How To Clean Your Lawn Mower Air Filter

How to clean lawn mower air filterIf you clean your lawn mower air filter you will notice it running more smooth.

It’s a simple maintenance task you can complete in 5 minutes – even if you’ve never done it before.

Today you’ll get the quick and easy way to clean your air filter in 5 minutes.

Let’s get started.

Quick-Guide To Cleaning Your Mower Air Filter

  • Gas lawn mowers can use slightly different air filters but it will be obvious where it is on the mower engine assembly.
  • Remove the air filter cover. It will be a snap-on-snap-off style.
  • Remove the air filter to see what type your mower has.
  • With a foam filter you just need to rinse it with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Be sure to rinse and squeeze out all the soap.
  • Further, squeeze it more into some paper towels and let it dry in the sun.
  • Once dry, put the foam air filter and put into a plastic bad and put a squeeze of oil in and work the oil into the filter. The oil coating is what prevents fine dust particles getting into the engine.
  • Paper towel off the oiled up foam filter.
  • Put filter back into air inlet and you’re done.

What Is An Air Filter?

The air filter on a lawn mower engine is designed to capture harmful particles before they can enter the engine. These particles can come from a variety of sources, including dust, dirt, and debris.

Over time, the air filter will become clogged with these particles, which can reduce the airflow to the engine and cause it to run less efficiently.

For this reason, it is important to regularly clean or replace the paper or foam filter on your lawn mower. Depending on the model, you may be able to clean the air filter with soap and water.

However, some lawn mower air filters are not reusable and must be replaced. Taking care of your filter will help to ensure that your lawn mower runs smooth and efficient.

Dirty vs clean lawn mower air filter

How To Clean A Lawn Mower Air Filter 

Over time, your lawnmower’s air filter or foam filter will become clogged with dust, dirt, and debris. This can restrict airflow to the engine, reducing power and efficiency. Cleaning the air filter is a simple task that only takes a few minutes.

Step 1

Remove the filter from the mower. Depending on your model, this may be located under the fuel tank or behind the engine cowling.

Step 2

Next, tap the filter gently to remove any loose dirt.

Step 3

Then, using a brush or compressed air, carefully clean away any remaining debris.

Step 4

Finally, rinse the filter with clean water and soap and allow it to dry completely before replacing it.

Step 5

Put filter in a plastic bag and coat with oil. Mix it around and in. Remove from bag and let site for 5 mins before putting back into the air filter canister on the mower.

How To Identify If The Air Filter Needs To Be Cleaned or Replaced

Here are a few signs to look for:

  • Is your lawn mower running rough? If the engine is missing, hesitating, or stalling, it may be due to a dirty air filter.
  • Is the engine overheating? A restricted airflow caused from a clogged air filter can cause the engine to overheat.
  • Is the mower using more fuel than usual? A dirty filter can decrease fuel efficiency.
  • Is there excessive dust or debris coming from the mower? This is a sure sign that the filter needs to be replaced.

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to check the air filter and clean or replace it as needed.

What Does Air Filter Do For The Lawn Mower Engine?

The filter on a lawn mower engine is responsible for keeping the engine clean and free of debris. Over time, the filter can become clogged with dirt, dust, and other particles, which can reduce its effectiveness. As a result, it’s important to clean or replace the air filter on a regular basis.

The filter is located between at the air inlet to clean all air before coming into the carburetor and engine. It consists of a paper, cloth or foam element that captures contaminants before they can enter the engine.

When the engine is running, the air is drawn through the filter and into the carburetor, where it mixes with fuel to create a combustible mixture. If the filter is dirty, this mixture can be less effective, resulting in reduced power and decreased fuel efficiency. In extreme cases, a clogged air filter can cause an engine to overheat or seize up completely.

How Often Should You Clean The Air Filter?

For most lawn mower engines, it’s recommended the filter be cleaned or replaced every 25 hours of use, or at least once a season. Some filters are designed to be washable and reusable, while others must be replaced when they become too dirty.

Tips For Keeping The Air Filter Clean:

  • Avoid operating the lawn mower in dusty or dirty conditions whenever possible. If you must mow in such conditions, be sure to clean the air filter more frequently.
  • Make sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s recommendations for the maintenance and care of your lawn mower.

Wrap Up:
The air filter is an essential part of your lawn mower engine. It helps to keep the engine clean and free of debris. Over time, the air filter can become clogged with dirt, dust, and other particles, which can reduce its effectiveness. So, a clean filter is essential for maintaining the health of your lawn mower engine. You can clean the filter yourself, or you can replace it as needed.

Further Reading

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 13 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit,, and more. He spends his spare time obsessing over his 1/4 acre lawn.