How important is a clean blade? How often do you clean your blades? Do you even clean your blades at all? Years ago I would buy cheap blades, run the heck out of them, and throw them away because they were “dull”. I wonder how much money I could have saved by just cleaning them. More often than not poor table saw blade performance may not be due to a dull blade but rather a dirty blade. Cutting a lot of pine or other soft woods can result in a lot of pitch and resin build up. This is just a reminder that cleaning a table saw blade is incredibly easy, quick, and rewarding.
There are a lot of products out there specifically made for cleaning table saw blades. I can’t give any recommendations as I have never purchased any. I haven’t had a need to really. Most all of us use oil based finishes on our projects so I’m almost positive that you already have some mineral spirits on hand. If you don’t already have one, get a 5 gallon bucket from one of the box stores for a few dollars. Place a piece of scrap hardwood in the bottom. This will prevent the blade from becoming a suction cup to the bottom.
Place the blade into the bottom of the bucket and pour enough mineral spirits to cover the blade.
After 5 minutes or so you should be able to gently brush the resin away with a rag. Once you are satisfied with the results I normally just run the blade under running water and give it a gentle rub to remove any lose residue that may be there.
Pat dry with a towel and put it back in the saw. You could go all out with a hair dryer to dry the blade but I find a minute or so running in the table saw is more than enough centrifugal force to remove any remaining water. Simply place the lid on the bucket and you’re ready for next time.