How to Clean Hot Tub Filters: 3 Step-by-Step Routines

Keeping your hot tub water clean is one of the most important aspects of hot tub maintenance.

No one wants to open their cover to discover cloudy, foamy, or smelly water!

Learning how to clean hot tub filters can help you banish nasty water, keeping your spa clean and ready to use anytime you want to.

Your filters are one of the hardest working components of your system and are the first line of defense against contaminants in your water.

If your filters are left dirty or packed with debris, they’ll become less efficient, having to work harder to properly clean your water. Not only that, but they’ll be recontaminating your hot tub as the water passes through, pulling debris back into your spa.

Certainly not ideal!

Whether you’ve been a longtime hot tub owner or recently had your first one installed, knowing how to clean your hot tub filters is vital, and everything you need to know can be found in this article.

Why Are Hot Tub Filters Important?

As mentioned above, your hot tub filters perform a vital role in keeping your water clean and free of any harmful debris.

When your filters are able to effectively do their job, it benefits you and your hot tub in a few ways. Clean filters:

  • Help your system run more smoothly
  • Require less energy to clean your water, keeping energy bills from rising
  • Reduce how often you need to treat your water
  • Make maintaining your hot tub easier
  • Minimize the risk of poor water quality damaging your hot tub

As you can see, well-maintained filters are essential in more ways than simply keeping your water sparkling, and knowing how to clean hot tub filters will help you maintain the health of your spa long-term.

How Do You Know if Your Hot Tub Filters Need To be Cleaned?

Your hot tub filters are capable of warning you when it’s time to clean them or when they’ve sustained damage and need to be replaced. Knowing what to watch for can help you avoid causing damage to your system or getting an energy bill that’s surprisingly higher than usual.

Some telltale signs your filters need to be cleaned include:

  • Cloudy or dirty water
  • Longer runtimes
  • A sudden increase in your energy bills
  • Foam on the surface of your water
  • Fluctuations in the water temperature
  • Changes to your jet pressure
  • Foul smelling water

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s important to remove your filters and give them a thorough check. These symptoms could occur from your filters being too dirty or having rips and tears in the pleats that have gone unnoticed.

It’s important to remember that these signs are also associated with other hot tub issues, so while checking your filters is a great first step, there are other reasons this could be occurring.

How Often Should You Clean Your Filters?

Cleaning your filters is a multistep process, and they’ll need to be cleaned differently at various intervals.

  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly

Each of these cleaning routines provides a deeper level of treatment to your filters, ensuring you’re caring for them in the best possible way and fully washing away any debris that’s built up on them over time.

While initially, this may seem like a lot of work, these cleans don’t take much time. When they’re included in your regular maintenance routine, they’re a simple way to protect your spa from damage and more costly, time-consuming maintenance in the future.

How to Clean Hot Tub Filters

As mentioned above, how you clean your filters will change depending on which stage of your maintenance routine you’re currently in.

Before you can begin cleaning your hot tub filters, you’ll need to ensure you have a few basic items to properly care for them at each stage.

  • Filter Cleaner
  • Gloves
  • A spray bottle
  • A bucket
  • New filters

Weekly – Rinse Your Filter

Your weekly rinse serves as a preventative measure in your filter care routine.

This rinse helps protect your filters from any excessive debris buildup from the contaminants in your water and your treatment products. This makes it easier for your filters to perform their job between the deeper cleaning processes.

Your weekly clean is a quick process, however, if not included in your routine, you may find yourself having to put in extra work to properly clean your filters at your monthly or quarterly cleanings.

By including it in your regular weekly maintenance plan, you’ll be able to easily maximize the lifespan of your filters and minimize the time spent cleaning them in the future.

To perform your weekly clean, all you’ll need is a hose or faucet.

Note: Avoid spraying your filter with a high-pressure spray, for example, from a hose attachment. If you use a powerful spray nozzle on your hose, you’ll risk damaging your filter, so it’s vital to only use normal running water.

1. Rinse Your Filter

After you’ve removed your filters from your hot tub, simply run them under gently running water. As the water washes away the dirt, gently run your thumb along the pleats to help the water clean out the areas that are more difficult to reach.

2. Inspect it For Damage

Once you’ve finished rinsing your filter, thoroughly check it for any damage. If you discover any rips or tears in the pleats, immediately replace the filter with a new one.

A tear in your filter compromises the barrier it provides between debris and your open water. This makes it ineffective at performing its job, leaving you with poorly filtered water and a hot tub system that’s working harder to compensate.

3. Let it Dry

When you’re confident your filter is clean and free from damage, set it aside and allow it to fully dry before returning it to your hot tub.

Monthly – Spray With Filter Cleaner

To make this step easy to track, schedule this cleaning either at the beginning or end of each month.

During this clean, you’ll be working to remove any deeper set dirt and debris from your filter, helping renew it to its original state.

Note: When it comes to your filter cleaner of choice, it’s important to use a product that is specifically designed to clean hot tub filters.

While there are DIY recipes online, they can compromise your filters and even lead to further damage to your spa once your filters are replaced. It’s best to steer clear of anything that’s not designed for hot tubs and purchased from a reputable company.

1. Dilute Your Cleaner

Before beginning, it’s important to carefully dilute your filter cleaner as per the instructions provided on the container. Add the appropriate amount of filter cleaner to a spray bottle, then top it off with water.

If your filter cleaner is not properly diluted, you risk it being too strong and wearing down your filter pleats.

To make this easier, you can also purchase a filter cleaner already in a spray bottle that is pre-diluted and ready to use.

2. Rinse Your Filter

To start your monthly clean, you’ll begin by performing the same steps as you would during your regular weekly clean. Remove your filter, and rinse it off with water.

3. Spray With Filter Cleaner

Put on your gloves and spray the entire outside of the filter with the diluted filter cleaner, gently pulling apart the pleats so the cleaner can get inside the folds. After you’re done, set the filter down and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Over this time, the cleaner will work to break down any debris that’s too difficult to remove during your weekly rinses, like oils and thick dirt buildup.

4. Rinse Cleaner Off

After 15 minutes, thoroughly rinse your filter under running water, ensuring all the cleaner is washed off the filter. Give it a thorough inspection for any damage, then set it aside to dry out before returning it to your hot tub.

Quarterly – Soak in Filter Cleaner

Every three months, you will need to perform a deep clean on your filter by soaking it in your chosen filter cleaner. This helps provide a more thorough clean, restoring it to its original effectiveness.

To easily remember when this step needs to be done, complete this clean each time you drain and refill your hot tub. Both these steps need to be done every three months to maintain clean, fresh water, making them easy to pair together.

For this deep clean, you’ll need your filter cleaner, gloves, and a bucket.

1. Dilute Your Cleaner

Before you remove your filters from your hot tub, properly dilute your filter cleaner with water in the bucket. You want to ensure you fill it high enough that your filter will be fully submerged when you add it to the bucket.

2. Rinse Your Filter

When your cleaner is ready, remove your filters from your hot tub and rinse them off with gently running water, just as you would during your weekly clean.

Note: If after you’ve rinsed your filter, you discover it’s excessively dirty and the pleats are beginning to look curved or damaged, it’s best to replace it with a new one.

3. Soak For 12-24 Hours

After you’ve rinsed your filter, submerge it in the diluted cleaning solution, and let it soak for 12-24 hours.

How long you leave your filter to soak will depend on the extent of debris it has built up on it. If it was significantly dirty after you rinsed it, allow it to soak for the full 24 hours.

This step will help the cleaner deeply penetrate the fabric that makes up the filter and give it time to saturate the more stubborn areas of buildup that require more time to soften and release.

4. Rinse and Inspect

When you’re confident your filter has had enough time to soak, put on your gloves, and lift it out of the bucket.

Using your hose or faucet, thoroughly rinse the filter, moving the peats to allow the water to seep between and wash away any residue that may be deeper down. After it’s clean, inspect the entire filter for any damage, including the caps on either end.

5. Dry and Reinstall

If your filter is in good condition after your inspection, set it aside to fully dry, then return it to your hot tub.

How Often Should You Replace a Hot Tub Filter?

Cleaning your hot tub filters can only go so far, and eventually, you’ll need to replace them.

It’s recommended that hot tub filters be changed once a year. This will help ensure they are always in their best condition and able to effectively keep your water crystal clear and ready to enjoy.

If at any time in your routine cleaning cycle you discover damage to your filter, it’s important to replace it with a new one.

Shop Hot Tubs and Hot Tub Supplies In San Diego

Whether you’re searching for the perfect hot tub to elevate your backyard or need a reliable dealership to stock up on your hot tub supplies, Aqua Paradise has what you need.

With four convenient locations throughout Southern California, we’re your one-stop shop for all your hot tub needs. Contact us today, or visit your nearest showroom. Your local team of experts will be happy to help!

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