How Do You Winterize a String Trimmer?

With the season changing, you’re about to have your yearly time off from lawn work. You can relax once you make sure your equipment will brave the coming winter season. Proper storage will ensure that your trimmer isn’t damaged while it’s put away. If this is your first time, you might wonder how to winterize your string trimmer.

To winterize a string trimmer:

  • Clean it and fix any damages. Tighten bolts and ensure all joined pieces are properly connected, don’t ignore holes or broken fragments. 
  • If it’s gas-powered, you need to drain the fuel and oil inside. 
  • Finally, you need to place it upright in an area with ventilation and no excess moisture.

In this article, there’s a step-by-step guide on how to winterize electric and gas string trimmers. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Winterize Your String Trimmer

You must store your weed whacker according to manufacturer guidelines or other approved methods. The steps you’ll use depend on the type of string trimmer rather than the specific model or company.

If you don’t store your trimmer properly, you might have to fix further damage when summer comes. Worst-case scenarios include purchasing a new one, which is an expensive ordeal.

Here are the most important things you should do to winterize different kinds of string trimmers:

Note: You can also follow this storage process if you’re putting away your trimmer for more than 30 days.

1. Electric String Trimmer

Let’s begin with the four-step process of winterizing an electric string trimmer.

Step 1: Clean the Trimmer

You will need a cleaning rag, soapy water, and a grease remover. Optional materials include toothbrushes, cotton tips, etc.

If you don’t have any of these at home, you can always buy some on Amazon: 

  • A simple cleaning rag such as this would be sufficient for this task.
  • There are many brands of grease removers out there, but there is no need to overthink it. Something like Oil Eater will be perfect.

Remove any dirt, leftover grass, or debris from the length of the trimmer and the blade end using a damp rag. Make sure you don’t drench it. 

For grease or oil stains, use a proper cleanser. Remove residues and dry off all parts afterward to save them from further staining or corrosion.

Step 2: Touch up Parts 

Keep different screwdrivers, extra screws, and other tools at hand. If you don’t have a screwdriver set already (which often happens with first-time homeowners), you can buy something simple like this Klein Tools set off Amazon. 

Check for any damage or loose parts. Tighten bolts and ensure all joined pieces are properly connected, don’t ignore holes or broken fragments. 

Note down any bits that may need replacing, and make the necessary changes before you put your trimmer away for storage.

Step 3: Remove and Pack the Cord

If the cord on your string trimmer is removable, separate it from the trimmer before packing.

Don’t forget to wrap plastic around it or place the cable in a plastic bag for additional protection. This will keep the wire dry and safe from environmental changes.

Step 4: Store the Trimmer

Use a hook or nail to hang the trimmer upright. 

Please don’t place your trimmer between other stored things or stack it together with other equipment. Store it separately in a dry place with good ventilation. 

2. Gas-Powered String Trimmer

For a gas-powered weed trimmer, you can follow the first two steps from the previous section. Clean off your equipment and touch up any imperfections or faults, respectively.

Step 3: Empty the Gas Tank 

Before placing your trimmer for a season’s rest, you must empty its fuel tank. This is non-negotiable. You can do so in two ways; Either you can run the tool until the gas runs out, or you could manually empty it out. 

For the first method, simply turn on your trimmer and keep it going until it stops itself. This way, there won’t be any spillage, and you’ll know there isn’t any residual gas left inside.

If you want to manually pour it out, you’ll need a gas can or empty container. First, remove the spark plug from the trimmer. You’ll need a spark plug wrench for that, but if you don’t have one you can usually get it done with a simple wrench too. Just make sure not to touch the spark plug if you have just turned your trimmer off.

Then you can unscrew the gas tank’s cap and pour the contents into the container, preferably using a fuel transfer pump kit (Amazon link) – this one is made by Koehler Enterprises, and you can use it to drain fuel from your lawn care equipment as well as your vehicles.

Note: the spark plug you removed should be discarded. Start every new season with a fresh spark plug.

Step 4: Drain Out the Oil

You also need to drain the oil in the oil chamber. You can pour it out into any container using a funnel or with the fuel transfer pump I mentioned before. Every new season you can refill the chamber with the recommended oil type.

Step 5: Pack It Up

Finish by placing all caps and parts back into place. You should loosely screw on the lids to stop the chambers from creating a vacuum over time. This will make them harder to unscrew later on.

Step 6: Place For Storage

Hang the trimmer upright in a well-ventilated and dry area.

Why Should You Winterize Your String Trimmer?

Feeling lazy about storing your yard equipment is normal, but you should know that it’s essential. You can keep your 5-year-old trimmer in top shape by being careful about just a few things. 

Here are 5 steps you can take for storing your string trimmers and why they’re helpful:

# Precaution Benefit
1. Repairing damages Care and maintenance will take any equipment a long way. You can extend your tool’s life and save money long-term by fixing any minor damages or replacing parts.
2. Packing away chords It saves the wires from being chewed on by mice and other animals. It also keeps them clean and dry, so they can work next season and won’t need a replacement.
3. Draining the gas Gas inside the chamber will leave gum deposits and varnish build-up in your trimmer. Draining it out will keep the inner components safe.
4. Draining the oil Oil can change consistencies over time because of the changing temperature and turning stale. Leaving oil sitting in any machine will lower its performance.
5. Choosing a ventilated location Moist conditions can make mold grow inside your gas trimmer and shorten the life of an electric trimmer. Ventilation helps keep the conditions optimal inside the storage area.


Q. Do You Have to Empty Your Trimmer’s Gas Tank?

You need to empty your trimmer’s gas tank to store it. If you don’t, the old gas can deteriorate the insides of the trimmer, such as the carburetor. It can also cause it to run inefficiently later on.

Q. Can You Place Your Weed Whacker in the Shed?

That depends on the state of your shed. If it doesn’t have leaks, is well-ventilated, and has ample space, you can go for it! You should go for an indoor store room or garage otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget to winterize your lawn equipment if you plan to use them next year. By being careless with how you store your tools, you can end up needing replacements because of carelessness. Just a few steps can help your string trimmer’s life last longer!

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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