How To Clean A Hot Tub Filter

Spa is a luxurious way for you to chill out and relax, thus making your home a special, peaceful paradise. Maintaining a sparkling, healthy swim spa experience involves tackling the dirt magnet in your oasis - the hot tub filter. While filter checking and cleaning will help keep the water sparkling and treat it with respect, it is still a must to have a well-taken-care hot tub filter in order for it to be crystal clear at all times. But as they diligently collect grime, body oils, and lotions, they lose efficiency over time. 

A weekly rinse is vital to make it clean. Neglected filters spell trouble, recirculating grime back into your serene soak. It does not only work as the cleaner of detritus and filth from your pool, but once it is blocked with lots of waste, it fails to keep your spa water-free.

Explore the best hot tub filter hacks, a step-by-step cleaning process, and the right filter cleaner for a sparkling hot tub clean.

Hot Tub 1

How To Clean A Hot Tub Filter?

To deep clean a hot tub filter, switch off the hot tub, unplug it, and drain it. Next, fish out the filter cartridge and give it a good hose-down to eliminate all the gunk it picked up.

Soak the filter in a hot tub filter cleaning solution overnight. Next, rinse it with water, dry and pop it back into its spot in the hot tub. Cleaning your hot tub filter depends on how clogged or dirty it is.

For removing large debris, rinsing it every week with water is sufficient. If it’s clogged, use a specialized hot tub filter cleaner to remove the grease. Do it monthly or fortnightly. To thoroughly clean the filter, soak it in the hot tub filter cleaner for some time or overnight, depending on how clogged it is.

This process is slow but also the most efficient. You can use another hot tub filter in the meantime. For the cleaning process, you’ll first need to gather some items, such as:

  1. Garden Hose
  2. Clean Bucket
  3. Hot Tub Filter Cleaner
  4. Hot Tub Filter Cleaning Wand

Remove The Hot Tub Filter

Once you have these items, you must know how to remove the hot tub filter. If you already know, then that’s well and good. But if not, here are the practical steps to fish out the filter:

Step 1: Switch Off The Hot Tub

First, power down the hot tub and ensure it’s not connected to any electricity.

Step 2: Remove The Filter

Next, locate the filter housing, usually found near the water intake area. Depending on your hot tub model, there might be a latch, knob, or locking mechanism to release the filter. Once you’ve figured that out, gently pull the filter cartridge out of its housing.

Be careful not to force anything – it should come out smoothly. Now you’re all set to clean or replace it as needed. Just remember, safety first – always follow your hot tub’s manual and guidelines.

Hot Tub 6-1

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Cleaning the Hot Tub Filter

Once you’ve removed the filter, proceed to clean it. You can clean the hot tub filter using a specialized cleaner like AquaDoc Spa & Pool Care. It’s excellent for removing grease, suntan oil, and sand from pool and clean spa filters. Choose the cleaner, including household cleaners, then follow the instructions below to clean hot tub filters:

Step 1: Rinse Off Loose Debris

Give the filter a good shake to remove any loose dirt and debris. This will make the cleaning process more effective.

Step 2: Prepare The OxiClean OR Simple Green Solution

Fill your clean bucket with warm water. Follow the instructions on the filter cleaner packaging instructions to determine the right amount to use. Generally, one quart of cleaner with five gallons of water should be sufficient. Mix it up until the chemical dissolves in the water.

Step 3: Soak The Filter

Place the filter in the bucket with the cleaning solution. Make sure it’s fully submerged. Let it soak for about 30-60 minutes. This will help break down and loosen up the gunk built up in the filter.

Hot Tub 5

Step 4: Scrub The Filter (Optional)

After the soaking time is up, take your hot tub filter cleaning wand and gently scrub the filter. Start from the top and work your way down. This tool is designed to help you get into all the nooks and crannies of the filter pleats.

Step 5: Rinse The Filter

Now, grab your garden hose and rinse the filter thoroughly. Use a medium-pressure setting to ensure you’re removing all the filter cleaner and the loosened debris. Rinse from the top down, just like you scrubbed.

Step 6: Inspect & Repeat (If Needed)

Take a good look at your filter. If it looks much cleaner and the water flows through easily, you’re good to go. If there are still some stubborn spots left, you might want to repeat the soaking and scrubbing process.

Hot Tub 4

Step 7: Let The Filter Air Dry

Once your filter looks spick and span, let it air dry thoroughly. Make sure it’s bone dry before you put it back into the hot tub.

Step 8: Reinstall The Filter

Slide the clean and dry filter back into its housing in the hot tub. Close up the housing properly.

Step 9: Turn On The Hot Tub

Lastly, switch on your spa tub. You’ve just cleaned your hot tub filter thoroughly, which means better water circulation and a more enjoyable soak for you.

Steps To Clean A Hot Tub Filter

Rinse Off Loose DebrisShake the filter to remove loose dirt and debris.
Prepare Cleaning SolutionMix OxiClean or Simple Green with warm water in a bucket.
Soak The FilterSubmerge the filter in the cleaning solution for 30-60 minutes.
Scrub The Filter (Optional)Gently scrub the filter with a cleaning wand if needed.
Rinse The FilterThoroughly rinse the filter with a garden hose, using medium pressure.
Inspect & Repeat (If Needed)Check for cleanliness; repeat soaking and scrubbing if necessary.
Let The Filter Air DryAllow the filter to air dry completely.
Reinstall The FilterPlace the dry filter back into the hot tub.
Turn On The Hot TubSwitch on the hot tub for improved water circulation.
Hot Tub 3

Alternative Hot Tub Filter Cleaners

You can also clean the hot tub filter with OxiClean, a laundry additive and versatile stain remover. It only removes spots without affecting the material. Or you can opt for simple Green to clean the hot tub filter, a non-toxic and biodegradable all-purpose cleaner. You clean paper filters as well.

If you don’t have a chemical cleaner or don’t want to use it, you can also clean the hot tub filter with baking soda. Instead of using a specialized filter cleaner, OxiClean or Simple Green, fill your clean bucket with warm water.

Add about half a cup of baking soda to the water and mix it well until it’s dissolved. Then follow the same steps to clean the hot tub filter mentioned in the “Cleaning the Hot Tub Filter” section.

Another way to clean dirty hot tub filters is by dishwashing detergent. It is great for tackling stubborn grease buildup in filters. But be mindful because it might lead to foaming if not rinsed thoroughly.

So, we only recommend this method if you don’t have a chemical cleaner or an extra hot tub filter at hand. To learn how to clean a hot tub filter with dishwasher detergent, follow the exact steps mentioned in the “Cleaning the Hot Tub Filter” section.

But instead of a chemical cleaner, fill the bucket with one cup of mild and unscented laundry detergent. On a last note, never use bleach to clean your spa filter. It can cause damage to the filter media, reducing its life span. You can use vinegar, but it’s not effective against grime.

Hot Tub

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Soak My Hot Tub Filter In To Clean It?

You can use a specialized spa filter cleaner to soak in your hot tub filter. If you don’t have it, go for OxiClean, Simple Green, or a baking soda solution. Dishwashing detergent is also good but not recommended as it can cause foaming issues if not rinsed thoroughly.

How Do You Clean A Hot Tub Spa Filter?

To clean a hot tub spa filter, first switch off the tub, unplug it and drain it. Next, fish out the filter cartridge and give it a good hose-down to get rid of all the gunk it picked up. Soak the filter in a hot tub filter cleaning solution overnight. Next, rinse it with water, dry and pop it back into its spot in the hot tub.

Can I Clean My Hot Tub Filter With Vinegar?

Yes, you can clean your hot tub with vinegar. However, it’s less potent than special cleaning solutions for hot tub filters. If your filter is seriously grimy or loaded with buildup, vinegar might not cut it for a thorough clean.

Can You Clean A Spa Filter With Dish Soap?

Using dish soap to clean a spa filter isn't advisable due to potential issues. Dish soap can leave residues, create excessive foam, and introduce chemicals unsuitable for spa water.

It might harm the filter material and negatively impact water balance. Opt for a specialized spa filter cleaner to ensure effective cleaning without compromising your spa’s performance.


To sum up the process of knowing how to clean a hot tub filter, it’s vital to recognize the filter acts as a barrier for body oils, suntan lotion, grime, and hair. If your hot tub sees regular use, weekly cleaning is imperative.

Opting for a specialized spa filter cleaner is highly effective in swiftly removing dirt. However, alternatives like baking soda, OxiClean, and Simple Green also yield positive results.

While bleach should be avoided due to potential damage, options like dishwashing detergent or vinegar are safer choices. Thoroughly rinsing the filter is essential to prevent foaming problems. By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll ensure a sparkling clean hot tub filter, enhancing the overall quality of your spa experience.

Emma James

A distinguished writer with an impressive 8-year track record of contributing to various prominent informational websites.

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