Filter Cartridge Cleaning Instructions

Filter Cartridge Cleaning Instructions

How to Care for Your Pool or Spa Filter Cartridge

Filter cartridges are most often made with either polyester cloth ( Reemay ) or corrugated paper. As dirty water passes through the filter material, it captures dirt and debris to help pool and spa water stay clean. Over time, this dirt and debris build up on the filter and can clog the filter material. With proper maintenance, though, a high-quality filter cartridge can last for several years.

Cartridge Filters have no moving parts or any electrical items that can fail. They have no "defined" end point. Water simply passes through them and deposit fine particulants in the water on them. Over time this causes a build up on the filter and this leads to higher pressure to move water through the filter, and this could lead to low water flow rate, and/or it will tear the filter cartdridge itself.

The following directions will help ensure that your spa or swimming pool filter cartridge gets a proper cleaning.

  1. Remove the cartridge filter from the filter's housing following the manufacturer's instructions.


  2. Use a garden hose with a straight flow nozzle to wash down the filter cartridge. Work from the top down, cleaning both the inside and outside. Hold the spray at a 45 degree angle for best results. Clean between all the pleats.


  3. Rinse and repeat until dirt and debris are completely gone.


  4. If the filter cartridge is still dirty or has been used in a spa or swimming pool where sun tanning lotions or oils are frequently used, then soak the filter cartridge for at least one hour (overnight is more effective) using one of the following options:

    • A commercial filter cleaner,
    • A solution of one cup of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) to five gallons of water, or
    • A solution of one cup of dishwashing liquid to five gallons of water.


  5. Rinse the filter cartridge again, and repeat steps 2-4 if needed.


  6. If the filter cartridge has a coating of algae, calcium carbonate (residue from calcium hypochlorite), iron, or any other minerals, soak the filter cartridge in a solution of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water until the bubbling stops.


  7. Rinse the cartridge completely, and then let it dry before you put it back into the filter's housing. When a cartridge is wet and under pressure from the water, the fibers of the cartridge material stretch and allow larger particles to get through. Drying the cartridge completely shrinks the fibers again for better filtering capability.

TIP: Keep an extra set of filter cartridges on hand so that you don't have to wait until one set dries in order to enjoy the swimming pool. When it's time to clean the cartridges, take the wet ones out and immediately put the dry set in. Then, clean the wet set. It is important to let the filter dry as this will shrink the fibers and allow it to collect finer material.

WARNING: Failure to remove all oils and cleaning solutions from steps 2-5 above could result in the permanent restriction of water flow through your cartridge filter resulting in a partial or complete failure of the filter.

NOTE: It is not recommended to use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) powder with any filter cartridge. The powder particles will become trapped in the body and will shorten its life expectancy greatly.


Last Updated: 05/20/2014 11:15 AM - ID:6018