easy and effective way to clean saw blades

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Review by Mainiac Matt posted 05-11-2012 01:17 AM 4686 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
easy and effective way to clean saw blades easy and effective way to clean saw blades No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve used the foamy stuff in the brown spray cans (see my second picture) both at home and at work and it’s horrible…. toxic smell, harsh on your skin, spatters, puts a caustic mist in the air, and supposedly eats away at the brazing that attaches the carbide tips to the saw blade. I used it a month ago to clean some burned router bits at work and a coworker accross the room started coughing and had to step outside to get some air. I also had some of it spatter into my mouth, while talking.

Several years ago, I read a write up about this pink wonder soap that Woodcraft had just started selling in a magazine (probably American Woodworker). What especially caught my attention was that it was reported to not have any ill effects on the bazing so I picked up a bottle for $16 …. which is more than I would typically spend for something like this, but I was really disgusted with the brown spray can stuff.

But I never got a chance to use it untill last week, as I’ve been waylaid with construction projects for a couple years, and just set up my new basement shop this past winter.

You mix this stuff 1 part resin remover to 4 parts HOT water (I heated it up on the stove) in a shallow pan (I used a cat litter tray) and are then supposed to soak the blades for a while.

I went after them with an old tooth brush after just a few minutes and a big smile immediately crossed my face as the gummed up resin at the backs of the carbide tips and some slight burning on the sides of one blade just washed away like I was doing the dishes. I was so excited, I quickly ran and got all my skill saw blades and cleaned them up as well.

SAFETY NOTE: this stuff, though it hardly has any smell, is actually a very strong basic soap (kind of like lye) and if you get it in your eyes it can blind you. I wore goggles (the kind your teacher made you ware in chemistry class) and had no problems.

I also had my NIOSH mask at the ready, anticipating a noxious odor, but didn’t need to use it.

I wore rubber dish gloves, but after cleaning five 10” blades and two 8-1/4” blades and two 7-1/4” blades, I tore out two fingers (of course). But aside for giving me pruny finger tips, the soap mix didn’t irritate my hands.

One final note, I was concerned that this resin remover would strip the red coating off my Diablo rip blade…. and though it did seem to tint the soapy mix a little red (the concentrate is pink but the dilute soapy mix is clear), there were no spots where it wore away the coating.

And one final, final note…. the resin remover will not take off rust….. so you’ll still have to tackle that via other means.

Blades look great.

No nasty caustick foam spray that burns your skin.

I figure I’ll get 5 or 6 cleaning sessions out of this bottle, so the $16 should go a long ways.

Try it… I think you’ll like it!

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3098 days

10 comments so far

View abie's profile


913 posts in 4540 days

#1 posted 05-11-2012 01:30 AM

Well :
I use good old 409 in a 5 gallon bucket lid with a good stiff bristle brush.. works well and no toxic stuff
the price is also right.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3838 days

#2 posted 05-11-2012 02:23 AM

Simple Green, a disposable pizza pan, and an old toothbrush have served me well for years. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

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Craftsman on the lake

3332 posts in 4207 days

#3 posted 05-11-2012 02:24 AM

A gallon of ‘simple green’ from Lowes. Non toxic, no order and you can dump it outside without fear and it cleans a blade overnight. I cut three inches off the bottom of a 5 gallon pail put an inch of simple green in and the next morning nothing looks different but pick the blade up and whatever was on it falls off like a plastic skin.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3098 days

#4 posted 05-11-2012 03:10 AM

Are you guys cutting the SG? Or using it straight up.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View roundguy's profile


62 posts in 3454 days

#5 posted 05-11-2012 04:02 AM

I posted this before ….
From Simple Green’s website:

“Simple Green has been successfully used by many woodworkers over many years as a good “spray – wipe – rinse” cleaner for saw blades. When pitch is fairly fresh (typically within a 12-hr period since deposit) it is fairly easily removed with Simple Green. Older, dried-out pitch is much more difficult to remove. We do not recommend long-term soaking of Carbide blades in Simple Green. Long-term exposure like this can possibly cause cobalt leaching that will, in turn, affect the integrity or carbide. Shorter term “spray/wipe/rinse” applications do not create that kind of problem.
It has been reported to us that long-term soaking of carbide blades covered with older, tougher buildup of pitch in strong, black coffee does a great job of removing pitch without harming the blade.”

Don’t soak them “Long term”...

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3785 days

#6 posted 05-11-2012 10:59 AM

I’m just guessing, but I bet your stuff is just like oven cleaner..caustic and not good to breathe either..the simple green works!

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Craftsman on the lake

3332 posts in 4207 days

#7 posted 05-11-2012 12:30 PM

roundguy, I looked it up, you’re right. hmm.. guess my gallon will now go to spray applications but they do divert you to an industrial product on their website that lets you use it on sawblades. It’s the HD version. But still, I’ll read the directions and application recommendations on the bottle first!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Ken90712's profile


17867 posts in 3958 days

#8 posted 05-11-2012 02:49 PM

I have been Krud Kutter found at the big box store. It is inexpensive and gentle on the enviorment as well. I soak trhe blades over night clean with a brush and then spray them with dry Teflon. I’ll have to try simple green and woodcrafts as well, might be even better. Thx

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4006 days

#9 posted 05-12-2012 12:03 PM

I use easy-off oven spray cleaner to clean the buildup off my router bits and saw blades. Just a squirt on the bit or blade, wait 30 minutes, then I scrub them with an old stiff brush and rinse them in hot water. They come out hot and after wiping off the hot water, they air dry in seconds. The last step is to wipe them down with Hopes gun solvent. When it evaporates, it leaves behind a dry film to prevent rust on any exposed steel.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View sillac's profile


644 posts in 3533 days

#10 posted 05-20-2012 03:51 AM

BAKING SODA, yes it works great. I bought a large frying pan at Goodwill, use it just for blade cleaning, put a shallow flat dish in the bottom and the saw blad on top of that, the idea is that you don’t want the teeth of the blade to tough the pan. Mix the soda with water, one or two big table spoons, cover the blade and heat to just a boil. Let cool a little and use a soft tooth brush on the teeth and with very little pressure it will be as clean as a new blade. I used to use oven cleaner but this is much easier on both you and the blade.

-- Steve in Oregon,

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