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How to Use Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner: A Complete Guide

How to Use Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner: A Complete Guide

Wondering how to use lawn mower carburetor cleaner? You’re in the right place.

Give your mower the care it needs to help extend its useful life. We’ll show you the steps to take in our complete guide below.

The Quick Answer

If you’re in a hurry, the following steps are the basics you need to know to use lawn mower carburetor cleaner:

  1. Get your lawnmower ready
  2. Remove its air filter
  3. Access the carburetor’s interior
  4. Spray the cleaner
  5. Remove extra buildup
  6. Put the mower back together

It might seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but using a carburetor cleaner on your lawnmower is a relatively simple process. Keep reading for a complete walkthrough.

Using Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner

Let’s take a deeper dive into using lawn mower carburetor cleaner. But first, a carburetor often gets clogged over time.

It’s critical that you clean it from time to time to prevent it from creating sludge, which it then puts into the engine. That said, only a few quick steps are standing between you and a cleaner machine.

1. Get Your Lawn Mower Ready

When getting ready to use a carburetor cleaner, the first thing you need to do is prepare your lawnmower. It’s easy.

All this entails is ensuring the mower’s engine is off. If you operated the mower recently, you also have to wait for it to cool down. After making sure the engine is off and cool, you can safely perform the following steps:

2. Remove the Mower’s Air Filter

Clean air filter on lawn mower

BanksPhotos/Getty Images

When the engine is cool, it’s time to remove the mower’s air filter. The air filter is usually toward the top of the engine and located within a plastic casing.

Sometimes the case lid snaps into place, while on other models, you’ll need a screwdriver to remove it.

Dust off the area around the air filter before removing it. The air filter helps keep dust and dirt from getting into the engine.

You don’t want to accidentally create more of a mess while trying to clean the carburetor.

3. Access the Carburetor’s Interior

Carburetor close up


With the air filter and its casing out of the way, you should be able to see the connections and links running from the carburetor to other parts of the engine. You need to disconnect and remove these connections to access the carburetor’s interior.

Make a careful note of where and how these connections were attached. You’ll have to reattach them when you finish cleaning the carburetor.

If you’re not confident in your ability to remember where everything went, it can help to take a picture with your cellphone.

4. Spray the Cleaner

Cleaner spray

BanksPhotos/Getty Images

Now that you have access to the carburetor, you can clean it properly. To do so, you’re going to want to start the lawnmower engine. When the mower is operating, spray the carburetor cleaner directly into the center of the carburetor.

A high-quality commercial lawn mower carburetor cleaner works best for this step. It might seem counterintuitive, but spraying the cleaner while the engine runs allows it to penetrate deeply and remove more debris.

Exercise care to avoid spraying other parts of the mower’s engine while you work.

5. Remove Extra Buildup

As you’ve been spraying the cleaner, dirt might fall and stick to the lower throttle of the carburetor. If you see debris, remove it.

Ensure the cleaner is reaching the carburetor’s throat. With that done, you can again turn the mower off.

It should still be relatively cool because it hasn’t been running for long, but exercise caution just in case. Keep spraying the carburetor to remove any extra buildup.

6. Put the Mower Back Together

Removing parts of mower


All that remains is to put the mower back together. First, reattach and replace any connections you undid to access the carburetor’s internal parts.

If you took a picture before disassembling the pieces, take a look at it now. Make sure the links are securely attached to the correct areas. 

Now, you can replace the mower’s air filter. Take a moment to knock some of the dust and debris off the filter, then put it back where it was. Reattach the air filter’s casing cover by snapping it into place or putting in the necessary screw.

Things to Consider

When you follow the above steps, the result should be a clean carburetor. Other things to consider include:

  • Has it been a few years since the last time you cleaned the carburetor? Typically, it’s best to clean it once every season. If it’s been a while, expect more dirt.
  • Do you have the proper protective gear? Gloves will help keep you safer and cleaner while you work.
  • Do you disconnect the spark plug? If you don’t, you’re at risk of an electric shock.

Keep these considerations in mind while you work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guy using a mower carb cleaner on a rough looking lawn mower


You might still have questions after reading about how to use lawn mower carburetor cleaner. Read further to discover answers to some of the more common inquiries.

Is the Cleaning Process Different for Riding and Push Lawn Mowers?

The carburetor cleaning process should be similar between riding and push mowers. The location of the carburetor itself will vary slightly but not considerably.

You might need assistance if you’re working on a riding lawn mower, as some models have a dead man’s switch built in to stop the engine if there isn’t enough weight in the seat.

How Can You Tell the Cleaning Helped?

If cleaning the carburetor helped, your lawnmower should start up much more smoothly than it did previously.

What if the Lawn Mower Still Isn’t Working Well After Cleaning?

Sometimes, cleaning a lawn mower’s carburetor won’t noticeably improve its performance. If you’re still having issues, it’s best to contact someone specializing in small engine repair. An expert can diagnose and solve more complex problems.

Should You Use Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner?

Using a lawn mower carburetor cleaner isn’t difficult. With the proper precautions, you can do it safely and efficiently.

Doing so is an important maintenance activity, and it will help keep your lawn mower functioning at its highest level.

If you found this guide useful, consider taking a moment to look at more of our how-to guides for homeowners.