Is Wet Grass Bad for Your Lawn Mower? 🤔

The satisfying whir of a lawnmower is a quintessential summer sound. But what happens when your perfectly manicured lawn is overtaken by a sudden downpour? Is it safe to mow wet grass, or will you be risking the life of your trusty lawnmower? This article delves into the complexities of mowing wet grass, exploring the potential damage, offering tips for safe mowing, and ultimately helping you decide whether or not to brave the wet blades.

In short, mowing wet grass can be detrimental to your lawnmower. The dampness creates conditions that lead to clogging, rust, and even damage to the engine. However, with some precautions and proper technique, you can minimize the risks and keep your lawn looking its best, even after a rain shower.

Why is Wet Grass Bad for Your Lawn Mower?

The culprit behind the woes of wet grass mowing is moisture. It creates a series of challenges that can wreak havoc on your lawnmower:

1. Clogging and Sticking

Wet grass becomes heavy and sticky, leading to clumps that can easily clog the mower’s cutting deck and discharge chute. This can cause the blades to stall, potentially damaging the engine or requiring you to stop and clear the obstruction.

2. Rust Formation

Moisture, especially when combined with grass clippings, can contribute to rust formation on the mower’s blades, deck, and other metal parts. Rust can impede blade performance and even lead to premature wear and tear.

3. Engine Problems

Damp grass can also seep into the engine’s air intake, potentially leading to moisture buildup and hindering its proper operation. This can cause sputtering, misfiring, and even engine failure in the long run.

4. Reduced Cutting Quality

Wet grass is typically tougher than dry grass, making it harder for the blades to cut cleanly. This can result in uneven cuts, a raggedy lawn, and potentially scalping the grass.

When Can You Mow Wet Grass?

While mowing wet grass is generally not recommended, there are a few exceptions:

  • Light Dew: If the grass is simply damp from dew, it’s usually safe to mow. The dew will quickly evaporate, and there’s minimal risk of clogging or engine issues.
  • Lightly Damp Grass: If the grass is only slightly damp, it might be okay to mow if you’re careful. Use a lower cutting height and avoid going over the same area multiple times to prevent clogging.

Important Note: Always err on the side of caution. If you’re unsure whether or not the grass is too wet, it’s best to wait until it dries out.

Tips for Mowing Wet Grass:

If you absolutely must mow wet grass, consider these tips to minimize the risk of damage:

1. Sharp Blades Are Crucial

Sharp blades are essential for cutting through wet grass effectively and preventing clogging. Dull blades create more friction and increase the likelihood of clumping.

2. Use a Higher Cutting Height

A higher cutting height will allow for better airflow and reduce the amount of grass clippings that can clog the mower.

3. Avoid Going Over the Same Area Twice

Repeated passes over wet grass can increase the risk of clogging.

4. Clean Your Mower Thoroughly Afterwards

After mowing wet grass, be sure to clean your mower thoroughly. Remove any accumulated grass clippings from the deck, blades, and discharge chute.

Alternative Solutions:

If you’re hesitant about mowing wet grass, there are other options for maintaining your lawn:

  • Wait: The simplest solution is often the best. Wait for the grass to dry completely before mowing.
  • Hand-Trimming: For small areas or for touch-ups, consider using hand-held shears or a trimmer.
  • Mulching Mower: Mulching mowers chop grass clippings into fine particles, which can help to prevent clogging. However, it’s still important to be cautious with wet grass.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, the decision to mow wet grass is a matter of risk assessment. While it can be tempting to get the mowing done quickly, it’s important to weigh the potential damage to your lawnmower against the convenience. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wait for the grass to dry. By following these tips and considering your options, you can keep your lawnmower running smoothly and your lawn looking its best, no matter the weather.


1. Why is wet grass bad for my lawnmower?

Wet grass can cause a number of issues for your lawnmower, the most significant being clogging. When grass is wet, it tends to clump together, making it harder for the mower to cut effectively. This clumped grass can then build up inside the mower deck, leading to overheating and damage. Wet grass also makes the mower more difficult to maneuver, as the wheels can lose traction. Finally, wet grass can create a messy and unhealthy environment for your lawn, as it can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew.

Additionally, cutting wet grass can create a messy and unhealthy environment for your lawn. The damp clippings can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew, which can damage the grass and make it more susceptible to diseases. Wet grass can also lead to a build-up of thatch, which is a layer of dead grass that can suffocate your lawn and prevent it from growing properly.

2. What are the signs of a lawnmower being damaged by wet grass?

There are a few tell-tale signs that your lawnmower has been damaged by wet grass. One of the most obvious is a build-up of grass clippings in the mower deck. You may also notice that the mower is struggling to cut, or that the engine is overheating. If the blades are dull or chipped, that’s another sign that your lawnmower may have been damaged by wet grass. Finally, you may see signs of rust or corrosion on the metal parts of the mower.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to stop using your lawnmower immediately and have it inspected by a qualified mechanic. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action. Ignoring these signs can lead to further damage and more expensive repairs in the long run.

3. How can I prevent my lawnmower from getting damaged by wet grass?

The best way to prevent your lawnmower from getting damaged by wet grass is to simply avoid cutting the grass when it is wet. If you must cut your lawn when it is wet, you can try to minimize the damage by making sure that the mower is properly maintained. This includes sharpening the blades regularly, cleaning the mower deck after each use, and changing the oil and filter as recommended by the manufacturer.

You can also try to cut the grass at a higher setting, which will help to reduce the amount of grass that is cut and prevent it from clumping together. If you have a mulching mower, you can use it to cut the grass into fine particles that will decompose quickly and help to fertilize your lawn.

4. Can I still cut my lawn if it’s slightly damp?

While it’s generally best to wait for grass to be dry before mowing, slightly damp grass is usually okay to cut. However, if the grass is still dewy, it’s best to avoid mowing, as the dew can create a similar effect to wet grass and cause clumping. It’s also important to keep in mind that if the ground is wet, the lawnmower wheels can lose traction and cause damage to the lawn.

If you’re unsure about whether or not it’s safe to cut your lawn when it’s slightly damp, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wait for the grass to dry completely. A little patience can go a long way in preventing damage to your lawnmower and your lawn.

5. Are there any specific lawnmower models better suited for wet grass?

While there isn’t a “wet grass” specific lawnmower, some models are better suited for cutting damp grass than others. Mulching mowers are generally considered a good option for wet grass because they cut the grass into fine particles, reducing the risk of clumping. Mowers with larger cutting decks and more powerful engines are also better equipped to handle wet grass.

However, even with these models, it’s still best to wait for the grass to dry completely before mowing whenever possible.

6. What are some other tips for mowing wet grass?

If you must mow wet grass, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage to your lawnmower. First, make sure the blades are sharp. Sharp blades will cut through wet grass more easily and reduce the risk of clumping. Second, cut the grass at a higher setting. This will reduce the amount of grass that is cut and make it less likely to clump together. Finally, go over the same area twice if necessary. This will help to ensure that all of the grass is cut evenly.

Remember that mowing wet grass is not ideal, but if you must do it, be mindful of the risks and take the necessary precautions to protect your lawnmower.

7. What are the best tools for cleaning a lawnmower after cutting wet grass?

The best tools for cleaning your lawnmower after cutting wet grass are a garden hose with a nozzle, a scraper, and a brush. First, use the hose to rinse off any excess grass clippings and dirt. Then, use the scraper to remove any stubborn debris from the mower deck. Finally, use the brush to clean the underside of the deck and the blades.

You can also use a lawnmower cleaning kit, which typically includes a hose adapter, a scraper, a brush, and a bottle of cleaning solution. Cleaning your lawnmower regularly will help to prevent rust and corrosion and ensure that it runs smoothly for years to come.

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