As a punchout user, please email for assistance.
Resource Center
{{product.extended_sale_price | toCurrency({currencyCode : cartDetail.currency.code})}}
Cart details ({{productsTotalQuantity}})
Subtotal: {{cartDetail.cart_amount_ex_tax | toCurrency({currencyCode : cartDetail.currency.code})}}
Your Shopping Cart is empty
Spring Cleaning for your Lawn Mower: Removing Mold and Debris

Spring Cleaning for your Lawn Mower: Removing Mold and Debris

3 May 2023 Author: Michael Mackay Read time: 3 min

Any time moisture is present, especially if grass and dirt are already involved, there is a chance that mold and fungus can grow. Not only is it important to keep your mower clean and dry during any season, but it's also vital to check your mower for mold when you bring it out of storage from the winter and before you mow your lawn for the first time.

If mold or fungus has attached itself to the deck, blades or wheels, it can contaminate your lawn if you use it and blow the mold and debris onto your grass. If you mow more than one lawn, the fungus from one lawn can also be spread across multiple lawns if the mower is not cleaned between uses.

Keep reading to explore the best ways to clean the various parts of your mower that can be affected by mold or fungus.

Cleaning the Underside of Your Mower Deck

Keeping the underside of your mower deck is essential in preventing contamination of your lawn. Follow these steps to clean your mower deck:

  1. Drain the fuel from your gas tank so that it doesn’t leak when tipping the mower.
  2. Unhook your spark plug connection (do this any time you are going to work on or remove your lawn mower blades).
  3. Remove the blades.
  4. Wash the lawnmower deck — you can use a power washer, just don’t overdo it.
  5. Use a putty knife to carefully scrape away any stubborn mold or debris.
  6. Wash blades separately with obvious care for the sharp edges.

Cleaning a Dirty Lawn Mower Filter

A dirty lawn mower air filter can cause your engine to sputter or completely lose power. It can also cause poor fuel efficiency and black smoke to be blown from the exhaust. To clean mold or fungus out of your lawnmower air filter: 

  1. Dispense a small amount of liquid dish soap to help cut grease and remove dirt. Use about the size of a nickel in a bucket or sink of warm water.
  2. Swish the air filter gently in the water.
  3. Rinse the air filter thoroughly under running warm water.
  4. Tap the air filter to shake out the water. Use a paper towel or shop cloth to gently squeeze out any excess water that remains.

Unclogging a Fuel Filter

If you are having trouble starting your lawn mower engine, a dirty or clogged fuel filter could be the culprit. Be sure to wear protective gear or clothing when working with oil and gas, and follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your lawn mower is on a flat surface.
  2. Remove the fuel pump fuse.
  3. Remove any remaining fuel by allowing the mower to run until there is no fuel coming out.
  4. Disconnect spark plug/battery terminals – Remove fire hazards as you work with fuel and oil.
  5. Disconnect the fuel lines.
  6. Remove the filter — take note of the direction of the filter so it can be correctly reseated when you are done.
  7. Drain fuel, dirt, debris and residue by tapping the filter on both ends (fuel-in and fuel-out nozzles). Be gentle and drain fuel filter residue into a safe container.
  8. Using a cleaner noted for this type of engine service, preferably for carburetors, spray the inside and outside and tap both ends again to allow for drainage.
  9. Leave the filter in the open air to dry.

Check Your Lawn Mower Fuel Tank

You can also check to see if debris or condensation in your fuel tank might be causing your lawn mower to misfire or not start.

  1. Dispose of all fuel in a safe manner.
  2. Check the empty tank with a flashlight for debris and beads of light that indicate holes or cracks. 
  3. Use a baster to remove loose debris.
  4. If you find cracks or damage, replace the tank with the original manufacturer's equipment.

Working with open fuel sources and gasoline is a fire hazard. Make sure you're being fire smart by not smoking in the vicinity and wearing all appropriate safety gear.

Once you’ve cleaned all areas, reattached blades, reconnected spark plugs and attached fuel lines, you are almost ready to start mowing. The last step is to add fresh fuel. Anything older than a month can have begun degrading. It helps to buy gas in smaller quantities that you know you will be using soon.

Start your engine. Ideally, it'll roar to life. If it doesn't, your problems may lie elsewhere and require professional service.

Michael Mackay

Michael Mackay is Store Manager of RDO Equipment Co. in Kennewick, Washington where he exclusively focuses on lawn and landscape equipment. Service is his top priority and Michael enjoys helping customers find the machines they need and ensure they’re taken care of after their equipment purchase with parts and service support.

Staying Connected
Join our email list to receive information on featured equipment, store promotions and sales, special announcements, and more.