How To Clean A Riding Lawn Mower Deck? Separate Methods for With or Without Washing Port
Riding Lawn Mowers resemble large tractors used for large lawns. Although a riding lawn mower is initially a pricey investment, this type allows users to cover an extensive amount of land quickly. However, if you own a riding lawn mower, ensuring your lawn mower’s deck remains clean is an absolute challenge.
Removing the built-up grass is an integral part of the maintenance of your riding lawn mower. Most people need help understanding the procedure that should be adopted to clean a riding lawn mower deck. Several ways may be used to clean a riding lawn mower deck. Within this article, I break down the process of cleaning a riding lawn mower deck to help you ensure that your riding lawn mower can last a long time.
How Should You Clean A Riding Lawn Mower Deck?
Although a riding lawn mower is an excellent investment, the only downside to purchasing this type of mower is cleaning the mower’s deck. The most challenging aspect of cleaning the riding lawn mower is removing the grass that builds up in the underside of the deck.
The method you use to clean your mower is bound to vary from individual to individual and depends on numerous factors. Based on my experience, I have narrowed down the most common ways of cleaning a riding lawn mower deck.
If Your Riding Lawn Mower Has A Washing Port
The cleaning method you adopt depends on whether your Riding Lawn Mower has a washing port. The majority of Lawn Mowers come with a wash port that may be located at the top of the deck. The wash port of a lawn mower allows you to clean the underside of a lawn mower using a water hose.
It is ideal to do this procedure as soon as possible after you mow your lawn since the clippings are still moist. If you have intense water pressure, simply purchase a lawn sprinkler and let the water pressure remove all the built-up grass and dirt. Here are the steps you must follow to simplify this process.
How to clean your lawn mower deck without a mess!
Initialize Your Deck To The Lowest Level
Before you proceed, setting your lawn mower’s deck to the lowest possible level is essential.
Attach The Mulch Plug
The mulch plug helps keep the water within the deck of the mower. However, the mulch plug can not be found in all lawnmowers. Therefore, if you can find it in your mower, you must ensure to attach the mulch plug!
Connect The Garden Hose To The Water Port
This step of the procedure is self-explanatory. Hook the garden hose to the water port of your lawn mower and turn the water tap to its maximum. You can now relax and let the water hose do its job!
To ensure that all the built-up grass and dirt are removed completely, make sure you repeatedly move the blades of the mower while the water is still washing away. Let the procedure carry on for five minutes.
If Your Lawn Mower Does Not Have A Wash-Out Port
Things can get complicated when your lawn mower needs a wash-out port. Before you carry out this method, you must ensure to take some safety measures.
You must keep safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from sharp blades. I have mentioned the steps you should take to clean your mower’s deck if it does not have a wash-out port.
Empty The Gas From The Gas Tank
You have two options here. Either use the lawn mower until the gas tank is empty or simply empty the gas tank manually. This step is essential as it stops water and gas from inter-mixing, which might lead to various issues.
Remove The Spark Plug
Removing the spark plug is another precaution taken for safety purposes.
Place The Lawn Mower On A Flat Surface
If your lawn mower is void of a wash-out port and attempting to clean the mower’s deck, you must place the lawn mower on a flat surface. This step is particularly important as it helps avoid unfortunate accidents.
If you use a gas mower, you must ensure that the air filter and carburetor face up when you lay it on its side. This helps stop oil from entering the fuel system. You must place something that would prevent the mower from slipping. At this stage, most people prefer to use wooden blocks.
Use A Hydraulic Jack To Lift The Lawn Mower
Once you finish the previous steps, you must use a hydraulic jack. Simply place the Hydraulic Jack below the lawn mower’s wheels and pump it to maximum capacity.
Begin The Washing Procedure
Begin by grabbing the water hose and cleaning the mower’s bottom. Now, use the socket wrench and safety gloves to remove the blades. Remove the blades of the mower and keep them aside.
Use a scraper to remove all the accumulated debris and dirt. At this stage, it’s wise to give the entire deck another wash to ensure no spot is left un-washed. Make sure you wash the blades you removed earlier as well.
Grease And Reassemble
Since you used a lot of water, the probability of the metal rusting is high. Therefore, it’s best to avoid taking any chances and greasing the bottom of the deck. All you need to do is reassemble the lawn mower.
Maintaining your lawn mower and keeping it clean is the best way to ensure it lasts for a long time. When you have to clean a riding lawn mower’s deck, there is no doubt that you will require more than a piece of cloth. The cleaning method you should adopt depends on your personal preference and whether your lawn mower has a washing port.
Ian Richardson is a passionate lover of plants, flowers, and gardening. He finds solace and tranquility in the beauty and diversity of plants and flowers. His love for nature and gardening has motivated him to learn more about the different plant species, their habitats, and how to cultivate them. His knowledge and expertise in gardening have also made him a go-to person for gardening advice and tips, thus the reason he create BeloGarden. Ian continues to explore and appreciate the beauty of nature and hopes to inspire others to do the same.
Tips to Clean Your Lawn Mower
Every year you should prepare and clean your mower for the beginning of the new mowing season. No matter if you have a riding lawn mower or walk behind string trimmer, try to keep it in the tip-top shape so that you can use it for years.
Always keep in mind that grass and small pieces of debris can accumulate between tiny parts of the engine and cause overheating, engine damage, or disable you to control its speed. If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, clean your unit regularly, and use the recommended oil and gas types, you shouldn’t have any further difficulties with the operation of your machine.
Clean the Deck of Your Lawn mower
The deck under your mower is the enclosed housing where the blade spins. You can’t see that part, and there is no aesthetic reason for cleaning it at all. However, you should clean it to help your unit performance.
If dried grass clippings stuck there, it may deflect the blades and disable efficient cutting. The best option is to clean this part of your mower at least twice during each mowing season. Don’t forget to do this at the end of the season as well.
The process itself is not too demanding. After emptying the gas tank, disconnect the spark plug wire, and stand the mower up on the side. Wash all the parts by using a garden hose and clean the remaining dirt with hot water, soap, and a brush, and dry all the pieces eventually.
Clean the Engine of Your Lawn mower
Before you begin cleaning the engine of your lawnmower, you should remove the spark plug to prevent the accidentally starting of the unit. Then, remove the engine screen and detach the blower housing.
To do the job correctly, you need a garden hose reel and an engine degreaser. Cold water, degreaser, and a brush are usually enough to clean the engine of the average mower. To avoid forcing small pieces of debris into inaccessible parts of the engine, don’t use compressed air for cleaning.
Take care that the engine is entirely cold before you begin washing it. Avoid cleaning corroded plugs. They are not worth bothering. Just replace them.
Don’t forget washing the radiator cooling fins from the residue, the flywheel fins, and the inside of the blower housing with a bristle brush. The simplest way is to spray a strong jet of water on it.
Also, carefully clean the mower choke, throttle linkages, and terminals on the battery. Lubricate the battery posts and fittings on the mower deck to prevent corrosion. You can expect the engine run more efficiently after cleaning.
Clean the Engine Spark Plugs of Your Lawn mower
The dirty spark plugs may prevent the occurrence of spark and additional starting the unit. Therefore, you should clean or change them when necessary. To clean these pieces adequately, remove the black wire and the spark plug(s) itself from the mower.
Spray the spark plug with the brake cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Don’t forget to scrub the spark plug metal threads by using a wire brush. Repeat the process until removing as much dirt and remains as possible.
Clean a Fuel System of Your Lawn mower
If you notice that your lawnmower doesn’t work as it used to and makes more noise than usual, you probably need to clean the fuel line. After locating the fuel system on the underside of the unit, empty your gas tank, and prepare yourself for beginning the maintenance.
Make sure that the machine is turned off, remove the spark plug lead, find the fuel valve at the base of the gas tank, and turn it off. Check the tank first. If it is damaged or has any cracks, don’t attempt to repair it. There is no other solution except to replace it.
Then, start cleaning a fuel system from filters and vents by using an air hose with a nozzle. You don’t need any dust, wood chip, small rocks, or grass there since the passages in the carburetor are really small and clean fuel is the ultimate requirements.
Clean the Carburetor of Your Lawn mower
The corroded or clogged carburetor will disable your unit for sure. If you spot any sign of corrosion, you will need to replace that part. If it is just dirty, you can clean it quickly by yourself.
How I clean my EGO Mower Deck NO HOSE NEEDED
Separate all the pieces and put them in a plastic container with carburetor cleaner for approximately one hour. Then rinse the parts with cold water and dry them by using compressed air. Keep in mind that carburetor needs to be entirely dry before reassembling.
Clean the Air Filter of Your Lawn mower
In general, you should clean the air filter paper after you mow your yard two to three times. If your mower uses the foam pre-filter, you should wash it after every 25 hours of working.
After removing the cover of the filter, clean the debris near the air filter cover. Clean dust around the air filter to avoid dirt comes into the filter itself. Then remove the air filter carefully, use the liquid dish detergent to wash it, and dry it gently with a paper towel.
To clean the paper filter, you should gently tap it by hand to loosen most of dirt and dust. Take care not to tar it during the process. Sometimes, it is a better option to remove the old paper filter and replace it with the new one.
Keep in mind that the air filter is a crucial part of your unit. If you let your mower works without this part, there is a risk of severe engine damage.
Clean the Blades of Your Lawn mower
Keeping the blades of your mower sharp and clean is a crucial thing for your lawn. The process of cleaning is pretty simple. Just rinse blades off with a strong jet of water. The only equipment for this procedure is a hose with an appropriate nozzle attachment.
When you need to pull out some debris by hand, please, don’t forget to use gloves, and take care to handle with the sharp blades carefully.
Thoroughly cleaned, your lawnmower will last for years without any significant problems and additional costs. Prepare your lawn for the upcoming season and enjoy your beautiful yard. Enjoy!
Do Mower Deck Washer Ports Really Work?
Mower decks can get quite dirty from all of the grass clippings, pine needles, and leaves. Many lawnmowers include a washer port on the outer edge designed to help water flow under the deck. It’s supposed to clean the deck, but does this port actually do anything?
Mower deck washer ports work by attaching a hose to the port and letting the water flush out the debris. While they’re effective, washing ports should be used as light cleaning methods between monthly deep cleans. Ensure there’s no rust or corrosion in the port before using it.
In this post, we’re going to explain what a mower deck’s washing port does, how you can use it, and a few tips to fix a port if it doesn’t work.
What Does a Mower Deck Washer Port Do?
A mower deck washer port cleans out the space under the deck and around the blades. Cutting the grass gradually builds clumps of clippings under the deck, so it’s important to clean the blades regularly. It hooks up to a hose to flush the deck quickly and efficiently.
- You have to turn on the engine for the washer port to clean the deck. If the blades aren’t moving, they won’t spray water throughout the underside of the mower. You’ll pour hose water through the port and onto the ground, wasting your time. Lower the deck and turn on the engine when you’re ready to attach the hose.
- A mower deck washer port won’t clean everything on the mower. There will be small spaces that the water misses, which is why it’s essential that you deep clean the lawnmower every so often. That being said, using the washer port weekly can prevent too much debris from building up and making the blades less effective.
- Waiting too long between cleaning sessions can spell disaster for the lawnmower. Believe it or not, too much debris under the deck can break the lawnmower’s belt, overheat the engine, dull the blades, and more. Think of a mower deck port as a quick cleaning session that lengthens the time in between deep cleans.
While some people use the wash port as the only source of cleaning, it’s not recommended. These ports offer excellent cleaning, but they don’t scrub rust or deep-set grime. Dirt and debris can layer up underneath the deck, so it’s important to scrape it off.
How Do You Use a Deck Wash Port?
Mower deck washers are incredibly important if you want to maintain a clean lawnmower. They make the deck and blades look and operate much better. Make sure you do it on a sunny day so the parts can dry. If they’re wet for too long, they can develop rust.
If you’re still unsure, follow these video tips:
How to Fix a Lawnmower Washing Port
If you want to fix a lawnmower washing port, you’ll have to unscrew and remove the old one. Screw in the compatible washing port for your lawnmower’s deck. Some of the deck ports are universal, so you can use them on any lawnmower. There should be enough space on the deck for the port.
Not all lawnmowers have washer ports. If your mower has one, you can unscrew it and add a new one. The only time you’d have to switch out your washer port is if it’s corroded or stripped. The port doesn’t move or operate with moving parts, but it can wear down over time.
You can use mulching blades on a side discharge mower if you want to limit the number of times you have to use the washer port. The small grass clippings are much less likely to clump under the deck, especially if the grass isn’t wet. However, it’s still a good idea to use the washing port to clean the blades.
Most mower washer ports have caps. If the cap is jammed, you can use a rust inhibitor to get rid of the corrosion. If yours doesn’t have a cap, make sure you keep the lawnmower under a cover, tarp, or in a shed. Too much humidity or rainwater can rust the threaded port.
Donald Porta shows exactly how to add a new port to your lawnmower below.
Wrapping It Up
Lawnmower deck washing ports are some of the most underused, useful parts of a mower. They help you clean the mower’s deck, keeping the blades in good condition and preventing them from dumping mulching clumps all over the yard. Don’t forget to deep clean the deck at least once per month.
How to Clean Your Lawn Mower for Best Performance
Keeping your lawn mower clean will extend the longevity and performance of your equipment. When you get done mowing you need to remove the debris from the mower. It’s always a good idea to periodically wash your mower to keep it in good working condition and looking good.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Using a Pressure Washer to Clean Lawn Mower
With the availability and affordability of pressure washers, they have become standard household tools these days. A pressure washer is great to have on hand, but you must be choosy about what you use them on.
They work great for washing the sidewalk and the deck to make them look new again, but they can damage other items when used in a high-pressure setting.
Is it a good idea to use a pressure washer to clean your lawn mower? It is a good idea to use a pressure washer. If you choose to use a pressure washer be careful not to run your pressure washer at a high setting and be careful washing sensitive areas of your mower like around the engine and your deck bearings.
Steps to Clean Your Lawn Mower
1: Remove Grass Debris from Lawn Mower
The easiest way I have found to remove debris is by using a leaf blower. It works wonders and is very quick. Park your mower in an area outside where you don’t care if you make a mess.
Make sure you wear your safety glasses because dirt and grass will be blown all over the place and you will want to protect your eyes. Start your leaf blower and begin to blow the extra grass, dirt, and leaves off of the mower.
If you don’t have a leaf blower and you have a compressor in your garage, you can use that if you have a blow gun on it. You can also you a soft brush if you don’t have a blower or compressor available. Choose a brush that will not scratch the finish of your mower.
2: Choose Washing Method Soap
Never wash your mower while the engine is hot. It’s never a good idea to spray cold water on a hot engine. So once your engine has cooled, you can begin to wash the lawn mower.
If your pressure washer allows you to add soap to the unit, it’s a good idea to do some research on the soaps available for your pressure washer. Some soaps will be harsh on the paint and plastic on some mowers so you will want to find a mild soap that won’t harm your paint.
If your pressure washer doesn’t have a soap dispenser, you will have to manually add soap to your mower. The best thing to do is spray your mower down to get it really wet. Add soap to a wet sponge and wipe down the mower.
I find a good mild dish soap with a grease-cutting agent works well when wiping down manually. I like Dawn dish detergent which can be purchased at your local hardware or grocery store. DO NOT ADD dish detergent to your pressure washer.
3: Clean the Top of Engine
Let’s begin our washing off the lawn mower by starting at the top of the engine and around the recoil housing. This area can take a little bit of water, but not too much. Keep the pressure low if you can.
If you can’t control the pressure just pull or step back a little bit so you’re not hitting it with full force. Move along to the side and front of the engine keeping in mind that water and the carburetor don’t mix.
4: Clean the Top of Your Mower Deck
Continue to move from the engine area to spray off the top of the deck and the wheels. Now most mowers don’t have greaseable wheels so we will need to tend to them once we get done washing the mower.
If you have a riding mower or a lawn tractor, washing the deck can be a bit tricky. The lawn mower deck will have covers on top of the deck to protect the belt that runs the blades.
Washing a deck can be more temperamental than you may think because you have bearings you need to worry about. The bearings are sealed, but not against high pressure.
You want to keep water out of these specially sealed places. You shouldn’t use a pressure washer in this area. Instead, use a garden hose and rinse off the deck around the spindle housings and pulleys.
5: Clean Underneath Your Mower Deck
Cleaning the underside of the lawn mower deck is going to be a messy part of the cleanup process. You will want to do this process away from your driveway and the nice part of your yard.
Find a place that will not be in your normal pathway to access your house. It’s best to find an area that is out of sight if possible.
- Push Mower – It’s not too bad to access the underside of the deck. You can set the mower front end up on a jack stand or something firm to hold the deck up so you can clean it.
- Riding Mower or Lawn Tractor – Gaining access to the deck on these mowers is a little more challenging. First, you will need to get the tractor up in the air so you can get under the deck. If you have a floor jack and jack stands this will not be too bad.
- Zero Turn Mower – It’s hard to get access to the underside of a zero-turn mower. I use a Jungle Jim’s lift jack from Amazon to prop up my mower.
Some manufacturers place a deck washout port on their mower decks. In theory, this sounds like a nice feature, but often the port is plugged, and it is an extremely messy feature.
Some homeowners like it, but many do not. If you choose to use it make sure you are using this feature away from any structures and in an area of the yard you are not going to visibly see.
To use the deck washout feature, you will hook up a garden hose to the deck and turn on the water supply. You will sit on the tractor, start it up and engage the deck. Water will be spinning off the blades as it tries to wash all the grass and dirt off from the underside of the mower deck.
While the blades are throwing the water everywhere you can imagine the water, grass, and dirt are going everywhere. Be prepared for this. Some push mowers have this feature as well.
6: Rinse Dry Off Mower
Rinse the lawn mower and let it air dry or you can use your leaf blower to dry it off. Once the mower is dry you will want to go over a few more things on your mower before you place it back in storage before your next mowing.
I like to leave my lawn mower sitting outside on a nice hot sunny day to let the water evaporate by the heat and wind to help dry it out.
For more details on cleaning your lawn mower refer to our article, “How to Clean Your Mower for Best Performance“.
7: Lubricate Lawn Mower
You will want to lubricate your lawn mower to prevent rusting and erosion from occurring on your mower from water.
- Push Mower Use WD40 or an equivalent lubricant to use on the wheel axles and cables that have gotten water in them so they don’t rust later.
- Riding Mower Zero Turn Use WD40 or an equivalent lubricant to us on cables and seat hinges. Grease the steering and deck before putting the mower away.
Routine Maintenance on Your Mower
It is necessary to perform routine services on your lawn mower. For the average homeowner, a service should be completed, at minimum, 2 times per mowing season.
If you have a large mower and you are putting a significant number of hours on your mower, make sure you change your engine oil every 50 hours. Check your owner’s manual for the correct interval for changing your hydraulic fluid if your mower requires a hydraulic filter and fluid change.
For additional information on steps, you need to take to service your mower, select one of the following.
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How to Remove Grass Buildup from Your Lawn Mower Deck
Lawn mower maintenance is an important part of overall lawn maintenance. Without regular cleaning, cut grass can accumulate on the underside of your mower deck, and this buildup can reduce airflow to the engine and interfere with your mower’s performance. Keep reading to learn how to solve this common problem, and prevent it going forward.
If you have any questions about lawn mower maintenance, feel free to ask the friendly staff at AJ Cycle Trike Conversions. You can find us in Jasper, IN.
Removing grass buildup from your mower deck is a simple task that you can do at home, but you will need the right tools for the job. Round up a pair of gardening gloves, a flat pry bar, an air hose with a nozzle or wand, dish soap, a pressure washer, and a metal putty knife or wire brush. You are also going to want some kind of non-stick cooking spray, or a graphite, silicone, or Teflon spray.
Cleaning the Underside of the Mower Deck
The first steps to removing grass buildup from your mower deck are to empty your mower’s gas tank and remove the spark plug. Now tilt the mower so that you can access the underside of the deck, and secure it in place. Detach the mower blade, and then you can get to work using your flat pry bar to dislodge clumps of grass from the underside of the deck. Your metal putty knife or wire brush can scrape off smaller remnants of grass, and your air hose can take care of any leftover bits. If there is any grass remaining, remove it with your pressure washer.
Now inspect your mower’s air filter to determine if it needs to be replaced. If you have a washable filter, you can blow off any grass and debris with your air hose, then wash the filter with dish soap and water. You can then use your air hose to blow-dry the filter. Just make sure the filter is completely dry before you re-install it.
Your mower deck should also be completely dry before you proceed to the next step. Once again, your air hose can be used to speed up the drying process.
When the deck is dry, you can coat the underside with your non-stick cooking spray. This leaves behind a slick surface that will deter further grass buildup, and make it easier to remove next time. As an alternative, you can use graphite, silicone, or Teflon spray. These products are going to cost more, but yield better results.
When you have finished all these steps, you can re-install the mower blade, replace the spark plug, and refill the gas tank.
Preventing Grass Buildup
The best way to prevent grass buildup is to do your mowing when the grass is dry. Whenever possible, wait for at least a day or two after a rain shower to mow your lawn. You might be surprised at how long your grass holds onto moisture, and wet grass is the number one culprit behind grass buildup.
Frequent mowing will reduce grass buildup, as longer grass is more likely to form clumps. Mowing at full throttle can also help, as your mower will eject grass clippings at a faster rate.
If you continue to encounter this problem, you may want to consider upgrading to a high lift mower blade. This style of blade boosts airflow and propels clippings with greater force, minimizing the potential for buildup.
When you are ready to upgrade your mower, head to AJ Cycle Trike Conversions. We proudly serve Jasper, IN, along with our neighbors in Evansville, IN.