How Do You Clean a String Trimmer?

Has your string trimmer been causing a bit of trouble lately? Do you feel it’s not working as smoothly as it used to? Well, I’ve experienced a similar situation, and based on my experience, this happens when your string trimmer needs some cleaning!

To clean a string trimmer, you must follow five simple steps:

  • Brush off any visible debris
  • Take a rag and wipe the body
  • Clean the lines
  • Use a cotton swab doused in oil to clean the exhaust
  • Clean the engine vents using compressed air

Cleaning an electric string trimmer is a bit tricky. You must remove the dust and residue vigorously while ensuring no liquid gets inside the body. Let’s dive deeper into it as I tell you the steps you need to follow in cleaning your string trimmer flawlessly!

5 Easy Steps to Clean Your String Trimmer

Now while it may appear difficult from the outlook, following the process will make things way more manageable!

Follow these steps to clean an electric string trimmer without causing any damage:

1. Unplug the Trimmer and Brush Off the Dust

If you have an electric trimmer, start by unplugging it (or remove the battery if it’s a battery-powered model). Cleaning a powered electric device is something you should stay away from.

If you have a gas-powered trimmer, you should start by removing the spark plug. This will prevent the trimmer from starting up by accident and injuring you in the process. 

Once you’ve got the trimmer out for cleaning, take a soft brush and dust off any loose debris.

This is the first stage of the process, so go easy here! The idea is to remove loose dust that comes off easily.

2. Wipe the Trimmer Parts Using a Rag

Take a rag or any piece of cloth made from a tough material. Begin by scrubbing the outside of the trimmer and slowly moving your way in towards the sensitive parts.

After a round of dry scrubbing, you can use detergent mixed with water. Dip the cloth in the solution and begin scrubbing again. This process makes up the bulk of your cleaning. So take your time here!

3. Deep Clean With a Rigid Brush

Most of the dirt would have come off by now. Yet, some stains will still remain. So take a brush with rigid bristles and scrub those stains by applying force. Use detergent and water for better stain removal.

Just be careful about the trimmer’s body. Don’t scrub so hard that it scratches the plastic.

4. Clean the Exhausts and Intakes Using Cotton and Oil

Exhausts are perhaps the most neglected component when it comes to cleaning. However, cleaning them is essential as any build-up can ruin the device.

Take a cotton swab doused in oil and wipe the exhausts and intakes. Try to go as deep as you can to ensure proper cleaning.

5. Use Compressed Air to Clean the Inner Parts

Finally, you need to clean the machine from the inside. A lot of dust accumulates in the block, causing it to heat up. 

Use a compressed air can to clean the inside. It will get rid of all the dirt while keeping the integrity of the engine.

How Do You Get Grass Out of a String Trimmer?

While a string trimmer cuts grass and makes your lawn more presentable, debris from the grass takes a toll on the trimmer itself. Grass gets stuck inside the trimmer, and this hampers its function. Therefore, you need to get the grass out of your string trimmer.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Brush Off the Grass

Removing grass from the body of the string trimmer is fairly easy. Take a soft brush and just scrape off any grass stuck to the body.

There might be some fragments that don’t come off with gentle scrubbing. Use a rigid brush and scrub forcefully to remove those.

2. Replace the String Lines

Grass can also make its way to the part where the string lines are attached to the motor. In that case, you must take out the string lines.

You can remove, clean, and place the same lines back again. Or you can also replace the old lines with new ones if they are just old and brittle. 

3. Use a Brush or Vacuum Cleaner to Clean the Underside

The underside of a string trimmer is where most of the grass accumulates. Flip the trimmer such that the bottom is now facing up. 

In my experience, it’s best to do this with a bucket of water nearby, as the grass will be very sticky right after a lengthy trimming session. Using a medium-strong brush for this task is probably best because a soft brush often has trouble removing everything, while an overly strong brush can scratch the trimmer guard’s surface if it is made of plastic, which will only lead to even more buildup in the future. 

If you haven’t used your trimmer in a while, you can also try using a vacuum cleaner to remove the grass that is stuck on the trimmer head’s bottom. Please note that this only works if the grass is dry, otherwise the vacuum will have some serious trouble removing it. Also, I recommend using a vacuum attachment that has a brush on it. 

If you try to remove wet grass with a vacuum cleaner it will just get stuck inside the vacuum’s tube even if you succeed. Because of this, I only recommend trying this if the grass on the bottom is completely dry, or if you only have a very small amount of buildup. 

Can You Wash a String Trimmer?

Electric string trimmers are not waterproof, so I wouldn’t recommend washing those. However, gas-powered trimmers can be washed as long you keep the water away from the engine. Here, this video from Blades of Grass Lawn Care explains the process better than I ever could: 

Final Thoughts

A string trimmer is the best tool for maintaining your lawn’s sharp boundaries and adding that finesse. It snips off the grass efficiently, and using it is as simple as it gets. However, you need to take good care of the device if you want it to work perfectly for a long time. In that regard, routine cleanup is elementary!

So, follow the steps I mentioned above, and I’m sure your string trimmer will remain fully functional for quite some time! Happy cleaning!

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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