How To Clean A Chainsaw | Step By Step Guide 2022

Chainsaw Image

Most of us hardly think about doing the maintenance of our chainsaws. We think that cleaning it in a month or two is all a chainsaw needs for maintenance. But, actually, a chainsaw is much more complex than we think and it requires regular cleaning.

The calibration of the chainsaw dwindles if it’s not cleaned on a regular basis (say twice a week). Moreover, the blades start to run hot and also vibrate a lot due to the dust and debris accumulated around them. Hence cleaning a chainsaw is a good option for the safety and longevity of chainsaws.

Cleaning the chainsaw also have some augmented benefits like better performance, low gas/electricity consumption. It is also very economical because dirty chainsaws require replacement sooner than a well-maintained one.

In this article, I will provide a complete guide to clean a chainsaw. The methods provided in the guide will work in any scenario. Whether the chainsaw is a complete mess or just a little dirty.

Steps To Clean A Chainsaw

In this step-by-step guide, I will simply provide you the methods of cleaning various components. I will provide a complete method of how to open and clean them and then safely close the component. There are some steps that you must follow prior to cleaning a chainsaw. The steps are.

  • For battery, chainsaws make sure that you have removed the battery as cleaning might damage it.
  • For a gas-powered chainsaw, you must drain out any fuel left inside the chainsaw. And, also disconnect the spark plug connector.
  • Simply remove the electric cable if it is connected to a corded chainsaw.

Please make sure to do the above-mentioned steps to avoid any hazards. after, this follows the given steps on how to clean a chainsaw.

1. Place The Chainsaw On A Stable Work Bench Or Table

Make sure that the workbench has sufficient space and you can comfortably clean the chainsaw on it. Also, have an empty box where you can keep the screws and nuts to avoid losing them.

2. Remove The Cover And Clean The Bar

To remove the cover you need to unscrew the nuts located on sidebars. Make sure you disengage the chain brake before removing the cover. In some chainsaws, you are not required to remove the chain brake to unscrew the nut, so read your chainsaw’s manual regarding this.

After removing the cover detach the guide bar and chain from the powerhead for cleaning. I will recommend using a degreaser and scrub brush for cleaning the bar but washing with a detergent will also work.

Make sure you clean all the groves of the chainsaw along with oiler holes. For cleaning oiler holes I will recommend using something like a chopstick say screwdriver and kick the dirt out. After cleaning all this make sure to clean the part which is attached to the sprocket and oil it.

3. Cleaning The Spark Plug

Cleaning the spark plug on a daily basis is very lucrative as it is one of the main components to start the chainsaw. Moreover, it is a quick and hassle-free process that can be done in few seconds with a stiff brush.

We just need to simply remove the spark plug and brush it out till all the accumulated carbon is removed. However, if your spark plug is extremely dirty I will recommend replacing it as the spark plug is not that expensive.

4. Clear Out The Sticky, Left Out Goo Of Gasoline From Fuel Tank

Gasoline has a tendency to evaporate if it kept idle in the fuel tank for a considerable period. I will advise you to empty out your gas tank after using it if you do not use it on a daily or weekly basis. It is because the gasoline in the fuel tank evaporates leaving behind a sticky goo. It tarnishes the fuel tank and deteriorates the overall efficiency and performance of the chainsaw.

In case you have not been using your fueled chainsaw for more than a month it is necessary to clean it up now. Firstly, you need to pour out all the fuel from the chainsaw. Secondly, take out the fuel filter. Finally, immerse it in a strong solvent like sodium hydroxide to eliminate all the sticky goo.

5. Cleaning The Chain

If your chain is just a little dirty you can use concentrated vinegar and a piece of cloth to clean it. Just wipe the chains with the cloth dipped in vinegar for 2-3 mins and it will shine like new. However, if the chain is excessively dirty or the vinegar is not working effectively, use ammonia.

Simply make a mixture of water and ammonia of roughly five liters in a ratio of 15:1. It means mixing 1.25 gallons or 4.75 liters of water with a tenth of a gallon or nearly 400 milliliters of ammonia. Then immerse the chain in the mixture for roughly half an hour in order to soak it. After soaking just scrub the chain off with a stiff brush until it is free from dirt.

Caution: Ammonia is a harmful liquid that can cause severe irritation to our nose and throat. Therefore, we need to follow some safety tips to prevent any issues. Firstly, make the mixture in a ventilated area so that the harmful odor of ammonia doesn’t accumulate. Secondly, do not immerse your hands for too long in the mixture. Lastly, use a pair of thick gloves for this step.

6. Unblocking The Chain Lubrication Hole

Sometimes, debris gets accumulated around the chain lubrication hole barring the lubrication oil from reaching the chain. This heats the chainsaw and reduces its smoothness. We can remove the debris with the help of a thick needle, wire, or pipe cleaner. After removing the debris kindly check if the lubrication oil is being able to make to the chains. If still, you notice some blockage simply repeat this step.

7. Clean The Powerhead

We all want our chainsaw’s exterior to look shiny and clean. And, maintaining that shine is an uncomplicated task simply wipe the powerhead with some water daily. After this simply wipe it a couple of more times with a dry cloth to restore its shine. In case some stubborn dust still there use a brush to scrub it off.

8. Clean The Air Filter

Detach the air filter of the chainsaw after removing the top cover. After detaching run the air filter under water to clear any kind of dust accumulated in the filer. After this wipe it dry with a dry cloth.

9. Clean The Carburetor

Remove all the parts of the carburetor i.e needle valves, diaphragm, and cover plate. clean them with vinegar or soak them in the same ammonia solution made for the chain. After soaking for 30 minutes scrub all the dirt and residue off and dry it out with a dry cloth.

10. Reassembling All The Parts

After all the parts which you have detached have dried out completely, reassemble them back. Make sure to do the following things.

  • Mount the chain in the correct direction.
  • Make sure to screw back all the nuts.
  • Neither screw back the nuts too tight damaging the chainsaw. Nor, too light leaving the parts sagging.
  • Dispose of the ammonia solution after pouring some additional water into it.


I am a professional logger and I am using the same technique for decades. Please, keep in mind the steps which I have mentioned above are focused on gas-powered chainsaw.

In an electric chainsaw, you can following the same step-by-step guide as well. Just omit the steps which only focus on the maintenance of gas-powered chainsaw parts.

I give you the assurity that if you follow the given steps correctly the life span and the performance of the chainsaw will increase. Moreover, it will be very economical as well in the long run as well-maintained parts do not require replacement and costly tools for its maintenance.


Here at BestForConsumer, I have tried my best to provide complete and correct information. I am following a stern guideline for sourcing the information and refrain from displaying the facts and data that is garnered from tertiary sources because they might have some distorted information that may cause harm to our readers.

You May Also Like To Read About