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Mowing OCD: How to clean and wax your mower in five steps

Posted on:Dec 12, 2023

Mowing OCD – How To Clean And Wax Your Mower In 5 Steps

Wonder how a mower can look so new after hundreds of hours mowing countless acres? It not a secret. The simplest clean-and-wax regimen will preserve the machine, ensure the best quality cut and even prevent grass clippings from clinging to the mower’s surface. For a small investment in time and a little bit of elbow grease, you can keep your mower in optimum condition for years to come. 

You’ll see why using low-pressure air to blow away debris and waxing your mower is not OCD—it’s a smart move to maximize the life of your equipment. Here are five steps to get you on track.

#1 Prepare the Mower for Cleaning

It’s good to prepare a clean-up station by laying down a tarp. Before lifting the deck, disconnect the wire from the spark plug to prevent accidentally igniting the engine while cleaning the mower. If your mower is a front-mount, it might include an automated feature that lifts the mower deck, tilting it up so you can easily clean the undercarriage. Zero-turn mid-mount mowers require using a jack or hoist to lift the front of the mower deck so you can access the blades and undercarriage. You may choose to remove the mower blades by using a socket wrench so you can easily scrape residue from under the deck. 

#2 Remove Grass, Debris and Dirt

Now, the dirty work. Use low-pressure air—a leaf blower works just fine—to blow grass clippings and debris off the mower surface and out from underneath the deck. You can also use a lightly greased shop towel to spiff up surfaces. For stubborn deposits underneath the deck, a drywall scraper will loosen turf clumps and dried mud, as will a wire brush. Clearing away clumps of grass is important because they can get stuck in the blades and cause mechanical issues. And, if you skip these steps and move to spraying the mower with water, you’ll end up with a muddy mess. With air, a rag and a scraper, you will remove most of the grime and clippings to prepare for a quick, effective wash. 

#3 Wash the Mower with Low-Pressure Water

You can clean your mower without using any type of soap and simply spray with water, but for more thorough jobs, we suggest using an automotive cleanser that will not strip away wax like dish soap will. (We’ll get to the wax next.) Avoid using pressurized water that can infiltrate bearings and fittings, leading to increased wear and premature component failure. A basic hose with a spray nozzle does the job. Finally, allow to dry or fast-forward the process with low-pressure air. 

#4 Apply Wax to the Mower’s Painted Exterior Surfaces

Ever heard of waxing a mower? There are several good reasons to seriously consider it. For one, wax helps keep dirt and debris from sticking to the mower exterior while you’re cutting grass. This makes cleaning much easier, and wax will prolong the painted steel surfaces. And a waxed mower looks better for longer. You only have to wax your mower a couple of times during the growing season to gain the benefits.

#5 Keep Up with Mower Cleaning

After mowing, a quick round of blowing off clippings and checking under the deck for excessive residue will ensure that your mower is ready for the next cut. Remove debris from the mower deck, engine and transmission—and underneath the deck, scrape built-up debris from around baffles, spindles and blades. When you keep up with routine mower cleaning and maintenance, you’ll keep your mower performing for acres and acres. 

Check out our In-Season Maintenance Guide for more tips to keep your mower out on the field and out of the shop. Grasshopper offers daily, weekly and periodic maintenance suggestions to maximize your equipment investment.

Interested in more mowing tips from the pros at Grasshopper? Check out our library of how-to videos, or sign up for our newsletter. Thinking about a new mower? Our team can help you choose the best model for your needs.


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