Summer is here – it is time for some heat, sunshine and lots of fun. With school out, and great weather to enjoy, you will end up spending a lot more time in the garden. Lounging in the green grass is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, it comes with its fair share of headaches. Making sure that your lawn stays well-kept and trim is chief amongst them.
Most lawnmowers spend all winter in storage and as with any heavy electronics, they’re prone to rust and disrepair when left unused. In order to make sure you can keep up with your garden maintenance we’ve compiled this easy guide on how to clean lawnmower.
The first thing to do is take a look over the exterior of your mower noting any superficial issues. Wear and tear over time can cause bolts and screws to loosen. Parts become too rusted and flaky and for your blades to gather stuck debris from cutting long wet grass.
Rust can be removed through a sanding procedure, using a brush you can quickly remove any loose paint. Your next step is to clean lawnmower getting rid of any residual grease, usually rinsing with a strong detergent will be adequate. After wiping down with a cloth, coat the bare area with WD-40 to prevent rust and other future build-up. After priming you can go ahead and paint the affected areas.
The next step is to get to work on any loose bolts using a torque wrench to apply the necessary pressure to get those fasteners as snug as possible.
Moving down to the blades, spray your clean lawnmower down with a liberal dose of WD-40, lubricating the metal and breaking up any large accumulations of grass. This will also prevent rust build up after future use.
Now, it’s time to tip the mower. Before attempting this, remove the spark plug from the cylinder head, now carefully turn the lawnmower over to its side and being mindful of the blades. Clean the undercarriage using a wire brush, removing remaining rust and stuck particles. You can also use a plastic trowel to scoop out any grass that might still be clumped inside the hood. Once your lawnmower blades are free from debris, wipe them down.
You might also want to attempt to sharpen your blades there are ready-made tools available for this specific purpose. However depending on the complexity of your lawnmower it may be wiser to entrust a certified technician with this task.
In order to get your engine working at maximum efficiency without chugging and coughing, you can take part in some easy work to get the various component parts purring along.
An oil change is recommended after every season, or 50 hours of use. To take care of this easy fix, start up your engine to let the oil inside warm up, allow it run for a minute or two then turn it off. Once again, remove the spark plug so that the lawnmower doesn’t turn on accidentally. Now wipe away any dust and debris you find around the oil cap to prevent any of it falling in. WD-40 is great for preventing any future rust or dirt accumulating and ensuring the oil cap remains easy to unscrew. Place any sort of container or cloth underneath the body of the mower to collect the run-off, and then apply counter-clockwise pressure to the drain plug whilst tilting the mower carefully so the oil drains out.
Once you’ve cleared the engine of old oil, twist out the old oil filter by twisting counter-clockwise and replace it with a new one that fits the specifications of your engine. Tighten it place until you feel it make contact with the adapter. Now you’re ready to fill up your tank with new engine oil.
Your clean lawnmower air filter will usually be located on the side of the machine secured in place with bolts or screws. Use a screwdriver or wrench to access your filter compartment.
Depending on your machine, you may have a paper filter intended for disposal and replacement or a reusable foam filter.
For a paper filter, you’ll need to unscrew the old filter carefully making sure you remember how it’s placed. Then head to the nearest store to find one of the same model and make, to ensure the replacement functions and fits perfectly. After this, simply seat the new filter and reattach the covering tightening it in place.
For a reusable filter, you’ll need to wash out the foam components using a light cleaner – be carefully not to leave any residue as these will be very tough to get out. Make sure these are then squeeze clear of any water and adequately dried out before re-attaching. Finally apply a light coating of oil to the non-foam portions of the filter to prevent future dust build up. Reseat it in its compartment, and tighten on the filter cover.
Changing the spark plug on your clean lawnmower for the less technically savvy. This may seem like a daunting task, but it requires surprisingly little time and effort. Once again the spark plug lead should be removed, before wiping down the area around the spark plug to remove dust and debris. You can remove the spark plug using a plug wrench or socket, which will prevent it from cracking no matter how much pressure you apply. Simply turn counter clockwise and unscrew the existing plug.
For your replacement plug, the best place to check is the store you purchased your mower initially, they’ll usually keep a handy supply of replacement parts. The new plug might need to be adjusted to fit your mower’s specifications. Refer to your manual to find the required gap between electrodes. Then use a spark plug gauge to adjust your plug accordingly, attach your adjusted plug screwing it in firmly, but not too tightly. Finally reattach the spark plug lead and you’re finished tuning up.
As you can see, maintaining your gardening equipment isn’t that hard, all it requires is a few handy tools for the job, a little know-how and a full can of WD-40, to clean lawnmower and prevent rust. With this guide, you should be well on your way to a relaxing summer in your well-kept garden.