How to Clean a Lawn Mower Paper Air Filter

Nora Held
Nora Held
Research Writer
Apart from being our main writer, Nora also works for a number of gardening-related sites and magazines, sharing her experience as an owner of a small farm in North Carolina read more
Reviewed By
Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of read more
Last updated: August 13, 2023 is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

The air filter is a crucial part of any machine and it deserves more protection because it prevents dirt and debris from slowing down or damaging the engine. You don’t want to invest in the best riding lawn mower then be forced to replace its engine just after a few uses. A clean and well-maintained air filter will do well to protect the carburetor from any contaminant. Most air filters constitute foam or air-pleated paper. Some have both the air filters and air-pleated paper. They are known as dual-element air filters, and they offer double layer protection.

Before you learn how to clean a lawn mower paper air filter, you need to know what kind your lawn mower has so that you can locate it. Most models have the air filter near the top of the engine, covered with either steel or plastic. After locating it, you can check it as often as possible to see if it is dirty or oily and urgently needs cleaning.

Cleaning a lawn mower paper air filter

However, most paper air filters come with a sponge element around them that acts like a re-filter. The sponge element has to be cleaned regularly.

To clean a paper air filter on a riding lawn mower, tap it gently to knock off any loose dirt. Do not use a compressor as it will create microscopic holes that will let in more dirt particles. If the paper filter is too dirty, replace it with a new one.

How to clean a foam air filter

How to Clean a Lawn Mower Paper Air FilterHere is a step by step guide on how to clean a foam air filter:

Step 1. The first obvious thing to do is turn of the lawn mower or pull the spark plug. After the lawn mower has cooled down, unscrew its housing where the air filter is located.

Step 2. Pull out the foam air filter and wash it with hot water and liquid soap to get rid of all the grease. Rinse it and wring out the excess water.

Step 3. Add some oil to the filter. Squeeze out the excess oil because too much of it is not good for the exhaust.

Step 4. Remove any dirt or debris from the rubber gasket then ensure it is in good shape to hold a tight seal when returned. If not, replace it with a new one.

Step 5. Replace the air filter, cover it, then reconnect the spark plug wire.

How to replace a lawn mower air filter

How to Clean a Lawn Mower Paper Air FilterReplacing a lawn mower air filter is very straightforward. Anyone can do it. Air filters are not expensive, if yours is completely worn out, replace it with a new one for the love of your lawn mower’s engine. The HOODELL 5 Pack 491588s Air Filter is the most acclaimed air filter out there. The 5-pack air filter offers unparalleled durability and is compatible with a couple of lawn mowers including Briggs and Stratton, Toro and Craftsman.

Step 1. Remove the protective shroud covering the air filter by undoing the clips or removing its screws.

Step 2. Remove the air filter the tap it gently to knock out any loose dirt. Hold up the filter against some source of light. If it blocks a significant amount of light then it needs replacement. For a foam filter, check for yellow or brown staining.

Step 3. Examine foam pre-filter and if it is stained, brittle or stiff, replace it.

Step 4. Use a dry cloth to clean the air filter housing.

Step 5. Place the new filter into the air cleaner assembly.

Step 6. Re-attach the protective shroud carefully.

Final thoughts

Learning how to clean a lawn mower’s paper air filter is such a breeze. Once you get the hang of it you will be doing it in less than an hour. Regular cleaning is essential because the air filter is the front line defense against dirt and debris that usually cause pre-mature wear and tear of a lawn mower’s engine. It would hurt to decimate your bank balance for the best self-propelled mower out there then get forced to replace its engine after only 2 months of use.

We have provided all the information you would need to clean your Honda lawn mower’s air filter whether it’s a paper, foam, or a dual-element air filter. If your air filter is too old or damaged, you can easily buy a new one and replace it using our clear guidelines.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *