It's important to clean your lawn mower at least at the end of each mowing season to prevent grass buildup on the underside of the mowing deck. Some people go so far as to clean their mower monthly, during the cutting season. Grass buildup retains moisture and can cause the metal mowing deck to corrode, rendering the lawn mower useless. Why pay top dollar for a push mower, only to allow it to corrode and rust away? Follow these guidelines to clean your push mower and keep it in good condition for many mowing seasons:
- Before cleaning the lawn mower, and to prevent the engine from accidentally starting, remove the wire from the spark plug, or remove the spark plug entirely. Most people don't realize that turning the mowing blade manually can ignite the engine.
- Since lawn mowers are built to withstand heavy rains, it is safe to use a garden hose full force when cleaning your lawn mower. Fill a bucket with a hefty dose of car washing detergent and warm water until you have good suds action.
- Never aim the water hose at the side of the lawnmower since water might enter the air filter. Instead, wet the lawn mower from above thoroughly, and then wash the entire outside with a sponge and sudsy water.
- Rinse the lawnmower completely and allow it to air dry for about an hour.
- Turn the lawn mower over to inspect the under side of the mower deck. Remove any grass buildup with your hands.
- If you have grass buildup that has dried over many seasons, you may need to scrape it away with a putty knife. Remove all of the grass buildup, and then wash the underside of the mower deck with the soapy water, and gently rinse. Allow the mower to air dry for about an hour.
- Finally, inspect the mower blade. If there are visible gouges or hunks of blade missing, it's time to replace the blade. If the blade is still in good condition, spray the blade and under side of the mowing deck with vegetable oil, and store the mower away.
Before storing your lawn mower for winter, protect the surface with a good rust prevention product. You can find rust prevention products for your mower at your local home improvement store.