Knowing how to clean lawn mower air filter is a skill that will prove to be valuable for many home owners.

Methods for Cleaning Your Lawn Mower Air Filter

Keeping the air filter clean is integral to making sure that your lawn mower performs at its peak.

Now, let’s proceed to discuss how to keep your lawn mower air filter clean in this complete guide.

Steps in Cleaning the Air Filter In Your Lawn Mower

The steps in cleaning the air filter in your lawn mower include locating the air filter, identifying the type of filter you have, and cleaning it accordingly. Air filters can come in varying sizes and shapes. They play vital roles in ensuring that the combustion process is carried out efficiently.

However, dirty ones will make the engine of your mower perform badly. To ensure your mower’s air filter is in tip-top shape, follow the steps below.

– Locate the Air Filter

The air filter is usually a small, cylindrical, or rectangular filter that is located near the fuel tank or the carburetor of the lawn mower.

Reinstalling Your Lawn Mower Filter

Make sure you are familiar with the parts of your lawn mower before attempting this project.

– Identify the Type of Filter

You will find that the filter of your lawn mower can be made of either paper or foam. Cleaning each type requires different methods, so we will explore each method individually. If you have a paper filter, proceed to the next step. If you have a foam filter, you may skip ahead and look for the instructions for foam filters.

– Clean Paper Filters

Paper filters are more delicate and can damage easily if not handled with care. Most of the time, paper filters need to be replaced, although sometimes, their lifespan can still be extended, especially if they’re still in good condition.

If you determined that your filter is made from paper, then proceed with the next steps. Otherwise, proceed to the next section if your filter is made from foam.

  1. First, you need to prepare the tools you need. Now, these are not always necessary, but if you have these tools, then your work will be easier. The tool that will help you out a lot is a compressor air gun. Depending on the model, another tool you may need is a screwdriver or other tools that may be needed to loosen bolts, screws, or clips.
  2. Next, remove the air filter. Use the tools at hand to remove the paper filter from the lawn mower engine. As much as possible, avoid damaging the parts of your mower’s engine, such as the spark plug, while removing the filter.
  3. Then gently tap the filter. Gently tap the dirty filter on a hard surface to remove loose dirt. Ensure that your taps are enough to loosen dirt without causing damage to the filter.
  4. Blow on the paper filter. Use your compressor air gun to blow some air gently. Start from the reverse side. Once finished, work on the front side of the filter to remove the remaining loose dirt. Avoid blowing directly into the filter’s face as this could cause dirt to go deeper into the paper filter.
  5. Check the filter. Inspect the paper filter for any signs of damage, which can be in the form of holes or tears. If there are signs of damage, throw out the filter and use a new one. If your cleaned filter does not have signs of damage, then your air filter can be reinstalled in your mower.
  6. Finally, replace or reinstall the paper filter. Place the clean filter into its place, and secure it with the tools you used previously. Make sure that any bolt, screw, or clip is firmly in place and secure.

How To Clean Lawn Mower Foam Air Filter?

To clean a lawn mower foam air filter, you will need to prepare the tools you need, remove the air filter, blow off the dirt and spray a cleaning solution, rinse off the solution, dry off the filter, and apply oil.

A foam filter is stronger than a paper filter and can withstand a good round of thorough cleaning. This type of filter is typically used as a precursor to the main filter by catching the bulk of the dirt. If you own a foam air filter, then follow the steps below.

– Prepare the Tools You Need for Foam Filters

Unlike paper ones, foam filters need more tools to clean.

Essential Tools for Cleaning Foam Air Filters

The tools required can be easily found among the home tools you have lying around, such as:

  • Compressor air gun
  • Screwdriver or any other tool to remove the filter
  • Filter cleaner spray or spray degreaser
  • Clean water
  • Filter oil spray
  • Paper towel
  • Ziplock bag

– Remove the Air Filter

Use the tool or tools at hand to take the lawn mower air filter from its casing. While removing it, make sure that you do not damage the filter or any other part of your lawn mower.

– Blow Off the Dirt 

Take out your compressor air gun, and blow off the dirt to loosen any debris. As much as possible, remove the majority of the dirt stuck to the filter.

– Spray the Cleaning Solution

Using your filter cleaner spray or spray degreaser, apply the solution liberally over the filter. Allow the solution to soak in the filter for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Some people swear by gasoline as a cleaning solution. However, you need to remember that certain chemical reactions can occur when you clean lawn mower air filter with gasoline, and you may end up with a damaged filter.

– Rinse Off the Cleaning Solution

Use clean water to rinse the cleaning solution from the filter. While rinsing, make sure that all the dirt and the cleaning solution are fully removed.

Rinsing Your Cleaned Lawn Mower Filter

If you feel that your filter needs more cleaning, reapply the cleaning solution and rinse until you have determined that your filter is fully cleaned.

– Dry Off 

Squeeze out any remaining water in the filter without damaging it. Allow it to completely dry, which should take about 24 hours or more.

– Oil the Air Filter

Take out your filter oil spray and apply it on the surface of the dry foam filter. Place the oiled filter inside the Ziplock bag and spray more of the filter oil spray. Close the Ziplock bag.

It’s best to have your lawn mower air filter soaked in oil, so squeeze the oiled filter inside the Ziplock bag to encourage more of the oil to get inside the material. Allow the filter to fully soak up the oil for around 10 minutes.

– Remove Excess Oil 

Open the Ziplock bag and insert a few pieces of paper towel with the filter. Close the Ziplock bag and squeeze the filter and allow the paper towels to absorb any remaining lawn mower oil. Also, make sure that no oil comes out from the exhaust!

– Check the Air Filter

Check the cleaned and oiled filter for any damage. Look for any holes or tears, especially if this is the main filter. If there are damages, replace the filter with a new undamaged one.

– Replace or Reinstall the Filter

You can now place your filter into its casing in the mower engine. Make sure that you do not damage the filter housing, spark plug, or any parts of the lawn mower when doing so.

Finalizing the Filter Replacement

Remember that keeping everything in peak condition is one of the essential steps in lawn mower maintenance.


Lawn mower air filter replacement shouldn’t be difficult or complicated.

Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered:

  • A lawn mower can have an air filter made of paper or foam materials.
  • Cleaning both types of materials require different but very simple and easy processes.
  • It is important to have a lawn mower with clean working parts in order to function optimally.

A clean lawn mower should have all its parts well-maintained to make sure that it performs at its best. Let us know what kind of filter you have in your lawn mower!

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