Lawnmowers can be heavy and difficult to handle, and these cumbersome machines take effort to maneuver. As a result, the same sunshine that causes your grass to grow can make you feel like you’re overheating when you mow the lawn.
To stay cool while mowing the lawn, there are a few key steps you can take to battle the heat. Some of the most effective tactics include mowing in the early morning or late evening, taking breaks in the shade, and misting yourself with water.
This article will explore some of the most effective ways to stay cool while mowing the lawn. If you are looking for proven ways to beat the heat when doing this tough chore, read on.
1. Mow in the morning or evening.
The most effective defense against the heat of the day is to avoid it as much as possible.
Mowing your lawn in the early mornings or the late evenings will ensure the task is much cooler than if you were to mow midday. The sun is most powerful between the hours of 10 AM – 4 PM. This is because the sun is closest to the earth, and its rays are the strongest.
As such, the best time to mow your lawn is between before 10 AM or after 4 PM.
2. Wear breathable clothes.
The second weapon in your cooling arsenal is your outfit.
Shirts and pants should be loose, not drapey–nothing that would be at risk of getting caught in the mower–but something that can allow airflow between the fabric and your skin. This will help move hot air away from your skin, allowing it to be replaced by cooler, fresher air.
Stick to materials like cotton, linen, and jersey. These fabrics are known for their breathability and have long been touted as the kings of cool.
The open weaves of these fabrics allow in air, and the moisture-absorbing properties will move the moisture away from your skin.
Avoid fabrics that are stifling, like wool, jean, and thick polyester.
A simple rule to follow: if you could wear it on a winter’s night, don’t wear it on a summer’s day.
3. Wear a bandana.
The cowboys of the wild west may have been tough men, but even they needed a respite from the heat.
The neckerchiefs that they wore around their throats served more than just a western look; they functioned as protection from the sun. A kerchief can be worn on the front of your neck, to shield your chest from the sun, and swung around to protect your back, when the sun is behind you.
Cowboys also used the neckerchiefs as cooling cloths. They would dunk their bandanas in water, then retie them around their necks, or under their hats. This would release water down their backs, lowering their body temperature.
Nowadays, some bandanas have been specifically invented for this purpose. These MiraCool Cooling Bandanas hold moisture in the fabric, releasing it slowly over time.
For extended cooling action, soak and place your bandana in the freezer overnight.
4. Take breaks.
If you must work in the heat of the day, or if you find yourself feeling exhausted mid-mow, you should take many small breaks.
Step inside, sit in the shade, sip some water, and let your body temperature come down before re-approaching the lawn.
You’ll feel refreshed after a break, and your work will be more efficient.
5. Use wind to your advantage.
A little breeze goes a long way in keeping us cool.
If you see a windy day in the forecast ahead, try to mow your lawn on that day. Breezes, while not necessarily cool themselves, cause the air to move and therefore transport the hot air away from your body and push cooler air in.
If you cannot plan for a windy day, you can also buy a fan to make your own wind.
6. Spray yourself with water.
When it comes to mowing the lawn, water is an effective way to cool down and stay that way.
Spritzing yourself with water throughout your chore will help keep you cool. All you need for this is a simple spray bottle; you probably already have one in your house:
If you’ve been working hard, and not paying attention to your heat levels, you may find yourself in need of immediate relief.
The best way to do this is by fully submerging yourself in water. Jump into a cold shower, dunk your head in the sink, or, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, embrace your inner child and cannonball your way to cool.
7. Make sure you are fully hydrated.
Part of staying cool begins days before your chore does.
Some studies show that drinking adequate water in the days leading up to a hot outdoor activity are more important in keeping cool than anything you can do on the day itself.
As such, it’s crucial to hydrate thoroughly for 1-2 days before your lawn needs to be mowed.
Drink between 10 to 16 cups (2.5 to 4 liters) of water in the days before your activity, and make sure your electrolyte levels are up and avoid caffeine before you mow.
You also might want to stay away from the coffee. Caffeine is also known to raise blood pressure and heart rate, meaning your system will already be firing at half-capacity before you even power up the John Deere, and you’ll reach your top temperature much faster.
8. Create your own shade.
The reason shade feels so much cooler than standing in direct sunshine is that whatever object is creating your shade, is blocking out the solar radiation from the sun.
If you stay protected from the sun’s rays, you will stay more protected from the sun’s heat. Ideally, you would mow your entire lawn in the shade. This is, unfortunately, impossible– unless you create your own.
9. Wear a cooling vest.
Cooling vests are semi-recent additions to the battle against adverse heat.
These gadgets function in a few different ways:
- Frozen packs that sit in pockets in the vest.
- Cool water that circulates throughout the vest.
- Water-activated cooling gel in the vest.
Each of these vests is efficient in lowering the core temperature of your body. If you’re looking for a long-term solution to your hottest weekly chore, investing in a cooling vest could be the most effective, fastest fix.
I recommend the FlexiFreeze Professional Series Ice Vest. It’s one of the most popular cooling vests available, and with good reason: it’s incredibly durable, effective, and easy-to-use. All you need to do is freeze the panels and slide them into the vest, and your lawn mowing experience will feel more akin to an ice bath than a hot summer’s day.
If you want to stay cool while mowing the lawn, you can do so by following the tips above. If you can, mow in the early morning or the late evening to avoid the peak heat of the sun.
If you cannot avoid mowing in the heat of the day, the best choice to keep cool is a cooling vest. They are effective and lower your core temperature.
If you aren’t able to invest in a cooling vest, a water-soaked handkerchief tied around your neck is the most cost-conscious way to stay cool. To extend the effectiveness of the cloth, put it in the freezer the night before.