How to Winterize a Lawn Mower Before Stowing It

The feeling you get after mowing a lawn for the last time before winter is priceless - but your work with a lawn mower isn’t done yet. Now it’s time to winterize your lawn mower to get it ready for use in spring. Despite what your mower’s manual might say, it’s pretty easy to do. Here’s how to winterize a lawn mower:

Empty Gas

If you leave gas in your mower, it will degrade over the winter, clog your fuel system, and even begin to rust. Add fuel stabilizer to your tank and run the mower so that it circulates throughout your engine’s fuel system. Once it has, turn the mower off and let your engine cool. Drain or siphon the gas into a clean container, then restart your mower and run your engine until it stops. Repeat this process until it’s out of fuel and you’re no longer able to start the engine. 

Remove and Sharpen the Blade

Carefully unscrew the bolts, keeping the blade in place. We recommend wearing gardener’s gloves or something comparable or thicker for protection. You’ll have an easier time draining the oil once you’ve removed the blade. Now is also the perfect time to sharpen the blade so that it’s in top condition come spring. 

Drain the Oil

Draining the oil can be messy business. Wear gloves, place a tarp over the surface you’re using, and have a pan handy. Place your mower on its side with the carburetor facing up and remove the oil reservoir plug. Slowly tilt the mower until you see oil spilling out into the pan and let it empty. After that, put the plug back in the empty reservoir. 

Remove the Spark Plug and Battery

Remove the spark plug lead wire before cleaning your mower, then tie and store it in a somewhere safe for now. 

If your mower has a battery, remove it and clean it thoroughly. Keep it somewhere that’s cool and dry so that it doesn’t freeze or rust during the winter. Also, keep the battery away from anything flammable - just in case 

Clean the Mower

This step it pretty straightforward. Hose off any mud, grass, and leaves that have accumulated on and in the interior of your mower. Use a brush to wipe off the rest. 

Clean the Grass Collector

Remove the grass catcher and empty it out. Next, take a brush and wipe the grass clippings and other debris from the catcher’s interior and spray it with a garden hose. Once the interior is clean, let it dry out and then reattach it to the mower. 

Final Thoughts on How to Winterize a Lawn Mower

Winterizing your lawn mower is a quick and easy task. It’s also something that people forget to do, and then discover a set of problems the following year. By following these directions, you’re extending the life of you mower and ready for spring.