How to Clean Lawn Mower Spark Plugs

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Part of a lawn mower's general maintenance is cleaning its spark plugs. Many times, cleaning the spark plugs fixes a mower that is having trouble firing, and it is also an easy way to keep your mower in good condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Ratchet or socket set
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire from the end of the spark plug.

  • Remove the spark plug with a socket wrench or ratchet. The socket or ratchet needs to fit the spark plug perfectly. Unscrew the plug and remove it.

  • Clean the spark plug with an old toothbrush or with fine-grit sandpaper. Remove any dirt, debris or dust from the metal around the top of the spark plug.

  • Find the small piece of metal above the electrode at the top of the spark plug. There should be a small gap between the metal and the electrode. Check your lawn mower's manual for the exact distance needed in that gap. If you do not have the manual, the gap is usually 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide.

  • Remove any leftover debris.

  • Replace the spark plug and tighten it into place.

  • Reconnect the spark plug wire.

  • Prime the engine and start the mower.

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