how to clean a lawn mower: How to Clean an Electric Lawn Mower?

When you have a top-class electric lawn mower, you have an effective tool to help with lawn maintenance with the convenience of electric power. While an electric lawn mower is a great tool to have, it can become dirty and filled with debris to the point where it functions poorly. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a new one, take the time to learn how to clean a lawn mower. Cleaning your lawn mower can be a great step to increase efficiency, extend the life of your current electric lawn mower, and put off purchasing a new electric lawn mower until you’re sure you need to.

While it can seem complicated, by following a few easy steps you can easily know how to clean a lawn mower with ease. Here’s a step by step on how to clean an electric lawn mower:

Cleaning the Air Filter

Like most of the motor-driven appliances, electric lawn mowers have an air filter to ensure that there is no dust or other contaminants going through the motor. This often-overlooked part can be a major culprit when diagnosing or cleaning your electric lawn mower. By learning how to clean a lawn mower, you can easily save money by doing it yourself and have the lawn of your dreams. Hiring a repairman for simple maintenance can be very expensive.

There are two types of air filters depending on the design – foam filters and dual filters. While both have their own benefits, they are unique and have their own ways to be cleaned.

Here’s how to clean the foam air filter:

  • Things you need to clean an air filter
    • Screwdriver (usually a flathead)
    • Container or Sink
    • Dish soap or degreaser
    • Water
    • Shop Towels
    • Engine Oil (check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation or know what type of oil to use.)
  • Here are the steps:
      • Turn off your mower and make sure that it is not plugged into an outlet. If you have a lawn mower that is equipped with a parking brake, make sure that it is engaged.
      • Locate the filter. If you’re unsure of the location consult your user’s manual.
      • Remove the air filter
      • Dab the filter with new, clean motor oil. This may seem counterintuitive but that’s the way these filters are designed.
      • Clean any debris around the gasket. This rubber gasket is an integral part that separates the filter from the carburetor.
    Rubber Gasket
    Rubber Gasket
    • Reinstall the air filter and make sure that the gasket is seated correctly.
    • Reinstall the air filter.
    • Reinstall the housing.

Here’s how to clean a dual filter:

  • Things you’ll need
    • Container or Sink
    • Dish soap or degreaser soap
    • Water
    • Shop Towels
    • Engine Oil (check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.)
  • Here are the steps:
    • Remove filter housing by loosening the wingnuts.
    • Remove the foam filter from the paper cartridge. The paper cartridge can be fragile so take head when removing the filter.
    • Review the owner’s manual. Your model may or may not advise washing the filter.
    • If so, complete this step. If it’s not recommended, go to the next step.  Use degreasing soap and water to clean the air filter.  You can do this in a container outside or bring it in the house and use a sink.  Make sure all soap is rinsed off the air filter when you’re done.
    • Clean the area when you insert the air filter to make sure that there is no debris and that the filter will seat correctly.
    • Place the filter back into the paper housing. Once the housing is complete, insert it into the housing and then replace the housing back into the lawn mower.

Cleaning the deck

After you’ve cleaned the air filter as a part of lawn maintenance, cleaning the deck is the next step.  While it may seem daunting, by following these easy steps you can get your lawn mower in tip-top shape.

  • Things you’ll need
    • Container to hold gas.
    • Screwdriver
    • Water hose
    • Bristled Brush
  • Here are the steps to clean the vacuum’s desk
    • Siphon the gas from your tank into the container. We recommend siphoning instead of pouring.
    • Disconnect the wire that goes to the spark plugs.
    • Lift the mower and place it on its side for easier access.
    • Depending on how your mower is designed, you might want to prop up the mower to withstand the pressure of the water.
    • Turn on your garden hose and if you have an adaptable sprayer, turn it to the small pointed stream.
    • Use the water pressure to do the work for you and expel the debris underneath the mower. With the motor detached you significantly reduce the risk of damage and can use the water pressure to your advantage.
    • Once the debris is hosed out, turn off the water.
    • Use the bristles brush to go over any difficult spots, including the wheels. Rinse the lawn mower one more time to rid the debris and leave it clean.
    • Take the time to dry the mower with a towel. It may seem unnecessary but will greatly extend the life of your lawn mower for years to come. Take a shop cloth and dry the underside completely and go over the top and handles to ensure that the whole lawnmower is cleaned.
    • When you’re done cleaning your mower, try to put it back together instantly instead of waiting for the future. It’s easy to have your tools ready to use and better to keep it in its ready-to-use state.

Cleaning the Engine

  • If you’ve already cleaned the deck, you’ll be a step ahead in this process. Either way, make sure that the spark plug wire is disconnected.
  • Remove the engine cover, if it has one, and take off the housing for the plastic blower. If your housing is made of metal, you may need a screwdriver to accomplish this.  Depending on the design, you may need a star-shaped socket or screwdriver.  Most hardware stores have these bits if you don’t already own them.

    Star Shaped Socket
    Star Socket
  • With an old toothbrush or other small brush, clean the visible engine parts including the fins on the flywheel, fins on the cooling fan, and the blower housing. Be gentle and try to scrape as much dirt away as you can.  If there are tough messes, you can apply a light solvent to the brush but we recommend taking the time to perform fine detail cleaning first.
  • Once you’re done with the cleaning, you can use a can of compressed air to blow out the dirt from the motor leaving it clean. Take care to not hurt the fragile pieces during the cleaning process.

Maintenance Tips

  • Check your air filter often: Taking the time to clean your air filter ensures that your motor in your lawn mower is working efficiently.
  • Perform Yearly Maintenance:
    • By doing yearly maintenance you are extending the life of your lawn mower by years. This can save a significant amount of money.
    • Check the air filter at least once a year (but more is recommended).
    • Clean the deck as needed but at least once a year.
    • Clean the Motor after the last mow in fall until spring. If you’re not going to clean the motor at least drain the gas.  Leaving gas in your lawn mower can damage it and cause wear and tear making you replace your electric lawn mower sooner rather than later.


  • Make sure you inspect the electrical cord regularly for nicks and cuts. This could pose dangerous and electrocution is quite possible.
  • Make sure that your vacuum is unplugged before performing any maintenance.
  • Before replacing your lawn mower, take the time to diagnose to see if it is something that can easily be fixed.  This could save money and help you become more mechanically-savvy.

By learning how to how to clean a lawn mower and performing yearly maintenance is the best way to keep your mower working longer. By extending the life of your mower you are saving money and reducing your carbon footprint. By repairing instead of purchasing a new mower, you are reducing the exploitation of resources and increase your own personal mechanical skills.

This maintenance is easy to do with tools that most people should have in their home. By learning how to clean a lawn mower air filter, the motor is not being overworked. By cleaning the deck you’ll know that your mower is performing at its best. Cleaning the motor will extend the life and have you mowing for years longer.


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