dreamstime_xxl_9226881With winter fast approaching, it is time to put your summer supplies away, clean and cover the power tools, and sweep up your workspace and garage in preparation for the upcoming cold months.

However, one of the tools in your yard upkeep arsenal is going to need a little more work to be ready for winter and that tool is your lawn mower.

Here are 5 tips on how to keep your lawn mower safe, clean, and functional during the cold winter months:

1.     Drain

When prepping your lawn mower for the long, cold winter months you must first drain the fuel. The tank needs to be completely dry. Drain or siphon the gas from the tank then start the mower to empty it of any of the remaining gas. You should also disconnect and drain the fuel lines.

2.     Fuel

If you have a nearly full tank of gas in your lawn mower and you don’t want to drain it there is another way to go. The main “don’t” is never to store your lawn mower with a partially full fuel tank, either run it out of fuel or add a stabilizer to a full tank. Add stabilizer (fuel preserver) to your full tank then run the mower for a few minutes so that the stabilizer circulates throughout the entire tank.

3.     Clean

Make sure you give your lawn mower a good cleaning before winter strikes. You can do this by removing and sharpening the blade. You can also oil the blade before reinstalling it. Using a wire brush you can turn your lawn mower over to clean the underside of the deck. Always remember to remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before you go about doing any maintenance like hosing off leaves, grass, mud, and other debris.

4.     Inspect and Change

As you are cleaning your lawn mower you should be inspecting all the pieces and making note of the things you need to change out or replace. Clean or replace the air filter and change the mower’s oil.

5.     Store

Store your mower as far away from other chemicals, fertilizers, and cleaners as possible. Make sure your mower is stored in a dry place away from water heaters, furnaces, and pilot lights.