How to Clean a Lawn Mower Air Filter: 3 Simple Steps that Could Save You Money!

How to clean a lawn mower air filter

Did you know that you have to clean the lawn mower filter? You do! If you want your mower to last for a long time, you need to take care of that air filter, which is the equipment’s first line of defense.

Don’t worry, cleaning it is quite easy. Here are the simple steps on how to clean a lawn mower air filter

Lawn Mower Maintenance

Any kind of equipment or machine needs maintenance so that it will continue to function well. Here are some important maintenance tips for lawn mowers:

1. Read the manual

The manual always includes a list on how to take care of an equipment, in this case, the lawn mower. 

Follow those maintenance tips so that you can use your mower for a very long time. Any type of machine is expensive, so you have to take care of it so you don’t have to replace it any time soon. 

2. Remove caked grass

It is understandable that grass will stick on the blades and within the deck of the lawn mower. When left uncleaned for long, the grass will cake. 

You don’t really have to do the cleaning after every mowing. That would be up to you. 

Hear me out

There should be a regular cleaning session for this though. If too much grass has accumulated in the machine, the blades won’t be able to cut efficiently. 

There is no standard time given as to how often you need to clean the deck of your lawn mower. That’s a matter of preference. 

Just know that

Performance will depend on this matter. 

3. Change oil (for gas-powered mowers)

Oil is important in gas-powered machines. Over time, the oil gets dirty. Running on dirty oil will hastily damage the mower. 

According to experts

You should change the oil of the mower after the first five hours of its use. After that, you can change the oil every year or every 50 hours of use. 

Man observing lawn mower in garden

4. Replace spark plug (for gas-powered mowers)

Spark plug should be replaced every year. 

5. Sharpen lawn mower blades

The blades will eventually dull down from overuse. That’s why you need to sharpen it regularly so that you will always have an efficient lawn mower. 

This is quite a task because it could be dangerous. You could call a professional to do it for you or you could also read our blog on how to do it. 

6. Clean the air filter

There you go! We will discuss this part at length, starting with the process of cleaning the air filter.  

How to Clean a Lawn Mower
Air Filter

Here are the simple steps in cleaning a lawn mower air filter:

1. Stop the engine

It’s dangerous to clean the air filter when the engine is still on. Besides, it’s going to be too hot to touch the machine anyway. 

Related to this

You need to remove the spark plug or the spark plug wire. You don’t want to accidentally start the lawn mower while trying to do maintenance work. 

2. Clean the foam pre-cleaner

First things first, you need to remove the air filter cover. 

Once the cover has been removed, you can clean the foam pre-cleaner, which is the part of the filter that removes contaminants. 

There are two ways to clean this part:

  • Compressed air
  • Rinse with water & cleaner then dry out.
Air filter

3. Replace paper filter

Remove the old paper filter and then throw away. The paper cannot be cleaned, it has to be replaced. 

Insert the new air filter and then cover it. 

You’re basically done with the cleaning! Don’t forget to put back the spark plug or reconnect the wire so you can use the mower again. 

Replacing the air filter

There comes a time when cleaning the filter just won’t do anymore. But how would you know? You need to open the lawn mower to be sure. 


You have to open the lawn mower by unscrewing its top. You can check out the manual on how best to unclasp the cover. 

You then have to remove the air filter for inspection. If the filter paper has become totally opaque, then it’s time to replace it. 

As to the other one:

For foam filters, staining is a good indication that it’s time to replace it. The stain could be brownish or yellowish. 

As for the pre-filter, if it has become stiff, then that’s another way to tell that it needs to be replaced. 

Before the replacement

You have to clean the housing of the air filter. A simple dry cloth will do. 

Now, you are ready to insert the new filter into the housing. 

Reattach the lawn mower cover and you are done!

Woman Mowing Lawn

Benefits of a Clean Air Filter

An air filter in an equipment prevents dust and debris from entering the equipment and wreaking havoc in the machine. 

As they say, it’s the first line of defense for any equipment including the lawn mower. Check out the benefits of having a clean air filter:

Stops dust and debris

You don’t want any dust and debris going into the machine for obvious reasons. Dust is not just bad for people, it’s bad for the machine, too. 

It can affect the efficiency of an equipment and it may even cause its damage. 

On the other hand

If you have larger particles creeping into the machine, it could break the equipment. 

Now, if the air filter is not in good condition, dust and other particles will surely reach the engine via the carburetor. 

Improves performance

If dust and particles cannot penetrate the machine, then you will have a lawn mower that functions really well. 

It’s a given that over a period of time, the machine won’t be as efficient as it once was. 

But check this out

If you clean the air filter regularly, you are going to improve the performance of the machine. It will be good as new again. 

Extends lifespan

Since you just improved the performance of the lawn mower by cleaning it, then it means that the equipment will not die on you soon. 

It’s just like people, don’t you think? As we get older, we experience our own wear and tear. There comes a time when we get sick and will need maintenance. 

Lawn mower engine

If we are diligent

Our maintenance medication will help us live longer. 

Saves you money

Who would have thought that the simple process of cleaning an equipment could save you some money. 

A lawn mower is not cheap. You don’t want to buy it every couple of years, or worse, every year. 

You see

There are some annual maintenance tips that you can do. You are not supposed to buy a lawn mower every year. 

So, clean your air filter and save your money!

Important reminders:

  • The foam pre-cleaner of the lawn mower can be cleaned every 25 hours of use. 
  • The paper filter should be replaced after 300 hours. 

However, you can always play it by ear–or by sight, in this case. When you think that the components are already too dusty, then you should clean or replace them when necessitated. 


Every equipment needs to be taken care of in order to last a number of seasons. The lawn mower is no different. If you want to use the lawn mower for a long time, you need to take care of it. One way to do so is by cleaning the air filter. 

How to clean a lawn mower air filter? It’s not hard at all! It also doesn’t need special equipment to do so. Just follow three simple steps and you will be done in no time. The good rule of thumb is to clean the foam pre-cleaner every 25 hours and replace the paper filter every 300 hours–more or less. 

There are so many benefits to cleaning your air filter. It will improve the lawn mower’s performance and it will extend its lifespan. As a result, you will be able to save money.

You Might Also Like

We’ve mentioned earlier that sharpening the blades of a lawn mower could be quite dangerous for obvious reasons. But we have written down tips on how to sharpen lawn mower blades. As long as you follow them to a tee, it will be fine. 

Here’s another important tip related to the lawn mower: make sure to store it safely during the winter. We’ve got you covered, too, as we have some tips on how to store your lawn mower in the winter

Lastly, in case you really do need a new lawn mower, you need to read this essential guide to the best lawn mowers on the market.

Useful Resources


Spread the love

Leave a Comment