How To Clean Hot Tub Filter (The Complete Maintenance Guide)

Keeping your hot tub clean is not just for the relaxing and enjoyable bath benefit; it is also vital for your hot tub’s smooth running and long-lasting. To keep your hot tub, clean you need to make sure that the crucial part of your hot tub, which is your filter, is always clean and replaced when due.

In this article, we will be focusing on the filter. We will be discussing the importance of cleaning a hot tub filter, how to remove the hot tub filter, how to change your hot tub filter, how to clean your hot tub filter, products and techniques for cleaning hot tub filters and types of cleaning, and tip on the best way to clean hot tub filter or maintain them.

The parts of a hot tub

They are various part of a hot tub which you need to be familiar with

  • The jets: this is a part of the hot tub which carries out the function of massaging parts of your body like your knee, shoulder, hand, etc.
  • The filter: this is the part of the hot tub that is responsible for regular cleaning of the hot tub water. It also ensures that germs and microorganisms do not have a suitable environment to live in your water.
  • The Ozonator: The Ozonator is the part of your hot tub that plays the role of minimizing the number of chemicals and pathogens that settle in your hot tub.
  • The pillow: the hot tub pillow is responsible for giving you a comfortable position.
  • The plumbing: this part of your hot tub is made up of pipes, connectors, and hoses. It is responsible for the flow of water from the pump to the back and back to the jet
  • The pump: this is the part that plays the role of pumping water to the jet and back.
  • The control panel: the control panel is the part that controls the other parts of the hot tub; it controls the temperature of the water.
  • The heater: this part is responsible for heating the water in your hot tub.
  • The circuit board: this part is responsible for housing the electronic component of your hot tub. This is a very critical part of your hot tub.
  • The electrical parts: this part comprises the plugs, the fuse, the cord, and other hardware components; this is the powerhouse of your hot tuba
  • The light: it is a part that helps to heal the body naturally during therapy; various light colors represent various emotions

Importance of cleaning hot tub filter

Cleaning your hot tub filter is one of the ways to make sure your hot tub water is always clean, and the hot tub runs efficiently; the following are benefits of cleaning your hot tub filter:

  • To ensure adequate filtration – the filter acts like a sanitizer and a salt in keeping your hot tub water clean; therefore, tub filters need to be cleaned regularly and frequently to ensure that debris, dirt, and other contaminants are filtered off from the water.
  • To avoid low flow – if the hot tub filter becomes dirty, the sensors will start sensing enough flow through the heater, so the sensors are turned off for safety. There is an error message highlighted on the screen such as “—,””DRY,””FLO.” Low flow can also cause slower heating and strain on the pump.
  • To prevent smelly hot tub water – germs, air particles, and other contaminants cause the hot tub water to have color and smell; to prevent this, you have to clean your filter constantly.
  • To prevent cloudy water – when the water is contaminated with germs and organic matter, it makes it dirty; therefore, you need to clean your filter constantly.
  • To prevent strain on parts – when the filter becomes filthy, debris and air particles can find their way into some parts of the hot tub like the heater, pumps, sensors, and other working factors, which can cause these parts to become faulty.
  • To prevent foamy water – when the filter is not functioning correctly, it cannot absorb the oil and other products, thereby making the water bubbly.
  • To ensure other parts work properly, you need to clean the filter to ensure that the pump performs properly to ensure that the heater maintains the correct temperature.

Parts of the hot tub filter

The hot tub filter is made up of three main components, they are:

  1. The media – this is made of white, pleated spun-bond polyester, and the media is the part of the filter that cleans the water by catching the debris when it passes through the hot tub filter.
  2. The core – the core is usually a tough fabric; it is the part of the filter whose function is to reinforce the force of water flowing through the filter. Having a hardcore helps the filter performs better, whereas the water flow would move a filter made of fabric alone, and it won’t capture all the debris.
  3. End caps– these are the two plastic discs at two ends of the filter meant to keep the core and media in place. They also help the hot tub filter attach to the hot tub filter chambers.

How to remove your filter from the hot tub

Before you clean your hot tub filter, you need to know where the filter is located and remove it from the hot tub to prevent the problem of a stuck filter or pulling out of other parts. The following are steps on how to safely remove the filter compartment as stated in your owner’s manual

  • Cut off the hot tub’s power to avoid debris being sucked into the circulation pump or heater.
  • Locate the filter lid with the use of your owner’s guide
  • Remove the filter lid from the filter housing assembly.
  • Remove the paper filter from the filter housing assembly by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Clean the paper filter by spraying water from the top to the top to bottom at 45 degrees angle.
  • Replace your filter when you done.

How do I change the filter in my hot tub?

When your filter has lasted for three to four months, it will need changing/ replacement. The following are steps to replace your hot tub filter:

  1. Put off the hot tub
  2. Remove the filter lid from the filter housing assembly
  3. Remove the filter from the filter housing assembly
  4. Put in the new filter Into the housing part
  5. Put back the filter lid into the housing assembly
  6. Then turn the hot tub on

The simple guide for each step:

  1. Put off the hot tub

Before you clean or change your filter, you need to off the hot to prevent germs and debris from circulating and entering the pump or jet.

  1. Remove the filter lid from the filter housing assembly

First and foremost, you need to remove the lid from the housing assembly on your hot tub. The lid is large and round/ rectangular, usually on the top wall of your hot tub. Various hot tub filters are at a separate location, so you will need your owner’s manual to locate them. The lid has typically cup holders designed into it. The housing allows free flow of water through the filter, and it also supports the filter by holding firm in a place. You can remove the lid from the housing by using a twist or by lifting the lid up and then dropping it on a flat, steady surface.

In a situation where your lid is damaged or missing, you can skip this process. It is not advisable to run your hot tub without the filter lid. if you need to replace it, you can find various lid shapes and designs in any hot tub sales store, any hardware store or even better from the place you purchased yours if your warranty period is not over. To know if your lid is damaged, check if it has a crack O – ring; if it does, it needs replacement.

  1. Remove the filter from the filter housing assembly

As you remove the filter lid, you will see housing parts over your filter that secures the filter. These parts are of various designs, but they still carry out the same purpose. Unscrew the circular locking ring around your filter. To loosen the locking ring from the housing assembly, you need to turn it to the left. Then check for damages if there is any you can order online or check some hardware store.

If the filter housing has been damaged, it will need replacing as soon as possible. If the filter housing is damaged, it will reduce the hot tub‘s power, which can lead to bacteria growth, cloudy water, and the Existence of other particles in the water. Therefore, you need to replace the filter housing as fast as you can

  1. Put in the new filter Into the housing part

After removing the old filter, you will then put in the new one you brought to use as a replacement. After putting in the new filter, put back the locking ring and tighten it.

  1. Put back the filter lid into the housing assembly

When you are done replacing the filter, you will have to put back the filter lid into its correct position to enable it to serve its purpose effectively.

  1. Put back the hot tub on

After all, these are done, you can now put back your hot tub on and enjoy a clean and well-filtered relaxing hot tub water.

How to clean the hot tub filter

Having a dirty filter is not the end of that filter. There are a lot of ways of cleaning the filter. You can use the following equipment to clean the filter:

  • Clean bucket.
  • Garden hose
  • Hot tub cleaner.
  • Hot tub filter chemical rinse
  • Hot tub filter chemical soak
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Filter cleaning wand

How often should you clean hot tub filters?

how to clean a hot tub filter

Quick rinse (weekly)

A quick rinse is the fastest way to clean your filter, and it is done weekly; this is a quick clean which saves you from the stress of changing your water regularly or buying a new filter. It is just a quick rinse to remove the large debris in the filter.

  • Turn off your hot tub isolation switch.
  • Remove the filter.
  • Check for damage
  • Remove large debris by hand.
  • Use water from your hose to rinse the filter (do not use a high-pressure washer).
  • Spread apart each pleat and rinse between them to get rid of the debris.
  • Allow the filter to dry before placing it back in your hot tub.

Doing this weekly will prevent debris from building up and clogging the filter, increasing the hot tub filter’s efficiency and making it last longer. It would be best if you do it every week or every two weeks.

Chemical rinse (monthly)

A chemical rinse is another way of cleaning the hot tub, and it is expected to be done monthly; it can remove debris and grease, and oil from your filter. These are the procedures;

  • Turn off your hot tub insulator switch.
  • Remove your filter.
  • Quickly rinse the filter to get rid of large debris.
  • Spray the surface of the filter with filter cleaner.
  • Allow the filter to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Use a soft brush gently to help lift contaminants.
  • Filthy filters will need a second treatment or soak treatment.
  • To avoid foaming, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Allow the filter to dry before returning it to the bathtub.

Chemical soak (every three to four months)

As you change your hot tub water every three to four months, you are also expected to clean your filter, and this process consumes a lot of time because it is slow. But it is recommended that you do not rush the process to get a fantastic result in the end.

  • Turn off your hot tub at the isolator switch.
  • Remove your filter from your hot tub.
  • Please give it a quick rinse to clear the large debris.
  • According to the bottle’s guidance manual, the correct dosing of a filter soaks solution like aqua sparkle cartridge cleaner in a bucket.
  • Soak the filter in the solution and leave to soak for a minimum of 8 hours or preferably for 24 hours.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water to avoid foaming of the water
  • Allow the filter to dry before placing it back in the hot tub for more effective filtration.

What can I use to clean my hot tub filter?

  • Detergent – soak your filter in laundry detergent; the use of disodium phosphate and other dishwasher detergent is always recommended. It helps remove sticky stains by emulsifying the oils that bind to the surface.
  • Acids – muriatic acid is used to maintain your hot tub water’s PH level and clean the filter; it breaks down rust and hard water stains. It is slightly hazardous because of its toxic level.
  • Sanitizers – this disinfect and remove stains and odors.
  • Bases – it helps remove dirt, fat, and grease; they serve as a general-purpose cleaning agent.
  • Bleach – bleach, especially household bleach, effectively kills pathogens and other microbes that have entered the hot tub water.
  • Abrasives – this helps removes harsh surfaces by scratching.

How to clean a hot tub filter?

You can clean your hot tub with any of the following methods:

  • Vinegar
  • Dishwasher
  • Muriatic acid

Can I clean my hot tub filter with vinegar?

Vinegar can be beneficial for you if you have a complicated water problem because vinegar helps in clearing mineral deposits. If you are not sure if you are using hard water, check the faucet pressure if it is lower than average because of the complex water present. You can fix it by removing the aerator and soaking overnight in a bucket filled with vinegar (white distilled vinegar). If you replace it the following morning, you will notice a higher pressure rate.

Likewise, for the filter, if you want to use vinegar to clean your filter, all you have to do is:

  • Turn off the hot tub and leave it off until you replace the filter
  • Remove the filter
  • Lift the filter off the water circulation standpipe by unscrewing a thread cap to release the filter standpipe to prevent the standpipe from coming off with the filter.
  • You need to hose down the filter media to remove large debris.
  • Place the filter in a bucket filled with water that can allow it lay on its side.
  • Pour vinegar depending on the water you put in the bucket, and it has to give you a 50/50 concentration between the vinegar and water.
  • If it has been a long time since you changed it, you will need to soak it overnight but, a minimum of three hours is enough.
  • Remove the filter from the bucket, then hose it down thoroughly; in the presence of any mineral, deposit soaking is recommended.
  • In the absence of any mineral deposit after rinsing allow the filter to dry, direct sun contact is recommended.
  • Check for debris in the standpipe.
  • After it has dried, you can reinstall the filter into your hot tub and turn the hot tub on.

Can hot tub filters be machine washed?

You can clean a ceramic filter with vinegar, detergent, bleach, or any commercial cleaning product due to its rigid filter media. You can also put it in a dishwasher to make it easier for you. The steps to clean your filter with a dishwasher are:

  • Put the ceramic filter in the dishwasher makes sure it lays flat.
  • Do not put soap or any detergent.
  • Do not enable dry cycle.
  • Turn of the high temperature.
  • Only run for two cycles.
  • After the wash and rinse cycle is completed, remove it and dry for 24 hours before reinstalling it in your hot tub.

Cleaning spa filter with muriatic acid

As a muriatic acid is used to maintain the spa water’s pH, so can it be used to clean the spa filter. The following are the procedures in using muriatic acid in cleaning your filter

  • The concentration of the acid to water is 1: 20
  • Ensure you put on your gloves and goggles because muriatic acid can burn your skin and eyes
  • Fill a large bucket with water that can cover the filter.
  • Pour in the muriatic acid.
  • This concentration will dissolve the mineral deposits on the filter in 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Turn the filter to expose all the sides to the mixture.
  • 15 – 20 minutes after the turning, remove the filter and rinse it with a hose thoroughly.
  • Allow it to dry before replacing it.

How to clear a humidifier filter

Bacteria and fungi can create a breeding ground in humidifiers, but this can be prevented by regular cleaning and replacement. You can clean the humidifier filter following the steps below:

  • Remove the hot tub’s humidifier filter, brush the vacuum lightly to remove dirt, but if the vacuum is wet from recent use, there is no need for this step.
  • Mix one gallon of vinegar and one cup of undiluted white vinegar in a plastic bucket.
  • Soak the humidifier filter in the vinegar and water mixture and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the filter and rinse thoroughly under running water.
  • Allow drying entirely at room temperature before reinstalling it back ( do not use any heat source to dry to avoid damage to the filter).

Ways to clean a paper filter

Soak in dishwater detergent – some hot tub experts say you can clean your filter with a dishwasher detergent; the procedures are simple;

  • Use a cup of dish detergent in an equal amount of water.
  • Soak the paper filter in the mixture for 24 hours
  • If the detergent does not contain trisodium phosphate, add four teaspoons to increase the cleaning power.

Soak in household bleach – this may be essential if you have not maintained your spa. The water has become cloudy because bleach is one of the best disinfectants. You can clean your filter by

  • Covering the filter with 5 gallons of hot water.
  • Adding ¼ cup of household bleach.
  • Let the filter soak for 2 hours.

Use a commercial cleaning product – you can use filter cleaner found in a hardware store or spa outlet then follow the guidelines given in the container.

Additional hot tub filter tips

Maintenance of your hot tub makes it function efficiently. And it also makes it last longer; you will need to avoid a few things that could damage your desirable tub filter example:

  1. Do not use bleach always – bleach is a powerful and effective disinfectant. Therefore, bleach should not use it regularly to avoid damaging the media or reduce the filter’s efficiency.
  2. Try to avoid household cleaners – You can use household cleaners to clean the filter. Still, they can create a problem of foamy water if the filter is not rinsed correctly. If you cannot flush the filter properly, do not use household sanitizers. You can use spa filter cleaner. It is explicitly made for the filter media.
  3. Do not regularly use the dishwasher – You can use a dishwasher to clean your hot tub filter but do not forget not to use detergent. A dishwasher can be a problem for people who cannot follow the following instructions.
    • Do not use detergent to wash the filter.
    • Turn off the rinse and dry cycle.
    • Turn off the high-temperature button.
    • Only use for wash and rinse cycle.

What’s the best way to clean a hot tub?

The following are procedures on how to get your hot tub cleaned;

  1. Prepare the hot tub filter cleaning solution, consisting of water, and either a DIY hot tub filter cleaner or a hot tub filter cleaning solution in a large bucket (to make sure the filter can submerge). The proper ratio of the water to the filter cleaner should be 50:50.
  2. If it is your first time to change your filter, you need to consult the hot tub’s fresher manual, and it will guide you to where the filter is located and how to remove the filter with ease.
  3. Ensure you turn off your hot tub before removing the filter. Your filter should never run without the filter in place to prevent debris from entering other parts of the hot tub, which can cause problems.
  4. Remove the hot tub filter and put it into the large bucket of the mixture of water and filter cleaner. But if the filter is discolored, you need to dispose of it and replace it with a new filter.
  5. If the filter does not contain any visible damage or discolor, rinse it and remove the noticeable build-up. Make sure that you check and clean between the pleats against debris like hair, leave particles.
  6. Soak the filter in a large mixture of water and filter cleaning solution. For the best result, leave the filter in the mix overnight, except if you use bleach, it should only last for 3 hours.
  7. After the soak, remove the filter from the mixture and rinse by spraying with water under enough pressure to remove the remaining residue.
  8. If the filter is clean, allow it to dry correctly.
  9. Reinstall it into your hot tub according to the instruction on the owner’s manual.
  10. Turn on the hot tub and enjoy your clean water.

Other DIY hot tub filter cleaner choices

Cleaning hot tub filter with vinegar

Positive – vinegar is a safe hot tub filter cleaner; it effectively removes mineral alt deposits; vinegar is a weak acid and makes it safe for skin exposure when reinstalled in the hot tub. Also, vinegar does not cause foamy hot tub water.

Negative – vinegar is not as strong as DIY hot tub filter cleaner, so if your filter is very filthy or is clogged, it may not clean it well enough.

Bleach as a DIY hot tub filter cleaner

Positive – bleach is a very effective disinfectant that can destroy contaminants causing clogging and scum. Using a mixture of water and bleach can make your filter clean and sterilized.

Negative – bleach damages the hot tub filter media. When this happens, the filter does not work as effectively as it is meant to be. The filter may become worn out and will require replacement.

Laundry detergent as Jacuzzi filter cleaner

Positive – laundry detergent is very effective for cleaning paper filters due to its gentle nature.

Negative – if the filter is cleaned with laundry detergent and is not rinsed thoroughly, it can lead to a foamy hot tub when the filter is reinstalled in the hot tub.

Cleaning with dishwasher detergent

Positive – as the dishwater detergent effectively removes oil and tough build-up in dishes, it can also do so to your hot tub filter.

Negative – just like the laundry detergent, if the filter cleaned with dishwasher detergent is not rinsed thoroughly, it can cause foamy hot tub water when reinstalled.

Cleaning hot tub filter with a dishwasher

Positive – cleaning hot tubs filter with a dishwasher is an easy, stress-free, and efficient way of removing oil and debris from the filter.

Negative – use of dishwasher can break down the filter’s tiny fibers and may end up damaging the filter. Also, the dishwasher cannot clean the filter properly because the stream of water does not reach the filterer’s pleats.

Cleaning with muriatic acid

Positive – cleaning hot tub filters with muriatic acid helps remove the mineral deposits effectively in the filter.

Negative – due to its toxic nature, it can burn the skin and the eyes if not properly handled.

Tips on the best way to maintain your hot tub filter

  • Ensure you check and adjust your hot tub water’s chemical level regularly with a hot tub testing kit or chemical balance. To ensure the water is clean and balanced.
  • Buy a hot tub cleaning wand that can apply an adequate pressured stream of water between the pleats.
  • Purchase sponge-like products called scum balls. It is designed to absorb oil and contaminants from the water; placing the scum ball in the water absorbs all the unwanted residue. By the time you remove the scum ball from the water, the water will be clean again.
  • Make a hot tub cleaning and maintenance timetable and keep to it to ensure your water is clean, making the work filter-less.
  • Make sure you take your bath before entering the bathtub to avoid contaminating the hot tub with sweat, lotion, hair gel, and other hair and body products.
  • Avoid using a brush to clean the filter to avoid damaging the fabric fibers.
  • Always have a spear filter, but in the hot tub while the first is cleaned; by doing this, you can make use of your hot tub even when washing your removed filter.
  • Avoid using hard water because hard water leaves a mineral deposit in the water, which will require a lot of filtration.
  • Make sure you use to rinse your filter regularly.
  • Make sure you use an effective filter cleaner.
  • Always ensure that you or any other user should take a bath before entering the hot tub.


To enjoy the relaxation your hot tub gives you after a days’ work, you need to make sure that your filter is cleaned regularly and also ensure that it is replaced after every three to four months to ensure maximum efficiency and a long-lasting hot tub. Ensure that you use only the best cleaning agent as listed above because in the course, to save money, you may end up damaging a crucial part of your hot tub.

The best way to make sure a clean hot tub is to ensure everyone who wants to use the hot tub should take a bath first. Also, the person should avoid the use of lotions, hair products, and makeup because these substances run off into the water and clog the filter.

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