How To Keep Grass From Sticking To Mower Deck

Easy Tips To Keep Grass Grass From Sticking to any Mower Deck


Today, we will answer the age-old question: How to keep grass from sticking to the mower deck? This causes a lawnmower to bog down and prevents a mower from operating efficiently.

Why does grass clipping build-up occur? When you run your lawnmower, tiny grass blades are constantly being “whipped” against the inside of the mower deck.

Over time, the blades stick to the inside of the mower deck, causing a build-up of crusty grass underneath the mower, affecting the performance of your lawnmower and forcing you to wash or scrape off the grass.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to keep your mower deck clean and in proper condition. Today, we will show you how to prevent grass clipping build-up and provide some mowing tips!

Why Is Grass Buildup on Mower Bad?

Grass build-up can cause a variety of problems once it gets thick enough. To begin with – Grass build-up will affect the efficiency of a mower.

A lawnmower’s ability to cut more grass and the overall performance of the mower inhibits airflow throughout the deck. 

Reasons Why Grass Build-Up is Bad for Your Mower.

Lawn Mowers Use “Airflow” to Operate Efficiently: By design, mowers need adequate airflow to operate correctly. The blades of grass won’t get sucked up into the mower deck efficiently, and the mower blade will not cut the grass adequately.

If grass build-up is terrible enough, it causes friction and resistance on the mower’s ability to cut grass, and it can even strain the mower’s engine and cause it to bog down.

In a worst-case scenario, grass build-up can cause a mower deck to rust out. The built-up grass traps moisture against the metal mower deck and holds it there.

Moisture Causes “Rust”

Given enough time, that moisture will cause rust on your mower deck, eventually making the mower unusable if left unchecked.  That is because rust is abrasive and traps grass clippings against the mower deck instead of letting them “slide” off.

Okay, now we know why keeping grass from building up inside your mower is important.

Now, look at some simple tips to prevent grass build-up on your mower.

How To Keep Grass From Sticking To Mower Deck:

Step 1: “Clean the Mower Deck”

Before doing anything else, you must get under your lawnmower and thoroughly clean the underside of the deck. Some mowers have a hose attachment built-in to the top of the deck.

If yours does, you can use it to clean the underside of your mower deck as you normally would.

However, If you need to clean the deck by flipping it over, here’s our recommendation.

First, disconnect the spark plug before turning it over to prevent damage and ensure safety.

Next, tip the mower over and keep the gas and oil reservoirs on the top to avoid spilling. You should also consider emptying the gas tank before cleaning the mower.

Scraping grass from mower deck | Best Home Gear
Step 1 – Scrape the Grass From Mower Deck

Household Tools to Clean Mower

To clean the deck thoroughly, spray the underside with a hose and let it soak for 5-10 minutes to soften up.

Then, Using a stiff plastic putty knife, remove the heaviest grass build-up, followed by a soft bristle brush and soapy water – to remove the remaining grass.

Note: Never use a wire brush or utility knife to clean the mower blade. A wire brush will scratch the manufacturer’s paint on the mower deck, eventually causing rust, creating the perfect “catch” surface for grass build-up.

Ensure all the old grass has been removed from the deck – then proceed to the next step.

Step 2:  Repaint the Mower Deck

Lawn Mower manufacturers apply baked-on enamel paint to the entire mower deck. This paint is essential to avoiding grass build-up.

Remember, you want the grass blades to “slide” off the mower deck. Anything that hinders that – will cause the grass to “stick.”

If the deck underside paint of your mow is in bad condition – we highly recommend re-painting it with red lawnmower paint .

Note:  The suggestions we offer below will have less value for keeping grass from sticking to the mower deck if the paint on your mower is severely scratched or rusted.

Step 3:  “Apply Non-Stick Coating” to Mower Deck

Grass builds upon the underside of a lawnmower because the painted metal surface allows it to stick. Once one layer of grass has built up, more grass will accumulate on top of it – until you have multiple layers of grass caked to your mower deck.

spray lubricant for lawn mower deck | Best Home Gear
Spray an Even Coat of Lubricant on the Mower Deck – BestHomeGear

Lawn Mower Deck Spray:  “To the Rescue”

The best and easiest way to prevent grass buildup on your mower is to apply a spray lubricant that will keep the grass from sticking in the first place.

Dupont’s Teflon non-stick, dry-film lubricant is one of the most popular options for lubricating the underside of your mower deck.

While not explicitly designed for lawn mower decks and blades, this spray lubricant is one of the most economical and highest-rated sprays to avoid grease, grime, and dirt build-up and works amazingly on mower decks.

Other top-rated products – branded as a spray-on lubricant for mower decks include Tite-Seal for mower decks sold at Amazon.

By evenly coating the mower deck in a layer of this lubricant after it has been cleaned and allowed to dry – you can dramatically help repel grass build-up.

Home Remedies To Prevent Grass Build up on Mower Deck

If you don’t have a specialized spray, there are any number of other “home” lubricants that will work well enough to get the job done. Some available options include WD-40, vegetable oil, and non-stick kitchen spray.

Motor oil can also work, but it has a habit of dripping off after a while – and wouldn’t be our first choice.

If you choose to use non-spray oil, rub it into the surface of the mower deck with a rag to ensure complete coverage and maximum adhesion. Clean off any excess non-spray oil before using the mower.

Graphite Coating for Lawn Mower Deck

A final option for preventing grass build-up is to use graphite spray coating. Graphite is a commonly used industrial lubricant and does a great job of preventing grass from sticking to your mower deck.

After you have cleaned your mowing deck, wait about 30 minutes. As with any other spray or lubricant, graphite sprays dry quickly, but graphite needs a clean, dry surface for maximum adhesion. They are required for drying when using graphite.

To be sure you’re applying the spray correctly, read and follow all directions on the bottle.

Step 4:  Change Your “Mowing Habits”

Even with a lubricant on the mower deck, grass will eventually build up – given enough time and the right conditions.

To maximize the amount of time between mower deck cleanings, here are a few simple new suggestions to improve your Lawn Mowing Habits:

Wait For the Grass To Dry

First and foremost, you should always wait until your grass is burnt to mow it. Mowing after a rainstorm or in the morning after a heavy dew will introduce more moisture into the clippings and make them more likely to stick together.

Set Your Mower Height On a Higher Setting

Setting Mower Height | Best Home Gear
Set Mower Height to High Setting – BestHomeGear.Com

Setting the height adjustment on your lawnmower is also a good idea. We recommend using a 3″ height if your mower can go that high.

Also, If you use your lawnmower on a short-setting height to “scalp” your lawn, you create much longer grass blades and, of course, more chance for build-up under the deck.

Mow Grass More Frequently

If you raise your mower deck and opt for slightly longer grass, you’ll find that you may have to mow more often – 5 days vs. a 7-day interval, for instance.

Incidentally, keeping your grass longer keeps shade at the roots, creates a much healthier, thicker, greener lawn, and keeps the weeds from getting a foothold.

Step 5:  Maintain Lawn Mower “Deck Coating”

Once you’ve coated your mower deck with a lubricant, it’s essential to maintain that coating over time.

Routinely, attempt to keep the mower deck dry and avoid running over sticks and twigs as much as possible, as water or impacts from solid objects will wear down the coating quicker.

Occasionally, re-apply deck coating to keep the mower deck in optimal condition. We recommend re-applying coating at least every 5-6 mowings. This should keep your deck underside free from grass build-up.

How To Clean “Riding Mower” Deck – With “Wash Port”

Because it’s difficult to access the bottom of a Riding Lawn Mower deck – most newer riding lawn mower brands feature one or more “wash port” locations for cleanout.  To use the wash port feature to clean the riding mower deck, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Start the Riding Mower

Start your Riding mower and move it to a flat, open lawn area away from buildings.  Then, turn the mower off.

Step 1: Attach the Wash Port Adapter

Attach the wash port adapter that came with your riding mower to your garden hose (if you don’t already have your local dealer should)

Step 3:  Attach a Garden Hose

Attach a garden hose to the port adapter on the riding mower’s wash port located on the mower deck. Do not turn the water on yet.

Step 4:  Start the Mower

Turn on the riding mower and disengage the blade(s), leaving the mower running.

Step 5:  Turn On The Water

Turn the water on, connect it to the garden hose, and allow the “washport” to clean the underside of the mowing deck.

Step 6:  Engage the Mower Blades

Sitting on the riding mower with the water running, engage the mower blade(s) and let it run for 4-5 minutes to remove built-up grass clippings and debris from the underside of the mower deck.

Step 7:  For Riding Mower With Multiple Wash Ports

If you have more than one Wash Port on your riding mower – remove the garden hose and Repeat Steps 3 – 6 with the additional wash port.

However, you’re done if your mower only has one wash port!

Tips For Cleaning Mowers That Have Wash Port:

TIP #1:  While some riding mower owners use the wash port “every time” they mow, we recommend doing this routine maintenance at least 2-3 times per season.

TIP #2:  Visually check the underside of the riding mower deck occasionally by carefully raising the front wheels. Some folks use a nearby curb or choose another safe method

Using a flashlight, inspect the underside of the mower deck and scrape any grass build-up not been removed using the wash port cleaning method.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does a Sharp Mower Blade Reduce Grass Build-Up?

Many manufacturers include a standard mower blade with the sale of their equipment, especially for budget models, which often aren’t sharp enough to mulch grass blades properly. 

Mulching mower blades are designed to cut grass blades “multiple times” before they hit the lawn. Dull mower blades will not cut grass blades cleanly or multiple times, increasing the likelihood that the larger grass blades will stick to a mower deck surface.

If you typically use a grass collection bag and find your mower is still not cutting correctly after cleaning, go online or to your local hardware store and buy a “High-Lift” mowing blade.

High-lift mower blades create more airflow and lift, allowing more time for the blades to cut the grass adequately.

What is the Best Way to Avoid Grass Sticking to Mower?

Not to Mow Wet Grass is the best way to avoid grass sticking to a Mower deck.  Wet grass blades stick to each other and the mower deck. Dry grass blades fall to the ground or are collected into a grass collection bag.

The second best way is to spray a Teflon coating on the underside of a “Clean” mower deck.

Should I run a mower at full throttle or at a slower speed?

Most modern-day mowers are designed to run at full throttle. For this article, it is inherently essential to do so.

Full-throttle motor speed creates the maximum lift and cutting ability for your mower. These factors both contribute to less build-up as grass clippings get ejected quicker.


As a result of these tips – your lawn mower will run much more efficiently, and your maintenance time will be cut down dramatically. You should also be able to increase your walking speed – that is, without bogging down your mower and leaving those tell-tale “trails” behind.

Now that you know how to keep grass from sticking to the mower deck undersides, you might actually “like” mowing again. After all, It’s a win-win-win – when you spend less time mowing and cleaning and get a healthier lawn along the way!

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References & Additional Reading:

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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