How To Clean Lawn Mower Paper Air Filter (No Replacement Needed)

The air filter plays a crucial role in preventing dirt elements from making their way into the engine. That’s the reason cleaning a dirty lawn mower air filter is highly important. For regular cleaning, dusting it off usually does the trick.

Clean Lawn Mower Paper Air Filter Without Damage

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Having a perfectly running air filter is an important element of a lawn mower. It blocks dirt from getting collected into the engine from the carburetor. When you use the lawn mower, the air filter creates a line of defense against debris and dust particles.


Keep cleaning your paper air filter regularly by using an air gun on a light setting or manually tap it to get rid of the dust particles.


If you have a worn-out air filter it will cause trouble in starting the engine as well as decrease its lifespan. So, you should develop a habit of cleaning the paper air filter from time to time after each use. If you do not know how to clean a lawn mower paper air filter, here’s all you need to know!


Can Lawn Mower Paper Air Filters Be Cleaned and Reused?

Yes, you can clean and reuse your lawn mower paper air filter. Paper air filters have a web-like structural part that is made of compressed strands. It is useful in collecting dust particles from the air.


At the same time, compressed fibers create divergent pressure in the air filter. This can cause your paper filter to rip apart.


Additionally, if you fail to clean your paper air filter, it’s more likely to accumulate dirt or get damaged. By deep cleaning the paper air filter the web will get over-compressed and less likely to collect grime.


Just be very careful while cleaning your paper filter otherwise you can end up tearing it apart. In most cases, the damaged paper air filter should be changed with a new one.


However, you can improve the life of lawn mower paper air filters with the right care and maintenance.


What Is The Best Way To Clean A Lawn Mower’s Paper Air Filter?

Best Way To Clean A Lawn Mower’s Paper Air Filter

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The best way to clean a lawn mower’s paper air filter is by removing the dust and grime accumulated on it without using water. Here are the steps you need to follow:


Step 1: Gently hit it against the ground in a tapping motion

Take your dusty paper air filter and gently tap it several times. It will help you to take out the dirt from the inside. Just be careful not to damage your filter during this process.


Step 2: Blow it from the reverse side

Now gently blow out your paper filter from the back side with the help of your air gun. After this, you should blow out the front side of the air filter to get rid of any remaining dust particles.


Don’t directly blow right into the air filter because it will make dirt settle more deeply into the filter.


Step 3: Check the air filter

After you have thoroughly cleaned the paper air filter, examine it. Look out for any signs of damage like holes or splits. If you don’t notice any tears or damages, it’s time to reinstall the clean paper air filter.
Related: Best Lawn Mowers To Buy


How To Clean Lawn Mower Air Filter Soaked In Oil?

Clean Lawn Mower Air Filter Soaked In Oil



If you have a foam air filter soaked in oil, you might be able to clean it. On the other hand, if you have a paper air filter soaked in oil, then cleaning it can be a real hassle. Instead, you should replace it will be best to replace it with a new one.


When you have an air filter soaked in oil, it’s not going to keep away the dirt from getting into the lawn mower engine and impairing its performance. It can completely stop your lawn mower from doing its job. In such situations, the best thing that you can do is replace it with a new, high-performance air filter as stated above.


You will simply need to install it. However, make sure to remove any oil from the covering protecting the air filter. Most often there can be some oil, which might be blocking the carburetor throat. Ensure to remove it as well.


You can also use carburetor cleaning spray to thoroughly scrub any oil from its opening. This will help you in operating your lawn mower without any trouble.


Can You Clean A Paper Air Filter With Soap And Water?

Clean A Paper Air Filter With Soap And Water



Generally, soapy water is recommended to clean the foam air filter. If you are using it to clean a paper air filter, just be very careful as it can cause damage.


If you absolutely have to clean it with soap, here’s how to clean lawn mower paper air filter.


Firstly, make sure to thoroughly remove dirt, debris, or dust on the filter with the help of a vacuum cleaner. After this, you can use hot water and soap to create a diluted solution.


Now carefully using a soft cloth dipped in a soapy solution dab the air filter to catch the remaining dirt. Do not rub the filter, rather gently press the cloth against the filter to pick the dirt .


Don’t dry it off using a towel. Instead, leave it in full sunlight to properly air dry.


Tips For Cleaning Lawn Mower Air Filter

When you mow your lawn, certain debris and dirt particles get accumulated in the mower. This is where a quality air filter helps in keeping dirt from entering the engine through the carburetor. So, it’s wise to know some effective tips to easily clean lawn mower air filters and help them run smoothly. Here, take a look.


  • Before you start with the cleaning process make sure to stop the lawn mower’s engine and its working components. Also, wait for the engine to completely cool down.
  • Remove the spark plug wire before you pull off the shroud to clean the air filter.
  • Now, pull off the screws holding the cover over the lawn mower air filter. Remove it and carefully clean the paper air filter using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Leave the paper air filter in the solution for about 15 minutes. After this, rinse the (foam) air filter directly below the low-pressure water to make sure no dirt particles remain on the air filter.
  • Leave the rinsed air filter in the sunlight to completely dry out. After this, you can reinstall the clean filter and carefully cover it.


How Often Should You Clean The Lawn Mower’s Air Filter?

A smooth-working air filter is an important component of a lawn mower. So, when it comes to maintaining the performance of your lawn mower, the best way is to change it or clean it regularly.


It will also help you to extend the life your lawn mower. If you have a foam pre-cleaner air filter lawn mower, it is recommended to clean it thoroughly after every 25 hours of use.


On the other hand, if you are using a paper air filter, make sure to change it at least once in every season. Likewise, you should replace it after every 300 working hours. If your lawn mower air filter has accumulated lots of dust and grit, it is necessary to clean or replace it more frequently.


When Should You Consider Lawn Mower Air Filter Replacement?



If you are regularly using a lawn mower, change its filter every 3 months, so its components keep running without trouble.


First of all, make sure to closely check the air filter by noticing the paper pleats. If it’s soiled because of excessive use, it can be cleaned. Whereas, if the air filter is dirty, discolored, or filled with debris, it’s time to change it.


If you have been using your lawn mower air filter for a long time, you might notice a decline in its performance and power. This is common because of its consistent use some dirt particles end up getting into the engine through the carburetor.


Therefore, it is recommended to replace your lawn mower air filter at least once before the commencement of cutting season. While you should clean the air filter every time you mow the lawn.


What Are The Signs Of A Dirty Lawn Mower Air Filter?

The Signs Of A Dirty Lawn Mower Air Filter

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To figure out a dirty lawn mower, you should take a look at some common signs of having a grimy lawn mower air filter.


A. Look for any oil dripping

Sometimes you might end up turning over your lawn mower incorrectly after repairing it. In this case, your lawn mower air filter gets soaked in oil and won’t start anymore. You should look out for dripping oil from the air filter shroud. Next time when you clean your lawn mower, make sure its air filter is facing upward after assembly.


B. Engine noise

If you start to notice that the engine is producing strange noises, then it can be a symptom of the grimy air filter. This happens due to a damaged spark plug caused by a clogged air filter. It often cuts off the air supply to the engine and it starts to sputter. In this case, the best thing you can do is change the air filter.


C. Mower stopped working

When a lawn mower’s air filter gets covered in layers of dust, it won’t start working at all. This is because of lack of air passing through the air filter will stop the engine’s combustion process.


So, when you have a non-working lawn mower, you should figure out the last time you cleaned your air filter. It would be wise to check it thoroughly and replace it if the damage is irreparable.


Additionally, you should watch out for many other symptoms of having a grimy air filter. This includes exhaust producing black smoke, increased consumption of fuel, the poor performance of the engine, and more.