Hot Tub Filter Cleaner

A hot tub filter cleaner is essential if you want to keep your water crystal clear and your entire system running smoothly. There's nothing worse than dirty or cloudy water and a filter that is cleaned regularly will keep your hot tub looking great all year long. A quality cleaner used monthly will break down the accumulated oil, grease, dirt and just about anything else that builds up on your filter over time.  

hot tub filter cleaner

If you clean the filter regularly you will increase the lifespan and reduce your overall hot tub maintenance costs. It's nice to have the option of cleaning the filters every few weeks instead of replacing them which can be costly. There are a few helpful tips we'll go over including how to clean your filter to prolong the life of the paper and filter components.

Hot Tub Filter Parts

There are different parts of the filter that you need to be concerned with as a hot tub owner. The core is comprised of a rigid material, usually plastic that holds the filter paper out in a fanned pattern. The end caps are attached to the core and are designed to hold the entire filter assembly in place in the filter cavity built into your hot tub.

 If the core or end caps are compromised or damaged in any way they can cause the filter to fail but the most important part of a filter is the fabric itself. The paper fabric folds or filter media are almost always white in color and resemble other filters that you've probably seen in a vacuum, air conditioner or fan. Let's take a look at hot tub filter cleaning with an emphasis on protecting the integrity of the paper fabric. 

hot tub filter parts

A filter should be replaced when it shows signs of wear and tear, literally. If the plastic is cracked, discoloured or appears like it can't do its job anymore, replace it. The most common sign of wear is when the fabric is ripped, thin or has lost its shape. A rough guideline is to replace the filter after 8-10 cleanings. 

Hot Tub Filter Cleaner Guide

This hot tub filter cleaner guide should be part of your overall hot tub maintenance schedule. We recommended that you clean your filters at least every couple weeks even if it's a quick rinse with a garden hose. A chemical spray should be completed monthly, and a thorough chemical soak should be carried out ever 2-3 months. 

Let's take a look at the steps required for each type of hot tub filter cleaning. If you are cleaning the filter for the first time make sure you refer to your hot tub owner's manual for filter cleaning instructions specific to your hot tub, and filter

Weekly Filter Rinse
Monthly Chemical Spray Rinse
2-3 Month Chemical Soak

Weekly Filter Rinse

The weekly rinse can be completed without a hot tub filter cleaner because it's designed to be quick and easy. It should only take a few minutes and can be done with a regular garden hose attached to your home water outlet. You want to use moderate pressure to get all the big pieces of debris out form between the folds, but don't use so much pressure that you bend or compromise the filter material. 

If you notice any grime or oils that aren't coming out with water it's the perfect time to carry out the spray or soak with a chemical cleaner. 

Monthly Chemical Spray Rinse

The chemical spray rinse should be done every month and more often if you notice the water isn't as clear as it should be, and isn't related to the hot tub sanitizer. If your hot tub is equipped with a filter pressure gauge you can quickly determine if the filter needs a chemical clean by reading the PSI. If the gauge is reading 7-8 PSI higher than when the filter is clean, it's time for a chemical rinse or soak. 

A hot tub filter cleaner in a spray bottle is ideal for this task. Simply spray the entire filter surface area with the solution and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes or as recommended by the product manufacturer. Rinse the filter really well to get all of the residual chemicals and debris off the filter. If the filter is still dirty you may want to take it step further and try a chemical soak. 

Hot Tub Filter Cleaner Wand

A filter cleaning wand is a handy tool that will make rinsing the filter off much easier. The tool is made up of tine holes designed to shoot high pressure, low impact jets of water into the folds of the filter media. They work on all major pool and hot tub filters and will save water, time and labour while preserving the life of the filter.

2-3 Month Chemical Soak

Every 2-3 months we recommend giving your filter a complete chemical soak. This step is designed to give the filter a clean that should restore it to an almost new condition. It's a great idea to carry this step out in correlation with draining your hot tub water

If the filter appears to be dirty beyond recognition or it looks like it needs to be replaced, you should do that now. The cost of a replacement filter is worth every penny and can be compared to an oil change for a vehicle for it's low cost and importance. 

Fill a 10 gallon bucket or similar, that will hold enough water and chemical solution to fully submerge the filter. Us a hot tub filter cleaner diluted with water as per the manufacturers instructions. Place the filter in the bucket in a safe area where it can soak overnight. 

Again, make sure you rinse the filter very thoroughly with clean water. You may even want to fill a bucket with clean water and allow it to rinse, the ultimate goal is to remove all the debris and chemical cleaner. If cleaner is residue is left on the filter it can cause chemistry problems and even cause foaming as it reacts with the chemicals in the hot tub. 

Hot Tub Filter Cleaner Tips

We've put together a few hot tub filter cleaner tips based on years of experience and headaches, unfortunately. Lucky for you, you don't have to go through the same things that we have! 

  • Never use the high pressure jet setting on a garden hose nozzle
  • Always purchase compatible filters for your specific hot tub
  • Never use bleach or household chemicals to clean your filter
  • Make a maintenance schedule and stick to it
  • Inspect the filter every time you clean it and replace when needed

Hot Tub Filter Cleaner Alternative

If you are the type of hot tub owner that likes to save money (who doesn't), then a 'make your own' hot tub filter cleaner alternative might be right up your alley. Although we can't guarantee vinegar will work, we recommend you give it a try and see if it works for you. All it takes is replacing the chemical cleaner with natural vinegar and use it either in a spray or soak in a solution with water. 


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