How To Clean Chainsaws Effectively- By-Yourself

If I have to name a pretty reliable tool for gardening, woodworking, and quite a few fields, then surely, it’s going to be a chainsaw. This is a versatile equipment that comes with the ability to tackle different situations and environments.

But the trustworthiness is not going to work if the owner does not follow proper maintenance and clean up ritual. To keep the mechanism alive and going for a long time, it’s important you know how to clean a chainsaw. And that’s my motive for this piece of writing.

How To Clean Chainsaws: Required Tools, Prep Up & Cleaning

The goal to make our possession last longer relies on your clean up method. And I’m here to glow that part even better by telling you about some tricks and tips in the following steps. Keep on Reading to Find Out How.

What You Will Need
  1. A good degreaser or lubricant.
  2. Wire brush.
  3. Suitable cleaner.
  4. Knife or similar tool for bar groove cleaning.
  5. Lukewarm water.
  6. Wrench.
  7. Flathead screwdriver or similar oiler hole cleaning tool.
  8. Air compressor which is optional.

Prepare for Clean Up

Let’s start by preparing for the cleanup. Start by unplugging the chainsaw if it is already attached. This is the case with an electric corded chainsaw, however.

If you own a cordless version then removing the battery is the substituting step. Make sure the power supply part is detached before clean up or it could cause damage. For the gas-powered chainsaw, one needs to drain the fuel out first.

Bar & Chain Removal

The bar sides should have nuts. You need to take them out using a wrench here. This will make the chain and bar separate from the power head.

The chain brake needs to be disengaged. This is the part that stays in charge of anti-kickback. You should complete the disengagement before chain and bar removal.

Bar Cleaning

It’s time to focus on the bar and clean it properly. Simply take the lubricant or degreaser you are using. Now mix it with warm water and let it dissolve properly. Now pour it over the part. Take clean fabric or cloth. Use it to get rid of any grease or dust.

There could be pretty hardened dirt. So, use some wire brush to scrape them out if they don’t agree to come out. Now focus on the bar rails. To clean them you can use a knife or such a similar cleaning tool. Just use it to simply take out any dirt or grime from the bar rails.

You also need to clean the outer holes after that. This is present over the bar and by using a flathead screwdriver you can simply remove all debris. Some prefer using air compressors to do such parts. It will make the holes get clean more efficiently. At the end, you should be left with a cleaned, flat and smooth bars and edges.

Chain Cleaning

To clean the chains, use the degreasing agent and water mixture. You need to soak the chain inside this mixture. Let it stay that way for 10 minutes. Now using a wire brush simply scrape away any dirt remaining. You should wash it once again. Now dry it using a paper towel or clean dry fabric.

Power head Cleaning

The next part that needs cleanup is the powerhead portion. You need to get rid of every dirt from this area and clutch drum. Also, there is a bar stud portion to clean. There is also an oiler port located here that needs attention.

Get some soft tip brush for this step. Gently scrub using it to remove the dirt out. If you have difficulty with tighter and inner spots, then use some other tool that comes with an even smaller head. This way accessing the dirt inside will be easier. I simply use a toothbrush for kids in these areas.

Air Filter & Spark Plug

Start removing the top cover of the chainsaw. You will have access to the air filter, spark plug and carburetor this way. Now have a good look over the air filter.

You can use any moderate cleaning brush if the dirt here is not too much. Use something with a soft tip. Paintbrushes work pretty well for such areas. However, if the air filter is kind of invisible due to dirt, you need some effective cleaning.

Use the lukewarm soapy water for cleaning the inside out properly of the air filter. Then rinse it with clean water and let dry.

The cylinder head will have cooling fins. You need some bar cleaner tool to clean this area. Also, you can use a simple screwdriver to get rid of dirt from cooling fins. You need to run the brush over the sparks plug if there’s no major degradation. However, if it has turned black then you need to replace it.

Carburetor Parts

If you have not cleaned the chainsaw for a pretty long time, then this needs a full cleaning. And so, you may have to take off parts from the carburetor. For example, the cover plate, diaphragm and needle valves.

Simply use a cleaning solution to soak these parks for around five to ten minutes. The dirt should remove by soaking. Then use a simple brush to completely take out any dirt remaining. Let the part dry and reattach them back.

You need to reassembly the bar and chain once these are dry as well. And your chainsaw should get back on track with a cleaner setup from both inside and outside.

Watch This Video About How To Clean a Chainsaw


Letting dirt, grime and build-up take place in chainsaw is really a very poor maintenance habit that nobody should form. This can degrade the general ability of a good chainsaw to perform well and make your chores pretty time-consuming.

At the same time, your chainsaw keeps dying gradually lacking the care and attention it needs. So, don’t ever underestimate the power of proper maintenance and cleaning habits.

If you wish to keep all your expensive and useful chainsaws working well for a long time without worrying for a replacement any time sooner, then learn how to clean a chainsaw. And your chainsaw will stay by your side for a pretty extended period of time.

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