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Can I Hose Off My Lawn Mower? Yes, but avoid this common mistake

By: Author John Cunningham. Published: 2019/06/30 at 4:30 pm

Cleaning your mower after cutting the yard every time is a bit of a chore. But it doesn’t have to be; there’s an easier way, and it’s been hiding in plain sight.

So, can I hose off my lawnmower? Hosing off your mower is OK, but avoid spraying water on the engine, and never use a pressure washer to clean your mower.

Cleaning after every use is important; decaying grass will eat all your metal components.

A thorough clean-down at the end of the season is critical to your mower’s health. If you’re winterizing your mower, check out the “Mower winterizing” post or see the video here. They walk you through the winterizing process step by step – from cleaning to engine and fuel system protection.

Deck Wash Port

My Favorite Way To Hose Down The Mower

Of course, you can use soapy water and your garden hose to wash down your mower deck. Although your mower is weatherproof, it’s not waterproof, so avoid the engine altogether. Getting water on the electrics can cause them to fail, which is expensive, and the warranty likely won’t cover it. Avoid the cables, transmission, and belts; water causes the cables to rust and eventually bind and break. 
Anyway, I want to share this info with you because I don’t want you guys scraping and scrubbing on your knees when there’s a better way. This discrete fitting escaped my notice for years, and I felt more than a little silly when I discovered what it was for.

Now I use it after every mow because it only takes 2 minutes. Take a look at your mower deck; if it’s relatively new, it’ll likely have a mower deck wash-out port fitted. 

Deck Wash Out Hose Port – Bet you never noticed it, right? Anyway, if you’ve got a garden hose, simply move the mower to a paved, flat surface and follow these procedures:

  • Remove Grass Bag
  • Lower Deck Height
  • Connect Hose To Deck
  • Turn Water On
  • Start Your Mower
  • Run Blade Until Water Runs Clear
  • Remove Hose Water Off
  • Start Mower Run Blade To Dry Deck
Hosing off lawn mower

Hose On – This is so cool! I got so excited when I did this the first time; scraping the underside of a mower just isn’t fun. Be warned, it does leave a green mess on the drive, but if you hose it off before it dries, it’s not a problem. 

Why You Should Never Power Wash Your Mower

Power washing is a fantastic tool, and it’s great for washing the car, decking, and driveway but not the mower. The problem is the pressure is so great it forces water into bearings, cables, and underseals, and water turns to rust, which in time will cause failure and dollars. 
The high-pressure water also washes away vital assembly grease on axles and that causes the dry components to wear out prematurely. Removing the grass from the deck after each mow is important. Decaying grass produces acid, which will happily eat your mower in a few short years. The top of the mower deck can be washed, but a brush or leaf blower will do a fine job, too.

Too late for this deck, and it was right there!

Related Questions

Is it OK to tip a lawnmower on its side? You can tip a mower on its side, provided the carburetor side is pointed upwards.
Will my lawnmower be OK in the rain? A mower will be OK in light rain; it is weatherproof, but it needs to be stored under cover long-term.

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