Mowing Deck Cleanliness

Hi,
Has anyone ever come across anything or any way to keep the underside of a mowing deck (tractor in this case but same with my pushmower) clean of debris? I have lawn tractors that are 32, 24, and 3 years old respectively and only one is no longer functional - it barfed its guts all over my driveway one day when I was using the sweeper. The other two are in the Fair and Very Good categories respectively. But both have corrosion under the deck, which is always the first thing to go on a lawn tractor it seems.
I do admit to having heavy use; about 1 1/2 acres weekly this summer at least, and 4 acres three times a season to keep it from going to brush, but it was 4 times this year.
It's not too hard to wash off the top of the deck, but the underside is never easy to get at and the grass likes to stick to it, no matter what Iv'e used to coat it with (paint wise). Without lifting it way up so it's completely visible and accessible, you just cannot completely remove the grass from it which results in a clump/s growing and eating the metal.
Please don't advise about only mowing late afternoon, low humidity, etc.; I know those things. I'm only interested in a finish/covering/method that will prevent grass collection damage under the deck. The best I've found so far is alk enamel, gloss, and mulching blades for the extra air movement, but it's far from a long term fix at best. Yes, I resharpen the blades three times a season.
I was reading some manuals at Sears the other day: Would you believe there are actually recommendations now to use ONLY compressed air for cleaning, because a hose might cause damage? They didn't say what to, but there was a vague mention of the electronic ignition. I don't think we'll see any improvements in the decks real soon. Most of the mfg's seem to think "12 Ga" is a special, extra thick metal; or so they'd like is to believe. Even John Deere, one of the best out there, has the same problem.
Regards,
Pop
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I have seen a spray on material that was made to keep grass from sticking but I dont recall the name. Maybe googling for it may help.Dont know how well it works. In the fall when I mow and bag my leaves it sure cleans the underside of my mower like new.
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Would Pam cooking spray work?
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<< Has anyone ever come across anything or any way to keep the underside of a mowing deck (tractor in this case but same with my pushmower) clean of debris?

I always clean mine manually (garden trowel) tipped on the side that keeps oil & gas from dribbling out. So far after 6 or 7 years its till looks OK Someone, Sears maybe, once had a mower deck with a welded in spout to attach a hose for cleaning. Seems logical to make an adapter to fit over the grass exit to both close it off and provide a hose/water inlet and then see if the water would flush the deck while the mower idles. One problem is that many mowers these days don't have speed controls. Maybe instead of wasting stainless steel on kitchen appliances that don't need it, some bright engineer would use it on mower decks that do need it. My nickels' worth...
Joe
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Try Slip Plate No. 1, which is a graphite coating that you can paint on under the deck. You can get it at some farm stores or directly from http://www.slipplate.com . (It's at farm stores because I think farmers use it to coat chutes for feed.) Occasionally my John Deere dealer has some in stock.
Clean the deck down to the paint/metal, then paint it with a few coats of Slip Plate underneath. It's not a miracle - if you cut wet grass often, it will build up eventually, but it does so much slower. The difference is noticable.
Be sure to get _No. 1_ and not the spray-on stuff. You will waste your time and money with the sprays - they are just too thin.

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use
in
it
time
This sounds like a good idea for a swamp cooler also. Our water supply is so corrosive. I am having our cooler sandblasted then power coated. A finish of slip coat on top of that sounds like it would prolong the finish. Coolers can destruct in about 2 years here with this water. WW
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I bought a new mower about a month ago. It dawned on me about two weeks late that it would've been a great idea to treat the bejeezus out of the underside with car wax. In the meantime, I'm doing what the guy at the mower shop suggested (which was so obvious that it's embarrassing): Scrape the deck with a soft wooden stick, like the free paint mixer things.
He had a series of paddles he'd made from pine - one for each deck shape. They looked kind of like the dough scrapers you see big-time chefs using on the food channel. I added that to my project list. It's number 8,341 on the list. "Make paddle." Like I'll remember WTF that was two years from now.
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Some mowers (Toro comes to mind) had a small plastic cap on the top of the metal where you were supposed to put a garden hose and run the mower. I did this and it did seem to work, however, I haven't done it in years.
Doug Kanter wrote:

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I've heard a good cleaning under the deck, allowing to dry, then spraying a coat of silicone lube works... but has to be reapplied often.
I'd let the silicone dry a few hours, or overnight too.
I must admit I have no experience actually doing this, nor actually seen it done...
Erik
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you could bring the mower to one of those bed liner places and have them coat it
Wayne

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Nice stuff, but the applications I've seen all have a rough, sandy kind of surface. I suspect that would cause MORE grass to cling.

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Pop.
Once a year, in the Fall I detach the deck, give it a good cleaning, spray with paint if needed, sharpen the blades, balance the blades, and look for other things that need fixing. This is usually part of the change the oil, drain the gas, clean the air filter routine at the end of the mowing season. Sorry I don't have a miracle product to push.
Dave M.
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Pop wrote:

Actually, once dried, the clumps add protection to the metal. I clean my deck whenever I sharpen the blades, or whenever I look under there and see clumps interfering with the discharge air flow. The dried clumps almost have to be chiseled off the metal because they have dried almost to a fiberglass cement consistency. Even if I spray them with water and let them sit for a while, they are still dry under the top 1/16" or so. Unless you are mowing dried grass that has had a 3 month drought, there will always be some moisture in the grass blades, so mowing at various times of the day does not have that much of an effect on grass buildup under the deck. I usually wait under the morning dew has dried up somewhat, though. Painting any kind of coating under the deck would be subject to a constant beating of debris or dirt acting like a sand blaster. I suppose if painted or coated, it would have to be an annual event. You still may have to scrape off the built up clumps (except maybe if you got a Teflon coating) and that scraping will mess up the coating. My 3 bladed mower deck (Murray) is about 10 years old and it is still solid without any coating of the deck.

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Pop wrote:

On of the best products is PAM spray cooking oil Cheap and you can use it in the kitchen as well. It does work.

I know that it is not always convenient to schedule you mowing for ideal weather, but it is good idea to at least try. But that is up to you.

Heck, I even use the leaf blower. It works well.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Copied a device advertised in one of those junk-mail catalogs. Fitted a garden hose connection to a 4' piece of plastic pipe with an angle, nipple and cap on the lower end and drilled a hole in the cap to produce a suitable jet. It worked but it's hard to tell how good a job you've done when you can't see underneath.
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SJF wrote:

I bought something similar, and probably what you saw advertised. It is to clean the fingers in a DE pool filter. It is just a plastic wand that you connect to a garden hose and has an upward shooting hole in the other end. You shove it in the bottom drain fitting that is used to drain the filter tank and slide it in and out, and twist it side to side, to clean the caked DE between the fingers. I keep it running until the water runs clear from all angles inside the filter. It's still hit or miss, like trying to clean under the mower deck.
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After cleaning, you could spray vegetable cooking spray one the underside and wait 15 minutes before using. The grass should not stick or be easily brushed off with a whisk broom. You may need to use a wooden stick for some crevices. I use a blower to clean off the mower.

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I just flush the mower deck with the pressure washer. Hose pressure just doesn't cut it. I chisel the rest out when I do blade sharpening.

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