How to Clean a Chainsaw Chain, Carburetor, and Air Filter?

Did you think that once you buy a chainsaw, it is going to run smoothly for the rest of its life? Not likely, my friend!

If you want a chainsaw to serve you for a long time, you have to make sure you maintain it properly. And to maintain your chainsaw, you must make sure it is clean inside and out. This is why we are going to tell you how to clean your chainsaw chain, carburetor, and air filter.

Why Is Cleaning Your Chainsaw So Important?

When you use your chainsaw, for example, to cut a piece of wood, it makes small chips of wood like a tiny powder or sawdust, which gets in all the small spaces inside the chainsaw.

The one who has taken the cover of the chainsaw and took it apart knows how complicated a machine it is. And the insides must stay well lubricated at all times or otherwise the machine will get to run hot. This sawdust can mix with the lubricating oil and make the oil dry or sticky.

As these unwanted substances keep on accumulating inside the moving parts, the machine starts to malfunction, especially the brakes, which is something you certainly do not want. It’s not only about ruining the project you are working on, but it also poses risks of getting hurt yourself or hurting someone around you.

So let us explore how to clean the chain, the carburetor, and the air filter of the chainsaw separately as these parts are the most important parts of the chainsaw, and keeping them clean will spare us all the trouble and risk that an unclean chainsaw poses.

How to Clean the Chainsaw Chain?

How to Clean the Chainsaw Chain

We’ll go over the entire process below;

  • Step 1: Switching off the Device

The first job is to make sure that the chainsaw is switched off by checking if the plus is completely disconnected from the socket so that it can not be switched on accidentally.

  • Step 2: Removing the Chain

The second step is to remove the chain from the chainsaw completely. You do this by loosening the chain adjustment knob of your chainsaw just a bit so that there is a little slack on the chain. Within that slack, you can just slide your guide bar and remove the chain. You can also use a chainsaw chain sharpener if you want.

  • Step 3: Making a Mixture

Take a bucket and create a mixture using one gallon of water and a cup of ammonia. Put the chain in the mixture and completely submerge it. Then, carefully scrub the chain using a soft-bristled brush a little at a time. Repeat this until the chain is fresh and clean.

  • Step 4: Getting the Ammonia Solution out

After you are done scrubbing, put the chain under running water, making sure you get all of that ammonia solution out. As soon as you are done with that, make sure to dry the chain using a clean towel so that there is no moisture and hence no chance of any rust forming.

  • Step 5: Lubricating the Chain

Now is the time to lubricate your chain again. Put the chain on a plastic tray or sheet and submerge it with bar and chain oil at least for 3 hours. Then flip the chain around and let it submerge again for at least 3 hours.

  • Step 6: Removing the Extra Oil

Now that your chain is oiled, you drip off the extra oil on a tray or sheet and simply put the clean chain back into your chainsaw. [Checkout the reviews on chainsaw bar and chain oil]

How to Clean a Chainsaw Air Filter?

How to Clean a Chainsaw Air Filter

Let’s go through the step-by-step process:

  • Step 1: Removing the Air Filter

We start by removing the air filter from the chainsaw. As every chainsaw is a little different from each other, there is no one definite way of disconnecting the air filter. But in general, it is under the raised circular area behind the engine. Take a screwdriver and remove the cover to take the air filter out.

After removing the cover, you have to carefully lift the air filter out of its pocket. For that, you may have to take out more screws from the sockets. Here, to keep the screws safe, a magnetic wristband can be helpful for you.

  • Step 2: Remove the Dust

Now it’s time to take out the dust and dirt off the air filter. You can do this easily by gently tapping on the hard plastic edge of the filter but not the air filter itself.

  • Step 3: Make Soapy Water

Now take a bucket and make soapy water by adding hot water and soap. Dip the air filter into the water and let it sit for some time. Then take a brush and gently scrub the filter thoroughly.

Take another bucket with cold water and immerse the air filter in it as you are done scrubbing. Wash it properly in cold water to get the soap out. And then set it aside to dry off.

To make sure the air filter is completely clean, you should clean the covers in the same way you cleaned the air filter, first in hot soapy water, and then in cold water.

  • Step 4: Placing the Air Filter

After the air filter and the covers are all clean and dry, place the air filter into the chainsaw.

How to Clean a Chainsaw Carburetor?

How to Clean a Chainsaw Carburetor

We’ll learn the easiest method to clean the chainsaw carburetor.

  • Step 1: Cleaning the Air Filter

The first task here is to clean the air filter. How you do it is written in detail in the previous section.

  • Step 2: Restarting the Device

Now that the air filter is back on, try restarting the chainsaw to see if the airflow is alright. If it is not, then look for a gummy residue on the air intake surfaces. This residue is usually brown. If you spot the residue, then clean it with a spray cleaner.

  • Step 3: Look for Gummy Residues

Check if there are gummy residues on the carburetor’s needle valves created by the fuel deposits. If they are, you must clean it and add a little more fuel to it. Lastly, check the pull cord of gummy residues by pulling it several times. If there is any problem, clean the area mixing a cleaning agent with the flowing fuel.

  • Step 4: Replacing the Old Fuel

The problem could have been old fuel in the first place. So we replace the old fuel with the new one.


There is everything you need to know about cleaning your chainsaw so that it is up and ready to go about.

Now that you know how easy it is to maintain your chainsaw, there is no need to replace this expensive machine after a few years. A word of caution would be to be careful while handling the machine because any unfortunate action can result in a disastrous outcome.

However, we discussed here on how you sharpen a chainsaw chain and blade with a file or Dremel. If you’re interested, then check it out.

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