Ideally, you should be giving your petrol lawn mower a quick clean after each use, as well as a deeper clean a few times each mowing season. Not only will this keep your lawn mower working at its full potential, but it’ll also prevent wear and tear issues that would otherwise cost you a fair bit of money further down the line.
1. Prepare Your Lawn Mower for Cleaning
Before getting started, you’ll need to make sure that your petrol lawn mower is safe to clean. This means waiting until the engine is cold and ensuring that the machine doesn’t contain any petrol. You can either manually empty this out, or keep the engine running until the petrol runs dry.
You’ll then need to remove your lawn mower’s spark plug (this is usually found at the back of the engine) and turn your lawn mower onto its side.
2. Clean the Deck and the Blades
Some high-end lawn mowers have a garden hose attachment designed into their deck – you can simply insert your hose, turn it on, and watch the deck being washed clean. Sadly, the majority of lawn mowers don’t have this feature, so you’ll likely need to clean your mower’s deck manually.
Start by using a soft brush to dislodge any large clumps of dried grass and debris. Then, give the deck a strong spray with your garden hose. Use a brush, soap, and some hot water to scrub at the deck, before rinsing once more. Point your hose at the blades as well to remove any dirt and grass. You could also use a gentle pressure washer instead of a hose. If you need to touch the blades for any reason, wear protective gloves.
To prevent grass from sticking to your lawn mower’s deck in the future, give the deck a light spray with some oil once it has dried.
3. Remove Built-Up Grass
Grass will accumulate in the strangest places on your lawn mower, and it’s important that you regularly clear this away. Not doing so may lead to rust. Start by walking around your lawn mower and using a brush or a scraper to get rid of any grass.
Then, check the wheels, making sure that there isn’t any grass stuck around them. Finally, check the engine. Use a soft brush to dust away any stray grass clippings that have ventured where they’re not welcome.
4. Clean the Air Filter
First, you’ll need to locate your mower’s air filter. On most petrol mowers, this is located near the top of the engine. It will be protected by a metal or plastic cover that may be screwed or clipped into place. Before removing the mower’s air filter, clean any dirt from around the cover. Then, remove the filter and wash this with dishwashing liquid. Use paper towels to dry it before re-inserting it.
If your lawn mower has a paper filter, you’ll need to remove it and give it a tap to dislodge any dirt. Alternatively, replace it with a fresh filter.
There may be a few different components to consider, but petrol lawn mowers are much easier to clean than many would imagine.
Remember – the more often you clean your mower, the longer it will last, making this something worth doing on a regular basis. As mentioned, you should clean your mower after every use – particularly the cutting deck – and be doing a deep clean at least once a year at the end of the cutting season. Of course, it won’t hurt to clean it more often than this.
There are also a few more things you should be doing, at least once a year, to service your lawn mower and make sure it keeps running smoothly.
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