How to Clean Hot Tub Filters: Best 5 Step Guide

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 02/08/21 •  12 min read

How to clean hot tub filters?

To clean a hot tub filter you must remove the hot tub filters from the spa, rinse the filters with fresh water, apply a chemical soak, rinse thoroughly, and reinstall the hot tub filters into the spa.

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Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

I recommend the Aquatix Pro Cleaner to get the job done right.

While the hot tub gives you relaxation with hydrotherapy, it is crucial to keep it fully clean in order to get maximum enjoyment.

You will find everything necessary to maintain and clean the hot tub filters in this article.

Let’s get started!

What is a Hot Tub Filter?

The hot tub, also known as the spa tub, is used for hydrotherapy. It includes different systems that work in collaboration to provide clean hot water for relaxation. One of these systems includes the water filter systems, which make use of hot water filters.

In the filter chamber of the spa, there is a filter that is responsible for keeping the water cleansed. Even if you think that the water is clean and fresh, some microorganisms, dirt, and debris contaminate the water. This is when the filter in these hot tubs comes into action.

The process of filtration is relatively easy. Water passes through the filter, it traps dirt particles and thus cleans the water.

As the filter collects debris, it gets dirty very quickly. Its maintenance is crucial in keeping the water clean and safe. That is why the hot tub filter should be regularly cleaned.

hot tub filter

Hot Tub Filter Parts

Three main parts contribute to the structure of a hot tub filter. All these parts are made to support each other, forming a fragile yet efficacious filter.

The parts that make up a hot tub filter are:

  1. Media
  2. Core
  3. End Caps


Media is the actual functional part of the hot tub filter. It is the major portion that captures the dirt and debris direct from the water. These are usually made of white polyester. The media is responsible for providing you with debris-free clean water.

The polyester material is folded several times. This increases the surface area, making it work better and cleaner.


As the name suggests, the core is the central part of the filter. You can imagine the media as a paper. How come a paper stands against water flow for so long? To cover this, the core is added to the center of the filter.

The core of the filter is made of hard plastic material. The polyester media is kind of wrapped around it, collectively acting as a filter. The plastic is hard enough to stand the water pressure so that it can perform the filtration well.

End Caps

These are basically disc-shaped made of the same plastic material. It is added to prevent the media and core from displacing. With the help of these end caps, the filter can stay upright in the filter chamber of the hot tub.

Why Cleaning Hot Tub Filters is Important?

Hot tubs are a really amazing way to keep your health balanced. As you go into the hot tub with all those lotions, shampoos, and other relaxing products on your body, the water gets dirty. Even if you go inside the tub without any product on your body, the sweat and hair are still going to mix in the water. As the water goes through the filter, all these dirt particles get stuck in it.

Every hot tub contains a filter. The filter is responsible for performing the same task that it is doing for centuries – filtration. The filter ingests all the filth and dirt in the tub to provide clean water for relaxation. It even takes in microorganisms, which contaminate the water.

For the effective filtration of contaminants, it is essential to clean the filter regularly. As the dirt pile up inside the filter, it becomes unable to get the water filtered. This is not only bad for the water but also it can cause damage to the hot tub by clogging several parts of it. Piling up of dirt provides a home for bacteria and many other microorganisms.

Check out our full article on how to clean your inflatable hot tub if you don’t own a hard-sided hot tub. You should find the article helpful and informative.

How Often Should You Clean Hot Tub Filter?

The straightforward answer is every week. You should get your hot tub filter washed every week. However, this greatly depends upon how often you use the hot tub. If your tub is used on a regular basis, it is ideal for getting the filter washed every two weeks. In case of seldom use, you can get it washed after three to four weeks.

You can also divide the cleaning of hot tub filters into three stages.

Stage 1: Weekly Cleaning

You should not wait for the filter to get contaminated. Get it rinsed with water every week. This will keep off the bigger dirt particles and ensure effective filtration.

Also, remember to add chlorine tablets to your spa to keep it well sanitized.

Stage 2: Monthly Thorough Cleaning

Thorough cleaning makes the filter clean as new. It is necessary to do it after every two months. In the process of cleaning, you basically use some cleaning solution to disinfect and decontaminate the hot tub filter. A thorough cleaning ensures the long life of the filters and keeps the tub from several diseases and contaminants.

Stage 3: Replace the Filters

Generally, a good tub filter lasts two to five years with the condition that you regularly take care of them. In the opposite case, filters just become a trash can within a year. Therefore, two things are really important, keeping the filters clean and replacing them every two years.

Hot tub filters come in all shapes and sizes.

Our recommendation for larger filters is Guardian Pool/Spa filters.

Our recommendation for the smaller filters is Intex filters for inflatable hot tubs.

How long do Hot Tub Filters Last?

Hot tub filters last from one to two years. How long the filter will last significantly depends upon how often you wash it properly. Again, regular cleaning will increase the life span of these tub filters.

Make sure to note down the time when you got a new filter. Do not use it for more than three years. To make the most use of a hot tub filter, ensure regular cleaning every other week and once every two months. Good care of these filters will provide you with better and longer service.

How To Clean Hot Tub Filters: 5 Steps

Quick cleaning of the hot tub filter requires thorough rinsing, which should be done every week. However, deep cleansing of the filter should be done in several steps. It is important to get the deep cleaning done once every two to three months for effective filtration.

As the process of deep cleansing is quite long, it is a good idea to have a spare hot tub filter. While you are washing the one, the other filter can be installed so that it continues to perform the task. Using filters on and off in such a way will increase their life span as well.

1. Remove the Hot Tub Filters From the Spa

Before removing the filter, make sure to properly turn the hot tub off. Running it without the filter can cause damage to the inner parts of the spa. Sometimes the debris gets clogged in the pumps.

The ideal way to remove the filter from your spa is by reading the owner’s manual thoroughly. Most of these booklets contain a pictorial representation of where the hot tub filter is located and how it should be removed.

The method is quite similar in every model. You have to rinse carefully and then move the list of the filter in an anti-clockwise direction. Take out the filter after that.

2. Rinse the Hot Tub Filters With Fresh Water

Begin with giving the filter a quick rinse. By rinsing thoroughly, you will get the larger dust particles removed instantly. Wear gloves in your hand before rinsing. You will need to use your hands to remove bigger things like hair tangled with the filter, leaves, etc.

Using a premium spa and pool cartridge cleaner will help remove debris more quickly.

I recommend the Aquatix Pro Cleaner to get the job done right.

Along with the Flexi Hose to reach the filters more easily!

3. Chemical Rinse and Soak

The filter can be cleaned in two ways.

For quick cleansing, you need to spray a good amount of chemical spray on the filter and let it sit for half an hour. After that, you can wash it with clean water.

For thorough cleaning, you need to soak the filter overnight in the cleaning chemical. Take a bucket, soak the filter in it and add a small amount of filter cleaner. Let it sit overnight. This gives a good long time to the chemical to extract all the grease, oil, and dirt from the filter, thus leaving it clean.

You can make the filter cleaner yourself at home or get one from the market. There are many good chemicals of various brands available that are made especially to clean the filters.

Soaking your hot tub filters in a 5-gallon bucket is the best practice while keeping the bucket in a safe location away from pets or small children.

I recommend Leisure Time O Filter Cleaner to soak your hot tub filters for the best results.

4. Rinse Thoroughly With Fresh Water

After a good overnight soaking, take the filter out. With a normal pressure of clean freshwater, rinse the filter thoroughly. This step is to ensure that the filter is now cleaned thoroughly and doesn’t contain any debris inside.

5. Reinstall The Hot Tub Filters

After rinsing, allow the hot tub filter to get dry completely. People usually ignore this step, but it is necessary to dry the filter. The wet filter can become contaminated with microorganisms.

Once it is dried, fit the hot tub filter back in place. There would be no difficulty in reinstalling it. Still, if you are afraid of any damage, consider reading the owner’s manual once again.

This method is really effective, which gives off a new-looking clean filter at the end. Even regular cleaning cannot stop the filter from wearing out so it should be replaced after one or two years.

refill hot tub filters

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Hot Tub Filters

Here are some things to avoid when cleaning your hot tub filters. Some of these include household cleaners, bleach, and dishwashers.

Household Cleaners

Household cleaners might seem a good replacement for filter cleaners, but no, they are not. Do not ever attempt to use fabric detergent or dishwasher detergent to wash the filter.

These household cleaners cause foaming issues in your spa. Filter cleaner is inevitably the right and ideal choice in this case. However, there are no restrictions in washing the other parts of the spa with laundry or some other detergents.


Bleach is often thought to be effective against dirt and debris. It is mostly used in diluted form to clean any surface. However, it is essential to note that bleach is a very harsh chemical, and it should be dealt with great care.

If you are trying to wash the filter at home, I would recommend you to keep it aside and stick to the filter cleaner. Using bleach for cleaning purposes is solely a risk that should be avoided. Otherwise, you will end up breaking down the whole filter instead of getting it cleaned.


Using a gentle garden hose is an ideal choice for rinsing the hot tub filter. A high-pressure washer can destroy the filter. Similarly, filters cannot withstand harsh chemicals. You need to be super careful in this regard and keep the hot tub filter away from the dishwasher.

The dishwasher chemicals are made to deal with hard surfaces that a filter cannot tolerate. Also, the pressure of water in several washing appliances like dishwashers and washing machines is too high. Such a high level of water pressure can damage the filter ultimately.

How to Clean Hot Tub Filters: Conclusion

how to clean hot tub filters

A hot spa is used for hydrotherapy, which is effective against several health conditions. Hot tub filters are the most important part of such hot tubs as they filter the water to keep it clean. As filtration is done for keeping the water clean so a filter should be kept clean as well.

Hot tub filters should be cleaned in several stages. The basic step is to rinse it every week to keep off large dirt particles. The second stage is to give the filter a thorough clean once every two months. Lastly, replace the filter every one or two years.

While cleaning, you must avoid using several cleaning agents like detergents and bleach. Other cleaning appliances like a washing machine and a dishwasher should also be avoided.

Use the right cleaning solution by following the method I have explained above to get the desired results.

I hope you found this article on how to clean hot tub filters helpful.

Check out this great article on hot tub benefits from to see how hot tubs make people’s lives healthier and more enjoyable.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank

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