How To Clean A Chainsaw Oil Tank? [A Complete Guide]

How To Clean A Chainaw Oil Tank

Isn’t your chainsaw functioning properly? That can happen if you have kept the chainsaw at rest for a few weeks or months. It can also happen if the chainsaw is not being cleaned for a while. No matter the situation, the poor performance of the chainsaw is probably because the chainsaw is not being lubricated. This is when you need to clean the chainsaw oil tank.

Most people are not aware of cleaning the oil tank. They are mostly busy working with the exterior parts including the chair and bar. But the chain and the engine bars function smoothly when the oil tank is lubricating them. Therefore, as part of maintaining the chainsaw, cleaning it is a crucial part. However, information about cleaning a chainsaw oil tank is limited. 

But you need not worry! I am here to explain A to Z about chainsaw oil tank cleaning. Apart from that, I will discuss it more to clarify all your doubts. Now, why don’t we start the discussion? Let’s begin. 

5 Steps To Clean A Chainsaw Oil Tank: A Step-by-step Guide

Cleaning a chainsaw is not too difficult. To be honest, it is pretty simple if you have the right supplies. What happens is: if the oil is not in use, it hardens and produces gunk and grease inside the oil tank. Now if you refill the tank with fresh fuel, the gunk layer still stays. This pollutes the oil and hampers the entire function of the chainsaw and deteriorates its condition. This is why cleaning the tank is important. 

Even if the chainsaw is in use, you should consider cleaning the tank after it gets empty. Because the residues can pollute the tank. In that case, you can just rinse the tank with hot water, dry it, and refill it. But if the layers are stubborn, you need to follow the steps mentioned below: 

Step 1: Prepare First

As part of the preparation, you need to do a little work. These are mentioned below: 

  • Wear nylon gloves and a face shield; 
  • Clear an area in the storage room, garage, or an open space to execute the project; 
  • Take out the fuel tank from the chainsaw; 
  • Remove the remaining oil in the tank to a bucket; 

Yes, that is pretty much all you need to do as part of the preparation. 

Step 2: Rinse The Tank With Hot Water

Before you deep clean the tank, half fill the tank with hot water, close the lid of the tank, and shake it well. The hot water will clean the loose dirt and remove some of the layers from the tank interior. After shaking it, empty the tank, and you can see dirty reddish water coming out of it. 

Step 3: Fix Any Leak

While shaking the tank with warm water in it, you should check for leaks. If you see the water is leaking out of any portion of the tank, you need to fix it before cleaning it deeply. 

Leakages often happen as the stubborn layer of fuel can slowly eat up the plastic layers. But you should fix it as otherwise, fuel will leak out of the tank when you refill it. 

To fix the leaking areas, I have a very simple hack to share with you. This magically worked for me but may sound strange to you! Hence, the hack is to cover the leaking area or hole with a layer of superglue. Then put a pinch of baking soda on the superglue. As the soda adheres to the superglue, it becomes very hard to block the hole or leak!

Otherwise, you can melt plastic and pour it on the leaking areas to block the perforations. 

Step 4: Pour 1/4th Cup Of Sodium Hydroxide And Water Inside The Tank

Now that all the issues are fixed, you have to choose a crystal drain cleaner which is sodium hydroxide. These come in beads that deeply clean the interior of a greasy and sticky chainsaw oil tank. 

First, pour around 1/4th cup of sodium hydroxide crystals inside the tank. Then fill the entire tank with hot water. The sodium hydroxide beads may release toxic fumes due to the reaction with water. Therefore, keep your face away from the tank while pouring the water. It is better to wear a face mask and shield. 

After you fill the tank with hot water, wait a minute to let the fumes evaporate. Once the fizzing stops, close the cap of the tank and leave it there for 1 to 2 hours. 

Step 5: Remove The Solution And Rinse It Well

After 1 or 2 hours, come back and open the lid. Pour the entire solution into a bucket. Now you can see how dirty the oil tank was. You will see brownish water coming out of the oil tank. This means it has cleaned the oil residues. 

But if you are not satisfied with the result and see residues, repeat the step once again. Wait for an hour and empty the tank. In the end, rinse the tank once or twice with warm water to clean out the residue of sodium hydroxide. 

Now the tank is all set for a new refill of oil!

3 Steps To Cleaning The Bar And Chain: Keep The Chainsaw Oil Tank In Good Condition

Cleaning the oil tank is not enough. Why? Because the oil runs throughout the chain and lubricates the bar to cut materials efficiently. Now if the bar and chains are dirty, there is no point in having a clean oil tank. Because the oil won’t be able to lubricate the bar and chain if they are gunky and sticky. 

As our ultimate intention is to let the chainsaw function properly, it is mandatory to ensure that the oil lubricates the parts. This is why cleaning the bar and chain is crucial. And as it is quite simple to clean them, you should do it right after cleaning the oil. Only then can you maximize its efficiency. 

Here are the steps of cleaning a chair and bar of the chainsaw: 

Step 1: Remove The Chain And Clean Bar

Loosen the knobs and screws and remove the chain from the bar. Set the chain aside and then clean the bar. 

For cleaning the bar, you can dampen a rag with warm water and wipe the bar. If the bar is very dirty and gunky, use a bar groove cleaner with an air pumper and remove the dirt properly. Now lubricate the bar sides with oil and keep it aside. 

Remember to put the alternative side of the bar inside the chainsaw this time. This puts equal pressure on the bar. 

Step 2: Clean The Chain

The chain becomes very gunky and greasy due to the oil and sawdust. This is why cleaning the chain becomes a bit tough and needs time. 

In a gallon of hot water, mix about a cup of ammonia. Now put the chain into this solution and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. After that, most of the grease and dirt will loosen from the chain. Now with a hard brush, scrub the chain thoroughly and remove the remaining residues. Soak the water with a towel. 

In the end, rinse the chain with water and hang it to let the excess water drip off the chain. Wait until it dries out completely. 

Step 3: Lubricate The Chain 

Now that the chain and bar are clean, you need to lubricate the chain before putting it back on the bar. 

For lubricating, choose a chain oil and soak the chain in it. Drip off the extra oil from the chain and hang it. Below it, put a newspaper or bucket to avoid a mess. 

As the extra oil drains out of the chain, place it back on the bar and fix the bar again to the chainsaw. Now the fuel tank oil can keep running the oil smoothly throughout the chain. This means the speed and productivity of the chainsaw are improved as the oil tank, bar, and chain are clean and lubricated. 

Why Clean A Chainsaw Oil Tank? (Know The Importance)

By now, you have understood why a chainsaw oil tank is used. It circulated the oil throughout the machine, lubricating the parts and allowing them to function well. But to do so, the chainsaw oil tank has to be clean. 

Now you may ask, why is it so important to clean the chainsaw oil tank? I have answers for that. So here are four reasons why cleaning a chainsaw oil tank is crucial. Let’s have a look: 

  • If the oil tank is not clean, the engine, as well as the chain and bar, won’t function properly. A clean oil tank means a smooth movement of the oil across the chainsaw which drives the machine properly. Otherwise, the device won’t function well; 
  • If the oil tank is greasy and gunky, the entire device can get overheated due to insufficient movement of oil. When the chainsaw gets overheats, parts of it can burn and eventually shut down; 
  • Power loss can happen due to an unclean and clogged oil tank. The buildups can severely hamper the condition of the chainsaw and the connections can be cut off anytime. The longevity of the chainsaw decreases; 
  • When the oil tank is gunky and greasy, these dust and layers can build up in the bar and chain too. This is because dirty oil will go across the chain and bar. This will clog the chains and bars thus hampering the function of the chainsaw;

Now you may understand why cleaning a chainsaw oil tank is necessary. 

Related Questions: 

How Do You Clean The Oil Tank On A Chainsaw? 

To clean the oil tank on a chainsaw, the easiest way is to use white spirit. First, half fill the oil tank with spirit, close the cap, and shake it well. Now empty the tank and repeat the process with white spirit to remove all the buildups and gunks from inside the chainsaw oil tank. In the end, rinse the interior of the tank with hot water and leave it to dry. 

How To Clean A Chainsaw Gas Tank? 

To clean a chainsaw gas tank, you need a packet of BB and a gas tank cleaning solvent. Pour these two ingredients into the gas tank, close the lid, and shake the tank thoroughly. Pour out the liquid from the tank and rinse it with a gas tank cleaner. Repeat this step a few times for the best result. 

How Often Should You Oil Your Chainsaw?

It is important to oil the chainsaw after each use. This is because, after each use, the bar and chain can be coated with sawdust and grease. You should wipe the bar and chain once after use and lubricate them with oil. If it has an automatic oiling mechanism, it is even better as it automatically lubricates the chainsaw after each cut. 

How Do You Unclog A Chainsaw Oiler? 

If the chainsaw oiler is clogged, the entire function of the chainsaw will be interrupted. To remove the gunk from the oiler, you need a screwdriver to remove the gunk. Just use it to take out the greasy dirt from the chainsaw oiler. Then you would need to clean the oil tank, chain, and bar to start oiling the chainsaw again. 

Can You Leave Oil In the Chainsaw?

No, you should not leave the oil in the chainsaw for a long time. Even if you leave the oil in the oil tank for a month, the oil will harden and stick inside the oil tank. This creates greasy dirt and buildups which should be cleaned before refilling the tank with oil. This is why the oil tank should be emptied if not in use. 

Final Thoughts: 

I believe I have provided enough information regarding cleaning a chainsaw oil tank. Now that you have enough tips to clean the chainsaw oil tank, why don’t you plan your project soon? 

To keep your chainsaw in good condition, clean the oil tank as soon as possible. 

Masud Rana

This is Masud Rana. I run this blog. My Tools Guide is a blog where I share product reviews of different tools. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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