Top 5 Ways to Winterize Your Lawn Mower

I’ve made the mistake of leaving our lawn mower in the garage for the winter without doing anything for it.

Then, after the winter was over, I was surprised to find that our lawn mower no longer worked.

I had never heard that you needed to do anything during the winter to prepare your lawn mower for months storage.

The steps you can take to prepare your lawnmower for the winter include: removing all the gas, changing the oil, scraping off any layered grass in the mowing deck, and cleaning and covering the lawnmower.

Read on to find out the absolute best thing to do to prepare your mower for winter.

Why you should winterize your lawn mower

As mentioned above, I did not winterize my lawnmower and when spring came, the lawnmower would not work.

No matter how much I tried to clean it or replace the gas, I just could not get it started.

At the time, our lawn was relatively small, so it was not a huge deal that I purchased a battery-powered lawnmower instead.

I took the easy way out.

Now we have a big yard and it takes me an hour or two to mow it with our battery-powered lawnmower, after changing the battery once.

If you do nothing for your lawnmower to prepare for the window, the oil, gas, and other gunk left in the lawnmower will ruin it and leave you having to run to the hardware store to buy a new one before the grass gets too tall.

So, winterize your lawnmower so you can save yourself some time and pain in the future.

You don’t want to have to replace your lawnmower each spring.

Remove all the gas

Gas by itself will not reek too much havoc on your lawnmower, but combine the gas with condensation during the winter, and this could cause big problems for you.

Leaving gas in cars for a long period of time during the winter is not too much of a problem because the tank is covered by the exterior of the car, so you do not have to worry about things like condensation getting in there.

But because the engine for the lawnmower is so small, you have to worry about what is getting inside of it.

The gas (specifically the ethanol in the gas) combined with condensation can cause clogs and corrosion within the engine system.

So, the best thing you can do to avoid this is to remove all the gas from the lawnmower.

There are plenty of suggestions on how to remove the gas, but the best suggestion I think is to let the lawnmower run until the gas is all gone.

You can also turn your lawnmower sideways with the gas cap taken off and pour it out into a container or disconnect the fuel line at the carburetor at put it into container.

But the easiest solution is to run the lawnmower until it can no longer start, then you know all the gas is out of the lawnmower.

Either way, empty out the gas, even if you are going to leave the lawnmower inside your house or in the garage.

It is just much safer to empty out the gas.

Once you have emptied out the gas, you can leave it empty or you can put some gas stabilizer in the tank and then fill it up with gas.

Find some gas stabilizer on Amazon here.

In my personal opinion, just leave the tank empty until you are ready to use it again.

Change the oil

The oil in a lawnmower contains all sort of things, including: acid, soot, and gas.

Each of the things can damage your lawnmower if left in the lawnmower.

Check the owners manual of the lawnmower to find out the best way to change the oil.

Once you have changed the oil, let the lawnmower run for a few minutes.

This will coat all the internal parts with the new oil and put it in the good spot for use in the future.

Scrape off any layered grass in the mowing deck

Grass clippings can contain moisture, and therefore can cause rust and other problems on the mowing deck of your lawnmower.

To remove the layered grass off the mowing deck, you first have to tip the lawnmower on its side.

For this part, make sure that no one is around that might accidentally turn on the lawnmower while you are working on the mowing deck.

In the mowing deck, you can either unscrew and remove the blade or leave the blade in.

If you are going to leave the blade in, then again make sure no one accidentally starts up the lawnmower while you are cleaning it.

Once you have decided to keep the blade in or not, pull out a putty knife or a butter knife and scrape off the grass clippings from the underside of the mowing deck.

A putty knife will be a gentle way to scrap the grass clippings off the mowing deck, and if you need something more abrasive, a butter knife will do the trick.

But keep in mind that a butter knife will also chip away at any paint or metal in the mowing deck. It will also chip away at any of the hard to get off grass clippings.

Throw the grass clippings away in the garbage.

Then spray the underside of the mowing deck with WD40.

WD40 is good for preventing rust, so the layer of WD40 on the underside of the mowing deck will help keep it from rusting.

Clean and lubricate the mower

Throughout the year, your lawnmower is going to go through some wear and tear and also get grease or other things on the mower.

Putting the lawnmower away for the winter would be a good time to do some cleaning and lubricating of the lawnmower.

Use a damp cloth to wipe down many of the areas of the lawnmower, including the engine, wheels, top of the mowing deck, and the handles.

Then dry the lawnmower off with a towel, preferably an old one, since you are going to get grease all over it.

After that, lubricate all the movable parts of the lawnmower with some more WD40.

Cover the lawnmower

As I have covered previously in this article, moisture is one of the worst things for a lawnmower that is sitting around for long periods of time.

Most of the steps you have taken was to avoid moisture getting around the lawnmower during the winter.

Another way to avoid moisture is by covering the lawnmower wherever it is.

So pull out a tarp and cover the lawnmower or look for some lawnmower covers at Amazon here.

With it covered, you could leave it outside if you really wanted to, but I would suggest not doing that.

Covered, keep the lawnmower in the garage, if possible.

In the garage, covered, you significantly decrease even more the possibility of getting moisture on or in your lawnmower.

You might also want to put some mouse traps underneath the lawnmower.

Since it will be in the same spot for a while, and most likely in a garage, it is possible that mice might try to hide under or around the lawnmower.

If they are sticking around the lawnmower, it is possible they are going to chew the wiring.

So put down some mouse traps around and underneath the lawnmower to keep it safe.


Lawnmower’s can be expensive, especially good ones.

The winter weather can take a toll on your lawnmower if you do not take care of it.

Make sure to clean it off, remove or run out the gas, replace the oil, use WD40 where necessary, and store it away responsibly.

If you take some time each fall to take care of your lawnmower, then you can avoid having to invest in a new lawnmower each year.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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