Your Mower Doesn’t Need a Bath

 March 15, 2010

This is the fourth part of Exmark’s ten part Service and Maintenance Series.

As with many things in life, there is a right and a wrong way to clean your equipment. Mower owners should clean their units as often as possible but minimize the use of water, which is a natural enemy of metal. Using water and detergents can lead to corrosion problems.

Though power washing is a popular method to clean mowers, it’s not best for the longevity of the machine. By using those two cleaning agents, you force unnatural elements into places that can be detrimental to your mower. For example, if water sits on a bearing seal or an electrical connection, it can do more harm than good.

The proper way to clean your mower is to simply apply air pressure. A lawn or leaf blower will work perfectly for this. By cleaning with air, you will clear dirt and debris from the machine without causing damage.

It’s also important to check and clean the nooks and crannies of the machine—not just the areas you can see. Take off the cover plates, lift up the seat and scour any of the hard-to-reach areas you normally skip. This step is perhaps even more important than cleaning the areas in plain sight because if debris is hidden, it will restrict airflow to the hydraulic system, in turn, increasing heat and accelerating hydraulic oil breakdown.

Next in the series is checking your nuts and bolts. We’ll post the next tip real soon.