I do some woodworking in my free time, and I’ve found that one of the worst parts of the entire activity is cleaning up after myself. And while I might end up with incredible custom pieces or practical projects for my garden, I’ve often had to deal with sawdust-filled grass. So, I’ve been wondering: is there a way one can easily remove sawdust from grass?
You can easily remove sawdust from your grass using a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner, rake, or even a leaf blower. The best course of action for good results depends on how much sawdust you’re dealing with, as well as factors like humidity and land slope.
You should see the best results from any of the methods I’ve suggested—provided you do it the right way. I wrote this article to share step-by-step instructions for removing sawdust from your grass—whether in a garden, a lawn, or a designated play area for your kids. Let’s get started!
1. Use a Rake
Most gardeners only see rakes as handy tools for clearing grass, spreading mulch, or making beautiful plant beds. However, they’re versatile instruments that can help you remove sawdust from your grass—albeit with some effort. In fact, you can see excellent results in very little time, as long as you follow the correct steps when working.
Here’s how you can use a rake to remove sawdust from your grass easily:
Gather Your Tools
Gather all the tools you need to remove the sawdust from your grass. You’ll need a high-quality, long-handled rake as well as a shovel and a trash can. However, for convenience, you can use a garbage bag instead of a trash can.
Lightly Water the Grass
Use a hose or watering can to lightly water the grass. The moisture will dampen the sawdust and turn the material into more manageable clumps.
I don’t recommend skipping this step, as it will help make the work easier and faster.
Remove Visible Clumps With a Rake
Remove as much of the sawdust clumps as possible using a rake. I suggest you start the step immediately after watering the grass to get most of the sawdust out of the grass. You can gather the sawdust clumps into one big pile in the center of your garden or someplace with lots of space.
Put Collected Sawdust in the Trash
Use a shovel to move the sawdust into a trash can or a garbage bag. You can use a trowel if it’s a small pile, but you’re better off using a wheelbarrow to move the sawdust piles if you’re dealing with a significant amount of material.
Allow the Grass to Dry
Leave the grass to dry for a few days. The leftover sawdust requires a bit of patience to eliminate, but you’ll end up with sawdust-free grass if you complete the steps in this guide.
Let the grass dry for about two days to ensure the sawdust becomes bone-dry.
Brush the Sawdust Into a Dustpan
Use the rake to brush the sawdust into a dustpan before disposing of them in trash cans or garbage bags. You can also move the material to a sidewalk and sweep it up if the grass is close to concrete sidewalks. This step might seem like a hassle, but it’s easy to complete if your grass is dry.
Your grass should be mostly sawdust-free if you followed my instructions to the letter. You don’t need to repeat the entire process if you notice some leftover sawdust. However, you might need to sweep the grass one more time for better results.
2. Use a Heavy-Duty Vacuum Cleaner
Using a rake to remove sawdust seems easy, but a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner might be an even better alternative if you want quick results. And while the vacuum cleaner you’ll need for this task might be a bit expensive, the results are worth the price tag.
Still, it’s essential you know the right way to clean the grass using this equipment if you want to end up with decent results.
Here’s how to remove sawdust from your grass using a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner:
Water the Grass Sparingly
Water the grass sparingly with a hose or watering can. You can use the damp sawdust to your advantage and easily remove the clumps that will form. Just ensure you don’t soak the grass with too much water.
Remove Any Clumps
Use a rake to remove the sawdust clumps from the damp grass. Remember to rake after wetting the grass and use a garbage bag or trash can to collect the material. You can also use a wheelbarrow and shovel if you’re dealing with big piles of sawdust.
Let the Grass Dry
Let the grass dry for a few days. This wait time might be annoying, but it’s a great way to ensure you don’t have any sawdust residue on your grass or garden. Some grasses might only require a few hours to dry, especially during summer.
Get an Appropriate Vacuum Cleaner
As you’d expect, these instructions won’t give satisfactory results if you use an inferior vacuum cleaner. In fact, it might even make the entire process more cumbersome since you’ll have to go over the steps multiple times.
I recommend using a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner with enough suction to remove the heaviest wood particles from your grass, which is versatile enough to handle liquid spills or wet sawdust.
So take out your heavy-duty vacuum cleaner and set it up. You can check out the manufacturer’s instruction manual for directions to set it up. The best vacuum cleaner to remove sawdust from your grass is a shop vacuum or shop vac.
Turn on the vacuum and use it as directed in the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Shop vacs work pretty much like regular vacuum cleaners but have more power to remove heavier materials like nails and wood chips. They’re also durable and can withstand more than your average vacuum cleaner.
Dispose of Collected Sawdust
Dispose of the sawdust in a trash can or garbage bag. Remember to clean out the vacuum bucket thoroughly. You don’t need to use soap, but some running water from a tap or hose should do the trick.
You can skip the first two steps if you’re pressed for time. However, ensure the grass is completely dry before using the vacuum cleaner. You can also start vacuuming immediately after wetting the grass if your shop vac allows wet cleaning.
And while it might not be as thorough as I’d like my cleaning to be, you should end up with similar results.
3. Use a Leaf Blower
Leaf blowers might seem slightly impractical, but they can also be helpful tools to remove sawdust from your grass easily. Leaf blowers work almost the same way as vacuum cleaners but blow materials around instead of sucking them into a bag or bucket. They can also be great allies to clean sawdust-stained grass if you use them correctly.
Here’s how to use a leaf blower to remove sawdust from your grass easily:
Ensure the Sawdust Is Dry
Wait for the sawdust to dry if the grass is wet. You can skip this step if the grass is already dry. The leaf blower will be mostly ineffective if you use it on wet grass or damp sawdust.
Set up Your Leaf Blower
Take out your leaf blower and set it up like you usually would when clearing leaves in your garden. Ensure you check the manufacturer’s instructions for set-up instructions. Fortunately, most leaf blowers are pretty easy to use and maintain, so you shouldn’t have any problems.
While a regular leaf blower would work when removing sawdust from grass, you should use a high-quality product for the best results.
The BLACK+DECKER Electric Leaf Blower (from Amazon.com) is an excellent leaf blower that’ll help you easily remove sawdust from your grass. I’ve been using it for some time, and its design allows easy maneuverability—perfect for working with fine materials and heavier objects.
Wear Protective Equipment
Put on some protective equipment to protect yourself from the wood dust. You can use a respirator and wear gloves. They should prevent irritation or other dust-induced illnesses the wood dust could cause.
Blow the Sawdust to an Empty Location
Turn on the leaf blower and use it to move the sawdust to a specific spot. You’ll want an open site or a corner, but ensure it has a concrete surface for easy cleanup. You might need to move the leaf blower closer to the grass than you usually would to ensure you remove all the sawdust.
Remember to carefully aim the leaf blower when moving the sawdust, and vary the blowing power as appropriate. You might find it easier to move the sawdust using low power than running the equipment at maximum performance.
Gather & Dispose of the Sawdust Collected
Use a sweeper, shovel, and dustpan to move the sawdust you’ve gathered. You can also use a wheelbarrow if you carry lots of material, but ensure to dispose of it appropriately. I use garbage bags to dispose of the removed sawdust.
Now, you might wonder if it’s a good idea to dispose of all the sawdust you’ve removed from your grass, as some suggest that it could damage your garden. Fortunately, it can also double as mulch for vegetable gardens—provided you use it correctly.
Sawdust isn’t necessarily a dangerous material, but it could pose some aesthetic challenges to your garden or lawn. It could also seriously affect your plant health if it’s present in excess amounts. Fortunately, you can easily remove the material by following the steps I highlighted in this article.
Remember to protect yourself from the wood dust when working and carefully follow the instructions in this article for excellent results. You can use the sawdust you’ve removed as mulch or compost.