How to Clean a Chainsaw Carburetor? Five Easy Steps to Follow!

A chainsaw is the best wood-cutting tool any homeowner can own!

But owning a chainsaw wouldn’t alone do the job. You must be very good at taking care of your chainsaw. Always keep and store your chainsaw under a shelter where it would be safe from direct sunlight or rain. Also, neither should it be placed in an extremely hot environment, nor in a very cold environment. 

Moreover, keeping your chainsaw clean is very important. Wondering how to clean a chainsaw?

An unclean or dusted chainsaw would never perform the same way as a clean chainsaw does. By cleaning, we do not mean external cleaning only. What matters more than the external cleaning is the cleaning of its internal parts, including the carburetor. So, cleaning a carburetor is important.

In case one of you is wondering why a carburetor, that’s because of the most important job it holds and the fact that it’s one of the most important parts of a chainsaw. A carburetor measures the required quantity of fuel particles that are to be mixed with the air entering the engine. As air flows through the main bore of the carburetor (also called a venturi), fuel is drawn into the mixture, which is injected into the engine through the intake valve.

Now what’s important to note here is that you can easily clean your chainsaw’s carburetor on your own by following a few simple steps. And you can have it cleaned by some professional as well just if you want. But we recommend cleaning it yourself as it won’t be a complicated task once you learn how to do it.

FIVE Simple and Easy Steps to Clean Up Your Chainsaw’s Carburetor

Cleaning your chainsaw’s carburetor is an essential thing because not doing it would cause health and performance issues to your chainsaw. A dirty carburetor won’t provide the exact and required amount of fuel and air mixture to the combustion chamber. When the engine doesn’t get provided with the correct proportion, its speed and efficiency reduce to a great extent.

FIVE Simple and Easy Steps to Clean Up Your Chainsaw’s Carburetor

Hence, to keep your chainsaw’s engine in good performing condition, it must be regularly cleaned. And doing this isn’t difficult at all.

Here are the steps to help you understand the procedure.

  1. Cleaning of the Air Filter
  2. Cleaning the Parts of the Carburetor’s Intake System
  3. Cleaning of Carburetor’s Needle Valves
  4. Pulling the Pull Cord to Activate the Fuel Blending
  5. Adding New Fuel

STEP 1: Cleaning the Air Filter

The very first step to do when you think that your chainsaw’s carburetor is dirty is to examine its air filter. A dusted, dirty, or sometimes clogged air filter is what creates a hurdle for the air to enter the combustion chamber, which results in a slow or non-functioning chainsaw.

Air filters could be of metal or pleated paper. If your chainsaw has a metal air filter, you can have it cleaned by soaking it in a cleaning agent. Let it then dry and put it back into the chainsaw. However, in the case of the air filter made from pleated paper, it shouldn’t be soaked into the cleaning agent, as it would dissolve. If this is the case, an air filter must be replaced.

STEP 2: Cleaning the Parts of the Carburetor’s Intake System

After you’re done cleaning the air filter and your chainsaw doesn’t start upon trying to restart it, then checking the carburetor’s intake parts is helpful. This is because sometimes, there’s this sticky residue stuck to the carburetor’s intake pathway.

Now, what you need to do is, look for the residue that has been the cause of blocked air intake components in the carburetor. You can clean it up by using a spray cleaner first and then a brush to clean up the residue.

STEP 3: Cleaning of Carburetor’s Needle Valves

After cleaning up the intake components, you should be cleaning the needle valves next. Needle valves get easily clogged and the reason is the propane deposits. When you’re adding in the fuel, the propane deposits often fall into these needle valves and clog them.

Cleaning of Carburetor’s Needle Valves

To clean the needle valves, you’ll need to add the carburetor cleaner to the valves and then with the help of a brush, clean them. When you’ve done cleaning, make sure to dry them also. You can use a piece of dry cloth for that. Before reassembling the parts, they must be perfectly dried and free of any cleaning agent.

STEP 4: Pulling the Pull Cord to Activate the Fuel Blending

Now is the time to clean your chainsaw’s carburetor or fuel lines by adding some drops of cleaning agent to the fuel tank and pulling the cord strongly with pauses in between, letting the additive dissolve the gummy deposits inside.

Despite the fact that your chainsaw hasn’t yet started running, you still have to pull the cord sequentially while pausing for a few seconds in between. By doing this, the cleaning agent combined with fuel will flow through the carburetor valves and fuel lines, resulting in the cleaned carburetor.

STEP 5: Adding New Fuel

A very common problem faced when the carburetors need cleaning is that propane gets mixed with old fuel. You can call it the pollution inside the carburetor, and it can be cleaned by adding new fuel. Following the above-explained 4 steps and then adding new fuel after draining out the old one would clean up the carburetor completely.

These were the five easy steps to clean your chainsaw’s carburetor. Follow them as described and you’ll have a cleaned carburetor!

You might be interested to read “How to adjust a chainsaw carburetor?”.

Cleaning a Chainsaw Carburetor Without Removing It!

If you haven’t cleaned up your chainsaw’s carburetor for a long, and now it does require cleaning, you will definitely have to do it by disassembling the carburetor.

However, if you’re fond of cleaning your chainsaw and you know it’s not that dirty, you can also clean the carburetor without removing/disassembling it!

Cleaning a Chainsaw Carburetor Without Removing It!

Here’s how it works.

  1. Take 4 ounces of a carburetor cleaner (I’d recommend B12) and mix it with gas in the fuel tank.
  2. Run the chainsaw at a slow speed for 2 to 3 minutes. The cleaner that you poured inside would clean the sticky residue that was present. This will then provide a cleaner and residue-free path for the air to travel.
  3. You can also spray some carburetor cleaner into the pilot air jet. This is basically the intake component of the carburetor. Consult the user manual to locate it.
  4. Now start the chainsaw at full throttle and it would probably run effortlessly and at high speed with high power.

Can a Corroded Carburetor be Cleaned and Reused?

Well, yes. Although it could be a difficult task as it would require a lot of time to clean the rust after disassembling the tool, it is possible anyway.

If your carburetor is rusted, use a carburetor cleaner that has been diluted with water to clean it. You’ll need to dismantle the carburetor after you clean the air filter. Then use a brush to scrub different sections of the carburetor with the solution that you prepared. After you’ve scrubbed them, make sure to dry them nicely using a dry towel.

If you’ve successfully cleaned the corroded carburetor, go for re-assembling the parts and you’re done. Otherwise, consult a professional.

How to Clean a Chainsaw Carburetor – FAQs

Can you spray carb cleaner in chainsaw?
Yes. You can. Carburetor spray cleaners are highly recommended. They work effectively on dirty and clogged areas.
Can you use WD-40 to clean a carburetor?
Yes. WD-40 is totally safe and highly effective for cleaning the metal parts of machines, the throttle body, and the carburetors.
How do you know if your carburetor needs cleaning?
The chainsaw won’t start. Meaning that the saw’s engine cranks and doesn’t start, which shows the carburetor needs cleaning. Also, if the chainsaw is running lean, is slow at power, or has lesser speed, it also means the carburetor should be cleaned.
What is a good homemade carburetor cleaner?
Mixing a one-gallon paint thinner with one-quart Acetone, one-quart Alcohol and one-quart Xylol makes a very effective cleaner for cleaning carburetors.
Can vinegar Clean carburetor?
We do not recommend using vinegar to clean the carburetor. The reason is the acidic behavior of vinegar which can easily cause the metal to rust and corrode.



If you’re a chainsaw owner, you must be aware of the importance of a clean carburetor. Although the carburetors don’t require cleaning much often, when there’s a need, they should be cleaned up timely. Usually, you’ll need to clean the carburetor after every two years of use.

We hope our article would have been helpful to you.

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