I know that many people prefer to hose their mowers down with a garden hose. I admit I have done it. Still doing that is risky. If water gets into the wiring air filter or engine you could really do some damage. Hand washing with damp rag is a drag but also your safest bet.
Gather what you need First gather your tools and equipment. You will need a power drill eye protection work gloves and a blade sharpening kit. The kit should come with a ceramic blade sharpener and balancer. Expect to pay about $8 for the kit at your local hardware store. You will also need a torque wrench (or a socket wrench in a pinch) and a wooden block. Consider having a rubber mallet on hand too.
To clean it first start with a cool engine. If your mower has a fuel valve switch it off. If you can disconnect the spark plug too. Next use a leaf blower to blast away any old dirt and major debris. Now gently lay the mower on its side fuel cap facing up. Try to get rid of any junk on the mowers underside as well.