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Can I Hose Off My Lawn Mower To Clean The Grass Off?

Written by Jess Da Costa
Last Updated on March 30, 2021

Do Water and Electric Mowers Mix?

Like any tool or piece of gardening equipment, your lawn mower will need to be cleaned regularly t ensure it stays in excellent working condition for as long as possible. Electric lawn mowers are no exception and coming from experience working with mucky lawn mowers of all descriptions, this article will show you the best way to keep yours clean.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to using a hose to clean grass and mud off your electric mower, and the more general consensus is probably that hosing off your electric mower is a bad idea. That said, it’s not impossible to do so safely, and therefore, you CAN technically hose off your electric mower to clean grass off of it.

The key word above is “safely” as everyone knows, electricity and water have a tumultuous relationship at the best of times!

With that out the way, let’s delve into how best to tackle cleaning grass of your electric mower using a hose – and otherwise!

Why are Most People Against Using Hoses to Clean Electric Mowers?

Because electric lawn mowers are either connected to a mains power supply via a cable, or are powered by electricity stored in a battery, getting them wet can spell trouble in terms of user safety as well as causing damage to the machine itself.

If too much water comes into contact with the electrical components of an electric lawn mower, you could be in for a nasty shock at the least, and permanent damage to your lawn mower in more serious cases.

Not only can water fry electrical circuits and cause sparking and shorts, but it can also lead to corrosion over time which can harm other parts of your lawn mower too. Because many lawn mower parts are comprised of rust-susceptible metals, water seeping in directly can cause rust to bloom and spread more quickly than mildly damp conditions.

In the interest of keeping things safe and simply, most people shy away from using hoses to clean their electric mowers, however if done with care and precision, there’s no reason why water should be able to damage vulnerable components of your mower.

How to Use a Hose to Clean Your Electric Mower Without Causing Damage

If you’re feeling brave and want to give the hose option a go, then there are several steps you should take to ensure that you maintain your electric lawn mower’s general condition and keep functionality intact.

Firstly, do not use a high-pressured hose or other jet-like water streams as it will be harder to control the flow of water these create as opposed to a standard garden hose set to low pressure. A slow trickle of water might take longer than a high-powered blast but it’s worth taking the extra time to ensure your mower remains in working order.

Another key thing to keep in mind at all times whilst cleaning your electric mower with a hose is to keep the water away from the motor, battery and electrical cables and connections. If you’re able to use the hose to clean the outermost shell of the mower in order to keep the cosmetic parts clean, that’s all you really need to aim for.

A bit of water can be just the thing needed to get rid of grass clippings and clumps of mud that have stuck to your mower after your mowing session, and a hose can also help to get rid of chlorophyll residue before it turns into grass stains.

Additional Points to Remember When Using a Hose

In order to minimise any chance of accidents happening or damage occurring, make sure you cross these items off your checklist as you bring out your hose:

  • Make sure your electric mower is switched off and unplugged to reduce the risk of electric shocks or shorts if water does come into contact with electrical components of the mower.
  • If your electric mower is battery powered as opposed to cabled, then removing the batteries completely can be a good way to keep them safe from water exposure.
  • Make sure your hose is not on full-blast as water pressure that’s too high is more likely to spray in an unruly fashion as well as damage the protective coating on your mower.
  • Keep all water contact to the outer shell of the mower, making sure the internal mechanisms and underside of your mower stay as dry as possible.

Other Water Pressure Cons

  • Pressure washers and hoses with high water pressure can cause paint to chip and wear away, leaving your lawn mower looking old and tired.
  • High water pressure can wear down protective oils that have previously been applied to your electric mower, making the mower more susceptible to water damage.
  • If your mower has a lot of additional features and attachments, pressure washers can dislodge, bend, or otherwise damage these extra components.

When it comes to the more sensitive parts of the mower, you’ll most likely want to give the hose a miss and turn to other cleaning methods such as a mildly damp (or even dry!) cloth, or soft bristle brush.

How to Clean the Other Parts of Your Electric Mower

When getting into the nitty gritty of cleaning the underside of your electric mower and any other places that might be negatively affected by water, it’s vital to take an alternative approach. Spraying water all over these places will create several kinds of problems so turn the hose off before going any deeper.

Many parts of your lawn mower will be able to handle a damp cloth being wiped over them, as long as the dampness isn’t enough to settle and cause rust or run and drip into places where it shouldn’t. If you follow up the damp cloth with a soft, dry one then all the better!

When attacking grass clippings and other debris caught in and amongst the blades and other components underneath your mower, the best approach to take is to gently tip your lawn mower onto its side for better access before using a soft bristled brush or cloth to brush off any unwanted mess.

Bits of grass and leaves should easily be swept off with a brush, but you can use a cloth for any finer, stickier mess. Once you’ve completely removed all debris, it’s a good idea to swipe a lightly oiled cloth or rag over the parts you’ve cleaned (blades included) to ensure they are made water-tight again and are well lubricated for the next mowing session.

If you find there are still bits of grass caught in small nooks and crannies, an air compressor blowing in the right direction can be a big help in dislodging stubborn remnants.

When in Doubt

All lawn mowers, regardless of make, model, or type, will come with user manuals as standard. Having a flick through yours is the best way to ensure you’re looking after your lawn mower in the best way possible.

If you’ve had your lawn mower for a long time and have misplaced the manual, or if you’ve acquired it from a friend or second-hand marketplace, your best bet is to have a quick online search. If you’re after lawn mower cleaning specifics, the internet is a great resource for finding particular information.

Your own instincts can also be a good indicator of what’s correct and what’s not. If it seems like something is a bad idea, there’s a good likelihood that it is. Trust your gut if all else fails, and think logically!

If your electric mower gets wet unexpectedly or for reasons out of your control, you need to ensure you dry it out as much as you possibly can before you use it again. For some information on what to do if you accidentally leave your electric mower out and it gets rained on, check out this post.

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Written by Jess Da Costa
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