How To Clean A Chainsaw In 4 Professional Steps

sharpening chainsaw

No matter how expensive or how durable your chainsaw is, it will require that you do checks and services for its maintenance every now and then. This is to help ensure that your machine will stay in good condition. These checks and services can also help maintain the saw’s efficiency.

One of the things that you will need to do in order to maintain the chainsaw is to clean it. Doing so can actually help you get the chainsaw’s power and torque back especially after it has been used for a long time. Cleaning is meant to help you avoid misfire as well as poor lubrication.

Cleaning the chainsaw is not just about getting rid of debris. It is all about making sure that the engine as well as the chain is in good condition. Although you can actually hire a professional in order to clean the machine for you, you can actually do it yourself by following the steps below.

Things You Need To Prepare

1. A Work Station

A Work Station

You will need to have a clean area where you can work undisturbed. This will allow you to keep others from getting injured and also from losing parts. You need to keep in mind that you will be removing screws, nuts and bolts. You can use your workshop or the garage.

2. A Flat Surface

wood planks

You will need it so you can properly work on the chainsaw. Although the ground would typically suffice, you will need a workbench or at least a sturdy table so you can remove the different parts without having to lift up the machine.

3. Common Tools


Depending on the type and model of your chainsaw, you might have to use screwdrivers, pliers or wrenches in order to remove screws or bolts as well as to dismantle different parts of the chainsaw for cleaning.

4. Work Gloves

work gloves

You will need to wear this so you can avoid injuring your hands and so you can protect your skin from oil, gas and other chemicals. You can wear rubber gloves or use a clean, dry cloth so you can get a firm grip on your chainsaw’s different parts.

5. Dry Rags


This can help you keep the mess at a minimum. You can also use old newspapers if you do not have any dry rags.

6. File

a File

This will be used to clean the spark plug. You can also use a wire brush if you do not have one.

7. A Siphon Pump

siphon pump

This will be used to remove the old fuel and oil mixture in the tank. You can use rubber tubing if you do not have one.

8. Container For Fuel Disposal


This will be used to store the old oil and gas mixture so you can dispose of it properly later on. You can use plastic containers for as long as they are made from the correct materials.

9. Lacquer Solvent

Lacquer Solvent

This will be used to clean the fuel filter. You can also use other strong solvents.

10. Compressed Air

Compressed Air

This will be used to clean the air filter. If you do not have one, you can use warm, soapy water.

You will also need the following:

  • A small toothbrush
  • ​A spark plug wrench
  • A spark plug

How To Clean A Chainsaw In 4 Professional Steps

Step 1: Check And Clean The Spark Plug

spark plugs

Inside your workshop, place the chainsaw flat on the workbench. Wear work gloves and use a spark plug wrench to remove the spark plug. If it has a lot of deposits, you will have to clean the electrodes with a file. If it no longer works properly or if it is damaged, you need to replace it with a new one.

Step 2: Drain The Fuel Tank

pouring oil into saw

Using a siphon pump, remove any old fuel and oil mixture in the tank. Remove the fuel filter and soak it in lacquer solvent until all of the deposits have been dissolved properly. Drain the excess solvent, replace the filter and put in a fresh mixture of gas and oil back into the tank.

Step 3: Cleaning The Air Filter


Using the necessary tools, open the air filter cover and remove the air filter by hand. Use compressed air to clean the filter by removing debris and dust on it. If you are going to use warm, soapy water, make sure that you let the air filter dry first before you try to put it back on.

Step 4: Clean The Bar And The Chain

Clean The Bar And The Chain

Unscrew the guide bar or remove the bolt that keeps it in the chainsaw. Remove the sprocket cover and try to remove the tensioning screw so you can easily detach the chain. Remove the bar and clean it with the rag, making sure that all of the grooves as well as the oil inlet hole are also cleaned properly.

You can soak the chain in warm, soapy water to remove the grease. You can brush it with a toothbrush and you can also sharpen it with a file. Replace the bar and the chain. Make sure that all of the screws and parts are properly secured before you try to start the chainsaw.


Cleaning the chainsaw needs to be done methodically if you want to get the correct results. If it is done properly, you can actually clean the chainsaw and make sure that it will be able to function properly again. Always put your safety first and try to clean each part using the correct methods.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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