How To Clean The Underside Of A Riding Lawn Mower?

a frog on riding lawn mower

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Having a riding lawn mower offers quite a large number of benefits, with cutting your grass being much simpler and easier. Alongside this, it means that you’ll be able to save a significant amount of time taking care of your garden.

However, it does pose somewhat of a problem when it comes to cleaning. While smaller products may pose a problem, this isn’t as difficult as with their larger counterparts. This could lead many of us to wonder how to clean the underside of a riding lawn mower.

While many people will know that a pressure washer will be the recommended route to take, there can often be more to the answer than you might think. Much of this is focused on safety, with there being several things that you’ll need to consider.

Alongside this are a variety of tips and tricks that you might want to be aware of. Though many of these may be focused on general maintenance, there are a variety of other cleaning-related questions you might want to be answered.

How To Clean The Underside Of A Riding Lawn Mower

Safety First

When you’re doing any kind of work on a riding lawn mower, safety is paramount. This is the case regardless of whether you’re cleaning it or performing any other type of maintenance work. The main focus for this is that, should the mower start at any point, then it could cause quite a significant injury.

You’ll need to do everything possible to make sure that this doesn’t happen. There are a few steps involved in this. The first of these is to read all of the relevant safety information and materials. There may also be various instructional guides that come with this.

Next, you’ll need to make sure that you have the riding lawn mower park on a flat, hard surface while also in a well-ventilated area. You should also ensure that the parking braking is engaged to prevent the mower from moving forward while you’re working on it.

It’s also highly recommended that you remove the ignition key while also making sure that you’ve either disconnected the spark plug or removed the battery. This should prevent the lawn mower from accidentally restarting while you’re working on it.

Before starting any cleaning or maintenance work, you should always make sure that the blades have come to a stop. While this may seem as though it’s an obvious piece of advice, it’s often overlooked by quite a large number of people.

Washing Your Riding Lawnmower

Washing a riding lawn mower may seem as though it’s complicated, although it doesn’t have to be. Instead, it should be relatively easy as long as you follow a few specific steps. Perhaps the easiest way to do so is with a pressure washer.

Most of the mower should be quite straightforward to clean, although the underside poses a slight problem. Despite this, you should be able to raise the front of the mower with a lift. This should then let you use the pressure washer on the underside.

Once you have the front raised, you’ll be able to use a multi-purpose detergent on the area. After applying it, you should wait between five and ten minutes to let it set, although this amount of time can depend on the detergent. Following this, you should rinse it off with the pressure washer.

While you have the front of the riding lawn mower in the air, it’s recommended that you clean the tires. These will typically need just a quick spray with the pressure jet. Once this has been done, you can lower the mower back to the floor before washing the top of it.

Should you want to wash the engine, it’s suggested that you choose a heavy-duty degreaser to clean it with. While these might be slightly more expensive than other options, they can provide much better results.

Tips About Washing Your Riding Lawnmower

While having a step-by-step guide to how to clean the underside of a riding lawn mower can be helpful, many people may go about it in different ways. This is because many of us might have different preferences when doing so, such as which type of detergent should be used, among others.

However, there are a few tips and tricks that you should be aware of when doing so. While many of these will focus on safety, they’ll still be quite helpful to the majority of us. Some of the more prominent of these are:

  • Avoid Electrical Components: This may seem obvious, but is overlooked much more often than you’d think. You should avoid wetting the electrical components for a variety of reasons, with the largest being your safety. Alongside this, getting them wet could mean that the lawnmower will break down, which you’ll also want to avoid.
  • Avoid The Bearings: You’ll also want to avoid the bearings at all costs, with the reasons being somewhat self-evident. Should you not, then they’ll be at risk of seizing up and they’ll stop running smoothly.

By keeping each of the above tips and tricks in mind, you should be able to clean your riding lawn mower quickly and easily. They should also mean that you’ll be safe throughout the process and shouldn’t need to worry about hurting yourself. Though they might add a certain amount of time to the washing, making sure that you’re safe can be vital.

General Maintenance

Keeping the outside of your riding lawn mower isn’t the only maintenance task that you’ll have to perform. Instead, there are a few other ones that you’ll have to think about. Many of these will focus on the interior of the mower, as well as a few other areas.

As such, there are a variety of maintenance tasks that you’ll need to consider. While these might not need to be done constantly, there are a few times where they should be done.

After Mowing

There are a few specific maintenance tasks that it’s recommended you do straight after using the lawnmower. Similar to using the power washer, it’s recommended that you follow safety instructions when doing so. There are a few specific things you should do, including:

  • Brush Off Debris & Dirt: Once you’re finished mowing, you should use a brush to remove any dirt or debris from the fuel and oil fill areas. You should also do the same with the mower and deck.
  • Check The Shields & Deflectors: You should make sure that each of these are undamaged. If any are, then it’s recommended that you replace them as soon as possible.
  • Check Tires, Oil Level, & Fuel Level: After using the lawnmower, you should check the tires and make sure that they’re fully inflated. If not, then you should add air as required. Alongside this, you should check both the fuel and oil levels. While you might not need to top up regularly, at least this avoids needing a refill halfway through using the mower.

With all of the above done, you should be able to make sure that your riding lawn mower is as well maintained as possible. Though they might seem time-consuming, they should save you a significant amount of hassle in the long-term.

Seasonal Maintenance

There are also a few seasonal maintenance and cleaning jobs that you’ll need to do with your riding lawnmower. Typically, these will only need to be done once or twice per mowing season, although they’re quite easy to forget. The most notable of these are:

  • Lubricate Pivot & Spindle Points: Doing this should make sure that the lawnmower is in optimal working condition and should prevent any breakdowns or damage in the future. This shouldn’t take much time and often only needs a few minutes to do. This should also help to prevent a build-up of rust inside your lawnmower.
  • Check The Air Filter: You should always make sure that the air filter is clean and clear. If it’s only lightly blocked and you can clean it, then go ahead. However, if it’s quite heavily blocked or you don’t think you’ll be able to clean it, then it’s recommended that you replace it. This should be checked at the start and end of the season to make sure that no debris builds up.
  • Check The Blades: You should aim to ensure that the lawnmower’s blades are kept sharp each year. Blunt blades typically tear grass, which could lead to a significant amount of damage on your lawn. However, sharp blades should have no problem cutting through it quickly and easily. This should also mean that the grass will be healthier. As such, it’s worth making sure that you sharpen the tools once or twice per season.

At the start of every season, it’s also recommended that you change the spark plugs. This is quite affordable to do and should make sure that your lawnmower runs smoothly. At the end of the season, you’ll also need to remove the fuel. This doesn’t age well and could clog up your machine.

Related Questions

Washing your riding lawn mower doesn’t need to be as complicated or time-consuming as you might think. However, there could be a few other things that you might want to know about doing so. Many of these focus on when and how often you should clean it.

These can often be tied to general maintenance and making sure that your lawn mower runs smoothly. As such, there might be a few additional questions that you may want to be answered, including:

How Often Should I Clean My Riding Lawnmower?

Many of us will wonder how often we should clean our lawnmowers, regardless of whether it’s a small one or a riding version. While this may seem as though it’s a simple question, there’s no standard answer to it, as it can vary from case to case.

Typically, it’s recommended that you clean the underside at least twice per mowing season to keep it well maintained. However, if you have to cut long grass quite regularly, it’s recommended that you clean it more often. This is also the case if the grass is wet.

You’ll also need to clean the deck of the lawnmower, although you might not need to do this as much as the underside. Usually, you’ll only need to do this at the end of the season. The main reason for this is that the grass could begin to rot and grow mold during the winter, which is best left avoided.

When Should I Wash My Lawnmower?

It’s one thing to know how often you should clean the underside of your riding lawn mower, but it’s quite another to know when you should do it. While this might not be the most significant issue for many people, it could have more implications than you might expect.

The primary reason for this is that you’ll need to make sure it dries off quickly, as the water could cause damage if left for too long. This should usually mean that you’ll have to clean it early on a sunny day.

By doing so, you’ll be able to let the lawnmower dry in the sun before putting it away. Alongside this, you should also be able to avoid hand-drying it while also preventing water damage.

By keeping all of the above in mind, you shouldn’t need to worry about how to clean the underside of a riding lawn mower. Following each of the above steps will make sure that your lawn mower runs smoothly while preventing any issues from cropping up.

While it might be slightly more time-consuming than you may want, the effort should make sure that there are no clogs in your lawn mower. These can often cause much more damage to your machine than you might think. As such, avoiding them is highly recommended.

By keeping your riding lawn mower clean and regularly performing maintenance checks, you should be able to do so. It’s also worth making sure that you follow all of the safety tips mentioned above, as these can be an essential part of the process.