6 essential tips for lawn mower safety and maintenance

June 19, 2015

Here are things to keep in mind to ensure you're safe when lawn mowing, and that your mower works effectively for a long time.

6 essential tips for lawn mower safety and maintenance

1. All done mowing?

  • Turn off the mower and clean the underside of the blade housing with a paint scraper or strong spray of water from the hose. Removing debris keeps the blade spinning freely and prevents rust.
  • Wipe the blade with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar to kill any insects or grubs that the mower may have picked up.

2. Put safety first

Disconnect the sparkplug before doing maintenance work, cleaning the discharge chute or turning the blades, which will cause some mowers to start.

  • If you're removing the bagger to empty it, be especially careful when the mower is on.

3. Prevent clippings from sticking

Prevent clippings from sticking to your mower.

  • The next time you give the underside of your lawnmower a thorough cleaning to remove stuck-on grass clippings, spray some nonstick cooking spray or rub some vegetable oil under the housing and on the blade.
  • You will find that it will take a lot longer for the clippings to build up next time.

4. Split ends?

Does your lawn look dull and gray after mowing? Examine the grass tips.

  • If they've been shredded instead of neatly sliced, your mower blade needs sharpening.
  • It's difficult to sharpen by hand because the blade must be perfectly balanced. Either have it done by a mower mechanic or simply buy a new blade.

5. Be safe with your cord

  • To avoid the risk of cutting the cord on your electric mower, drape it over your shoulder or coil it around your elbow.
  • Use a bright-coloured extension cord so it's visible on the lawn.

6. Clean your mowing clothes

If grass stains are ruining your clothes, hydrogen peroxide may help salvage them.

  • Mix a few drops of ammonia with five millilitres (one teaspoon) of peroxide and rub it on the stain. As soon as it disappears, rinse and launder the item.
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