DIY mower deck washer. 9 Fixes For When Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start

There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.

By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM

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Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.

Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.

A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.

Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.

Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.

The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.

The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.

Check the spark plug.

Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.

Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.

Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.

Clear the mower deck of debris.

The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.

If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.

Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.

The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.

To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.

Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.

An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.

(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)

Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.

First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.

Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.

Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.

The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.

Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.

mower, deck, washer, your

Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.

The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.

If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.

If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.

Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.

While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.

mower, deck, washer, your
  • You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
  • Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
  • The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
  • A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.

Deck seen too many summers? Give it a new lease on life. We’ll teach you about power washing your deck as well as how to put a new finish on.

BanksPhotos/Getty Images


Deck seen too many summers? Give it a new lease on life. We’ll teach you about power washing your deck as well as how to put a new finish on.


If you’ve been putting off power washing your deck because you think it requires a lot of time, tools and know-how, take heart. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean it up fast with the help of a pressure washer and special products that help remove dirt, mildew and old finishes.

We’ll also show you how to apply a fresh finish, using a foam applicator pad that glides along the wood and quickly applies a nice, even coat. No more messy rollers and brushes. You’ll be power washing your deck in no time.

This process will work on any wood deck, including redwood, cedar and pressure treated lumber (but not on composite decks). The only special tools you need are a pressure washer and a foam applicator pad. The project doesn’t require any special skills. Just set aside at least four hours on one day to clean your deck, and another four hours several days later to stain it.

Super Secret Carb Adjustment They DON’T Want You To Know About!

The cost of rejuvenating an average-size deck is about 250, including tools, materials and the pressure washer rental. You’ll save several hundred dollars by doing the work yourself. Having your deck professionally cleaned and stained will cost 500 to 1,000.

Rent a pressure washer

A pressure washer will scour away dirt and contaminants ingrained in the wood at the same time it sprays on a deck stripper to clean off previous finishes.

Rent a pressure washer deck cleaner from a home center or rental center. A pressure setting of 1,000 to 1,200 psi is ideal. Too much pressure will damage the wood and make the wand harder to control.

Rent a unit that allows for the intake of chemical cleaners (deck stripper and wood brightener) so you can spray them on through the wand. Most pressure washers have an intake hose that draws in cleaners from a separate bucket. (Use a plastic bucket. Chemicals in the cleaners can react to metal buckets.)

We used sodium hydroxide as the deck stripper. You probably won’t be able to find straight sodium hydroxide, but you can find a deck stripping product with sodium hydroxide as the active ingredient in almost any home center or paint store.

We diluted our stripper to a 50/50 mix with water. Some sodium hydroxide–based strippers are premixed and don’t require adding water. commonly, you need to dilute the stripper with water. Read the label on the container to find out what’s suggested for your stripper.

Protect your house and plants

Before you begin power washing your deck, make repairs to your deck, such as replacing cracked or split boards and broken balusters.

Then heavily douse the plants or grass under and around your deck with water and cover them with plastic. Although most strippers aren’t supposed to harm vegetation, it’s still a good idea to protect plants and it only takes a few minutes. Once you’ve finished cleaning the deck, immediately remove the plastic.

Also spray down the siding with clean water to ensure that any stripper that splashes onto the house will easily wash off.

Scour away the old finish

Clean the railings

Family Handyman

Begin by power washing the deck railings with stripper. Keep the tip 6 to 10 in. from the wood and work from the top down. Spray balusters at the corners to scour two sides at once.

Wash the decking

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Spray one deck board at a time, using a gentle sweeping motion. Avoid sudden stops. Work from the end of the deck toward the exit. Then rinse the entire deck with a garden hose.

Clean out the gaps between decking

Family Handyman

After the first round of power washing your deck, it’s time to tackle the seams. Dig out trapped debris from between deck boards with a putty knife. Spray the deck lightly with a mixture of oxalic acid and water to brighten the wood.

With a 25- or 30-degree tip in the wand of the pressure washer and a psi of 1,000 to 1,200, apply the stripper to the deck, starting with the top rails and working down the balusters (Photo 1). Spray the rails with a continuous, controlled motion. Keep the wand moving so you don’t gouge the wood.

Clean your lawn mower deck. It will last a long time. (John Deere D110 100 series. Craftsman MTD)

Once you finish the railings, start on the deck boards. Wash along the length of the boards (Photo 2). You’ll see the grime washing off the wood.

Go over stubborn mildew or other stains a few times rather than turning up the pressure or trying to heavily scour the wood. Later we’ll tackle tough stains that won’t come out with the stripper.

This stripping process washes away a small amount of the wood’s lignin, which is the glue holding the wood fibers together. As the lignin washes away, the fibers stand up, giving the wood a fuzzy appearance. Don’t bother sanding off the fuzzy fibers. They will gradually shear off and blow away.

After you’ve power-washed the entire deck, rinse all of the wood with plain water to dilute and neutralize the stripper. If there’s still debris trapped between deck boards, such as leaves or twigs, remove it now (Photo 3).

Brighten the wood

Clean off overspray

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Rinse the siding and Windows with clean water at low pressure to remove chemical residue.

A deck brightener will return the wood to its newly sawn color and make it more receptive to the stain. Use an oxalic acid–based brightener, which is available at home centers and paint stores. It works fast, won’t harm the wood and is environmentally safe in the diluted solution that you’ll use.

Like strippers, some deck brighteners come premixed and some need to be diluted with water. Read the label for the manufacturer’s recommendations. We mixed our oxalic acid with an equal amount of water and ran it through the pressure washer’s intake hose.

Change the tip in the wand of the pressure washer to a fan tip with a 40- or 45-degree angle. Then set the pressure to about 1,000 psi and spray the deck, once again starting with the top rails and working down to the deck boards. Apply just enough brightener to thoroughly wet the wood.

Oxalic acid will brighten the wood in a matter of minutes and does not require rinsing. But your siding does. Rinse off your siding with clean water at very low pressure (about 500 psi) to wash away any stripper or brightener overspray (Photo 4).

If your wood is cedar or redwood, you’ll see a dramatic difference as the wood brightens to its fresh sawn color. Our deck is pressure-treated pine, so the brightening of the wood is less noticeable.

Inspect the whole deck

Fix loose boards

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Sink any raised nails and screws. Replace loose and missing fasteners with screws at least 1/2 in. longer than the original. With the deck clean, it’s easy to spot any areas that need additional maintenance. Drive any nail heads that are popping up until they’re flush with the deck boards. Look for missing or loose screws, and replace them with corrosion-resistant screws that are slightly longer than the original (Photo 5). Replace missing nails with corrosion-resistant “trim head ” screws, which are screws that have a small head and resemble a large finish nail.

If lag screws or bolts are loose in the ledger board, rails or posts, tighten them. Inspect the flashing between your deck and house to ensure it’s still firmly in place.

Attack stubborn stains

Scrub stubborn stains

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The next step in power washing you deck may require a little elbow grease. Remove mold, mildew or algae using non-chlorine bleach. Scrub the area with a nylon brush, then rinse with water. For tougher stains, repeat the process with a TSP substitute.

Remove fastener stains

Family Handyman

Drive the heads of stain-causing fasteners below the wood surface. Then sand out the stains using 80-grit sandpaper. Also sand rough or splintered areas.

Although the sodium hydroxide in the deck cleaner will remove most stains and mold, particularly stubborn ones require extra attention.

Use a non-chlorine laundry bleach to remove the stain. (This works especially well if the stain is from mold, mildew or algae.) Apply it to the affected area, then scrub with a nylon brush. Rinse the area with water.

For tougher stains, use trisodium phosphate substitute. Mix the TSP substitute with water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a minute or two, then scrub with a nylon brush and rinse with water (Photo 6).

To remove deep stains that don’t come out with TSP substitute, let the deck dry. These “bleed” stains are often caused by fasteners. Sand the stains out, using 80-grit sandpaper and concentrating only on the affected areas. Some bleeds may be too deep to sand out. Rough or splintered areas may also need sanding. Spot-sand working in the direction of the wood grain until the surface is smooth (Photo 7).

Wear a dust mask, and sand only if the stain bothers you. You don’t have to get every stain out. After all, imperfections are part of an outdoor deck.

Apply the finish—finally!

Stain the railing first

Family Handyman

Now that you’re done power washing your deck, you can move on to the finish. Apply stain to the top rail, then the balusters and the posts. Work from the top down. Stain one section at a time, using a foam applicator pad. Brush out drips as you work.

Use an extension pole on the decking

Family Handyman

Stain the deck boards using a foam applicator pad with an extension handle. Stain the full length of two or three boards at a time, working with the grain.

Spray bottle applicator

Family Handyman

Spray on the finish in hard-to-reach areas or surfaces that are difficult to cover with a paintbrush. Use a wide spray to avoid streaks. Work stain into crevices and narrow areas between balusters and posts with a paintbrush. The deck will need a minimum of 48 hours to dry after the cleaning. If it rains, wait two more days for the wood to dry. Avoid staining in high heat, high humidity and in direct sunlight. Perfect conditions are an overcast day with the temperature in the 70s and no possibility of rain.

Start by staining the top rails and working down the balusters and posts (Photo 8). Run the applicator pad down the length of the wood, applying the stain in a steady, uniform manner. Don’t go back over areas that are already stained. Unlike paint, stain gets darker with each coat.

If stain drips onto the deck, smooth it with the applicator pad to avoid spotting. Once the railings are complete, stain the deck boards. Load the pad with plenty of stain, yet not so much that it drips. Start by carefully “cutting in” stain along the house. If stain drips onto the siding, promptly wipe it off using a clean cloth and mineral spirits or paint thinner.

mower, deck, washer, your

Attach a broom handle to the applicator pad. Glide the pad along the length of the deck boards, staining with the grain (Photo 9). Stop only at the end of a board. Otherwise, the overlap where you stopped and started could be noticeable.

Once the deck is finished, apply stain to the stair treads, working your way down the stairs.

Finally, use a paintbrush or spray bottle to work stain into tight areas that the applicator pad couldn’t reach, such as lattice and crevices between balusters and the rim joist (Photo 10).

Allow the stain to dry at least 48 hours before walking on it. Feel the deck to make sure the stain is completely dry. Likewise, check the bottom of your shoes before walking back into the house.

Pressure Washer Safety

Family Handyman

  • Wear appropriate safety gear and clothes. Rubber boots and gloves will protect your hands and feet. Safety goggles will keep the chemicals from splashing into your eyes, and a disposable respirator or dust mask will filter fumes.
  • Keep the exhaust from the pressure washer at least 3 ft. away from any objects, including your house.
  • Practice spraying the water until you find an appropriate power setting.
  • Never point the wand at anything you don’t want to spray.
  • Cover electrical outlets.

Choosing the Best Stain

You have two basic deck stain choices: oil-based and water-based. Oil stains are easier to apply, penetrate the wood grain and require less work when you reapply them. However, they only last two to four years.

Water-based (latex) stains last four to six years, but they’ll eventually peel and require more prep work before recoating. Opaque latex stains generally last longer than semitransparent versions. When possible, test the stain on an inconspicuous section of the decking. We used a cedar color that worked well since the wood was pressure treated and somewhat dark in color. For a darker color, a redwood-colored stain is available, while a honey color is an option for a lighter, natural wood look.

Be careful not to choose a light color stain if your deck was previously covered with a dark stain or is pressure treated (green). The light stain will not cover the dark wood or darker stain, and it will turn gray within a few weeks. If you want a natural gray or silver deck, use a clear finish. It will protect the deck from mildew and algae, but not from the sun, allowing the deck to start graying in a month or two.

The following companies offer a full line of products for power washing and finishing your deck, including strippers, brighteners and stains. The products are widely available at home centers, hardware stores and paint stores. Each company’s Web site features a store locator to find the company’s products. Behr: Cabot: Flood: Wolman:

Ceramic Coating Your Lawn Mower!? Here’s Why You Might Want To Do So

Ok, DIY detailers. After you get your car is shined and protected there are endless things around the house that could be tricked out from a ceramic coating. We’ve heard of customers…

  • Ceramic coating their phone screens
  • Ceramic coating their home Windows
  • Ceramic coating their RVs
  • Ceramic coating their…airplanes
  • …and today you’re going to learn about ceramic coating the ol’ mower.

Lawn and garden care is comparable to DIY auto detailing when it comes to the sheer number of available products, tools, and chemicals. Nowadays, having a perfect lawn is not just about having a green thumb, but also being armed with a little creativity and a handful of cheats and hacks to assist you.

Like any successful project, achieving an immaculate lawn requires the right equipment and some clever enhancements to ensure optimal performance. One of the most common concerns people face when tending to their lawns is figuring out how to prevent grass from sticking to the mower deck, which can lead to reduced efficiency and extra maintenance.

Fear not, for there’s a perfect solution to tackle this pesky problem — ceramic coating your lawn mower! In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of this ingenious non-stick coating for mower decks and discuss whether it’s truly the game-changer you’ve been waiting for in your lawn care arsenal.

Glowing Radiant Shine With Deep Depth

Get 2 Years of Protection With This Scratch Chemical Resistant Coating

6k Verified Customer Reviews

Redline Shine is a 7H hardness polysiloxane ceramic coating that protects your vehicle from grime, contaminants chemicals. You’ll get up to 2 years of protection even in the harshest conditions.

Why Your Mower Might LOVE a Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating, an innovative technology initially designed for the automotive industry, has been making waves in all sorts of industries…even lawn care…for its exceptional non-stick properties. So, why exactly do mowers need a ceramic coating?

High-Gloss Finish

Ceramic coatings create a high-gloss finish that gives your mower a stunning, polished appearance. The glossy surface not only looks impressive but also highlights the mower’s design features, making it a head-turner in your lawn care arsenal.

Depth and Clarity

One of the key advantages of ceramic coatings is the depth and clarity they bring to your mower’s appearance. The coatings accentuate the paint’s natural richness and vibrancy, making your mower look fresh and new. The enhanced depth and clarity of the color add an extra touch of sophistication to your equipment.

Dirt and Grime Repellent

Ceramic coatings are designed to repel dirt and grime, ensuring your mower looks clean and well-maintained for longer periods. The hydrophobic properties of the coating make it difficult for dirt to adhere to the surface, reducing the need for frequent cleaning and keeping your mower looking pristine.

Scratch Resistance

A ceramic coating also offers a certain level of scratch resistance, protecting your mower’s surface from minor scratches and scuffs. While not entirely scratch-proof, the coating’s hard layer minimizes the impact of everyday wear and tear, maintaining the mower’s polished appearance.

Enhanced UV Protection

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause your mower’s paint to fade over time. Ceramic coatings provide UV protection, preventing the paint from losing its vibrancy and ensuring the mower retains its eye-catching shine.

Enhanced Mowing Efficiency

One of the primary reasons to opt for a ceramic coating on your mower deck is the enhanced efficiency it offers. When grass clippings stick to the mower deck, airflow is impeded, leading to reduced cutting performance and an uneven trim. A ceramic coating creates a hydrophobic, non-stick surface, preventing grass clippings from clinging to the mower deck and enabling optimal airflow for consistently clean, precise cuts.

Reduced Maintenance and Cleaning

A ceramic-coated mower deck not only improves your mowing experience but also simplifies the post-mowing cleanup. Thanks to its non-stick properties, grass clippings slide right off the coated surface, making it a breeze to remove any remaining debris with a quick rinse or wipe. This means less time spent on cleaning and maintenance, freeing up more time to enjoy your pristine lawn.

Protection from Corrosion and Wear

Ceramic coatings provide a thin, yet durable layer of protection against the elements. By creating a chemical-resistant barrier on the mower deck’s surface, the ceramic coating prevents moisture, dirt, and chemicals from causing rust, corrosion, and other types of wear. This extra layer of defense not only keeps your mower looking new for longer but also extends its life, ensuring it stays in peak condition for many mowing seasons to come.

Why DIYers are FLOCKING to Redline Shine to Ceramic Coat Their Mower Decks

When it comes to caring for your lawn mower, while aesthetics can be important, improving its performance is crucial. The latest and greatest innovation from Torque Detail, Redline Shine, is not only a perfect solution for your mower, but also an ideal ceramic coating to make your entire mower deck glisten and be non-stick.

Glowing Radiant Shine With Deep Depth

Get 2 Years of Protection With This Scratch Chemical Resistant Coating

6k Verified Customer Reviews

Redline Shine is a 7H hardness polysiloxane ceramic coating that protects your vehicle from grime, contaminants chemicals. You’ll get up to 2 years of protection even in the harshest conditions.

  • Enhanced Mower Aesthetics: Torque’s Redline Shine isn’t just for your mower deck — it can be applied to your entire mower, making it look brand new and polished. The advanced ceramic coating formula gives your mower a stunning glossy finish, ensuring it stands out and looks as impressive as the lawn it maintains.
  • Unparalleled Mower Deck Performance: While the aesthetic appeal of Redline Shine is undeniable, its benefits go beyond the surface. Coating your mower deck with Redline Shine helps prevent grass clippings from sticking, ensuring optimal mowing efficiency. The hydrophobic, non-stick surface created by the ceramic coating ensures grass clippings slide right off, allowing for smooth operation and even cuts.
  • Advanced Protection and Durability: The innovative formula of Redline Shine combines the hardness of ceramic coatings with the flexibility of sealants, providing unmatched protection and durability. This protective layer shields your mower and deck from moisture, dirt, and chemicals that can cause corrosion and wear, helping to extend the life of your equipment.
  • DIY-Friendly Application: Redline Shine is designed with the DIY enthusiast in mind. The easy-to-follow instructions and user-friendly application process make it simple for anyone to achieve a professional-grade result without requiring special equipment or professional assistance. This ensures you can protect and enhance your mower’s appearance and performance with ease.
  • Long-lasting and Cost-effective: Redline Shine’s protective properties last up to 2 years, ensuring you won’t need to reapply the coating frequently. This makes it a perfect cost-effective and hassle-free solution for both the appearance and functionality of your mower and mower deck.

How to Apply Redline Shine to Your Mower

Applying Redline Shine to your lawnmower is a simple and straightforward process. Here are the steps you can follow to achieve a professional-grade result:

  • Clean the Mower Deck: Before applying Redline Shine, make sure your mower deck is clean and free of any dirt, debris, or grass clippings. You can use a hose or pressure washer to spray down the deck and remove any loose material.
  • Give your mower a wash and soapin’: Once the mower deck is clean, apply Torque Detail Foam Decon Wash to remove any remaining dirt or grime. This high-quality cleaning solution will help prepare the surface for the ceramic coating. Check out our 2-bucket wash instruction for more details.
  • Clay bar your mower or mower deck for best results: There’s a lot of barely noticeable contaminants in your paint. This goes double for your mower deck a lot of people never wash. To ensure the surface is perfectly smooth, use Torque Detail Clay Bar Kit to remove any contaminants, such as tree sap or tar. This step will ensure that the Redline Shine coating adheres properly and provides maximum protection.
  • Want a pristine mower?Remove scratches like this. Use Torque Detail Reverse: If there are any scratches or swirls on the surface of your mower deck, use Torque Detail Reverse to remove them. This step will help ensure that the Redline Shine coating will provide a smooth and even finish.
  • Apply Redline Shine to add protection and shine: Take a small microfiber sponge and apply Redline Shine directly to it. Then, apply the ceramic coating to the entire mower deck, making sure to cover all surfaces evenly. The hydrophobic and non-stick properties of Redline Shine will ensure that grass clippings do not stick to the surface, allowing for optimal mowing efficiency.
  • Buff with a High-Quality Microfiber Towel: Once you have applied Redline Shine to your mower deck, wait for the rainbow effect to disappear before buffing the surface with a new high-quality microfiber towel. This step will help ensure a flawless and stunning glossy finish.

Ceramic Coating Your Mower Deck: A Summary

Torque’s Redline Shine is the ultimate ceramic coating solution for your mower and mower deck. With its advanced formula, easy application process, quick curing time, and long-lasting performance, Redline Shine is a game-changer for lawn care enthusiasts looking to improve the efficiency and longevity of their equipment. Give your mower deck the protection it deserves with Torque’s Redline Shine, and revel in the satisfaction of a perfectly manicured lawn.

Mulching and Mower Decks

What is mulching? Why should I consider doing it? How will it make my lawn look better? Learn all about mulching now.

A John Deere exclusive. The MulchControl™ Kit with One-Touch Technology.

Grass mulch can help keep your lawn healthy and looking its best. It’s easy to do with our many lawn mower and mower deck offerings. Check out the tractor mower compatibility.

This is grass mulch.

The easy way to feed your lawn. To make grass mulch, grass is cut into easily absorbed grass clippings to help keep your lawn healthy and lush.

Mulch with the push of a button.

The John Deere MulchControl™ Kit with One-Touch Technology is the easy way to mulch. With the push of a button you can mulch when you want to.

Mulch mode.

Push the button and mulch. The chute closes and you have a dedicated mulching system. Perfect for regular, weekly, or bi-weekly mowing.

Side-discharge mow or bag mode.

Push the button again, or pull the lever, with your MulchControl™ System, the chute opens and you can side-discharge mow or bag. The choice is yours.

Eight things you need to know about mulch mowing.

Fertilizing your lawn just got easier. Just let your grass clippings do the job for you. Grass clipping mulch is the natural way to feed your lawn essential nutrients. Here are eight things you need to know:

Mulch mowing allows clippings to be cut finely enough so that they can’t be seen when redistributed into the lawn.

Make sure your blades are sharp. Sharp blades help ensure a precise, quality cut.

Mulching returns nitrogen-rich nutrients to your lawn. This feeds your lawn and can reduce the amount of fertilizer you need.

Follow the “one-third” rule when mulch mowing, taking no more off than the top third of the grass blade. Fast-growing conditions will warrant more frequent mowing.

Mulching works better when the grass is dry.

The MulchControl™ System from John Deere is the easy way to mulch while you mow.

If tall or wet grass conditions result in unsightly clumps, your MulchControl™ System should be used in side-discharge mode.

If conditions warrant using your MulchControl™ System in side-discharge mode, clippings are likely to be visible for a few days as they decay.

This exclusive technology is available with One-Touch Technology on the John Deere X350 Select Series Riding Lawn Tractor with a 42-in or 48-in Accel Deep™ Mower Deck and other Select Series mowers.

MulchControl™ Kits, with the pull-of-a-lever technology, are available on S240 Riding Mowers with Accel Deep™ Mower Decks, Select Series Mowers, Signature Series Mowers, and all Residential ZTrak™ Mowers.

All MulchControl™ Kits from John Deere include mulching blades for best grass mulching results.

The science behind mulching.

Who loves lugging a heavy bag of lawn clippings to the compost pile or yard waste bin, or endlessly raking leaves in the fall? Pretty much nobody, that’s who. Fortunately, for the sake of aching backs and nutrient-hungry lawns, it’s best to forgo the bag and opt to mulch lawn clippings and leaves instead.

Each little bit of plant material is full of nutrients, and being organic matter, when left in place, can improve the overall health of the soil which in turn, better supports the turf and potentially decreases inputs.

“In the lawncare industry, we’re realizing that rather than feed the lawn synthetically with fertilizers, we can choose to do it more organically by mulching grass clippings and leaving them on the lawn to sift in,” says Richard Hentschel, University of Illinois horticultural extension educator. “Leaving clippings on the lawn provides the equivalent of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. That’s nitrogen you didn’t have to buy and apply.” Removing the clippings means also removing those nutrients from the system.

Besides nutrients, clippings return carbon to the soil, which helps build soil organic matter by feeding the microflora that decomposes that organic matter. Soil organic matter (SOM) is measured as a percentage of organic matter in the soil and is the primary indicator of soil health, and therefore the health of the lawn growing in the soil. The higher the percentage of SOM, the more nutrients and water the soil can retain.

“Every 1 percent of SOM holds 1/3 gallon of water per cubic foot of soil,” Hentschel explains. “So, a soil with a fairly good measurement of 3 percent SOM can hold as much as 1 gallon of water per cubic foot.” The ability to hold more water means more of the water applied to the soil through irrigation or falling on the lawn as rain will stay put and turf will be more resistant to swings in temperature and drought conditions.

“SOM also is Mother Nature’s slow release fertilizer. It’s not just the usual nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium either, it’s all 16 of the nutrients essential for plant growth,” Hentschel says. Constantly removing lawn clippings and other organic matter results in decreasing levels of SOM, and lawns will become increasingly dependent on the application of synthetic fertilizers.

While lawns benefit from clippings, they don’t want to be smothered by them. Using best mowing practices can leave grass room to breathe and looking as clean as it would with bagging. The key is to mow with sharp blades and frequently enough that no more than 1/3 of the plant tissue is removed per cutting. This will result in less plant material for the lawn to reincorporate per pass.

“If you mow often with a sharp mower blade, even a conventional mower — as opposed to a mower designed specifically for mulching — will cut the grass up fine enough for it to sift back into the standing grass and break up quickly releasing nutrients to the soil and growing grass as it decomposes,” Hentschel says.

It may be a relatively simple task to stay ahead of grass to get a nice fine mulch that disappears quickly into the lawn, but what about leaves in the fall? Hentschel says to go ahead and mulch them, too. Leaves should be mowed frequently as they fall. To ensure finely parsed leaves that will move into the thatch layer more quickly, it may be necessary to make two or more passes with the lawnmower per mowing. When more leaves fall, simply keep making passes to chop up the material and help speed the composting process.

Hentschel says the leaf residue will work its way into the soil taking valuable nutrients with them and creating a barrier that can help control weeds. With multiple years of mulching leaves, which returns more nutrients to the soil through the extra organic matter, lawns may not need as much fertilizer in the spring. And because the leaf residue covers up bare spots where weeds can gain a foothold, it’s possible over time to see fewer dandelions and crabgrass issues after multiple years of mulching.

No raking, no lugging, less fertilizer, more efficient water use, and fewer weeds—for once, the easy choice is also the best choice. Go ahead and leave the mower bag in the shed if you’re so inclined, and leave the organic matter right where it belongs, on the lawn.