How to Clean Lawn Mower Air Filter?

A clean and well-functioning air filter is what keeps your lawn mower active and running and your lawn always low and safe to walk on. It is one of the most important parts of a lawnmower. The air filter is responsible for the effectiveness of the carburetor and engine.

If it is malfunctioning or clogged, specks of dirt and dust gets into the carburetor and further to the engine, spoiling it. But if it is functioning well and free of debris of any kind, the carburetor is safe and the engine even safer.

How to clean lawn mower air filter, step by step:

  • Locate the air filter on your lawn mower and remove it
  • Wash the air filter with warm, soapy water and a brush
  • Rinse the air filter and let it dry completely
  • Replace the air filter on your lawn mower and start it up to check for proper performance

Can Lawn Mower Air Filters be Washed?

The simple answer to this is Yes. A lawnmower can be washed. It can be washed in warm water. It can also be washed in a sink, bin, or even with a hose running down from the tap to wherever you choose to wash the filter.

Although you can choose to replace your air filter, that is if it is the disposable type washing is still an option especially if it is the reusable type. Washing your air filter is a more effective way of keeping it from getting clogged than just cleaning it.

When using water running through a hose or sink, the force of the water removes every debris of dirt or dust keeping the filter free and clean.

Also Read: Why are Lawn Mowers Age Restricted?

How to Clean Lawn Mower Air Filter?

Air filters can be replaced or reused but it depends on the type you use. For people using the reusable air filter, these are some ways you can clean it.

Step 1:

  • Cleaning your air filter can be done in a sink, with a hose, or even a bin but whatever you do, make sure to first of all turn off the lawnmower engine.
  • The next thing is to unplug and pack the spark plug cable from the machine. This is to prevent trip hazards or wetting the cord. It should be kept in a safe place. Then, remove the air filter cover.

Step 2:

  • After removing the cover, examine the air filter. This is to check if it is a paper air filter, foam air filter, or double-element filter.
  • A paper air filter does not need water to be clean or else, it will get soaked and weak. All you have to do is tap the top of the filter to remove dirt or dust. To make sure that the filter is clean, hold it up to a bright source and check if you can see enough light pass through it. If not, just replace it.
  • For a foam air filter, check for yellow stains or crumbling. Signs like that show that the air filter needs to be changed.

But if not, you can just go ahead to clean it. Wash it under warm water with a mild liquid detergent. Rinse the air filter and dry properly using a dry towel or cloth. But if it is a dual-element air filter, follow the instructions given in the manual.

Step 3:

  • After the foam is dried, oil it enough to keep it moving smoothly but not too much to keep it from dripping on the mower.

Step 4:

  • Return the air filter to its position and cover it back. But before covering it, clean the cover with a dry cloth to remove the particles of dust that might have fallen on it.

Are you All done? Now you can plug your machine back.

Video Guide:

Related Guide: Can Dead Lawn Mower Battery Be Racharged?

What Happens If Lawn Mower Air Filter is Dirty?

The importance of a lawn mower air filter cannot be over-emphasized. If the air filter of a lawnmower is bad, there is a very high possibility that the engine will be bad too. Problems with the air filter start once the lawnmower is dirty.

When an air filter is dirty, these specks of dirt or debris or dust are most likely to make their way into the engine through the carburettor thereby causing the engine to get clogged and thereafter faulty.

Can You Clean and Reuse An Air Filter?

Yes, you can. Remember, I mentioned earlier that air filters come in different forms, the reusable and disposable types. While the disposable types are not to be used for long, the reusable ones are made with features to ensure longevity and long-term use.

The reusable air filter requires that you wash it to maintain it. A disposable air filter can be cleaned to be used again but the best thing is to replace it.

How Often Should You Change The Air Filter in a Lawn Mower?

Maintenance is the key to machine longevity. And cleaning or replacing your lawn mower air filter as the case may be is a maintenance routine that ensures that you enjoy the service of your lawnmower. It keeps the machine effective and extends its lifespan.

The paper air filter should be changed once every season or after 300 hours of use.

The foam air filter should be cleaned after 25 hours of use. But during dusty conditions, the change and cleaning should be done more frequently.

Can Lawn Mower Air Filters be Washed?

The air filter is one of the fundamental engine parts of any machine, including a lawnmower. One of the fundamental maintenance tasks of many engines is the replacement or cleaning of the air filter. So not only is it possible to clean the air filter, but it is also a necessary task to take care of the engine’s service life.

Under normal conditions, it is advisable to clean the air filter every 25 hours of operation. This means cleaning the air filter every 1, 2, or 3 months depending on the frequency of use. The conditions under which each mower is used should also be taken into account.

So dust and other similar types of dirt can increase the dirt accumulated in the air filter. A new paper air filter should also be added after 300 hours of operation or once per season.

Can I clean my air filter myself?

You can clean the air filter yourself and you need a few tools to do so.

  • Clean and dry cloths or rags
  • Garden hose or wash container
  • Safety gloves
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • 2 tablespoons of motor oil
  • Spare filter, if necessary

You should start by turning off and unplugging the lawnmower. Once this tool cools you should disconnect the spark plug wire to remove the air filter cover. Many manufacturers incorporate the air filter in a plastic or metal cover near the top of the engine.

After removing the air filter you should use liquid dishwashing detergent to perform a cleaning. Here you should also use the garden hose along with safety gloves.

Once the cleaning is complete you can use the cloths for drying. The filter oil will allow the air filter to work more efficiently. Here it only remains to reinstall the air filter.

Which is Better Dry or oiled Air Filter?

Among all the available options, dry air filters usually provide an efficiency rate of 99%. This means that these filters manage to trap the most incoming contaminants. Much of this is because the air filter is the right size to trap the most dirt.

On the other hand, most oiled air filters provide an efficiency rate of 98%. While this is a minimal difference in the actual results, the dry air filter provides high performance and better results.

How Do You Dry Filter?

To dry the air filter, 2 main steps must be performed. It is simply to wring out as much water from the air filter with your hands. After that simply use the cloths or paper towels to remove as much of the excess water as possible.

However, it is also important to wait until all the moisture in the air filter has been completely removed. To do this simply leave the air filter in a cool, dry place away from moisture or direct sunlight.

The application of any oil should also be avoided until the air filter is completely dry. If the oil is applied with a wet air filter, this only decreases the efficiency of the oil.


Using a lawnmower requires the use of an air filter. It is important, if not the user could encounter some serious engine problems. And having engine problems most times require that you repair or in some cases get a new lawnmower.

Now whether you are getting a new lawnmower or you have been using one already, It is advisable to check the air filter to see if there is the debris of dust or dirt. If there is, you might want to change or clean it to prevent further problems it could cause. In case you are wondering where the air filter of your lawnmower is, check the machine’s manual.

So if you want the lawn to remain as beautiful as it is and you do not want to keep spending on a new lawnmower, clean that air filter. You should visit yardadvices for more guides.

Victoria Peterson

I am a passionate gardener who wants to help you create and maintain your dream yard. I know that it can be daunting to take on a project like this, but I am here to help. I have been gardening for years and have learned a lot along the way. I want to share my knowledge with you and help you create the perfect yard for your home.

Write A Comment