We’re in the middle of winter, and the height of the lawn care season seems like ages away.  While the busy season is in the distant future, the last thing you want to do when March arrives is to wrestle with a broken sprayer. Chances are you have stored your equipment but have you cleaned your sprayers properly?

Cleaning your sprayer is a major part of keeping your sprayer working for years and needs to be done more than once or twice a year.  Regular cleaning is critical for sprayer longevity.  It’s easy to overlook, and many people do. If you find yourself searching for the answer to “why is my backpack sprayer not holding” pressure or something similar, you might find that regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent those issues.

As tempting as it is to toss your backpack sprayer aside at the end of the day and declare, “I’ll clean it tomorrow,” it’s rarely that simple to remember.  Would you rather take some time at the beginning or end of your day to flush your backpack sprayer, or would you rather waste an entire day because your sprayer is not functioning properly?

And what if I don’t?

What happens if you don’t clean your backpack sprayer regularly?  Leaving chemicals such as pesticides inside a backpack sprayer for a long time will cause the seals to swell, crack, and deteriorate. This leads to an array of issues—poor pressurization, leaks. You name it.

You should also clean your sprayer between uses. Cleaning sprayers between using a herbicide and fertilizer is critical, and failure to clean the tank properly can harm your lawn.

Routine cleaning can save you precious time on repairs and cut down on hours of lost time and business, and it can prevent you from spraying residual chemicals where you shouldn’t apply them.  Cleaning is inexpensive and quick, and all you need is Dawn dish soap and water to flush the system.

The easiest and best way to clean your sprayer

Triple rinsing is the best and most common way to clean your sprayer effectively. The triple rinse process is what it sounds like: you rinse the sprayer three times. Here is the process of triple rinsing

1. Fill the tank with water, shake it, and dump it to remove any excess product in the tank.

2. Next, fill the tank with soap and water, shake the tank again, and spray the soapy solution to flush the entire pump system.

3. Finally, fill the tank with clean water, shake the tank, and spray clean water to flush the pump system one final time.

What products do I need?

You can opt for a tank sprayer cleaner, but a mix of about 6-8 drops of dish soap with water is all you need to thoroughly clean your sprayer. 

When you flush your sprayer regularly, you remove the chemical build-up from the pump assembly. We already know what happens if you allow residue to sit in the sprayer: a broken backpack sprayer.

Remember, clean your sprayers!

If there is anything you need to remember about caring for your sprayer, it’s to clean it.  Cleaning your sprayer prevents unnecessary or untimely repairs because it flushes the pump system of chemicals that will cause the seals to swell and crack.  Remember, a little bit of cleaning will translate to years of service. So, clean your sprayers!