How to Keep Grass Clippings from Sticking to a Mower Deck



by Kim Hillegass, Sears PartsDirect

Throughout the history of modern lawn care, there's been a quest to find the perfect solution to prevent grass buildup under the mower deck. Caked-on clippings disrupt the airflow essential for lifting the grass for a clean, even cut and for discharging the clippings. Grass buildup also encourages rust and corrosion.

The tips that follow discourage grass buildup. Still, after each mowing, turn the mower on its side—carburetor up—and brush or rinse off any loose clippings that managed to cling to the deck. Use a plastic ice scraper to remove any stuck-on clippings (a metal scraper can scratch the deck, giving rust an inroad).

Use a Spray Lubricant

Many people swear by using a spray lubricant such as MO-DECK to keep the grass from sticking. But WD-40 or even nonstick cooking spray—applied heavily—will work. These products can also help prevent rust and make cleaning the deck easier. Before applying, use a plastic ice scraper to remove any accumulated clippings.

Use a Graphite Coating

Applying a graphite coating to the underside of the deck has become very popular. Available under different brands as either an aerosol or liquid, the graphite coating is applied like paint to the underside of the deck. The graphite undercoating makes cleaning fast and easy. Start with a clean deck and follow the label instructions.

Mow Only When It's Dry

Grass is sticky when cut—there's no way around it. When you add water, cut grass can turn into a thick paste that's suitable as a building material. It may not always be convenient to wait until it's drier, but if you can spare the time to wait, do it.

Keep the Clippings Short

The shorter the grass clippings are, the easier it is for them to blow away from the mower. Cut no more than 1/3 the height of the grass. It's not only better for the mower deck—it's also healthier for the grass, because it leaves enough of the grass blade that the grass can keep on photosynthesizing.