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How To Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor Without Removing It

When you keep your lawn mower aside for some time, the carburetor is likely to get gummed up and needs to be cleaned out before running the engine. Lawnmowers need time-to-time maintenance to run smoothly and show good performance in long run. Malfunctioning lawn mower carburetors typically involve time-consuming disassembly, soaking, brushing, or spraying solvents followed by reassembling. Cleaning the lawnmower carburetor is easier than you think and you can finish it in no time.

man checking lawn mower Carburetor

What is a carburetor?

A carburetor is a tool that injects air into the fuel for inner combustion. If the carburetor is not in good condition, the entire machine will be affected. 

Cleaning a lawn mower’s carburetor is so easy. In this article, we have covered completely how you can clean a carburetor by yourself.

But first, you should know some important things.

What causes a carburetor to stop working?

Due to the constant build-up of dirt and grass, it can cause the engine to jam. The engine may accumulate too much dirt and dust if it is left idle for a long time.

Other materials that can cause blockages in the machine include varnishes, gasoline, and oil deposits. This can directly impact the engine and make it less efficient or much more noisy during its operation.

The lawn mower is an outdoor device, so the carburetor can become clogged with the accumulation of dust or grass residues. Choking the carburetor is harmful to the mower because it can prevent air or fuel flow. Thus, a carburetor malfunction will stall the machine after starting, or the engine may not even start. The solution to the problem is to clean carburetor.

Contamination can also happen when you do not use your mower for a long time due to “gumming.” To avoid this kind of appearance, remember to empty the fuel tank of your lawn mower before storing it.

The most common carburetor problems

  • Starting Problem: When the engine has a starting problem or the engine starts but stalls while cutting. A faulty carburetor may lead to starting problems.

  • Hard Starting: Hard & rough starting is one of the major indicators of a bad carburetor.

  • Black Smoke: Having a faulty carburetor can result in black smoke coming out.

  • Overheating: A faulty carburetor can lead to overheating.

  • Increased Fuel Consumption: When there is a noticeable increase in fuel consumption compared to a normal lawnmower, a faulty carburetor can create this situation.

Tools required for cleaning carburetor

When you decide to clean your machine, you need to know what essential tools you’ll need. Following are the tools you will need to clean the lawn mower’s carburetor.

1. Air compressor gun

Before using any tool on your lawn mower make sure you first clean the machine with an air compressor gun. Some areas may have grease stuck to it, grass, or sand.

2. Screwdriver

A screwdriver is essential in any place where you have to remove screws. You can use it to open the filter snap-in parts of your machine.

3. Aerosol cleaner

An aerosol cleaner is a liquid solution used to clean electrical equipment. It can be used on any part of the fuel-powered device. This works wonders on the machines and prevents rusting or other discharge forms.

4. Rags

Cotton rags are essential when working with machinery. You will oily your hands several times and you should always have a rag to clean your hands and the carburetor.

5. Flashlights or headlamps

It is important to check the internal parts of your carburetor before repairing it. You should always have a flashlight or headlamp when you are working on such machinery. It would be difficult to see the internal parts of the lawnmower even if the room is well lit. It is better to use headlamps because they won’t distract you from your job.

Steps to clean the lawn mower carburetor

Important Note:  Before beginning this process, it is important to assess the mower’s condition.

Suppose you have not used your machine for too long, causing it to rust or to be contaminated by rainwater and a dirty air filter. A dirty air filter might be one of the reasons that led to the carburetor’s clogging in the first place. In this case, the process will not work. The mower would require professional maintenance. Taking it to the store for a thorough cleaning is a good idea.

1. Turn Off Your Lawn Mower

Make sure the device is turned off your machine to prevent injury or accidents. Once we are done cleaning the carburetor, you can turn it on.

2. Examine Each Component of your Machine

Examining component of lawnmower

The second task would be to examine each component visible to you. This is an essential step before continuing. If you find a wire that has been torn it could be something the rodents have done.

The parts may be rusted because the machine was wet and did not dry immediately and this caused rust in the device. These points are essential because they will help you decide whether you want to do a partial cleaning or a complete disassembly.

PRO TIP – Go for Push Reel lawn mowers because they are silent, eco-friendly, and cheaper and the best part is you don’t have to clean or remove the carburetor ever.

3. Check the Air Filter

Checking air filters of mower

The air filter will be our first goal to clean. An air filter can get very dirty or partially dirty depending on how you use it. It filters all the air that is sucked in, so there is a chance that it will be dirty. This can be cleaned with a cloth or a vacuum cleaner. Check if the filter can be removed. It is easier to clean both sides.

4. Use a Flashlight or Headlamp

removing Wires In The Carburetor

With a flashlight or headlamp focus on the interior parts of the cleaner. You don’t have to touch it and a slight pull can also cause a wire to tear. Exposed wires should never contact other wires or clumps of grass. The grass is flammable and can cause a fire. The carburetors are also dark in color, so it can be difficult to see discoloration, rust or grass stuck inside. These can be easily found with a light source.

5. Employ an Air Compressor Gun

The air compressor gun is useful here. Your machine will have been exposed to a lot of dirt and grass throughout its life, so you might find stains of it inside.

You cannot reach some parts, so we recommend not using your bare hands. It could prove to be dangerous. Clean the interior with a compressed air gun.

Here is a warning. This activity should not be performed at the highest setting since you risk losing wire. For best results use it in medium mode.

6. Use Carburetor Cleaner

Using only water to clean dirty carburetors could rust some parts and the machine could eventually break down. Using a spray carburetor cleaner named Aerosol contains a solution that can clean parts and is used to clean most electrical devices. It is essential to turn on the machine. You cannot spray the liquid on the carburetor when the engine is off since it cannot do the cleaning without being propelled.

Spray aerosol liquid in the middle of your carburetor for 10 to 15 sprays. Let the machine run for another minute. This will ensure that the liquid spreads evenly throughout the device and achieve full coverage.

After about a minute turn it off and spray the liquid on the machine’s throat. You have to cover the bottom plate. Before continuing, make sure it is completely clean.

7. Clean Lawn Mower with a Rag

Once the aerosol spray and the air compressor gun have done their magic it is time to clean the entire area with your rag. You will need to dampen the rag first and then wipe off any remaining dirt.

It is important that the rag stays wet and does not drip. It could cause damage. You should continue to rinse the cloth now and then to prevent the dirt from transferring from one area to another. Continue in this way until you have cleaned all areas.

8. Inspect

Once the job is done you can inspect each part of the lawnmower carburetor with a torch light. To compare, take photos of the machine before and after cleaning and to see if they are in order.

You should also inspect the lawnmower’s other maintenance issues, such as dirty engine oil, stale fuel, bad air filters, and old spark plugs.

Start the engine to verify that the machine is operating correctly. Let engine running for at least a few minutes. The engine should start smoothly and make no noise and it is done.

Some Additional Tips To Follow

Call customer service first to see if your warranty covers cleaning costs. It is best to have it professionally cleaned. You need to clean every part of the device from time to time. You can keep your device in good condition and working order by cleaning the carburetor from time to time.

Before taking your device to a store for deep cleaning, you must know exactly what the problem is. Because they don’t expect anyone to know much about the device and the stores make a lot of money out of it.

You need to use the right cleaning agent to clean a carburetor. The cleaner may fail if it is the wrong type. Moreover, disinfectant bathroom cleaners are not recommended and should not be used.


Hope you have got an idea of how to clean a lawn mower’s carburetor. However, deep cleaning cannot be replaced. To keep the mower in good condition, occasional thorough cleaning of the carburetor is required. However, depending on how often you use the mower you can do a partial cleaning at home once in a while. This will ensure that the mower runs smoothly and that the interior is rust-free.

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