Cleaning the Underside of Your Lawn Mower

What You'll Need
Block of wood
Hose with spray nozzle attached
Paint scraper
Plastic bag
Small shovel

A lawn mower is one of those household appliances that takes a beating but continues to soldier on. While you can use your lawn mower for many years before ever having to service it, that does not mean you should neglect its care. Over the course of the summer you should clean the lawn mower underside. A clean lawn mower will last much longer and this article will show you how to keep it showroom new.

Step 1: Safety First

A combustion engine can be an unpredictable thing. In the case of older lawn mowers you simply pull the chord to turn the engine over. When the engine starts the blade begins to turn with very high velocity. In order to be completely sure that you will not inadvertently be caught in front of a dangerous lawn mower blade first siphon out all the fuel. A lawn mower can, however, start with just fumes so remove the wire connecting to the spark plug. This will prevent the lawn mower from firing.

Step 2:  Rinsing the Underside

Depending on the last time you cleaned the lawn mower you may only need to do this step. You will want to move the lawn mower to an area you don't mind getting dirty. Your driveway is an ideal place. The hose must also be able to reach the lawn mower. Once the lawn mower is where you want it you flip it over to its side. This will allow debris to fall out of the lawn mower instead of settling on the underside. Drag the hose over to the lawn mower and turn it on. Make sure you have a spray nozzle equipped as any other will not do the job. Aim the stream of water at the edges of the underside to remove the grass and dirt.

Step 3: Removing the Tough Debris

Even a hose with a good water pressure will not be able to remove every piece of debris. Take the block of wood and begin to remove those tough spots by scraping them at the top, bottom, and sides to remove the debris. Grass will stick fast to metal and plastic and the wood block is hard enough to remove the dirt but soft enough to not cause damage to the lawn mower. You may also take a paint scraper and remove any other debris that will not come off with spraying water on it or the wood block being tough enough.

Step 4: The Final Rinse

With all of the above steps complete there may still be some debris that appears to be present. In order to know for sure you will want to turn the hose on again. Get closer to the underside and concentrate on removing the debris that was present before in order to remove whatever is left. When it is all said and done use the shovel to remove the debris to the garbage bag.