How to Clean a Lawn Mower
What You Need
- Gloves to remove debris
- Water source (hose)
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Cloth or Paper Towel
Keeping your lawn mower clean can make a big difference in its efficiency and lifespan. Regular cleaning during the mowing season will not only prevent build-up, corrosion and diminished performance of your mower, but it can also minimize the spread of lawn diseases.
Rust prevention is key as well, as wet grass will trap moisture in the underside of your mower and create prime conditions for rust buildup on your mower deck (the blade housing on the underside of your mower), blades and blade shaft, reducing performance.
Cleaning and maintaining the lawnmower deck—the enclosed housing beneath the mower, where the blade spins — will keep your machine performing properly, free of buildup and clogs. It can also help prevent the spread of lawn diseases, an important element of lawn care.
While you should clean your lawnmower about once a month during peak months, at the very end of the mowing season, it's good practice to give your lawnmower a thorough cleaning before putting it away for the winter. If you put your machine away for the season without cleaning it, your springtime cleanup is going to be far more difficult.
Cleaning your lawnmower is easiest when done just after cutting your lawn, when the grass hasn't yet dried on your mower. The longer you wait to clean a lawnmower, the more difficult it will be due to matted grass buildup.
Directions For Cleaning a Lawnmower:
With the gas tank empty, tilt the mower at a far enough angle to access the underside of the mower deck, and prop it on its side using a sturdy block or other object. If your mower is a "four stroke" lawnmower, tip the machine so the sparkplug is pointing skyward. Never angle the sparkplug towards the ground. If you have a "two stroke" mower, turn off the fuel tap before cleaning.
- Remove debris. Wearing gloves, remove any debris that may be wrapped around the blade or along the underside of the mower deck by hand.
- Wet the mower. Spray the underside of the mower deck with a garden hose to loosen dried-on grass and dirt.
- Apply Simple Green to deck. Spray the underside of the mower deck with full-strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Scrub with a stiff-bristled brush to lift dirt, oil and grime.
- Rinse thoroughly, and set your mower upright.
- Spray Simple Green on the mower housing, avoiding any exposed wiring connections, electronics or starter assembly.
- Wipe away buildup. Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe away any grass build-up, oil or other gunky residue. For heavy build-up, a stiff-bristled brush may be necessary.
- Rinse and wipe with clean cloth, or air dry.
Bonus tip: Clean or replace your mower's air filter at least once a year for better performance. Replace paper filters, or spray plastic foam filters with Simple Green and rinse for better cleaning results. Allow filter to dry before replacing.