How to Clean Sap From a Saw Blade

If you’re sawing through a tree or log and notice that the saw is feeling unusually sticky, pull the blade out and inspect it closely. If you notice a gummy, sticky residue on the blade, you’re probably just sawing through a very sappy piece of wood. Sap doesn’t seriously harm or degrade saws, but the presence of excess sap can make sawing a tough job. You can use the technique described below to clean the sap from your blade as well as to lubricate it, making sawing easier and keeping your tool bag from getting all gummed up.

  1. Hold the saw blade parallel with the ground, or lay it on the ground or a tree stump to keep it relatively level. Shake the can of oven cleaner well, then spray a liberal coating on the side of the blade facing up.

  2. Wait about 60 seconds for the oven cleaner to penetrate the sap and build up some foam.

  3. Use an old rag to wipe the blade clean. This may take a good deal of scrubbing and elbow grease, but with enough oven cleaner, you’ll be able to wipe away all of the sap residue.

  4. Turn the saw over and spray down the other side as you did in the first step. Again, wait for a minute to give the spray enough time to activate.

  5. Wipe the other side clean with a dry, clean part of the rag.


  • After cleaning, your rag may be sticky with sap. Store and handle the rag carefully until you can wash it.