Cleaning a Spa Filter

Do you love your spa? It is relaxing to sit back in the bubbling water and let your daily stress melt away. Whether you have just installed it or are cleaning out a pre-existing spa, there are some important steps you must take to insure the safety and sanity of your spa.

After six months your spa filter will become clogged. The pores will enlarge and become distorted. This will reduce the filter media’s ability to filter out contaminants. Dirty worn out filters will not trap debris and this will put strain on the spa’s pump system.

Household Soaps

It is best to not use hand soaps, car soaps, dishwashing soaps, laundry soaps, or any bubbling soaps on your filter. These may clean it but will not sanitize it. It can also create the problem of turning your spa into a bubble bath if you do not remove all of the soap. Rinsing out all of the foaming soap from your spa filter is very hard to do. If you do choose to use them make sure to rinse the filter until the water runs clear for several minutes.

The filter’s cartridge should be removed, rinsed and cleaned out at least once every month.

If there is coarse dirt and debris, this can be removed by pressure washing with a garden hose. This should remove all of the larger particles from the filter. Do not use to much water pressure from the garden hose because this can damage the filter material. You may use your fingers to gently loosen the dirt and debris.

However, smaller particles may become embedded in the filter cartridge. It can be easier to remove these tiny particles when the filter is dry. Allow the filter to completely dry out. Gently brush the filter to remove the dried particles.

Body oils, sun tan oils, and algae can be removed with spa filter cleaner. It is important to remove all traces of these oils because they will clog up the filter and prevent proper filtration. To achieve this, soak the filter in commercial cleaner. There are many available on the market. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the package and follow them.


Muriatic acid can be used to remove calcium scale. Soak the filter in a solution of muriatic acid and water. This should be done after rinsing the filter of loose debris. A solution of chlorine bleach and water can be used to disinfect the filter. Again, soak the filter in this solution after rinsing out all debris with water.

Bleach will weaken the fibers in the filter media. This will shorten the lifespan of the filter. Bleach is not necessarily the best way to sanitize. Any good commercial spa filter cleaner should have instructions for sanitizing. You should always follow them.

Every time you change the water you should also clean the filters. In addition to regular cleaning, the filters should be replaced at least once a year. If possible allow each filter to completely dry out before using them again. This will help eliminate any micro-organisms from growing inside the filter and contaminating the spa water. This may take several days. If you do not want to wait for them to dry completely, try rotating them between cleanings. Each time you clean them you will have thoroughly dried and sanitized replacement for each filter.

Your spa can be a place in which to retire from daily stresses, a place of social intimacy, a place to gather your thoughts, collect yourself and prepare for the day. Proper cleaning and sanitization of the filters is an important part of the maintenance of any spa. Following these guidelines will insure that your spa remains a place of enjoyment.