Did you know that cleaning your lawn mower is an important maintenance routine that will make sure you get the best outcome for your lawn? Over time, grass clippings can build up on the underside of the mower deck (the case that houses the mower blades) and above the blades, this can create performance issues with your mower and in some cases spread lawn disease. If you have a side-discharge mower; the build-up can impede the discharge hole, causing clumps of grass to gather instead of being spread evenly, these clumps will begin to compost and can burn the lawn underneath. For mowers with a catcher; the build-up can limit the amount of grass that can be pulled up to the catcher, causing more trips to the bin and if you happen to have a mulching mower, a build-up of clippings will reduce the space that the blades have to circulate, meaning that the grass may not be cut as fine. Even slightly wet grass will trap moisture against your mower deck, blade, and blade shaft, creating conditions that are ripe for rust build-up. If you discover rust, you’ll want to remove all of the flakes immediately, then paint and seal the area to prevent the rust from spreading.
The longer you go without cleaning the underside of your mower deck, the harder the build-up of grass will become. The continual wetting and drying of the grass will create a horrible mess that is rock-hard, and trust us it will not come off easily. If you’ve got a build-up, break out the wire brush and screw driver and start scraping away. Make sure to remove the spark plug first to prevent accidental starting. If you have time cleaning your mower deck after every use will prevent build-up over the long run, but we generally think that if you are cleaning your mower 2 or 3 times throughout the mowing season, you’ll keep it in good shape.