It is never good to put tools away dirty. They can rust and that shortens their life span. One way that I have always cleaned my tools is to wash them and spray a little bit of cooking spray, a cheap farm supply, on them before I store them for the winter. This will keep them from rusting and will be ready to use come Spring.
I, also, found a way to remove rust and that is to brew a pot of black tea, remove dirt from tool, submerge in the liquid and let set for couple of hours. Be sure not to submerge wooden handle. The tea’s tannic acid will remove the rust. Rinse and dry before use. If your tools are stored correctly then when Spring comes you can shorten your time by using them right away and not having to clean then before using.