How to Clean Hot Tub Filters?

The filters in your hot tub are responsible for trapping dirt, debris, and other contaminants that get into your hot tub water. As the water in the tub is being circulated, the water passes through the filtration system (or the filters) and any foreign object in the water is picked up by the filters. Awesome right? Yes, it is. But there is one small issue.

While the filters will pick up the dirt and debris that get into the hot tub, the filters can’t dispose of these contaminants. This means that the dirt that is picked up remains trapped in the filters. This also means will need to remove these trapped debris and clean the filters in your hot tub by yourself.

Failure to do so means that the filters would get clogged up with dirt and wouldn’t be able to pick up any other contaminant in the water. This can result in all sorts of health problems later on. So how can you clean the filters in the hot tub? Let’s find out.

Hot Tub Filter Parts

The spa filters have three parts:


The “media” is the part of the filter that does most of the job. The media cleans the water. Usually, it’s made of polyester material. The best way to clean this part is by using warm water.

The Center

The hot tub filters need a material that doesn’t break easily. The filter deals with a lot of water, so having a strong base is necessary. The “center’ or the “core” of the hot tub filter is made of strong plastic.

If the center of the hot tub filter was made of polyester material, then the efficiency would be low. The water can easily move polyester material.


The hot tub filters have two caps. One at the top, and one at the bottom. The caps glue the other parts together. The caps are also used to connect the hot tub filter to the hot tub. While cleaning the cups, make sure to not damage them. If you do, then you won’t be able to connect it back.

Related Read >> How to Clean Hot Tubs Without Removing Them?

Common Hot Tub Filter Types

There are a lot of different spa filters available. But, these 3 types are the most used ones:

Cartridge Filters

You most likely have a cartridge filter. These types of filters are made of paper and plastic. You have to clean the cartridge filter every week.

Ceramic Filters

Ceramic filters have almost the same design as a cartridge filter. The only difference is that ceramic filters are made of resilient ceramic. Usually, these types of filters last the longest. Sometimes every for a couple of years.  But, you have to regularly clean them.

Sand Filters

The sand filters come with a different design. Sand filters are round containers that are filled with sand. These types of filters don’t stay inside the hot tub. They are usually located outside the hot tub. They do catch a lot of dirt, but you have to clean them a lot.

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How to Clean Hot Tub Filters

Several sources will explain how to clean hot tub filters. But only a few will explain the right way to do so. There are a few rules to adhere to while cleaning hot tub filters, so follow the steps below to know how to do that.

Turn Off the Hot Tub

The first thing to do before cleaning any part of the hot tub or the hot tub itself is to turn off the hot tub and ensure the jets aren’t running. You can turn off the hot tub by using the control panel and you can also go the extra mile by turning off the hot tub GFCI breaker.

Before starting to clean your spa filters, you need to turn off the hot tub.

Remove the Filters

After turning off the hot tub, you should remove the hot tub filters. The hot tub filters are usually located before the heater. If you aren’t sure where the filters in your hot tub are located, you can consult the user’s manual or search online for where the filters are located in the brand of hot tub you have.

The filters look like a large roll of tissue paper but instead of the soft tissue paper, the filters have tiny lines of soft fabric called the media that trap dirt.

To remove the filters, carefully unscrew the filter anti-clockwise and then lift the filters out of the water. The filters are usually filled with all sorts of contaminants including bacteria, so ensure you are putting on a pair of gloves before doing this.

Give the Filters a Quick Rinse

After removing the filters from the hot tub, the next thing to do is to give the filters a quick rinse. You can do this by dipping the filters inside a large bowl of clean water or by using a garden hose.

If you want to use a bowl of clean water, prepare a bowl of clean water and dip the filters inside. Ensure to open each pleat on the filters so you can rinse the inner parts of the filters. You can also use a soft brush to stroke the fabric on the filters.

Rinsing the filters will get rid of the bulk of the dirt, debris, and other contaminants that have been trapped by the filters over time. If you are using a garden hose, ensure the water pressure is a bit high and hose down the filters.

Also, ensure to open the pleats so you can reach the inner parts of the filter. Most people prefer using the garden hose method because it removes more dirt quickly. Rinsing the filters should be done weekly. If you do this weekly, then there wouldn’t be any chance of dirt being accumulated in the filters.

Use a Filter Cleaning Solution

One good thing about hot tubs is that there is always a product that can be used to clean each part of the hot tub. For instance, to clean the hot tub’s plumbing, you have a line flush and to clean the filters, you have different filter cleaning solutions.

The filter cleaners usually come in a spray bottle and they have different substances that are included in their formula. Some hot tub cleaners have white vinegar in them. Check the container of the filter cleaner you buy to know if the cleaner needs to be diluted with water or it can be used directly.

The filters are usually made from delicate materials like fabric and plastic, so the wrong concentration of chemicals can corrode the filters. When you have sprayed the filters, leave them for about 10 to 15 minutes, so the cleaners can work their magic.

The filter cleaner you purchased might need less or more time than that, so check the instructions on the container. After the required time has lapsed, thoroughly rinse the filters in clean water twice and allow them dry.

Usually, the filters would be clean as a whistle after you have rinsed them. The filter cleaners are potent enough to dissolve and get rid of any solid particles that may have stuck to the filters over time.

If you have rinsed the filters in chemical and you can still notice some debris or dirt on the filters, try rinsing the filters again and this time, use a soft brush to stroke the filters. If the dirt is still there after this, then it’s time to call for reinforcements.

Soak the Filters in Chemicals

Usually, after rinsing the filters in chemicals, the filters would be clean. But if you still notice dirt in the filters, then you should soak the filters in a filter cleaner. Soaking the filters means submerging them in chemicals for a long time. This can be a few hours or overnight.

The time frame depends on the instruction on the container of the filter soak chemical that you buy. The filter soak chemicals usually need to be diluted with water before using them. To soak the filters, start by diluting the chemicals with water in the right ratio. You can dilute the chemicals with water in a bucket or a large bowl.

After diluting the chemicals, dip the filters inside the diluted solution and leave it for a few hours as directed by the manufacturer of the filter soak chemical. Some filter soak chemicals would require you to leave the filters in the diluted solution overnight. After the required time has lapsed, remove the filters and stroke them with a soft brush. Your filters should be squeaky clean after this.

Last Resort

If you have soaked the filters in chemicals but you can still notice grime inside the filters, then you should replace the filters. Chances are the filters have been severely affected by grime, so you should just dispose of the old filters and purchase a new one.

So now you know how to clean your hot tub filters. But how frequently should you clean the filters? Keep reading to know more.

How Frequently Should You Clean Hot Tub Filters

Cleaning your hot tub filters is one thing, cleaning them frequently is another. Maintaining a good cleaning routine of the hot tub filters is the best way to ensure the debris and dirt picked up by filter filters don’t build up inside the filters.

Rinse Filters with Water Weekly

You should rinse the filters in clean water weekly. You can also use a garden hose to hose down the filters with clean water. This should be done every week to prevent the build-up of grime in the filters.

Rinse Filter with Chemicals Monthly

You should rinse the filters in chemicals monthly. Filter cleaning solutions or filter cleaners should be used to rinse the hot tub filters every month. This will ensure the filters remain clean.

Soak Filters into Chemicals Every 3 or 5 Months

You should soak the filters in chemicals once in 3 or four months. The filters should be soaked in chemicals for a few hours once 3 or 4 months. You can also choose to do this every time you drain the hot tub.

Now you know how frequently you should clean the hot tub filters but why should you even clean the filters in the first place?

Why Should You Clean Hot Tub Filters?

You should clean the hot tub filters to prevent an accumulation of grime, slime, debris, and dirt in your hot tub’s filters. The filters in your hot tub are what prevent dirt and other solids from being circulated in the water inside the hot tub.

These contaminants may have been caused by you or even by nature. The filters stop these debris from being circulated inside the water by picking them up. As the filters pick up more and more dirt, it gradually gets clogged up. The more dirt your filters pick up, the quicker the filters get clogged.

When the filters get clogged up, there is nothing picking or trapping the dirt anymore because the filters have picked up as much as they can. When this happens, you then have a problem on your hands because what the filters can’t trap gets circulated back inside the water and right where you sit.

This can cause all sorts of problems such as algae ingested water, green water, skin irritation, scale build-up on the hot tub shell, and even water-borne diseases that will surely make you sick. Cleaning the filters will ensure the filters remain clean and they can pick up the debris that gets introduced into your hot tub.

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Hot Tub Filter Cleaning Tips

There are a few pro tips to follow when cleaning your hot tub. Here are some of them.

Never Use Detergent or Bleach to Clean the Filters

Using detergent or bleach on your hot tub filters might get them clean but you are sure to damage the filters. Detergent and bleach are too harsh to be used on hot tub filters. They will do more than just clean your hot tub filters.

It can cause corrosion on the disc and other plastic parts of the filters. They can also weaken the filters causing them to get worn out quickly. So whatever you do, stay away from bleach and detergent while cleaning hot tub filters.

Do Not Use a Hard Brush to Scrub the Filters

When we notice a stubborn stain, our first idea is to scrub with off with a hard brush or sponge. While this might work on your dishes, slabs, and walls, it wouldn’t be a good fit for hot tub filters.

Sure using a hard brush to scrub the filters will get them clean, but it would surely damage the media fiber of the filters. If you scrub the filters, you will surely have to replace them after because the filters wouldn’t be able to trap any dirt again.

Get Another Filter

While cleaning a hot tub filter, you can replace it with another. Hot tub filters need to be removed to be cleaned and you might still want to make use of the hot tub, especially when you have to soak the filters.

Having another filter in place is always a good idea. That way you can soak the previous filters and still use your hot tub. Sounds nice doesn’t it, sure it does.

So there you have it. Ensure to leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also check out other posts on this website for more hot tub tips. Have a nice day.

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