Like most tools, lawn aerators require proper care and maintenance after usage. One way to do this is to clean the aerator tines and spokes after aerating your lawn.
Remove any soil cores on the spikes before putting the lawn aerator away. You can also use a pressure washer to wash away the dirt and let your aerator dry in the sun before storing it.
There are various types of lawn aerators on the market, and each requires a different technique to clean them. Find out how to clean lawn aerator to prolong its shelf life even when not in use.
Lawn aerators are meant to get dirty, so the soil from your lawn may not damage it in the long run. However, if left dirty, the spikes and aerator tines can rust, reducing their efficiency.
If appropriately cleaned after use, you can expect the aerator to serve you for decades.
Here are the steps to take when cleaning your lawn aerator.
1. Remove any Soil Cores
You know the mud and soil that gets stuck between your lawn aerator spikes? Yes, the ones that are dug out from your lawn during aeration. Those are supposed to be left on the lawn.
Removing the soil cores on the lawn saves you the trouble of having to clean out the soil from your garage when you store your aerator. Sometimes the mud might be stubborn, so you may need to use an air chisel to force out the cores.
These cores will decompose on the lawn and add nutrients back to the soil in the process.
Most modern lawn aerator tools automatically remove the soil cores as you aerate your lawn, but check to ensure you’re not carrying any cores back to the storage room.
A few things you need to be careful about when cleaning your aerator tines are the type of soil and whether or not you have rocks on your lawn. Rocks can block the tine holes easily, and if not dislodged from the inside, they reduce the efficiency of your aerator.
Clay soil also easily clogs and dries up inside the spikes, so make sure to push it out in between aerations.
2. Clean the Aerator Tines
Once most of the dirt and mud is out, you need to wash off any soil left. If you have a big lawn or need to aerate for more than a few days, your cleaning process will be different from cleaning for long-term storage.
If you’re cleaning to store your aerator for a day before you resume using it the next day, here’s what you need to do:
A simple power wash using a hose or pressure washer will get out most of the dirt. Repeat a few times until the aerator is clean enough to bring to the house. It would be best if you let it dry in the sun to free it of any moisture before storing it.
However, if you are cleaning your lawn aerator to put it away after finishing the job, you might want to pay attention to the nooks and crannies. More importantly, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the proper way to clean your lawn aerator for storage. They may recommend particular products or techniques that work best for your specific aerator.
Also read: Which walk-behind core aerators work best?
3. Check for Rust
When storing your lawn aerator for the long term, rust is your worst enemy. If not cleaned early, it will eat away at your aerator spikes and cause them to weaken over time.
After cleaning the soil off your aerator with water, let it sit in the sun until it is completely dry before bringing it to the garage. You may have to wipe off any excess water left if it doesn’t dry well.
If your lawn aerator is already rusty, don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to improve its condition.
First, after making sure it’s dry, identify the rusting areas both inside and outside the tines. Next, using sandpaper or a wire brush, begin brushing on the rusted area to grind away the rust. Ensure there’s no rust on the inside of the tines before you store your aerator away.
Also read: Commercial lawn aerators reviews
4. Protect by Lubrication
An extra step that lawn care experts recommend is to oil and lubricate your lawn aerator before storing it for a long time. Not only will it protect any moving joints, but it will also prevent rusting since the oil forms a barrier that keeps moisture away from the metallic parts of the aerator.
After giving your lawn aerator a good power wash and letting it dry, apply a generous amount of oil using a cloth and wipe over the surface of the tines as well. You can use a stick to lubricate the inside of spikes to prevent rust from building up.
Also read: Stand-on aerators reviews
FAQs About How to Clean Lawn Aerator
How Do I Maintain my Aerator Tines?
Maintenance is essential for any garden tool. Cleaning, oiling, and proper storage make a big difference in the durability of garden tools.
For aerator tines, proper cleaning, oiling, and sharpening do the trick. However, you should also know when to replace your aerator tines.
Do I Need to Sharpen my Lawn Aerator Tines?
Yes. Sharpening is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your aerator tines. While it isn’t a form of cleaning, it is a good maintenance practice for your lawn aerator.
Sharpening is also a good idea if you have rocks on your lawn, as these can quickly dull and bend your tines after aeration.
You can read more on how to sharpen your hollow tine aerators.
Every good lawn owner knows the importance of taking care of their tools. Proper tools make a proper lawn. Therefore, cleaning your lawn aerator shouldn’t be a difficult task if you intend to maintain a healthy lawn.
You should also remember to replace your aerator tines once they become too short. Don’t forget to read the instructions on your aerator’s manual as there could be parts that require special care when cleaning.