Person working on a lawn mower to get it ready for winter storage.

Tips for yard equipment and lawn mower winter storage

Storing your equipment and lawn mower properly can help ensure you're ready for spring.

Lawn mower storage ideas

Having your lawn mower and equipment stored properly over the winter can help make for an easier spring cleanup. It's ideal to have them stored inside a garage, a lawn mower storage shed or other enclosed building. Before putting items away for the winter, try to clean and remove grass clippings, grease, dirt, leaves or any other debris from all surfaces. After the cleaning, metal tools could benefit from a coat of oil or WD-40® and a gentle wipe-down to help keep rust at bay.

If you can’t store your lawn mower in an enclosed building and need to leave it outside for the winter, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Try to find a place on your property where it will have some shelter. Consider placing it on a side porch or at the side of the house where the roof soffit may provide some protection.
  • Avoid a location where rain or snow will fall directly on top of the mower.
  • Look for a place that is on higher ground, so water doesn’t accumulate underneath it.
  • Cover the lawn mower with a fitted cover or tarp to help protect it against the elements.
  • Check it periodically, especially after strong weather to remove any excess water or snow.

How to winterize a lawn mower

Here are some suggestions to help you get your lawn mower ready for winter storage:

  • Clean the mower.
    • Remove the spark plug.
    • Safely tip your mower, typically with the spark plug pointing toward the sky, so the engine oil does not drain into the air filter. Then remove any dirt and grass clippings.
  • Drain the fuel (or run it dry). You could also fill the tank and add stabilizer as another option.
  • Make any necessary repairs.
  • Clean or replace filters.
  • Change the oil.
  • Sharpen the blades.
  • Apply a lubricant to grease fittings, including pivot points and connections.
  • Prepare the battery for storage. If your lawn mower has a battery, consider these tips that may help keep it in good condition:
    • Clean, remove and keep the battery in a cool and dry place. When a battery is exposed to very cold temperatures it can freeze and may affect its future performance.
    • If you opt for leaving it in place, consider connecting it to a trickle charger or a battery tender so it stays charged while it’s not being used.
  • Avoid storing your lawn mower near a heat source.
  • Cover your lawn mower to help prevent dust and animals from getting into it.

Should you leave gas in your lawnmower over the winter?

There are two paths regarding fuel systems — drain the fuel tank or fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Consult your owner's manual for your manufacturer's recommendations.

Can you store a lawn mower vertically?

No, if the lawnmower is stored vertically any remaining gas or oil could leak into the engine.

Can you tip a lawnmower on its side for storage?

Before a lawnmower is tipped on its side, the spark plug wire should be detached from the spark plug. When tipping, the spark plug typically is pointed toward the sky to keep oil away from the plug and air filter. Before tipping the lawnmower it's important to remove all gas so it doesn't leak. Each type of lawnmower is different, so refer to your owner's manual to determine which way a lawnmower may be tipped — even for cleaning.

Follow these tips and you'll be ready to get started on that yard cleanup in the spring. And as you’re putting away your lawn mower for the winter, you may want to read recommendations for storing your ATV, or learn more about how to prepare your car for the cold weather.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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