How To Clean Your Lawn Mower

It’s that time of year again when the grass is growing rapidly and your lawn mower is working overtime.

As the mower blades cut through the thick grass, the underside of your mower deck builds up a layer of dirt, grass clippings and residue.

If this isn’t cleaned off periodically, it can cause the mower to run inefficient and may even lead to damage like rust.

Today, you’ll learn everything there is to know about how to clean your lawn mower.

Quick-Guide How To Clean Your Lawnmower

  1. Cleaning the underside of your mower to remove grass clippings allows the mower to run at its best.
  2. Does your mower have a wash out port to attach a hose to?
  3. If yes, move to flat area like your driveway.
  4. Stop engine and lower cutting height to the lowest setting.
  5. Remove the grass catch bag.
  6. Attach garden hose to wash out port and start the water.
  7. Start the mower so the blades are rotating in the water stream to clean all the grass clippings. Once you see the water running out from under the mower is no longer greenish and full of grass clipping turn off the mower then turn off the water.
  8. After removing the hose turn the lawnmower back on to dry the blades off.
  9. Use a leaf blower or compressor to blow leaves and grass from the top side.

If your mower does not have a wash out port – do this:

  1. First, tip the mower over with the air filter side up.
  2. Use a brush to remove as much grass and as possible from the underside of the mower deck.
  3. Use a garden hose with a nozzle to spray it clean.
  4. Now set the mower back on its wheels and turn the lawn mower on to let it dry off.
  5. Use a leaf blower or compressor to clean top side of mower.

Check out this video for more details:

Let’s look at the steps in more detail.

Clean The Lawn Mower Blades With A Wire Brush

Dirty underside of electric lawnmower

Here’s a look at the dirty underside of an electric mower.

To keep the blades in optimal condition, it’s important to clean them on a regular basis. The best way to do this is with a wire brush.

  • First, for best results, remove the blade from the lawn mower.
  • Next, use the wire brush to remove any dirt or debris that’s accumulated on the blade.
  • Finally, sharpen the blade with a file or sharpening stone before reattaching it to the mower.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your lawn mower will provide a clean, even trim for years to come.

Clean The Underside Of The Lawn Mower With A Garden Hose

Cleaning and spraying underside of mower with garden hose

Spraying the underside of your lawnmower with a garden hose and nozzle is quick and easy.

Cleaning the underside of your lawn mower is important for two reasons:

  1. So that built-up grass doesn’t affect your mower’s cutting performance.
  2. To prevent rust and other corrosion from forming on the underside of the deck.

Here’s how to clean your lawn mower deck in three simple steps:

  • First, tip the mower onto its side (air filter side up) so you can access the underside of the deck.
  • Next, use a garden hose to spray away any dirt, debris, or built-up grass clippings.
  • Finally, wipe down the deck with a rag or brush to remove any remaining residue.

By taking the time to clean your lawn mower regularly, you can extend its life.

Remove Any Built-Up Grass From The Engine With A Brush or Vacuum Cleaner

Before you begin delving into the engine, it’s important to clean up any built-up grass or dirt. A brush or vacuum cleaner or leaf blower can help to clean the lawn mower engine side. Once you’ve removed the debris, you’ll be able to see the engine more clearly and get a better idea of what needs to be done. You can also use a good quality carburetor cleaner to make a thorough clean.

In addition, it’s important to be aware of any potential hazards before starting work on the lawn mower carb. Sharp objects, hot surfaces, and moving parts can all pose dangers, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions. With a little care and preparation, you’ll be able to safely and effectively clean your engine.

Lubricate All Moving Parts With Oil/Grease 

No matter what type of lawn mower you own, it’s important to keep all of its moving parts lubricated with oil. This will help to ensure smooth, efficient operation and prevent rust and other damage from occurring.

To clean a lawn mower, simply remove any built-up debris from the blades and body, then apply a few drops of oil/grease to all moving parts. By taking this simple step, you can keep your lawn mower running like new for years to come.

Check The Air Filter & Replace If Necessary

When you go to clean your lawn mower, be sure to check the air filter as well. An old or dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the engine to overheat. You can also replace the paper air filter and it is a simple and inexpensive way to keep your lawn mower running smooth.

To replace the air filter, first, consult your owner’s manual to find the correct size and type of filter for your model of lawn mower. Once you have the new filter, remove the old one by unscrewing the retaining clips or removing the housing. Install the new filter housing by following the reverse process. Be sure to dispose of the old filter properly, as it may contain harmful chemicals.

Finally, Start Up The Mower & Let It Run For A Few Minutes

Once you’ve made sure that the lawn mower is in good condition after a thorough clean, you can start it up and let it run for a few minutes. This will give the engine a chance to warm up and get all the moving parts lubricated. After a few minutes, you can shut off the lawn mower and proceed with your mowing.

Useful Tips & Tricks For Cleaning A Lawn Mower:

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your lawn mower clean:

  1. Start by removing any debris from the deck, such as grass clippings or leaves. Use a putty knife or stiff brush to remove any stubborn buildup.
  2. Next, clean the blades. Remove the blades from the mower (or clean them in-situ) and use a wire brush to remove any dirt or rust. If the blades are especially dirty, you can soak them in a bucket of soapy water for a few hours before scrubbing.
  3. Once the blades are clean, sharpen them with a file or grinder. This will help to ensure that they cut grass more effectively.
  4. Finally, oil the moving parts on the mower, including the wheels, axle, and cutting levers. This will help to keep everything running smoothly.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to clean a lawn mower, it’s time to get out there and get started. Be sure to follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article, and your lawn mower will be good as new in no time.

Further Reading

  • If it’s the end of the season then after you complete the final clean be sure to learn how to winterize your lawn mower so it starts up first try come spring.
  • If you are new to lawn mower maintenance then we have another guide for you on how to change the oil in a lawn mower. Another important task to be done on the regular.
  • For the best results you’ll need the best lawn mower. So be sure to check out the the list of the best to find your new one fast.

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 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit,, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.