How do you clean a spa filter?

It is vital your spa filter cartridges are maintained correctly to maximise their life. Filters need to be cleaned and how often depends on how often you use your spa. Our detailed guide on how to clean your spa filters and the best products to use.

Filter clogging is caused by soaps, chemicals, perspiration, body fats, oils, and fine particles of dust or dirt. A blocked spa filter cartridge can put undue pressure on your pump and motor and decrease the life of these parts.

You can save money, reduce the wear and tear on your spa while prolonging the life of your filter by following a few basic maintenance steps. Read on to learn how to clean your spa filters.

In this article, you'll learn:

Important note about Micron Filters

Micron filters found in Vortex™ and Jacuzzi® Spas cannot be cleaned and need to be replaced for a new micron filter at the end of their life.

How do I clean a spa filter?

Please Note: Micron filters found in Vortex™ and Jacuzzi® Spas cannot be cleaned and must be replaced.

Click the button to learn a step-by-step guide on how to clean Jacuzzi® J-400™ Collection Spa Filters.

Step 1. Remove your filters

Unscrew the filter or filters from the filter compartment of your spa and remove them. Also, remove any floating objects like scum absorbent discs and cleaning cloths as these could be sucked into your pump once your filters have been removed.

Step 2. Place filters in a filter cleaning solution and soak

We recommend soaking your filters for up to 24 hours in a filter cleaning solution to help dissolve and loosen dirt and organic matter that has built up. Follow the directions on the filter cleaning product and add the appropriate amount to a container of water, then leave your filters to soak. (The longer you can soak them for, the better!)

Step 3. Rinse filters with a filter cleaning wand

After your filters have soaked, remove them from the cleaning solution and rinse them with fresh water.

Using a filter cleaning wand will help you rinse them more thoroughly and efficiently. Filter cleaning wands clip straight onto your garden hose and allow you to clean deep inside the pleats of your filter.

Important note: Do not use a high-pressure hose, pressure washer or stiff brush as these can damage the filter media.

Step 4. Replace filters in your spa

Once you have rinsed your filters thoroughly, carefully screw them back into their housing in the filter compartment of your spa. Take care not to cross-thread them if they are threaded.

Bonus Tip - buy a second set of filters and rotate

If you have a second set of filters, you can have one set soaking for a whole week while your other set is in use. This will prolong the life of your filters considerably as they are getting a very thorough soaking every week.

Take away: Proper spa filter maintenance will ensure that spa filters last. Cleaning a spa filter is quick and easy using a spa filter water wand. A high-pressure hose or a stiff brush should never be used.

What do you use to clean a spa filter?

Soaking your filters in an approved filter cleaning product like the Zodiac Filter Cartridge cleaner will help remove dirt, grime and oils from your filters.

Then, rinse your filters with a filter cleaning wand to ensure they are thoroughly clean before replacing them in your spa.

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How often should I clean spa filters?

As a general rule, it is recommended to rinse your spa filters every 1-2 weeks. If your spa has high usage with a large number of bathers, you will want to clean your filters more regularly.

In addition to rinsing every 2 weeks, you should soak your filters in an approved filter-cleaning solution at least every month.

How long do spa filters last?

Generally, your spa filters should last at least 12 months and up to 18 months before they need replacing. In a high-use spa, you should replace your filters more regularly than if your spa is not being used as often.

If you are regularly cleaning your filters thoroughly then they will last longer.

How do I know when my spa filter needs replacing?

  • The spa water is not staying clear.
  • The cartridge gets blocked quickly, and you have to clean your cartridge more often.
  • Restricted water flow and high differential pressure (differential pressure is the difference between the pressure coming in and the pressure going out, caused by a blocked cartridge).
  • A cracked or damaged cartridge, which is very rare unless the filter has been plugged or there is an issue with the spa plumbing.

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How are spa filters made?

There are two different types of spa filters that are largely used in modern portable spas and swim spas: Pleated spa pool filters and micron spa filters.

This image shows the Proclear™ Filters in Jacuzzi® J-300™ Series Spas

Pleated Spa Pool filters

Pleated spa filters are the most common type of filters and are typically good for filtering out particulates 20 microns or larger.

As the name suggests pleated filter cartridges are made from pleated filter material known as media.

Why is it pleated you might ask? The pleats dramatically increase the surface area of the spa filter which increases the efficiency and reduces the overall size requirement.

Micron Spa Filters

Micron spa filters are either used alone or in conjunction with pleated filters. Micron filters use a different "spun" style of filter media and typically are good to 5 microns so they are ideal for clarifying water.

The advantage of micron filters such as the Purezone spa filters is that they save money by reducing the amount of spa chemicals required to maintain water clarity. As with everything not all filter media is made the same and the quickest way some manufacturers cut costs is by lowering the quality of the filter media being used.

Non-factory authorized spa filters can be made from filter media that breaks down rapidly and does not clean out well causing it to become clogged and unusable much quicker than the higher quality spa filters.

One more important aspect of spa filter construction to note is how the end caps are fixed to the filter media. Another way certain manufacturers of low-quality filters save money is to use a lower-quality process to attach the filter caps onto the filter media. This often causes the filter to come apart at the end caps very early in its life span.

Take away: Replacement spa filters come in two main types, pleated and micron. Make sure to purchase filters from an authorized, reputable supplier that offers a guarantee. Poorly made filters can fail and cause damage to your spa.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach to clean spa filters?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach to clean your spa filters. Bleach can damage and weaken the filter media, shortening the lifespan and effectiveness of your filters.

Can I use nappy-san to clean my spa filters?

Many people mistakenly believe that they can use bleach, nappy san, or the like. In fact, these products can actually damage the filter media, reducing it's lifespan.

We recommend a specialised filter cleaning product to efficiently clean filter cartridges. These products are designed to quickly remove debris from the filters and will not damage your filter cartridge.

Can I clean my spa filters in the dishwasher?

No. Dishwashing powder is highly caustic and can damage the fabric or media that your filters are made from.

Why is my spa filter brown?

If your filter is stained (brown, grey, green, yellow) it may indicate that the fabric the filter is made from has deteriorated and it is time to replace your filters.

If the filter returns to a white colour after a thorough soak and rinse, then it is probably OK to continue using the filter. If it remains stained after cleaning, then it is time to replace!

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Got more questions?

Talk to us or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

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