other liquids or removers you can apply or use as well.

  • Lemon Juice,
  • Citric Acid,
  • Baking Soda,
  • Salt,
  • Alcohol/Acetone Liquid cleaners.

Well, keep in mind that it is not mandatory or required to get all the listed items at once. Choose according to your preferences and convenience. These are all DIY liquid cleaners and are mostly chemical free which can be applied as well to clean your drill bits.

You can choose any specific liquids or combinations to clean the drill bits. The result will be more or less the same, but the most effective liquid to clean is Apple Cider Vinegar. 

What Is The Estimated Cost Needed To Clean Your Drill Bits?

Most of the materials that are needed to clean your drill bits are already in your house or your kitchen. However, if you do not have it already, you need to have a small budget to buy these necessary tools and kits.

Here is an estimated cost of the things you need to remove rust from your drill bits.

Tools And Kits Estimated Price 
Fresh Containers, Bowls$10-$15
Apple Cider Vinegar/ Equivalent Liquids$10-$20
Abrasive Tools( Screw Driver, Brush, etc)$12-$18
Paper Towels$9-$15 
Ultrasonic Cleaner$50-$100
Estimated Total Price$80 

For an estimated price of $80, you can clean your drill bits and other tools. You can re-use the bits for months and months which will save you a lot of money.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is It Necessary To Clean Your Drill Bits?

There are mainly two occasions when it is required to clean the drill bits. You must clean the tip of the drill bits while you are working for smooth drilling. This can be done instantly by using any sharp objects, clothes, or tissue paper.

Most people forget to clean the drill bits after they are done working. The drill bits are used and kept in a box for days and months. Unused drill bits are more likely to get damaged with rust by not cleaning them regularly. 

In most cases, people do not use the old rusted drill bits and buy new ones which is a total waste of money. You must know how to implement the techniques to clean and remove the rust and re-use the drill bits for months.

How Can You Prevent Drill Bits From Rusting?

You can prevent the drill bits from rusting by maintaining them regularly. Keep the bits in a clean box and use mineral oils to conserve them. Make some time to clean them off with sandpapers and keep the bits away from water. The more frequently you use the drill bits, is more likely to stay rust-free. 

Can You Use Coca-Cola To Clean Your Drill Bits?

Apparently Yes! You can soak the drill bits or any other metals in a glass of coca-cola to remove the rust and stains from any tools. Phosphoric acid helps to kill the particles and soaking them for a minimum of two hours can give you a significant result.

What Type Of Oil Should You Apply Or Use To Maintain Drill Bits?

You can use mineral oil or engine oil to protect your drill bits from rust. Try to look for oils that can penetrate or cut metals like linseed oil. Apply the oil in the metal or drill bits and wait for 30 minutes to 40 minutes to get the result. Use paper towels or dry clothes to scrub the drill bits and dry them off completely for a new shiny look.

What Is The Price Of A New Drill Bit Set?

The price of a drill bit set starts from $ 9  and it can go as high up to $1500 or more depending on the quality, material, and the type of the drill bit. Drill bits usually last for a long period of time if it is maintained properly. This cost can be totally avoided and minimized with the right maintenance. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Drill Bits?

You should clean your drill bits immediately after using them and it is better to clean them twice a month to use them in the long run. Nail drill bits should be cleaned before using them as they may contain germs from using them previously. Disinfect them once a week to prevent any kind of damage. 


Cleaning may not be an ideal job for you as it requires a lot of patience and techniques. But if you can manage some of your valuable time to maintain and use these techniques to clean your drill bits, you can save a lot of money and re-use them in the long run.

Masud Rana

This is Masud Rana. I run this blog. My Tools Guide is a blog where I share product reviews of different tools. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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