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How to Get Old Gas Out of Lawn Mower Before Winterizing?

The smooth transition from lawn mowing season to snow blowing season provides you with the hint to take care of your lawnmower before sending it away for hibernation. Draining gas from lawn mower tank is a huge part of its preparation and maintenance process for the winter season. Let’s learn why is it important and how to drain gas from lawn mower properly.

Why is it Important to Drain Fuel from Lawn Mower?

If you miss the important step of draining the gas before putting the mower away for winters, you’ll find it very difficult to get it running the next spring. Unused fuel turns “bad” over a long period of time. Gasoline is a combustible and volatile liquid, and it partially loses its combustion properties if kept unused for long.

These are the possible signs of gas turning bad –

  • Sputtering
  • Refusing to get started.
  • Sediment formation
  • Clogging in the fuel tank
  • Varnish formation
  • Chunks of sticky fuel collected in the tank.

Removing the gasoline from lawn mower ensures prevention against rusting or leaking lines within the machine’s fuel system.

How to Drain Gas from Lawn Mower?

Removing gas from lawn mower is not a hefty task, if you follow the correct procedure. Below is the detailed process on how to empty gas from lawn mower safely and correctly.

1. Preparation: Fuel Stabiliser

Before initiating the drainage process, fuel stabilizers are mindfully added to prevent ‘bad gas’. While the main focus for drainage is fuel tanks, it is very important to note that some gas remains in fuel lines, filters, and carburetors. Despite your best efforts, you will not be able to remove every bit of gas from the tank. Therefore, fuel stabilizers will ensure that whatever gas is left doesn’t cause any problem in the next season.

2. Cooling Down

After adding stabilizers, it is required to keep the mower on a flat, hard surface to cool down. It will also give some time to the stabilizer to work its magic around and get mixed evenly.

3. Disconnect the Plug

This step is a safety precaution and, significantly, a major step. It is to avoid any accidents or unintentional ignition of the mower. There are several ways to drain lawnmower gas out. All of them are listed below.

3.1. Let it run in idle mode

If the remaining fuel is significantly less in quantity and cannot be taken out using a siphon or a hose, it is a good idea to let it run in idle mode. However, it can cause unnecessary noise and pollution. Hence, it will be better if you use it to clear a patch of grass instead of an idle run. (Note: Do not forget to use a fuel stabilizer.)

3.2. Turkey Baster

If you do not have clear pipes and siphons laying around, you can easily make use of a turkey baster. All you will be required to do is:

  • Put the baster into the tank.
  • Squeeze its bulb, as this will allow you to create suction in the tank.
  • Fuel will start collecting in it.
  • You can remove the baster and restore the collected fuel elsewhere.

3.3. Disconnect Fuel Lines From Carburettor

Before describing the step, it is important to highlight the fact that not all mowers are equipped with this facility. Only some mowers have their tanks attached to carburetors through the fuel lines. Disconnecting the lines will enable the fuel to reach the container you want to remove the fuel in, from the tank via the fuel line.

3.4. Using Syphon Pumps

It is one of the easiest methods to drain the tank. A siphon pump comprises clear tubes and a pump, which offers air pressure difference in the tank and enables initial suction.

  • Submerge the brass end in the fuel.
  • Squeeze the pump a few times until you see the fuel running out of the pipe.
  • Wait until you have collected every amount possible.
  • Take the brass end out and clean it before putting it away.
  • Store the fuel in a safe place.

3.5. Siphon-less Process

This is a DIY process of draining gas. In case of the non-availability of siphon pumps, you can create your own suction apparatus using some simple tools.

  • You will need two clear plastic tubes, a knife, a towel/rag cloth, and an empty can to collect drained gasoline.
  • Cut one pipe long enough to reach the collecting pan from the bottom of the fuel tank. Keep the length of the other tube short.
  • Park your lawnmower on even, sturdy ground. Ensure to disconnect the spark plug and turn the ignition off.
  • Submerge the long tube in the fuel and keep its other end inside the drain pan. Use gravity by putting the empty can on a lower level than the mower.
  • Insert the short tube in the tank such that it does not touch the fuel in the tank.
  • Take a wet towel or cloth to cover the fuel cap through which the pipes were inserted.
  • Blow air from the shorter pipe. Do not inhale the fumes and make certain that you are not sucking the air in, as it would cause the pipe to act as a straw. The main aim is to develop a pressure gradient in the tank.
  • After a few blows, the fuel will start coming out through the longer pipe. As the rate of fuel being drained becomes steady, there is no need to keep blowing.

4. Clear Out Residue

Pour some fresh liquid into the tank and move it around to check and confirm that no residual debris is left. Then, run the mower for a little while to ensure that the small amount of recently added fresh fuel is used up.

5. Let It Dry

After draining fuel from lawn mower using any of the above steps, repeat the process by adding a small amount of fresh fuel and wiping the tank off using rag clothes to guarantee that any remaining gasoline is absorbed. Keep the mower out until it is completely dry. It will not take long as gasoline is a volatile liquid. You can blow dry it to make the process simpler and faster. After completing all the mentioned steps, you can safely keep the lawnmower away until next time.

Tips to Follow while Emptying Gas from Lawn Mower

  • Briggs and Stratton engines- Use Syphon, Baster, or DIY process to drain the tank as fuel lines do not connect it to the carburetor.
  • Honda mowers: It can be drained very easily by disconnecting the fuel lines.
  • The unused gas can be used as fuel for cars or any gas-powered engines. Lawnmowers have a 4-stroke engine. Therefore, to add its fuel to a 2-stroke engine, the oil might need to be added in a specified proportion.
  • Ensure to take safety measures like gearing up properly and carrying out the procedure in a well-ventilated area.


Even in regular household activities, safety comes first. Draining the gas is not only a small and generally effortless step to keep your lawnmower functional; it is also an unavoidable measure to evade any dangerous circumstances. For added safety, secure the lawnmower away for next spring in a safe and even place after the draining process. After storing for a longer period, you might face trouble starting a riding lawn mower. But with some tips and safety measures you can start it again.