How To Clean Lawn Mower Air Filter

How To Clean Lawn Mower Air Filter
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: October 11, 2021
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

The first line of defense against the dirt and debris churned up during mowing is a properly operating air filter on a gas-powered lawnmower. Dirt is prevented from entering the engine through the carburetor when the air filter is functioning well.

However, if the air filter becomes clogged, dirt and other debris can enter the engine, potentially causing start-up issues and shortening the engine’s life.

The foam air filter system uses only a foam filter, whereas the dual-element system uses a paper and a foam filter. Both air filter systems should be maintained repeatedly and more frequently if you work in dusty environments.

You’ll need to locate the air filter in your mower and remove the cover to inspect it. Check to see if the filter is too dusty or oily; it must be cleaned.

How To Clean Foam Air Filter?

How To Clean Foam Air Filter.

Engage the parking brake after turning off the riding lawnmower’s engine. Pull the spark plug wire from the spark plug if you use a push mower. Remove the air filter housing’s wing nut.

The housing should be removed. Remove the foam filter by lifting it out with your hands. Hot water and a grease-cutting liquid soap are used to clean the filter. With a paper towel, squeegee any remaining water from the filter—as much water as you can get out of the way.

After the riding lawnmower’s engine is turned off, apply the parking brake. If you’re using a push mower, unplug the spark plug wire. Take off the wing nut on the air filter housing. It’s time to get rid of that housing. Using your hands, lift the foam filter out.

Cleaning the filter is done with hot water and grease-cutting liquid soap. Remove residual water from the filter by squeezing it with a paper towel. Get out of the way as much water as you can.

Cleaning Process Of A Dual Filter

1) Focus On The Filter’s Specifications

Focus On The Filter’s Specifications

When cleaning an air filter, the first step is to do your homework. For more information on the various sections, consult internet resources or your user manuals.

This will assist you in understanding the model and obtaining various parts for your lawnmower. The air filters on some lawnmower types are pretty straightforwardly cleaned.

2) Plug Off The Lawnmower

After you’ve done your homework and are familiar with the brand and manufacture of your mower’s engine, as well as the parts that go into them, the next obvious step, which many people overlook, is to ensure sure the lawnmower is turned off and unplugged from the power source.

 Plug Off The Lawnmower.

A lawnmower has various moving elements that work even when the engine is turned off, in addition to the engine. As a result, as a safety precaution, make sure the lawnmower is completely switched off and disconnected. Spark plugs are an essential component of an engine that allows it to start.

They’re usually seen near the machine’s front. Once you’ve located them, remove the wires connected to the spark plugs and disconnect them.

3) Target The Location Of Air Filters

 Target The Location Of Air Filters.

Now, you have to locate the air filters. The air filter on a lawnmower is usually found towards the top of the engine, encased in a metal or plastic housing held with screws. The air filters can be removed by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the air filter housing. After that, remove the filter by lifting it out of the housing.

Remove the filter and wash it thoroughly with hot water and liquid soap until all greases are gone. Moreover, use a rinse-off technique to remove as much water as possible.

After you’ve finished rinsing, apply just the correct amount of engine oil to the air filter, as too much could cause difficulties with the exhaust system. As a result, the air filter is recommended to be squeezed to remove the excessive oil content.

4) Clean The Dual Air Filter

 Clean The Dual Air Filter.

Clean the dual-element air filter, a cartridge with soap water and a brush after cleaning the pre-cleaner. Remove any material from the rubber gasket encapsulation that seals the air filter on the carburetor unit after the filter has been cleaned. Moreover, inspect the gasket for any tears or leaks; if any exist, seal it off properly.

5) Unscrew The Casing Carefully

Unscrew The Casing Carefully

Remove the air filter by unscrewing the casing and cleaning the rubber gasket on the inside. If your screws are corroded or broken, ensure you have a sufficient supply of the correct size. As a result, you must have the appropriate tools and resources before beginning the cleaning process.

Keeping track of all the parts and components, you take out is critical. So, the screws don’t go misplaced; keep them in a bowl. On the other hand, if necessary, use your phone to capture images or videos of each screw and how the parts fit together.

This step will assist you in reassembling the machine neat and orderly, preventing you from becoming frustrated due to misplaced tiny screws and components.

When Do You Need To Clean Lawnmower Air Filters?

Need To Clean Lawnmower Air Filters

To determine whether your air filter needs cleaning or replacement before you start, you must know how to do it. When it comes to paper filters, the simplest approach to determine whether it needs cleaning is to take it from the lawnmower, tap it lightly against a wall or floor to dislodge the dirt, and then carefully examine it in excellent lighting.

It’s time to change your filter if the majority of light is still obstructed even after you’ve tapped the dirt off it. Ensure the filter you buy and install is the right one by consulting your user handbook. Look for yellow spots and foam that have begun to crumble on the foam filter. Install a new filter if one of these can be found.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need professional skills to clean lawnmower air filters?

If you have the correct information, you can clean the air filter of a lawnmower resting for a while at home in a matter of hours. If necessary, you’ll need a paper towel, engine oil, a liquid soap that cuts through grease, and a replacement gasket. It is always advised to consult the owner’s handbook for particular instructions and specifications.

What are the types of lawnmower air filters?

Foam and dual-element air filters are the two types of basic air filters. Due to the two layers of defense provided by the air-pleated and foam elements, the dual-element air filter is the finest option. Foam air filters, another type that has two subtypes, are the other.

There are two types of air filters: one is disposable and needs to be changed periodically, and the other is made of foam and is washable by doing as stated above.

Why Do You Need To Clean Lawnmower Air Filters?

An engine needs an air-to-fuel ratio of roughly 14.7:1 to operate effectively. An air filter with specified filtration parameters might assist in maintaining this extremely exact ratio. It all comes down to the fact that a filter that is even slightly unclean will significantly screw up the air-fuel ratio and cause several issues.


If you have the correct instructions and tools, cleaning the air filter on a lawnmower is a lot easier. Cleaning and replacing the air filter is required for the machine’s health and efficiency from time to time. A blocked air filter can obstruct the natural combustion process in the engine, causing it to fail and eventually seize.

It’s critical to understand the type of air filter you must maintain properly. This is because different types of air filters necessitate different procedures. The instructions in this article are enough to maintain and keep the lawnmower’s air filter clean for a long time.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.