How to Clean Your Filter

Maintaining clean hot tub filters is essential for ensuring that you’re soaking in clean water. The longer you wait to clean your filters, the more likely it is that you’ll be soaking in contaminated water. It’s important to mark a regular cleaning schedule in your calendar and set reminders to ensure that you’re cleaning your hot tub filters on a regular basis, using the correct methods and materials.

Why Clean Your Hot Tub Filters

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Hot tub filters play a crucial role in keeping your spa water clean. However, they do get dirty over time as they collect contaminants and debris from the water. It’s your responsibility to remove this gunk regularly to maintain the cleanliness of the water. If you neglect to clean your filters, they’ll become less effective at capturing debris.

Parts of a Hot Tub Filter

Hot tub filters have three main components:


Made of white, pleated spunbond polyester, the media is the part that cleans the water. As the water flows through the hot tub filter, the media captures the debris.


To withstand the force of water flowing through it every day, the media needs reinforcement, which is provided by the core. The core is usually made of tough plastic and helps the filter perform better by preventing the media from moving around in the water flow.

End Caps

Two plastic discs on either end of the filter hold the core and media in place and provide a way for the filters to attach to the spa’s filter chamber.

Cleaning Your Hot Tub Filters

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Tools You Will Need

To clean your hot tub filters, you’ll need:

  • Garden hose
  • Clean bucket
  • Hot tub filter cleaner
  • Filter cleaning wand (optional, for a quick rinse)

It’s a good idea to have two sets of hot tub filters so that you can clean one set while the other is in use.

Weekly Rinse

Remove the filters from the hot tub and give them a quick but thorough rinse with clean water using a garden hose or large sink. Be sure to spread apart each pleat and rinse well between them to remove dirt, hair, and other debris. Allow the filters to dry before putting them back in the spa.

Monthly Chemical Rinse

Generously spray the hot tub filters with filter cleaner and let them sit for about 15 minutes to allow the cleaner to work. Then, thoroughly rinse the filters with clean water. If the filter cleaner doesn’t come in a spray bottle, you can transfer it to one. Make sure to dilute the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions if necessary.

Quarterly Chemical Soak

Do this when you change your hot tub water, which should be done every three to four months. In a large, clean bucket, dilute the filter soak chemical with water according to the instructions on the bottle. Make sure you have enough water to fully submerge one hot tub filter, and if you have room, you can add more filters to the solution. Place the filter in the solution and let it soak for 24 hours or overnight, then thoroughly rinse the filter and let it air dry before putting it back in the hot tub.

Important: Always rinse the filters thoroughly with clean water after using any kind of filter cleaner to prevent cleaning chemical residue from causing hot tub foam, which may require you to drain and refill the spa.

Hot Tub Filter Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

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To keep your hot tub filters working efficiently and extend their lifespan, it’s important to avoid a few common mistakes:

Never use bleach

Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage the media fibers and greatly reduce the life of the filter.

Avoid household cleaners

Household cleaners can cause a major foam problem in your spa and should not be used on hot tub filters. Stick with hot tub filter cleaner, which is specifically made for filter media.

Don’t use the dishwasher

Although spa filters may fit in a dishwasher rack, using dishwashing detergent can damage the polyester fibers and reduce the effectiveness of the filter. Additionally, you cannot put spa filter cleaner in the dishwasher.

When to Replace Hot Tub Filters

Regular cleaning will help your hot tub filters work more efficiently and last longer, but eventually, they will wear out and no longer be able to effectively clean the water. It’s recommended to change your spa filters at least once a year. If you use your hot more frequently or have a high bather load, you may want to change your filter more than once a year. Dirty hot tub filters can even void your warranty, so it’s important to check them once or twice a month.

Other signs that it’s time to replace your filters are if the media is ripped, bent, or imploded, or if the end caps are brittle, cracked, or very discolored. By taking good care of your hot tub filters, you’ll ensure that your spa water stays clean and free of contaminants and debris.

Come to WCI Pools & Spas for Expert Advice

Don’t hesitate to contact our team at WCI Pools and Spas if you have any questions. Our highly knowledgeable staff is always available and eager to assist you with anything you may need. Stop by our showroom today!