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How to Pressure Wash a Lawn Mower

Pressure washing your lawn mower might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about maintenance, but let me tell you, it can make a world of difference. I remember the first time I decided to give my trusty mower a thorough clean after a particularly muddy spring season. The transformation was not just visible; it felt like my mower was running smoother, too.

To pressure wash your lawn mower, start by disconnecting the spark plug and removing the mower blade. Next, tilt the mower to access the underside and spray with a pressure washer, keeping the nozzle at least 12 inches away to avoid damage. Rinse off grass clippings, dirt, and grime, focusing on the deck and wheels. Allow the mower to dry completely before reassembling.

While the basic steps cover most of the process, it’s crucial to protect your mower’s engine and electrical components from water damage. Cover the engine and any exposed electrical parts with a plastic bag or waterproof covering before you start. Also, be careful not to spray directly at the bearings or seals to prevent water from getting inside. After pressure washing, lubricate moving parts to ensure your mower operates smoothly.

Overview of How to Pressure Wash Your Mower

  1. Remove the cutting blades and the spark plug.
  2. Position the mower so that the underside deck is exposed.
  3. Pressure wash the mower underside.
  4. Pressure wash the mower engine.
  5. Allow the mower to dry thoroughly.

Steps to Pressure Washing a Mower

  1. Remove the cutting blades. If you’re cleaning a gas-powered mower, disconnect the spark plug. You want to get rid of any obstructions and prevent the mower from accidentally starting during your cleaning.
  2. Remove visible large dirt buildup and glass clippings with a rag or any tool. This will facilitate your cleaning in the next steps.
  3. Select the black nozzle to soak the underside deck with. The black nozzle applies less pressure and has a wider spray pattern when water is forced out. You can use a multi-purpose pressure washer detergent in this step. However, I don’t think it’s necessary.

    After the underside deck has been soaked, move to pressure washing the engine.

    Be sure to stand at a safe distance from the mower. Start off about 2 feet away when you begin spraying. Doing this allows you to test the water pressure and prevent damage to the mower. If allowed, you can adjust and move in closer with your spray.
  4. Switch over to a yellow nozzle to begin a more thorough cleaning. The yellow nozzle applies more pressure and has a narrower spray pattern. This design provides for a more forceful and directed water blast from the washer.

    Start with the underside deck, then move to the engine.

    Again, stand at a safe distance from the mower. Because the yellow nozzle has a more forceful spray, you’ll want to be careful how close you are when you spray. The closer you are to the mower, the more water pressure will be applied.
  5. Let the lawn mower dry out after the cleaning has been completed. Then reattach the blades

Tips When Pressure Washing a Lawn Mower

Be careful of the recoil

Pressure washers are powerful cleaning tools. If this is going to be your first time cleaning with a pressure washer, be sure you’re familiar with the various components of the machine. Be careful when you first apply the trigger as well. There’s a strong recoil as the pressurized spray begins flowing out of the nozzle.

Do not wash after mowing a lawn

Do not pressure wash your mower right after you are done using it. Wait for the engine to cool down before spraying it with the cold water.

Get a basic pressure washer

You don’t need the most powerful and expensive pressure washer to clean your mower. This is a simple job. A basic one will suffice. Consider an electric one, which is cheaper. You don’t need a gas-powered pressure washer. Those are expensive and you might find yourself spending a couple hundred dollars for you. Do some research. Stick with the most popular and recognized brands.

Areas of Your Mower You Should be Careful With

A lawn mower might seem like a sturdy piece of equipment able to withstand impact from various sources, but you still need to be careful with some areas. In particular, the engine areas require a more careful touch.


There are a lot of important components here that make the mower run. Some areas have moving parts.. Stand a good 2 feet away from the engine when spraying so as not to apply too much pressure. Never use anything higher than a yellow nozzle on this area. Use common sense as you spray the engine. You’ll feel the amount of water pressure being exerted by the washer.


You don’t want to mess up the electric system of your lawn mower. It can be an expensive affair getting it repaired. I don’t think this kind of damage is covered by its warranty.


If the belt gets too wet, there’s a chance that it rusts or weakens. You don’t want your belt to wear out prematurely. So avoid giving the belt a direct spray and let it dry out.

How Often Do I Need to Clean My Lawn Mower?

It’s not necessary to clean your lawn mower after every time you use it. That’s excessive. The answer really depends on how often you use it

Most people get by cleaning their mowers twice a year: once before you winterize it and once midseason during your typical window for mowing. And in between mowing sessions a simple brush with a broom will suffice.

However, if you have an exceedingly large sprawling lawn, you might want to consider a mower washing every month until the mowing season is done.

For those that have or plan on operating a lawn care business, a weekly washing of your mower(s) would be a wise thing to do. Make it a habit that your mower never gets neglected. Be sure to not only wash your mower, but also to clean and sharpen the mower blades.

Why Use a Pressure Washer to Clean Your Lawn mower

Lawn mowers get dirty. Sure it’s easy to wash it with a garden hose, but will you get a thorough enough cleaning? How are you going to get into some of the more pocketed areas of the mower? 

Using a pressure wash can simplify and speed up the task. Water pressure can be used to deep clean those hard to reach places. Blast away buildup fast rather than using your hands to slowly scrape away stuff.

Proper maintenance of your lawn mower is essential to its longevity. Prevent breakdown by keeping your mower clean. It’ll ultimately save you money in the long run.

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 30, 2019.


Your lawn mower needs your attention in order for it to operate effectively and for it to last a long time. Cleaning it might seem like a chore, but it won’t be with a pressure washer. Save time and quickly attend to this task with a thorough cleaning using a pressure washer.