The Best Way to Clean a Lawn Mower (+ Top Questions Answered)

The first time you take your lawn mower out of the garage for the season, it’s a good idea to clean it. This will not only make your vehicle sparkle and look new but also ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible. In this blog post, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to do just that!

How to Clean a Push Mower

The first and most important step is to completely power the lawnmower off. If you’re working with a gas-powered motor, then you also want to pull out the spark plug.

Once you’re sure that nothing can turn itself on, you’ll want to dust off the unit to get rid of any dried grass before turning it over to clean the underside. You can lightly use a stiff wire brush to clean underneath, but chances are you won’t need it to get rid of the clumps of grass that tend to stick under mowers.

How to Clean a Riding Lawn Mower

Cleaning a riding lawnmower is a lot like cleaning an automobile, but since their housings are so slick you might get away with just wiping them off with a shop towel when they’re powered down. You can jack them up, assuming that the spark plug is pulled, to clean underneath.

While you can’t normally tip them over, this is generally enough to be able to clean out any clumps of grass that got stuck in the cutting area.

How to Clean an Electric Mower

Pull the terminal connectors off of the battery after powering it down so you can be sure that you’re safe. If you’re working with a riding one, then you’ll want to dust off the housing before continuing.

Owners of push mowers will want to probably tip their mower over once it’s safe to do so and clean out underneath the blades. If the grass is extremely clumped in there, then it may be acceptable to use a stiff wire brush to get it out.

You may want to take this opportunity to sharpen the blades if you haven’t in some time.

How Often Should You Clean Your Lawn Mower?

Shake dead grass from your mower every time that you use it, preferably after you’re done and have powered the system down. You’ll want to give it a serious cleaning once every 4-5 uses, so you can ensure peak performance at all times.

Should I Clean My Lawn Mower After Each Use?

Clean your mower after each use by removing dead grass from the housing and any egress ports that get stuck full of it. You don’t want to wash it excessively, however.

While it’s alright to periodically use a hose to clean out your lawnmower, provided you give it ample time to dry, you don’t want to do this all the time because you could encourage rust to form.

Is it Ok to Tip a Lawn Mower On its Side?

Riding mowers normally shouldn’t be tipped over on their sides unless you’ve laid out some kind of padding or made sure to remove portions of the housing, because the fairing that’s over the body could potentially crack otherwise. Push mowers can often be safely tipped over if you take the precaution of completely powering them down first and remove the spark plug.

In either case, this can help you to clean out the underside.

Can You Clean a Lawn Mower With a Hose?

Can I Pressure Wash My Lawn Mower Engine?

While you could theoretically pressure wash the metallic engine block after removing it from the rest of the assembly, you’d have to literally take everything else off to do so. You wouldn’t normally be able to take it apart because of the rest of the gear in front of it, making this a rather onerous task that few owners would be up to.

In most instances, you won’t want to use a full pressure washer on an assembled and functioning lawnmower for fear of damaging it.

Can Water Mess up a Lawn Mower?

Water can cause the metal parts of a lawnmower to rust. This is especially true when left on for a long period of time.

Never leave your lawnmower out in the rain. If you clean it with water from a hose, then make sure that you dry it off before storing it so the water doesn’t get a chance to work its way into the lawnmower.

Which Way Do You Tip a Lawnmower?

When the lawnmower is running, you can usually tip it back slightly assuming you’re working with a push mower. You can only tip lawnmowers onto their side when they’re completely powered off, and even then you don’t want to put too much pressure on the wheels or you might break them.

Some technicians actually recommend jacking up a riding lawnmower to clean underneath it to prevent these sorts of problems from happening.

How Do I Keep Grass from Clogging My Lawnmower?

Always clean out the egress and bag whenever you use your lawnmower. While you don’t have to give it a full cleaning every single time, it’s a good idea to at least do this.

If at all possible, then you’ll want to mulch your clippings instead of bagging them. This will help by getting rid of the bag, which is one of the biggest places for clippings to get clogged up.

How Do I Clean the Bottom of My Lawn Mower Deck?

Depending on the type of lawnmower you have, you can either tip it or turn it over when powered down. Riding lawnmowers may have to be jacked up before cleaning them.

Once you have at least some access to the deck and it’s safe to do so, you can normally brush the grass away with any appropriate tool. Stiff brushes might be helpful, but you’ll want to make sure not to make any marks on the blades with them.

What Happens if it Rains on a Lawn Mower?

Acidity in the rain as well as the water itself can corrode the metallic parts of your lawnmower if it gets rained on. You want to store your mower somewhere that’s protected from the elements so this doesn’t happen.