How to Clean a Lawn Mower Grass Bag

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A well maintained lawn mower is going to last a long time, and this applies to the grass bag too. Grass bags have a simple but important function, and basic maintenance is all that is needed. In this guide you will find out how to properly clean a lawn mower grass bag.

Turn the lawn mower off, disconnect the bag and remove all the grass clippings. Spray the inside and outside with water and brush the dirt off. Rinse with water and let the bag dry under the sun before reattaching to the lawn mower.

Clean a Lawn Mower Bag Step by Step

The process is very simple and should not take long. Caring and maintaining the bag is a part of lawn mower maintenance and should be done regularly. And as you will see it is very straightforward.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Air compressor or leaf blower (we prefer the Black and Decker LB700 leaf blower)
  • Pressure washer or garden hose
  • Soft brush
  • Hard steel brush (the Warner brush is fine)
  • To remove stains on the grass bag, you will need:
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent or vinegar
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowl or container

If you are going to replace the lawn mower spark plug chances are the rest of the machine needs maintenance. While you are at it, might as well clean the bag.

The basic steps are:

  1. Empty the grass bag.
  2. Loosen any stuck debris on the bag.
  3. Pressure wash the bag.
  4. Brush off any remaining dirt and wash again.

If there are persistent stains on the bag, apply the detergent/baking soda mixture cleaning solution. When finished, let the bag dry before storing or putting it back onto the lawn mower.

Now that you have the materials and know the basic steps, it is time to look at each one in detail.

Step 1. Turn the Lawn Mower Off

If you have not done so already, turn the lawn mower off. If you are going to clean everything, you may start with the lawn mower first and the bag last. If it is just the bag, leave the mower aside for now.

Tip: the best time to do this is on a sunny day so the bag can air dry naturally.

Step 2. Remove the grass bag from the mower

The exact steps vary depending on the manufacturer. Here is how you do it with some popular brands.

  • If you have a Toro push lawn mower, lift up the rear shield and pull the bag out.
  • For a Honda mower, lift the discharge guard and take the bag out.
  • For Craftsman lawn mowers, hold the grass catcher frame in the middle, right at the top. Turn it up so the hooks come off. Pull the bag off.
  • Now if you have a Troy Bilt, lift the rear panel and use your other hand to remove the bag.

Please check your owner’s manual for specific steps on how to remove the bag. Most of the time you just need to lift a cover and the bag slips off easily, but to be sure, check the manual.

Once the bag is off the lawn mower, clean the surrounding area. There might be bits of debris, leaves, even mold there. If you are going to clean the bag, the area where you will return it has to be dirt free too. Use a steel brush for this section of the mower.

Step 3. Empty the grass bag

Once you have detached the bag from the lawn mower, turn it over and empty its contents. Most of it will be grass clippings but you might see some pebbles, weeds, dirt and other debris.

Shake the bag thoroughly to remove as much of the content as possible. Take a good look at the inside. If there is nothing left, you can pressure wash the bag (low setting only) and let it dry. Chances are some leaves and debris will be stuck to the fabric. If that is the case, proceed to step 4.

Image Credit: Luka Maly

Step 4. Loosen Stuck Debris

It is not unusual to see leaves and dirt stuck onto the bag. This will definitely happen if you mow wet grass, but debris, dirt and other stuff clog grass bags during dry days too.

A few bits here and there is not a problem, but if you let it accumulate could lead to performance slowdown. Follow these steps to eliminate stuck materials on lawn mower bags.

Hold the empty bag with one hand over an even surface. Use a leaf blower to blow air on outside of the bag until the debris come off. You may also use an air compressor if it is equipped with a nozzle. No matter what you use, use the lowest setting to avoid ripping the bag.

When the bag exterior is free of dirt, turn it inside out and do the same for the interior. It is important to get rid of as much dirt as possible before hosing it down. You may use a soft brush to scrub stubborn grime off.

Step 5. Water the grass bag

You have two choices: a garden hose or pressure washer. If you opt for a pressure washer, use the lowest psi possible. Increase it only if the remaining dirt will not come off.

Pressure washers are ideal for canvas grass lawn mower bags. They are durable and can handle the water coming from the washer. If yours is made from nylon or other light materials, use a garden hose instead.

The washing process is the same as when you removed the debris from the pores. Start with the exterior then turn the bag inside out to wash the interior. Water the bag well but careful not to apply too much pressure.

Once you are done washing, examine the bag. If it looks dirt free, you are done. Let it dry. If there are still some dirt left, proceed to step 6.

Step 6. Brushing the dirt away

For the remaining dirt, brush it off. Use a toothbrush or any soft brush. Do not use brushes with hard bristles because it could tear the fabric. Scrub thoroughly but carefully.

When you are finished, wash the bag one more time. Repeat the process as you did earlier, start from the outside and then the inside.

The final step is to set the bag down on an even surface and let it dry under the sun. This can take a few hours or more depending on the weather. Turn the bag inside out when you dry so it does not get moldy.

How to Remove Lawn Mower Bag Stains

The method above works fine most of the time, but what if there are stains? Over time, mold and mildew may stick to the bag, giving it an unsightly appearance and smell.

In some instances hosing is enough. If that does not work you can use a pressure washer. But nylon mower bags may not be strong enough to withstand the pressure. A better option is to use a cleaning solution.

You will need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowl or container

Pour the dish detergent into the container and add the hydrogen peroxide. Mix well and add the baking soda to thicken the mix.

Dip your brush into the paste and scrub the stain. Repeat if necessary. Do this for every stain on the bag. Check the interior for any stains and brush them as well. When you are done, let the grass bag dry.

How to Get Rid of Mold on Mower. If mold has built up, you can remove it using vinegar and baking soda. Pour the baking soda into a container and add a spoonful of vinegar. Add more vinegar if you want the solution a bit thicker.

Once the mix has reached the consistency you prefer, dip a piece of cloth into it. Wipe the mold off with this cloth. Keep wiping until the stains are gone then allow the bag to go dry.