How to Clean Hot Tub Filter

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Having your own hot tub means you don't have to travel when you want to relax and unwind after a stressful day. But before you rush out and put in your order for a top-of-the-range hot tub, spend a few minutes learning about what you have to do to keep your hot tub clean and safe to enjoy its many benefits.


Clean hot tub filters are essential to avoid soaking in dirty water. A good cleaning schedule and hot tub care routine will increase the efficiency and longevity of what is a luxury addition to your home.


What are the Different Types of Hot Tub Filters and Their Parts?


There are four different hot tub filter types you can purchase. To avoid any issues with your hot tub or spa, you must choose the correct filter. There are three main parts to every hot tub filter:

  • Core: The main internal structure.

  • Media: The material that covers the filter. It is usually pleated. The media traps the dirt and other debris.

  • End Caps: They attach the filter to your hot tub plumbing.

Cartridge Filters

  • The most popular choice for owners of hot tubs and spas.

  • Comprised of a cylinder that contains a filter made of plastic, fabric or paper.

  • Includes a slide inside the filter housing space.

  • Lasts for up to one year with regular cleaning.

Ceramic Filters

  • Similar to a cartridge filter but made using a resilient ceramic.

  • Longer lasting than most others.

  • Lasts for several years before any need for replacing.

  • Regular maintenance is essential.

Diatomaceous Filters

  • Most eco-friendly option.

  • Fossilized diatoms provide the filtering function rather than activated carbon.

Sand Filters

  • These are spherical containers that contain gravel or sand.

  • The sand or gravel removes any unwanted substances as the water passes through.

  • Sand filters sit outside the spa.

  • Frequent cleaning with a specific type of sand is required.

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Hot Tub Filters?


Clean hot tub filters are critical for removing all contaminants from the water because these unwanted substances affect the water quality. Contaminants include body lotions, makeup, hair products, bodily fluids, dirt particles, sweat, and hair. Such debris must be removed regularly to keep the water clean and allow the hot tub to work correctly.


Filters remove all dirt and larger debris, but you must sanitize them at some stage. If they are not cleaned regularly, they stop working efficiently. Dirty filters can't effectively clean the hot tub water.

When the filter isn't functioning correctly, it will lead to costly and unhealthy problems such as oily or dirty water and the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.

The worst-case scenario could mean your hot tub becomes damaged, the circulation pump overworked, and the pipes clogged. All these issues are expensive to repair. So hot tub filter cleaning needs to be a priority!


What are the Signs That Your Hot Tub Filter Needs Cleaning?


Maintaining clean hot tub filters must be an integral part of a regular hot tub cleaning schedule.


But if you forget, there are signs you should look for.

One of the early indications is that you're using more harsh chemicals than usual to balance water pH levels. The water in your hot tub will also start to look cloudy.

If you don't have clean hot tub filters, you may notice that the water feels too soft or hard. Does it feel flaky or slippery on your skin?


Are the hot tub jets functioning correctly? If not, it might mean a dirty filter that needs treatment with some special hot tub filter cleaner - or replacement!


How Long do Hot Tub Filters Usually Last?


The life of a hot tub filter is affected by many things, for example, how hard it has to work and whether you clean it regularly.


Ceramic filters last much longer than most other types, typically a few years before they need replacing.


A standard cartridge filter is only designed to last a minimum of one year and a maximum of two.


You know your filter needs to be replaced when the filter material begins breaking down. When you notice this happening, replace the filter. It will save money, protect your hot tub's working parts, and help improve the water flow.


What is the Best Way to Clean Your Hot Tub Filters?


If you want to ensure the water quality in your hot tub is always good, the best thing you can do is regularly clean your hot tub filters.

There are many options, but the most effective is deep cleaning it using a spa filter cleaner, along with a weekly rinse.

To deep clean, you have to take out the filter. Then use a proprietary chemical solution to eliminate contaminants and accumulated residue.


The following steps will clean your hot tub filter effectively:

  1. Mix the hot tub filter cleaner: It pays to have the chemical solution prepared, so you can place the filter into it quickly. Use a bucket large enough to hold enough water to submerge the filter completely. Next, fill the container with a hot tub cleaning agent or a DIY spa filter cleaner and water. Mix the correct water to filter cleaner ratio for optimum cleaning results.

  2. Check the hot tub owner's manual: You'll find directions for the safe removal of the dirty filter and its location in the owner's manual.

  3. Switch off the hot tub: You shouldn't run your spa without the filter. It could lead to the pump impellers becoming clogged. It could also affect the water quality.

  4. Remove and check the filter: Check for discolouration or visible damage. If you find either, dispose of the filter. You can then put in a new filter.

  5. Give the filter a quick rinse with warm water before submerging it in a large bucket containing the filter cleaner. This will remove large debris such as leaves, hair, small sticks, or other items. Check carefully between each of the pleats (on a paper filter).

  6. Let the filter soak in the chemical solution overnight for the ultimate cleaning results. However, if the cleaner you're using is bleach, don't leave it soaking for longer than two to three hours.

  7. Give the spa filter another quick rinse: you can spray the filter using clean water or a chemical rinse. A garden hose or clean spray bottle is ideal, but make sure the pressure is enough to clean any residue left.

  8. Reinstall the filter: Let the clean filter dry completely, and then install it according to the owner’s manual.

How Often Should I Clean a Hot Tub Filter?


Filters need to be cleaned regularly. We recommend the following scheduled cleaning programme for hot tub filter maintenance. It will prolong their lifespan, help them remove bacteria effectively, improve water flow, and give you peace of mind.


Weekly - Quick Rinse