Cleaning Your Filters

Cleaning Your Filters

Posted by Pool & Hot Tub Depot on Apr 15, 2021

The warmer weather is on the way, birds are chirping, and it’s a wonderful time to give your hot tub some much-needed love. When doing a thorough spring clean of your spa  (see our previous blog post for helpful hints), it might be time to give some further consideration to your filtration system.

Why do I need to clean my hot tub filters?

Over time, your filter can become clogged from the debris, oils and residue it’s pulling from the water. When the filter becomes dirty and/or clogged, the pores of your filter are being blocked which prevents the water from going through it. This is an extremely common reason you’ll see water start to turn cloudy or even smell funky! Not to mention that if your filters aren’t working properly, unfiltered water going through your pump and heater system can even cause damage to the hardware of your spa itself - something that can be avoided with some simple filter maintenance.

How do I clean my filters, and how often?

How often you need to clean your filters will depend on how often you use your hot tub and how many people are using it at a time. It’s recommended to have a weekly, monthly and yearly filter maintenance plan to keep spa water clean and troubleshoot any issues before they pop up, although you may need to adjust accordingly if you use your hot tub more or less than average (average use is generally 2 people, 2-3 times a week).


Use a garden hose or a filter cleaning tool to rinse out the pleats. The goal here is to rinse out all the residue and debris the filter has pulled from the water, so it can keep filtering most effectively. Make sure to rinse between each pleat to ensure all the small particles have been removed.


Particles like lotion, body oils, and even algae are hard to remove and likely won’t come out during a rinse. Getting out these small and slippery particles requires a more thorough filter clean, which is why it’s essential to use a chemical cleaner about once a month. There are many different kinds of filter cleaners available, so always follow the directions on your bottle as the instructions and length of the soak can vary depending which product you’re using.


Generally filters will need to be replaced about every year. At the one-year mark, have a good look at your filter for signs of wear and tear as it may need to be replaced.

Helpful hint: to keep your filters in optimal condition, make sure to let them dry out after cleaning, before putting them back in the hot tub. A great idea is to have 2 sets of filters, so one set can be cleaned and drying while the other set is filtering in the spa.

What products should I use to clean my hot tub filter?

Filter Flush Tool

Pleatco Filter Wash Tablets

Kleen Filter  

EcoOne Filter Cleanser  

Filter Flush Tool attaches directly to your hose to easily rinse between each individual pleat.
Pleatco Spa Filter Wash Cartridges are a one use, fast acting tablet that can clean your filter in as little as 25 minutes. Kleen Filter is highly concentrated for a thorough and efficient filter clean.  EcoOne Filter Cleanser deeply cleans filter media without the use of harsh acids. One bottle contains up to 15 uses!

How do I know when to replace my filter?

As mentioned above, you'll want to start seriously looking at the condition of your filter after about a year of average use. As the filter becomes more and more blocked and clogged, the filter pleats become swollen looking or thicker than they used to, and the edges of the pleats can start to fray and look more rounded. Once you see these signs, it’s a good idea to look at replacing your filter.

What about disposable filters?

A few of the of the most popular filter sizes are made in a disposable filter. These filters are usually made of melt-blown polypropylene which uses the entire filter area to trap debris. If available for your spa, disposable filters can be handy as they do not require any weekly/monthly cleaning or maintenance, however they will need to be thrown out and replaced frequently (every 2-4 months, depending on spa use). In contrast, a well taken-care of standard pleated filter will usually need to be replaced only about once a year (again depending on usage).

Some final filter care tips:

  • Never use a dishwasher or power-washer on your filters as extreme pressure and heat can damage and melt the pleats and the plastic itself
  • Only use cleaners specifically designed for hot tub filters. Using household cleaning agents can cause issues with water chemistry, foaming, and potentially even reactions with other spa chemicals
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer's directions for your spa