PARTY’S OVER! IT’S TIME TO CLEAN YOUR SPA FILTER!

Winter hot tub
  • Published
  • January 13, 2017

Now that the Christmas/New Year’s holiday break has come and gone, and you’ve exhausted all your hot tubbing and hydrotherapy entertaining to the nines, it’s time to give back and clean your spa filter!

As a hot tub owner you can’t neglect maintaining and/or replacing your cartridge filter. Keeping your hot tub filter clean and free from dust, grime, dirt, blockages and even some bacteria is one of the most important elements to keeping your hot tub water clean. Simply put water can’t flow through a clogged, dirty filter and if the water is not filtered contaminants are not removed from your tub. The blockage of the hot tub filters can put strain on the pump, and could shut your power pack down if not operating correctly. The blockage of your hot tub filter could also compromise the overall clarity and cleanliness of the hot tub which of course is not good for your health and the health of other bathers. Even if the filter looks clean, scale and particles can clog the fibers and prevent water from flowing through the filter resulting in the most common spa problem—no heat, caused by a dirty filter.

The good news is keeping your hot tub filter clean isn’t difficult; it is merely setting a schedule and keeping to it throughout the year.

image of a jet brush filter cleaner

Once every 2 weeks (or more often when the bather load is heavy like during the holidays or frequent entertaining) spray and rinse filter cartridges with water. You don’t need any soaps or cleaners to do this, but make sure you get in between all the pleats on the filter where the deposits often build up. During the winter months this can be done indoors with warm water. If during the warmer seasons, use a garden hose and apply the water stream at a 45-degree angle, making sure to dislodge all foreign matter by spraying between each pleat.

An easy way to clean between the pleats is to use our Jet Brush Filter Cleaner which enables you to quickly and easily brush and flush all contaminates from your filter cartridges in minutes!

image of the googetter scum remover

Another item that aids a hot tub cartridge filter is our GOOGETTER Oil & Scum Remover. A scum remover absorbs body oils, makeup, and aids the filters. This will not only keep your water in a better state but will improve the filters capacity and level of performance.

image of the omni 2-in-1 filter cleaner
image of spa marvel cleanser

At least every 2-3 months and/or with EVERY water change your cartridge should first be pre-rinsed with the garden hose then soaked overnight in a non-foaming filter cleaning compound that removes body oils, residue and bacteria from the hot tub filters. The only way to do this properly is to use a degreasing agent meant to clean cartridge filters. A cartridge cleaner is best suited for removing that tough grime that is impossible to remove with just water. Use our 2-In-1 Filter Cleaner by OMNI or our Spa Marvel Cleanser to do so. These cleaners break down the oil and grime making it easier to rinse away. It is advisable to use TWO filters in rotation. While one is being used the other is drying. This way you can always have a clean filter ready to install when it comes time to give your hot tub a thorough cleaning. This will also lengthen the life of both filters.

image of replacement filter cartridges

Once a year replace your filter. Filters are only made to last for about a year, more or less depending on use. We don’t recommend using your filter for more than 12 months though as the filter can become ineffective and leave debris and bacteria in your hot tub water. If you’re using two separate filters which you are alternating, you can obviously use both for longer, but try to keep track of how long you’ve had your filters and how many months they’ve been in use. After 12 months they should be replaced. Your hot tub filter is essential to your hot tub’s power pack operating properly. You will want to replace your filter when it shows signs of wear or damage. A dirty or over used filter will slow down water flow, reduce water pressure and compromise other parts of the system. This will cost a lot more to repair or replace then a hot tub filter. Be sure to check out our Replacement Filter Cartridge department if you are looking to replace yours!

Tips & Tricks

• Never use a filter too small for your spa’s water capacity!

• Never use a power washer or washing machine.

• Remove the top rack of your dishwasher. Stand up filter (if necessary lay flat if you have an overly large filter). Turn the dishwasher on high heat or on the sanitize cycle and run with NO DETERGENT!!!

• Never use non-filter cleaning soaps such as laundry or dishwasher detergent. Filter Cleaner is made specifically to clean your filter without contaminating your water or causing serious foaming issues. Stick to filter-specific cleaners. If you don’t you may experience major foaming problems in your hot tub if you use them.

• Always follow your equipment manufacturer’s instructions for removing and reinstalling filter cartridges.

• Be sure to shut off power to the spa before you remove the filter. When the spa operates without a filter, there is a possibility that debris may be sucked into the plumbing through the filter well.

Discounter’s Pool & Spa Warehouse offers monthly expert advice on enjoying and maintaining your indoor and outdoor pool or spa. Visit their online store for a full range of pool products and spa accessories, including all chemicals featured in this post, and check out their profile on FS Local.

FS Local Contributor


Contributor at FS Local


Discounter's Pool and Spa Warehouse delivers unbeatable value on in-ground and above-ground pools as well as hot tubs and accessories. Staffed by knowledgeable experts, Discounter's is your choice for new installations and maintenance supplies.

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