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Cleaning your Max-Flow Oiled Foam Air Filter.  

Equi-Tee aftermarket air filter logo

When you remove the filter from the saw and see any dirt in the throat of the carburetor, or inside the cage, it is time to clean and re-oil the filter element.  Ideally the filter should be cleaned BEFORE the oil has been used up and the particles are passing through the foam.  Your attention to this and practice will determine the cleaning interval for your application.

Whether you have many spare elements or field clean your filter element whenever it gets dirty, it is important to thoroughly clean the the trapped dirt particles from the foam. This is an easy job, and with care it doesn't even need to be messy.  Suggested oils are Bel-Ray, UNI or No-Toil.  DO NOT use bar lube, it is not designed to be burned in an engine and will cause your rings to stick!  We do not advise, motor oil, vegetable oil or gauze filter oil.  None of them will efficiently trap the smaller dirt particles.  Remember the quality of oil determines the effectiveness of the air filter!

When it comes to cleaning solvents, we know that there are many options.  Some use their mixed saw gas or kerosene, others use the solvents provided by the manufacturer, such as No-Toil.  Many have found that they can skip the solvent cleaning altogether and just use a strong grease cutting soap cleaner like Ajax. Obviously gas is flammable, so we do not suggest it as a cleaner. However, we specifically build our filter elements out of one piece of foam, there are no glued seams to disintegrate from solvents or gas.


  • Remove the filter from the saw.
  • Remove the inner cage from the outer foam element.
  • Using a cleaning solvent, such as Stoddard solvent or white gas, gently remove and flush as much of the dirt out of the element as possible.  It is best to have two cleaning pans, one for the initial removal, and one to work out the finer dirt.  Be careful not to stretch or wring the foam too aggressively or it may tear.
  • Wash the element with warm soapy water, we suggest using dishwashing liquid (Ajax), to removing the remaining dirt and solvent.
  • Thoroughly rinse, then towel off the element. It is important to allow the element to then completely air dry.
  • Re-oil each element with approximately 1/2 ounce of quality foam filter (such as Bel ray or Uni) by either working it in by hand (after putting on disposable gloves), or by putting a number of elements into a plastic bag and then adding the oil.  Work the completely into each element.  It takes very little oil to completely saturate an element.  Excess oil will not filter any better than just the right amount, oil should not be dripping off the foam.  Squeeze out any excess.
  • Slip the element back over the cage and reinstall it back onto the saw.

We have found that it is best to clean 5 or 6 elements at a time, and them have them stored in plastic bags ready for use.  Max-Flow foam filter elements are reasonably priced, and can even be pre-installed over our filter cage for minimal down time on the job.

The ideal filter has high airflow (cubic feet per minute, CFM) and high efficiency (particle removal), giving high effectiveness over a long period of time. Max-Flow chainsaw filters allow the longest period of effective filtering at high performance levels. Max-Flow oiled foam filters are washable and re-useable and are easy to service with the correct oil at suggested intervals.  Max-Flow foam filters outperform any other filter style.


Equi-Tee Mfg.
Telephone:  (541) 826-8301
10984 Meadows Road, White City,  OR  97503
Copyright 2007/18 Last modified: March 30, 2018

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