Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

Guide to Cleaning a Lawn Mower and Preparing it for Winter

October 27th, 2014

This is a guest post by Hally Bertram

Lawn mowers are useful tools for cutting grass around your garden. They are powerful and easy to use. Just like any other machine, lawn mowers need to be maintained. If you want your machine to last longer, you just take care of it.

So, here is a guide to cleaning a grass trimmer. Just make sure you follow the steps of Deluxe Gardeners London and you’ll be fine.

Here is a guide to cleaning and preparing a lawn mower for winter. Just make sure you follow the steps and you’ll be fine.

First things first, clean the machine thoroughly, following the steps from below. Remember to remove all the debris and grass that have built up in the mower. After you finish cleaning, use a light oil on the metal surfaces. This will keep them from rusting.

Step 1: Clean your  lawn mower

Things you’ll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Damp cloth
  • Soft brush
  • Stiff brush


  1. Before you begin, be sure to unplug the machine. If you’ve used it just recently, let it cool.
  2. Avoiding the motor areas and switch, start by wiping down the machine. Use a slightly damp cloth.
  3. Ventilation slots: grass, dirt or debris might clog the ventilation slots of the machine. To rid of blockages, either vacuum the slots or use a really soft brush that won’t damage the surface. If the ventilation slots don’t work properly, the motor will get overheated due to poor ventilation. For this reason, it’s important that you pay attention to this particular part of your lawn mower.
  4. You should also remove debris from the guard plate and feed area. Use a stiff brush.
  5. Remove grass off your machine: it’s not only about cleaning your lawn mower, you also need to remove all the grass that remains in it. It’s very easy actually. You may use a putty knife. Just be careful not to cut yourself. This is the fastest way to get rid of grass. Another way to do it is by using a power washer.

Step 2: Fuel

Fuel and oil reservoirs need to be drained before you put away your lawn mower. To do this, remove the cap of the machine then using a bucket just pour the liquid inside. Of course, there will be some fuel left. To get rid of it, simply put a paper towel into the tank. It will absorb the remaining fuel.

Step 3: Air filters and engine inspection

Remove the spark plug and replace with new one if it is too dirty. If you’ve been using it for less than a year, then there is no need to replace it. Use a carburetor cleaner to rid of any dirt. Brush the surface with a stiff brush, then let dry. Before you put it back were it belongs, you need to make sure the cylinder is free of dirt. Sprinkle with WD-40 and start the machine a few times to help the oil get to all the sides of the gap.

Clean the air filter by spraying  WD-40. Wipe down with a clean rag.

When you put away your lawn mower, you should always keep in mind that the place should be dry and sheltered. It is advisable that you cover the machine with a cloth to keep dirt and dust away.

Additional tips and advice

  • Always read the manual that comes with your lawn mowers. You’ll find useful information such as required routine maintenance, type of maintenance it needs, ways to properly take care of it, etc. The biggest problem is that many people don’t know how to maintain their machines, that’s why they fail to work properly at some point. But if you perform routine checks of your machine, you’ll be able to avoid a variety of problems that may occur because of poor maintenance. If this information is not available in the user’s manual, check out the repair manual.
  • What does a routine check include? Usually it should involve inspecting the spark plug, air filter, controls and line.
  • Things you should check every season:

–After each use: mower line (see if it’s low); air intake (remove any debris or grass);  trimmer (damage repair, look for loose parts)

–10 hours after use: air filter (blow dust from filter or wash with water)

–25 hours after use: spark plug (inspect for damage or wear)

–40 hours after use: follow up with a complete inspection of the machine (check for missing, loose or damaged parts, repair or replace parts where necessary)


The Ugly Side of Summer

June 5th, 2014

This is a guest post by Carson Arthur

We spend all winter waiting for it…and for some of us, suffer miserably through it.  I’m talking about summer. There is definitely an ugly side to our favourite season that we grin and bear! I’m talking about allergies, molds and mosquito bites. Don’t spend the entire summer inside hiding from what ails you…I’ve got solutions to all of the summer blues!

 Any discussion about the ugly side of summer HAS to include mosquitos. These pesky little biters will travel up to 2 kms for a meal. As a landscaper and an active gardener, they seem to like me more than my friends. I’m always outside working which doesn’t help because mosquitos are attracted to body heat and the carbon dioxide from heavy breathing. Also not in my favour, mosquitos love to rest inside of the garage where its cool and dark…and the storage spot for all of my tools!


Mozi-Q homeopathic tablets to fight mosquitos and other flying insects

Mozi-Q homeopathic tablets to fight mosquitos and other flying insects

Deet has been the gold standard for repelling these biters but if you want a homeopathic option safe enough for infants under the age of one or even the family dog, try Mozi-Q (it’s an oral bug repellant that you chew!). I started using this plant-based product in 2013 when I was at the cottage. I still got a few bites, but I didn’t get the red welts. I also got significantly less bites than my guests. Recently, I discovered that other biting bugs like black flies also seemed to be avoiding me. As featured on Dragon’s Den this is definitely my secret weapon this summer when I’m outdoors.


I learned recently that a lot of allergy problems have nothing to do with your sinuses. Many allergy sufferers have reactions because of an imbalanced immune system in the gut (Pascoe Canada) Allergic reactions are an over reaction of your body’s immune system and how it deals with foreign bodies entering through the lungs, skin or eyes. This can be more common in people with low levels of healthy bacteria in their guts. Allergies also impact people who have excess acidity or unbalanced pH levels. Often taking a sodium bicarbonate supplement with potassium helps with allergies, or if you are pill-adverse, you can increase your greens with foods like celery and spinach.


Avoiding pollens and allergens always works too. Here are some simple solutions for you to try

  • Garden in the morning when pollen counts are at their lowest
  • Wear long sleeved clothing to avoid skin contact
  • Garden after a heavy downpour as the pollen is washed away – but beware the light rain showers. They just stir the pollen up!
  • Don’t plant Maples or Oaks and go with flowering fruit trees instead
  • Beware the ornamental grasses like ryes and fescues. They are the culprits for summer allergies next to ragweed.
Pascallerg: homeopathic remedy to treat allergies

Pascallerg: homeopathic remedy to treat allergies

When it comes to products, my favourite is a homeopathic solution called Pascallerg. This product helps fight allergic reactions by helping modify the immune system. Not only did it reduce the severity of my personal symptoms, it also reduced the frequency of my allergic reactions. Summer allergies that I’ve always had are getting less severe because my immune system is better able to handle them. I also love that it’s safe for children as young as 1 year of age.


We’ve all heard that mold in the home is extremely hazardous to our health, but did you know that mold occurs outdoors as well? Our gardens and backyards are actually a great breeding space for molds that are inhaled via mold spores. Our immune systems deal with these mold spores just like an allergy, with watery eyes, sneezing and congestion. We often blame pollen when in fact our bodies are reacting to the mold spores outdoors. Mold spores are excellent at traveling. In fact, if one piece of fruit in the bowl has mold, then all of the fruit will have spores on them.

One of the best spots for mold to grow is in our mulch. For years, we’ve been putting mulch around our flowerbeds to prevent weeds but to also hold the moisture in the ground on the hot sunny days. We also rely on mulch to breakdown into the soil below, naturally adding nutrients for our plants. This decomposition happens because of mold! Mulch is a perfect food source and mold loves to be kept warm and wet. Just watering the garden in the summer promotes mold growth. Prevent this mold growth by making sure your mulch completely dries out between waterings.

Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser

Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser

Another big issue with mold around the yard is the black staining that occurs on composite decks, plastic furniture, even on the house siding. Pressure-wash it all you want, it’s almost impossible to get those stains out. I found a great new product that worked really well for me. Called Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser, this product is so easy to use. Simply mix the entire container as per the instructions and spread/spray directly on the stained areas. Safe for kids, pets and your plants, Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser doesn’t even need to be scrubbed-in to effectively remove the mold stains.


Summer is supposed to be worth waiting for. This year, try some of my easy solutions and make the most of your outdoors. Avoid the ugly side of allergies, molds and mosquitos and fill every single day with enough memories to make it through another winter…especially if it was like the last one!



Carson Arthur  Carson Arthur is an international landscape designer with a focus on environmentally friendly design. His newest series, Critical Listing, teaches homeowners how to raise the value of their homes through outdoor renovations. He is part of the Cityline team; writes a column for Huffington Post about outdoor design and appears regularly in a variety of magazines with guest articles.  He is the North American outdoor expert for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and the outdoor guest expert on the Shopping Channel.

 His credits include; the host of HGTV’s Green Force; the Gemini nominated Room to Grow on Global and the Discovery network; and Better Home’s and Garden’s Home, First Home on the Hallmark Channel in the U.S. Currently, Carson’s programs can be seen on every continent in the world.  He is also the author of the sold out book Garden Designs for Outdoor Living.


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