How to Clean Lawn Mower Paper Air Filter

How to Clean Lawn Mower Paper Air Filter?

While a lawnmower is in operation, a great deal of debris, dirt, and grass clippings may enter the engine, causing the components to wear out or lose power. Though your paper air filter is located inside to keep junk out of the engine, some material may still find its way in.

Thus, a lawnmower must be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure optimum performance. To clean a lawnmower’s paper air filter, detach the spark plug wire, and remove the lid, clean the foam with water, and remove and discard the old paper filter, and also replace it with a new one.

How to Clean the Paper Air Filter on a Lawn Mower

We are presuming that you have verified your owner’s handbook and determined that the lawn mower model has been equipped with a great paper filter prior to attempting this process.

Additionally, before I demonstrate how to clean a lawn mower’s paper air filter, and there are some things you should be aware of.

Numerous manufacturers advise against cleaning paper air filters for the following reasons:

To begin, these kinds of filters are very delicate, and you risk damaging the cell structure, allowing dirt to enter its engine. You should know it.

Then again, there is no assurance that the filter will continue to trap dust particles and other particles after cleaning – they have a fixed service life after which it is suggested that you replace it.

In the end, paper air filters are inexpensive.

If you have to clean it – maybe because you cannot locate a suitable substitute – you should do so using dry techniques (water and other liquids will clearly damage the paper!).

This leads me to the technique that the majority of people recommend: cleaning paper air filters with compressed air.

To be honest, we highly warn you against using compressed air for this task.

Continue reading to see why…

Why you should not clean your paper air filter with compressed air

While we realize that some people depend entirely on compressed air to clean filthy filters, take it from us: pushing air through the filter ostensibly to remove dirt should be the very last thing you try.

This is why this is a bad idea:

Even though the filter is constructed of a particular paper medium, it is still paper, which means that blowing it may result in the opening of its teeny-tiny pores, allowing small dust particles to flow through.

Compressed air removes the larger pieces of dirt, but the smaller pores in between its pleats are more difficult to clean.

While others argue that if you use calibrated pressure, the process is quite messy and there is a genuine risk of ripping the filter.

So, which direction are we going now?

Not to worry: there are two excellent methods for doing this critical maintenance job.

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We will have a look at them here. And you will know.

How to Clean the Air Filter on a Lawn Mower

The air filter in the lawnmower is a crucial component that ensures the machine operates correctly. If it becomes worn down or clogged, the lawnmower may fail more rapidly.

Without a clean air filter, debris and dirt may readily enter the engine and carburetor. This may impair the machine’s functionality or, in the worst-case scenario, lead it to fail completely.

Thus, it is recommended that the air filter be cleaned at least once a season to prolong the life and functioning of a lawnmower.

How to clean the paper fair filter on a lawn mower:

The first step. Put an end to the engine.

When working with lawnmowers, safety should always come first. As a result, ensure that the engine is turned off before beginning work.

Before opening the air filter case and touching anything, ensure that all moving components have come to a full stop.


Unplug the lawnmower’s spark plug to ensure that no energy is delivered into the machine.

This reduces the likelihood of the lawnmower malfunctioning or starting up while you are cleaning the inside.

Certain lawn mower models have extra protective casings. Take caution while removing them.

Discard the case.

The paper air filter is enclosed in a plastic or metal at the top of the lawn mower’s engine. Typically, they are secured with screws, so you may need additional equipment to remove them.

Disinfect the foam.

In the majority of lawn mower types, the paper filter is encased in foam to protect it. You may clean the foam in a variety of ways:

Utilize an air blower to force any dirt and debris trapped in the filter out.

Rinse thoroughly with water, a cleaning solution, or compressed air.

After thoroughly cleaning the foam, wipe it dry.

Bear in mind that foam filters may also get worn out. You should then replace it and it will be good.

If the foam has developed brown or yellow stains, it is recommended to replace it.

If you mow your lawn everyday or often, clean its foam pre-cleaner after every 25 hours of usage.

Discard the previous paper filter.

Filters made of paper are not intended to be cleaned or wiped. They are composed of extremely thin and fragile material, and washing them might cause harm.

Ideally, you should replace it every season to maintain your lawnmower’s peak performance. Alternatively, change the paper filter after 300 hours of operation.

Your old paper filter, on the other hand, may still be usable. Hold it up to strong light and inspect it. If the paper is capable of blocking light, it is time to replace it and it will be good.

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If not, the paper filter may still be reused. Simply tap it lightly on a very flat surface to remove any dirt or debris.

If you are removing an old paper filter, be careful to examine how the paper was put into the foam by the model and brand of your lawnmower.

Remove and replace the paper filter.

Replace the foam with a fresh paper air filter. Ensure that you place it identically to how the last one was.

Disinfect the housing.

Clean the housing of the air filter before reinstalling it in the lawnmower.

Simply wipe dirt and debris away with a dry towel. Avoid using any kind of cleaning option or chemical whenever feasible. This may result in the element of the air filter being damaged.

Additionally, use caution while utilizing air blowers. Otherwise, you risk clogging the lawnmower with dirt and debris.

Step eight. Replace the air filter element if necessary.

Replace the air filter element with extreme caution. Avoid pinching or squeezing it down, as this may cause damage to the new filter and, in the worst-case scenario, the whole lawnmower.

If the air filter is difficult to install, it may be an indication that you have rebuilt the air filter element improperly. Inspect it and reassemble it.

Put the protective case back together.

Once the air filter is properly installed, screw the protective casing back on.

Assemble the screw as tightly as possible to prevent the air filter from flying off or falling during the operation of the machine.

Step ten. Connect the spark plug wire to the ignition system.

Reconnect the spark plug wire.

Other safety features on your lawn mower type may safeguard the air filter. Ensure that you also return anything you took out.

11th step You are ready to go!

After reinstalling everything, you may now use your lawnmower.

Preferably, you should repeat this procedure each season to clean your air filters.

How to change the air filter on a lawn mower

Replacing the air filter on a lawn mower is a simple task. Anyone is capable of doing so. If your air filter is totally worn out, replace it with the love of the lawn mower’s engine. And the HOODELL 5 Pack 491588s Air Filter is the industry’s most lauded air filter. The 5-pack air filter is built to last and is compatible with a variety of lawn mower brands, including Briggs & Stratton, Toro, and Craftsman.

  • The first step. By loosening the clips or removing the screws, remove the protective shroud that covers the air filter.
  • Remove the air filter and lightly tap it to remove any remaining debris. Place the filter in front of a source of light. If it is obstructing a considerable quantity of light, it should be replaced. Check for yellow or brown stains on a foam filter.
  • Examine the foam pre-filter and replace it if it is discolored, brittle, or stiff.
  • Clean the air filter housing with a dry cloth.
  • Replace the air cleaner assembly’s filter with the new one.
  • Carefully reattach the protective shroud.
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Maintaining Various Types Of Foam Air Filters

You should know there are many varieties of foam air filters available. We will now discuss each of them in detail.

The Single-Use Air Filter

This kind of filter is constructed from a particular type of paper that is specifically intended to trap particles. Although these filters may be cleaned with a blast of compressed air, it is usually preferable to discard them after one use.

By opening the filter housing, remove the air filter.

When purchasing your filter, ensure that you get the proper one in the appropriate size.

Replace the filter and the lid.

The Air Filter That Is Reusable

The filter is gently lubricated to prevent pollutants and dirt from entering. It needs no care other than washing, after which it may be reused.

By opening the filter housing, remove the air filter.

Following removal of the filter, it should be properly cleaned with soap and water.

Dry the filter with a paper towel or cloth, removing as much excess water as possible.

This kind of filter varies by model, so consult your owner’s handbook before adding oil to this type of filter. And some of the most recent versions even need non-oiled filters. A teaspoon of oil should be enough, and any surplus oil should be blotted with a paper towel.

When you are sure that the filter is ready, replace the lid and reinstall the filter.

As previously said, your lawn mower’s air filter is a critical component and first line of defense against grime and grit entering areas where they may cause damage to your engine. Maintaining it properly is critical if you need to keep your mower operating smoothly. By following the advice from here, you will be able to prolong the life of the lawn mower for a lot of years.


Many people overlook the air filters in the lawnmowers. And in reality, they are critical to protect and preserve.

Maintain in mind that you should clean your lawnmower filter about once a season to keep the machine in peak condition.

If you often use your lawnmower or operate it in very dusty circumstances, you may want to think about cleaning the filter on a regular basis.

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