Cleaning lawnmowers: do the job properly with this tips

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You should clean your lawn mower regularly to keep it in good condition. This is very easy to do with the light and handy CityMower.

A well maintained lawnmower will live longer, mow better and neither dirty the garden shed nor the garage. You can clean your lawnmower with these tips.

Why is cleaning important?

The better you maintain your lawnmower, the longer it will last. So it’s worth making the effort to clean it. Ideally, you should clean it after every mowing. However, it should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year, before you put it away for the winter.

You can sweep off dry grass cuttings from the lawnmower with a hand brush. You need to put in a bit more effort for the cutting deck and collecting basket. This procedure is different when cleaning a petrol lawnmower compared to an electric or robotic lawnmower.


After you’ve used your lawnmower, you should clean off the dirt and grass clippings. Credit: MSG/Martin Staffler

Cleaning after every use

Your lawnmower comes in contact with the soil and damp grass cuttings during use. Both lead to a really slimy mixture underneath the lawnmower. New dirt also collects underneath after every mowing. The blades on the lawnmower must then be cleaned of this dirt after every use. This wears the material more quickly.

Unplug electric lawnmowers before cleaning. This will prevent them from starting unintentionally and possibly causing injury. For battery-operated lawnmowers remove the battery. If you have a petrol lawnmower, remove the spark plug connector. This will also prevent this device from starting unintentionally.

Brush the cutting deck down with a brush after every use of the lawnmower. Alternatively, you can use a special lawnmower brush and remove the dirt in this way. Do not use metal brushes or other metal objects for cleaning. These can cause scratches on the cutting deck. They could also chip the paint.

When the majority of the dirt is removed, you can rinse the cutting deck fully clean with a garden hose or a high-pressure cleaner. The Fontus 18V from Bosch, for example, has four different spray settings and the pressure can also be adjusted. So you can also use it as a low-pressure cleaner. This makes it particularly easy to clean the lawnmower. Your lawnmower may even have a hose connection for cleaning. If this is the case, it is best to use this, as then the cleaning will be done as intended by the manufacturer.

If you want to know more about when you should do what kind of work in the garden, you can find out the best times for all the important tasks in our Gardening Calendar.


Ideally, you should only tip the lawnmower backwards for cleaning. The air filter should face upwards on the side. Credit: iStock/Aigars Reinholds

Cleaning petrol lawnmowers

In no circumstances should you lay your petrol lawnmower on the side for cleaning. The oil in the equipment could leak out and spread to other parts of the mower such as the air filter, carburettor or cylinder head. In the most harmless case, this could result in thick white fumes next time you start it. However, in the worst case it will lead to expensive repairs before you can start caring for your lawn in the garden again.

Only tip petrol lawnmowers backwards when cleaning. If you absolutely have to lie the lawnmower on its side, do it in such a way that the air filter is in the upper side. However, there is still a risk that the equipment could be damaged by this.


You should clean the air filter every two months to ensure your lawnmower motor always has a clean air supply. Credit: MSG/Martin Staffler

Cleaning the air filter in petrol lawnmowers

There is a special feature with petrol lawnmowers. You also need to clean and maintain the air filters in these devices. The air filter ensures that clean air reaches the motor. This enables it to achieve optimal petrol combustion. If the air filter is blocked, the motor could run fitfully. This will cause it to wear out more quickly.

Brush off the ventilation slits on the lawnmower after every use. They should not be blocked by cut grass or dust. You should also clean the air filter about every two months. Do this by opening the cover and removing it. You can carefully tap it out on a flat surface. Remove the remaining dirt with a fine brush.

The air filter generally consists of paper. So do not use compressed air to clean it. Then correctly reinstall the air filter in the lawnmower. If it is heavily soiled then replace it.


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It’s best to use a high-pressure cleaner to clean the grass hopper, after thoroughly shaking out all the clippings. Credit: Bosch

Cleaning the collecting basket

The collecting basket on the lawnmower should also be regularly cleaned. It is best to rinse it out with a high-pressure cleaner such as the Fontus 18V. If you are allergic to pollen, begin by spraying the collecting basket in the garden, first the outside then the inside. This will remove any pollen stuck to the basket. Then hang it up in a place in the garden where the collecting basket can fully dry out.

Cleaning the top side of the lawnmower

Clean the top side of the lawnmower with a hand brush. Use this to brush off dust, pollen and grass cuttings. Then wipe it with a wet cloth. Afterwards it will look well maintained again.

Clean the lawnmower more thoroughly about twice per gardening season. During these cleaning sessions, you should also clean the wheels and the partially extremely narrow spaces between the motor and chassis. Use tools for this which will not damage the lawnmower. A long brush, for example, is suitable for tight spaces. Alternatively, you can also carefully clean the equipment with a compressor and remove the dirt in this way.


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You can clean a robot lawnmower in exactly the same way as a battery operated lawnmower. Credit: Bosch

Cleaning robotic lawnmowers

A robotic lawnmower takes on a lot of work in the garden. However, you will not be able to avoid cleaning it, either. If you do so regularly, then cleaning is really easy. Clean the robotic lawnmower in the same way you would clean a battery-operated lawnmower.

You can also lay the lawnmower on its side for cleaning without any risks. This may make it easier to brush and wipe off. However, it is important not to spray the robotic lawnmower when it is on lying on its side or upside down. The device is only protected from spray water from above. Water from underneath could damage it.

Do not use a garden hose to spray off the robotic lawnmower either. The devices are water-sensitive, which is why they retreat to the charging station in the rain. So simply wipe of the device after use with a damp cloth.

If needed, the chassis can also be removed from the device. Then you can also clean the inside of the robotic lawnmower with a soft brush or compressed air.