We all want neatly trimmed grass and beautiful lawns, and the only way to have this is by taking good care of your garden. When long grass and weeds stick out like a sore thumb in your yard, regular trimming with an efficient lawnmower is a must. It is the secret behind a garden that will awe your guests and neighbours.
If you are putting in a lot of effort for your garden, you must also pay equal attention to all your lawn care equipment. After all, it is your lawnmower that keeps your yard smooth and spruce, and so it goes without saying that you should take very good care of this machine.
In case you feel that cleaning your lawnmower all by yourself is a complicated affair, don’t worry, we are here for you. In our article we have expanded on how to clean lawnmowers.
Why Should You Clean Your Lawnmower?
Before we talk about how to clean lawnmowers, let us talk about why you should clean them. Like every other machine, regular maintenance will help your lawnmower perform better. Frequent usage causes grass pieces to stick to the mower deck, which holds the spinning blades that cut the grass; this prevents the blades from working properly.
If your lawnmower goes too long without cleaning, the grass trimmings dry and solidify, making it extremely hard to remove. Dried grass accumulation also slows down the movements of the blades significantly.
Often, as we mow our freshly watered yards, the wet grass clippings adhere to the lawnmower deck. If not removed immediately, the moist grass bits increase chances of rust formation on the lower deck, which is extremely bad for the equipment. Moreover, diseased grass shreds stuck to the mower deck can spread the infection throughout your entire lawn, thus ruining your yard.
In order to be able to clean your lawnmower effectively, you first need to know your way around the different parts of the machine. Once you are familiar with your equipment, your maintenance process will become much easier. We have listed all the parts of any standard lawnmower, for all the beginners out there.
Important Parts Of A Lawnmower
1. The Chassis Of The Lawnmower
This is the main body of the lawnmower, also known as the housing or framework, which holds other parts such as the blades, engine, etc. It is usually constructed out of metal or heat resistant plastic.
This is a significant part of the lawnmower’s engine. The carburetor is responsible for combining air and fuel, for inducing combustion by the spark plug.
3. Air Filter
The air filter does exactly what its name suggests- it filters air and fuel to remove dirt and small particles. This allows an uninterrupted flow of air into the lawnmower. This prevents dust and other particles from causing damage to the machine.
4. Spark Plug
Electrical power facilitates the spark plug to cause combustion between the fuel and the air within the engine of the machine. This process is repeated multiple times while the mower is running, to keep things in motion. This combustion provides the kickstart that the internal machinery requires to start moving.
5. The Blades
Nowadays, most lawnmowers have two high powered blades within the deck. These blades come with an extremely sharp edge, which helps them to cut through the thickest grasses with little resistance. The blades spin on a vertical axis at a very high speed.
These are the basic parts of any lawnmower. Cleaning your lawnmower includes cleaning all the parts of the machine, separately. A thorough cleaning lasts for several months. When done correctly, cleaning your mower 2-3 times a year is enough.
Extensive cleaning guarantees a longer working period for all the individual parts, and therefore, smoother performance. Below, we have broken down the entire process of cleaning a lawnmower for you.
How To Clean Lawnmower
1. Cleaning The Deck
The deck houses the spinning blades. The first thing you need to do is drain your gas tank and detach the spark plug. Place your lawnmower on its side, so that you have access to the deck underneath.
Wash the deck with a high powered hose before scrubbing it with a soap and brush to get rid of the grime. Rinse it carefully before drying it off.
2. Cleaning The Blades
Wash off the pieces of grass and grime stuck to the blades with a powerful jet of water from your garden hose. You might need to scrub away some stubborn pieces of dirt with a brush but be very careful not to cut yourself. It is best to use sturdy gloves, in case you have to brush your blades by hand.
3. Cleaning The Engine
Before you start cleaning the engine, make sure that you remove the spark plug and the engine screen. The engine must cool down, before you begin. Like with the other parts of the mower, you should begin by blasting the engine with water from a hose at its highest setting.
Ensure that the strong jet of water reaches the interiors of the engine, and use a suitably thin brush to scrub all its nooks and crannies. Give it a final rinse before drying it off and lubricating it. You can expect your engine to function better after cleaning.
4. Clean The Spark Plugs
Grimy spark plugs may fail to function, as a result of which, the lawnmower won’t start. To avoid this, you must be very thorough while cleaning the spark plug.
Soak the plug with a brake cleaning liquid and wait before scrubbing it with a wire brush. Keep doing this until very little to no dirt remains on the plug and then wash it. If your spark plug is heavily corroded, it is probably time to replace it.
5. Cleaning The Carburettor
The carburettor is vital for the smooth functioning of your lawnmower, so you need to be extra careful while cleaning it. Take apart all the pieces of the carburettor and keep them soaked in a carburettor cleaner for about an hour.
Take all the pieces out, wash off the cleaner with cold water, and dry it meticulously, preferably with compressed air. Compressed air will help you dry all the parts that cannot be dried by hand. Remember that your carburettor will definitely rust, if there is even the slightest amount of water left in it.
6. Cleaning The Fuel System
The fuel system is an important part of your machine, and you need to be very careful while handling it. Before you start cleaning, check the fuel system for any damage. In case of serious damage, it is best to replace it with a new one. You should also empty your gas tank and remove the spark plugs before beginning the cleaning process.
It can be very difficult to reach all the parts of a fuel system. So, use an air hose with a nozzle to wash out all the pieces of dirt, and to make your fuel system squeaky clean.
7. Cleaning The Air Filter
The air filter is the lawnmower’s defence against dirt and foreign particles. A malfunctioning air filter can disrupt the entire internal mechanism of the engine. This is why it should be cleaned more frequently than the other parts. Begin by removing the cover of the air filter and cleaning it thoroughly.
Next, clean the air filter minutely, and double check for any remaining dirt or dust. Repeat this process, if required. Wash your filter with a dish detergent, and dry it off carefully and patiently. Tap the air filter gently to remove dust particles stuck to the air filter paper, or better yet replace the filter paper with a new one.
Just like mowing your yard frequently, keeps your yard in good shape, cleaning your lawnmower routinely, keeps your equipment in good condition. It also helps you identify any serious problems within your lawnmower, and informs you of any part changes, if required.
An efficient lawnmower is the key to achieving a picture perfect garden or yard. By following our steps to clean your lawnmower, you will keep it functioning efficiently for years.