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Can lawn mowers get wet?

Can lawn mowers get wet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can lawn mowers get wet, or should leaving your lawn mower to be exposed to the elements be avoided at all costs? The bottom line is that rain is not the friend of the best electric lawn mowers (opens in new tab) or the best gas lawn mowers (opens in new tab). However, there are intricacies to this question that are worth diving into, including whether you should mow your lawn when wet.

Whether you're a newbie to lawn care or you're a seasoned mowing pro, you might not be sure whether it's acceptable for a lawn mower to get wet. However, we've got all the answers you need so that you never have to worry about this particular conundrum again.

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Can lawn mowers get wet?

When it comes to the question of whether lawnmowers can get wet, the answer is that they shouldn't if you can avoid it. If you're lucky enough to live in a state with a generally dry climate, the summer months shouldn't give you much cause for concern when it comes to your mower getting wet. However, the turn of spring where you could still get hazardous weather hitting at the beginning of mowing season is likely to be the time of year that you're most worried about. 

In the worst-case scenario, if you've left your mower out overnight, you might be wondering if you can salvage your most precious garden tool at all. Though there is cause for concern, there's still a chance that your mower might survive. The first thing you need to do is take stock. Do not turn your mower on its side, for risk of spreading the rainwater. Instead, pat the exterior of your mower dry as best you can, preventing excess water from slipping into the internal workings of your mower.

Can lawn mowers get wet?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Next, you should attempt to set your mower running, to see how any potential damage has affected it. The heat from the engine of your mower running will help to rid your machine of that dreaded moisture if you can get it to start. You can also place it in direct sunlight to help speed along the process. Though some nasty noises might arise, if you can get your mower to start, then you should be on a good path to recovery. If you can't get your mower to turn on, you'll want to take a closer look at your air filter, spark plugs, and your carburetor, all while following the instructions within your appliance's manual.

Can you mow the lawn when it's wet?

We've covered that the answer to getting your mower wet is a firm no. The same strong no applies to the much-debated question; can I mow the lawn if it's wet? You definitely shouldn't, and here's why.

Just as your mower won't perform when it's damp and damaged, your grass will thrive most when you cut it in dry conditions, not wet.

There are a string of problems that can arise if you take your mower out when it's rainy. The first is the damage that could be caused to your machine itself, which was probably an expensive investment that you don't want to ruin. Wet grass can clog up the internal mechanisms and shorten the lifespan of your machine.

Beyond that, wet clumps of grass that are formed as you mow when wet can be problematic for the lawn left underneath, which gets smothered. There's also the fact that the grass itself is more prone to being ripped out from the root in wet conditions, which could cause an unsightly setback to your lawn. 

On a safety note, it's also most sensible to avoid mowing in potentially slippery conditions if you can, as nobody wants to be out of action thanks to a backyard accident. If you have been experiencing non-stop rain for an extended period and you feel you need to mow, you should proceed with plenty of caution and always consult the manual that came with your appliance.

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Molly is the Staff Writer for the Home Section at Top Ten Reviews, joining the team after finishing college. When she's not writing she enjoys baking and embroidery, as well as getting stuck into a good book. She now enjoys writing about kitchen appliances, gardening tools, and will even dip her toe into writing about fridges and ovens.