How to clean a Hot Tub Filter

How to clean a Hot Tub Filter

A hot tub can be your perfect spot for a refreshing and relaxing experience. To enjoy this luxury to the fullest, you must ensure the hot tub is in good working condition. 

The component responsible for maintaining water clarity in the hot tub is the filter, and cleaning it is not rocket science. However, there is more to it than a simple rinse. 

So stay focused and keep reading to learn how to clean a hot tub filter. 

What is the function of a Hot Tub Filter? 

As the name suggests, the function of a hot tub filter is to filter out any debris that enters the water. If not properly maintained, it can lead to an imbalance in the water chemistry.

A hot tub filter is a collection of three components:

  • The Core: It is usually made from reinforced plastic and works as a solid base to hold the outer components together. 
  • Media: This is the heart of the filter that does all the cleaning work. The media is a pleated arrangement of fiber/paper that surrounds the core.
  • End Caps: These are two plastic caps at either end of the core. They hold the core and media together and act as latches for mounting the filter inside the hot tub. 

Why do you need to clean the Hot Tub Filter? 

As the filter clears debris from your hot tub day and night, it also gets dirty.

As the water circulates through the hot tub, things like oils, lotion, sweat, dirt, and who-knows-what pass through it, and the filter gets dirty. 

There is a limit to the amount of muck a filter can hold. 

If you do not clean the filter, its ability to effectively clean the water gets impaired. It will not only create dirty water in your hot tub, but it can also end up causing other issues. 

For example, dirty water can clog the circulation system, resulting in repairs or a complete breakdown.

Similarly, contaminated water can allow the growth of algae and chemical imbalance, leading to staining of the tun and even possible health hazards. 

How do you clean a Hot Tub Filter? 

Cleaning a filter is a simple process. Before you start, gather these items—a garden hose, a five-gallon bucket, a hot tub filter cleaner chemical, and a filter cleaning wand (optional).

  1. Detach the filter from the hot tub.

  2. Use the garden hose to spray water over the filter media.

  3. Follow the weekly, monthly, and seasonal schedules for clearing a hot tub filter. Check these in the upcoming section.

  4. Dry the filter and install it back into the hot tub.

Pro Tip: You can also use white vinegar ( mixed with some baking soda) as a homemade scum and scaling remover. Additionally, you can add some scum balls to your hot tub to reduce the load on your filter. 

A hot tub with chemicals

How often do you need to clean the Hot tub filter?

Follow this weekly, monthly, and quarterly schedule to clean your hot tub filter. However, it ultimately depends on the usage of the hot tub. 

The least you can do is to clean at least once a month for low-use tubs or when you open the hot tub for a new season. 

Weekly Maintenance

Weekly maintenance requires nothing more than a thorough rinse of the filter. However, it is only needed when the hot tub is used daily or by too many people. If you use the hot tub once a week or even less than that, a monthly cleaning will do.  

Use a garden hose and spray the filter media with water while gently scrubbing (using your hands or a cleaner tool) the pleats to loosen up any dirt or grime. 

Reinstall the filter inside the hot tub, and you’re good to go. 

Monthly Maintenance

The monthly maintenance is more important.

You’ll need an instant filter cleaner spray. Follow the instructions on the packaging to dilute it or use it in a concentrated form.

Rinse the filter with clean water using a garden hose to remove any debris accumulated on the pleating. 

Now take the filter cleaner and spray the media with it. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. You may also use a soft brush to gently scrub the media and loosen any contaminants. 

Once done, rinse the filter thoroughly with clean water, or you may experience foaming. Allow the filter to dry, then reinstall it in the hot tub. 

Quarterly Maintenance

The quarterly maintenance of a filter is tedious but the most thorough cleaning process. 

It starts with removing the filter and rinsing it properly with clean water. Then you must take the filter soaking chemical and prepare an adequately diluted mix in a bucket. 

Now take the filter and immerse it into this solution. 

Allow it to soak for about eight hours. Rinse thoroughly, let it dry, and replace it in the hot tub. You should also drain your hot tub and replace it with fresh water for quarterly maintenance. 

Note: If your tub sits outdoors, stick to the appropriate hot tub maintenance schedule. 

What do you need to avoid when cleaning a Hot Tub Filter? 

Cleaning a hot tub filter is easy, but you must be cautious about what you use. 


Since the filter media is polyester fiber, it may feel obvious to use bleach for cleaning. While it is true that bleach is effective on polyester fibers, the filter media is more delicate than regular textile fabric. 

Using bleach will end up damaging the fibers and reducing their effectiveness. 

Household cleaners

We highly recommend that you do not use any household cleaning chemicals for hot tub filters. Not even in diluted quantities. 

For example, using a detergent to clean your filter will foam the water. 


Never put your hot tub filter in a dishwasher for cleaning. If your hot tub uses ceramic filters, there is a slight chance of success, but polyester fiber filters are a complete no-go. 

When do you need to replace the Hot Tub Filter?  

A hot tub filter can last between one and two years if maintained properly. It is time to change your filter if you detect any visual signs of damage. 

Like ripped filter media, bent-core, and broken or discolored end caps. Additionally, if the filter is not working optimally even after cleaning, it is time to change it. 


What else can you clean at the same time? 

Cleaning your hot tub filters is also a suitable occasion to clean other parts of it as well. For instance, when doing weekly maintenance, you can shock the water and clean the scum line. 

When you do monthly maintenance, you can pay attention to the hot tub jets, skimmer, and tub exterior. 

A seasonal/quarterly hot tub maintenance can also include calling in a professional service for a thorough inspection. 

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