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.
In the following guide we mainly focus on walk-behind mowers since the majority of lawns are served perfectly well by these machines. However if you have a lawn that is larger than half an acre you may want a riding mower. If you have a yard that is between a quarter and half an acre consider a self-propelled model. This basically means you do less pushing. Self-propelled mowers are especially helpful on hills. Also pay special attention to blade size. Look for a mower with a blade thats at least 20-inches long if you have a larger yard. Conversely if you have many narrow areas to mow a smaller deck the area within which the blade spins around is best.