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How to clean the underside of a lawnmower, the best methods and tips

From small garden tools to a lawnmower maintenance is important. Well maintained machines will work better and help to keep a beautiful lawn. One of the regular maintenance that you have to perform is cleaning your lawnmower. It prevents corrosion, keeps the blades sharp, and halts the fungus growth, which may cause harm to your lawn. To have blooming, clean and green grass, it’s important to keep the lawnmower clean after each mowing session. This article will help to understand the best methods and tips to keep your lawnmower clean.

Cleaning the underside of a riding lawnmower, the best methods:

  • Method 1. Cleaning through wash port
  • Method 2. By lifting the lawnmower

Cleaning the underside of a push lawnmower, step by step:

  • Drain the gas from the gas tank
  • Remove the lawnmower blades
  • Wash the lawnmower’s deck
  • Reinstall the lawnmower blades

We recommend you to keep reading this article to get a better grasp of the above mentioned methods.

Cleaning the underside of a Lawnmower:

The lawnmower area that needs to be cleaned mostly is the mower deck, which is a lawnmower’s underside. The lawnmower blades are located below this deck. As the lawnmower performs its job, grass and debris get stuck in the blades. Resultantly, the lawnmower blades won’t function properly. The steps mentioned below will assist you in cleaning the underside of a push as well as a riding lawnmower.

Cleaning the underside of a riding lawnmower:

There are two easy methods to clean the underside of a riding lawnmower. Both of these methods, along with the procedure, shall be discussed below.

Method 1. Cleaning through wash port:

Most riding lawn mowers come with a wash port that is located at the top of the deck. The wash port helps in cleaning the underside of a lawnmower using a water hose. It is one of the simplest processes to clean the lawnmower’s deck.

Tools required:

  • Water hose pipe


– Step 1. Set the deck to the lowest level:

Take the riding lawnmower to a flat surface. Now, set the lawnmower’s deck to its lowest possible level.

– Step 2. Attach the mulch plug:

Attach the mulch plug (if your lawnmower has one). This will keep the water inside the lawnmower’s deck.

– Step 3. Hook the garden hose to wash port:

Hook the garden hose to the lawnmower’s wash port, and turn on the water tap to its full capacity. The water shall do the rest of the job.

– Step 4.  Move the lawnmower blades:

Turn the riding lawnmower on and move its blades while the water is still washing away all the dirt and debris. This is done to wash away the grass and dirt completely. Continue doing this for 5 minutes, and you are all done.

This method is simple and easy, so it can be done every time you mow your lawn.

Method 2. By lifting the lawnmower:

The second method that can be used to wash the lawnmower’s underside is by lifting it and cleaning it, just like cars are washed at service stations. This is a detailed cleaning process and removes 100% of the mud and grass.

Tools Required:

  • Safety goggles
  • Water hose pipe
  • Rubber/leather gloves
  • Oil pan
  • Scrapper
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Socket Wrench


– Step 1. Drain the gas from the gas tank:

Drain the gas from the gas tank. This is done to avoid any mixing of water into the gas, affecting the lawnmower’s performance.

– Step 2. Take the lawnmower to a flat surface:

To clean the lawnmower’s underside by lifting method, it must be located on a flat surface. This is done to avoid any accidents while you lift the lawnmower.

– Step 3. Remove the spark plug:

Remove the key from the lawnmower’s ignition switch, and remove the spark plug.

– Step 4. Place wooden wedges:

Place wooden wedges behind the lawn mower’s back wheels to prevent the mower from slipping.

– Step 5. Lift the lawnmower using a hydraulic jack:

Next, place a hydraulic jack below the front wheels of the lawnmower, and pump the jack to its full capacity so that the lawnmower reaches the maximum height.

– Step 6. Wash the lawnmower’s underside:

Take a water hose pipe and clean the mower’s bottom completely. Make sure that the water washes all the dirt and grass away.

– Step 7. Remove the lawnmower blades:

Wear thick rubber gloves and remove the lawnmower’s blades using a socket wrench. Put these blades aside.

– Step 8. Remove rest of the dirt:

Remove the rest of the grass and debris using a scraper or a wire brush. Give the deck another wash and leave it to dry.

– Step 9. Wash the blades:

Wash the lawnmower blades. If you feel that the edges need to be sharpened as well, you may do that using a ten-inch file or a grindstone.

– Step 10. Grease the underside of the deck:

Grease the bottom of the lawnmower’s deck. This is done to avoid rusting of the metal.

– Step 11. Reinstall the blades:

Reinstall the blades carefully. Get the lawnmower down from the hydraulic jack, and reinstall the spark plug.

Cleaning the underside of a push lawnmower:

The procedure to clean the push lawnmower is quite similar to method#1 of cleaning the riding lawnmower, as mentioned above. However, here are the steps that should follow to have a clean push lawnmower:

– Step 1. Drain the gas from the gas tank:

Before starting the cleaning process, you must drain the entire fuel from the gas tank to avoid the creation of water-contaminated fuel that may cause malfunctioning of the lawnmower. This can be done by tilting the mower sideways on a tarp. Then, put an oil holding pan under the drain valve of the lawnmower’s gas tank. Open the valve and empty the gas tank.

– Step 2. Remove the lawnmower blades:  

Remove the lawnmower blades carefully, using a socket wrench.

– Step 3. Wash the lawnmower’s deck:

Set the garden hose nozzle to maximum pressure, and turn on the water tap. Wash the lawnmower’s deck until the dirt and grass are removed completely.

– Step 4. Reinstall the lawnmower blades:  

Reinstall the lawnmower blades, and spray some oil on the lawnmower’s underside to keep it from catching rust. Reinstall the spark plug as well.

End of season cleaning:

It is advised to clean the lawnmower when the mowing season ends. This can be done by following the steps mentioned above. It is suggested to empty the lawnmower’s gas tank before putting it away for the winter season. A clean lawnmower underside will prevent the blades from rusting during the winters.

For a hands-on demonstration of cleaning the underside of a lawnmower, you should watch the following videos:

Related Questions:

1. How to prevent the grass from getting stuck into the underside of the lawnmower?

There are multiple ways and tips to stop the grass from getting stuck into the underside of a lawnmower. A few of them are mentioned below:

  • Not when wet: Avoid cutting the grass when it is wet
  • Before it is long: Mow your lawn before the grass gets too long
  • Spray the bottom: A lubricant spray can be used after you have finished cleaning the lawnmower’s underside. There are mower deck sprays available in the market that keep the grass from sticking into the lawnmower blades. Non-stick cooking spray or graphite silicon spray can also be used to serve the purpose.
  • After each usage: Clean the lawnmower deck regularly, at least after you have used it twice.

2. How often should you clean the lawnmower?

  • After each usage: Different garden experts have different views about how often a lawnmower should be cleaned. Some people prefer to clean their lawnmower after every use.
  • Often: While others tend to clean their lawnmower after a week. However, cleaning the lawnmower is necessary to prolong its service life, so it’s recommended to clean your lawnmower often, if not after every use.
  • At least twice per month: By often, we mean that you should clean the lawnmower at least twice during the mowing season and give it a thorough wash at the end of the spring before you put it away in your garage for the winters. An uncleaned lawnmower might catch fungus and rust while it rests in the garage.
  • After mud: If the grass has too much mud on it, or if it’s too long, then it’s best to clean the lawnmower right away.

3. What is the best way to clean lawnmower blades?

To mow your lawn properly, you need to clean the lawnmower’s blades time and again. The lawnmower blades can be cleaned by following the steps mentioned below:

– Step 1. Remove the spark plug from the lawnmower.

– Step 2. The lawnmower blades are sharp and can easily cut the skin. So, you must wear thick protection gloves before starting the entire process.

– Step 3. Remove the lawnmower blades using a socket wrench.

– Step 4. Wash the lawnmower blades using a water hose pipe such that the tiniest of the dirt and grass particles are removed.

– Step 5. Spray some lubricant on the lawnmower blades after they have dried to prevent them from catching rust.

– Step 6. Reinstall the lawnmower blades using a socket wrench. Reinstall the spark plug as well.

Final Remarks:

As you continue mowing your lawn regularly, you will feel a reduction in its efficiency. Well, this is because grass, dirt, and debris may get stuck in the underside of the lawnmower. Thus, it is important to clean the mower’s deck regularly. The lawnmower should be cleaned periodically and at least twice during the mowing season. Besides, cleaning the underside of a lawnmower increases its service life and prevents it from rusting. Tiny grass particles may also get stuck in the lawnmower’s engine, which causes overheating and affects the mower’s performance. Protection gloves must also be worn to avoid unnecessary cuts. Don’t forget to perform timely maintenance of the lawnmower’s other parts such as filters, cutting blades, oil, etc. as well.