How To Drain Gas From a Lawn Mower (2 Easy Methods)

If you are winterizing your mower, removing dirt from its gas tank, or performing lawn mower repairs, you're likely wanting to know how to drain the gas from your lawn mower.

This article has two different methods, with step-by-step instructions, for draining the gas from a lawn mower.

One method uses a syphon, the other does not.

How To Drain Gas From Lawn Mower

Safety Precautions

  • Work in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to avoid inhaling gasoline fumes.
  • Wear protective gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes.
  • Before you start, make sure the lawn mower's engine is cool. Hot components can be dangerous to work with.

Materials You'll Need

  • Empty gas container or gas can (jerry can)
  • Funnel (optional but helpful)
  • Pliers or a wrench (if needed)
  • A syphon pump (for method #1)

Method 1: Draining With a Siphon

  1. Gather necessary materials: Before starting, gather a siphon pump, tubing, and a jerry can.
  2. Insert the tubing: Insert one end of the tubing into the gas tank of your lawn mower.
  3. Create suction: Use a siphon pump to create suction by following the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Start the flow: Once suction is created, the gas will start flowing through the tubing.
  5. Direct the gas: Direct the other end of the tubing into the jerry can to collect the drained gas.
  6. Monitor the process: Keep an eye on the flow of gas and ensure it is draining properly.
  7. Complete the process: Allow all the gas to drain into the jerry can before disconnecting the tubing.

If you don't have a syphon available to drain the tank, try a turkey baster.
Note: Follow safety precautions when working with gasoline and ensure proper ventilation.

Method 2: Draining a Gas Tank Without a Siphon

  1. Gather necessary materials: Prepare a gas can and a funnel (optional) for this method.
  2. Open the gas cap: Begin by opening the gas cap on your lawn mower.
  3. Position the funnel: Place the funnel securely in the gas can.
  4. Lift and tilt: Carefully lift and tilt the mower towards the gas can, ensuring it is stable and supported.
  5. Drain the gas: Slowly pour the gas from the mower into the funnel, allowing it to flow into the gas can.
  6. Exercise caution: Be cautious while draining the gas to avoid spills or accidents.
  7. Complete the process: Continue draining until all the gas is transferred from the mower to the gas can.

Note: Take appropriate safety measures and perform this task in a well-ventilated area.

Lawn mower after a tuneup

Dispose of Gas Properly

Gasoline is hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly.

Check with your local waste management facility for guidelines on how to dispose of old gasoline.

Inspect and Clean

After draining the gas, you can visually inspect the gas tank for any debris or sediment.

If necessary, use a clean cloth to wipe the inside of the tank.

You can use a pair of long needle-nose pliers to fit a piece of cloth into the mower gas tank through the filler opening.

Should you empty gas from lawn mower?

Yes, if you're storing your lawn mower for an extended period, or storing it indoors, it's generally a good idea to empty the gas from the mower's fuel tank.

For shorter periods of time, like a summer vacation, you can get away with adding a stabilizer to the fuel.

Gasoline can degrade over time, new gas starts degrading in as little as 30 days, and if it sits in the tank for months without use, it can lead to various issues.

How do you get dirt out of a gas tank on a lawn mower?

Depending on the amount and type of dirt you have in the tank, you have a couple of options.

First, remove the gas tank and disconnect the fuel lines. For loose sediment you can add water to the tank, swish it around, and pour any debris into an approved fuel storage container.

If you find the dirt is more like rust scaled or oily residue, I recommend filling it a third of the way with gasoline, dropping a handful of small bolts into the tank, and swishing those around for 5-10 minutes.

The bolts will chip away at any rust, and you can repeat this process several times as needed.

In extreme cases the tank may need to be lined with a re-coating agent, or replaced entirely. Take appropriate safety precautions when working with gasoline.


The article offers guidance on draining gas from lawn mower engines for winterizing and repairs. Another way to empty a lawn mower gas tank is to let it run dry during a mowing session.