how to clean a swimming pool filter cartridge


Author: PoolKing - Pool Sand Filter Manufacturers

Having a swimming pool is one of the most enjoyable parts of summer. It provides a perfect space for family and friends to bond and enjoy the lovely sunshine. Maintaining a pool is another story. Even if you use chemicals to keep the water clean, it's only a matter of time before your pool filter cartridge collects dirt, debris, and algae. Unless you address this issue, the filter will not work correctly, and you'll have to deal with cloudy water, which is a dreaded sight for avid pool owners.

In this article, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean a swimming pool filter cartridge.

Why clean a filter cartridge?

The filter cartridge is an essential part of your swimming pool plumbing system. It works by filtering out dirt, debris, and other particles from your pool's water. Over time, the accumulation of these particles can clog up the filter and reduce its filtration efficiency. A dirty filter also restricts the flow of water, which can lead to damage to the pump and cause the pool to turn cloudy. Regularly cleaning the filter cartridge enhances its performance, preventing breakages, and keeping your pool water sparkling clean.

Items you need to clean a swimming pool filter cartridge:

Before you start cleaning your pool filter cartridge, be sure that you have the following items ready:

1. A garden hose

2. A large bucket

3. A cartridge filter cleaner solution

4. A pair of safety gloves

5. A soft-bristled brush

6. A screwdriver (to unscrew the filter from the system)

7. A replacement O-ring (where necessary)

Step 1: Turn off the pump

Before servicing the filter cartridge, switch off the pump and allow the filter to cool down. Removing the filter from the system while it's still hot might compromise the plastic components.

Step 2: Remove the filter from the system

Using a screwdriver, unscrew the filter from the rest of the plumbing system. Be gentle on this step, and be careful not to damage the plumbing.

Step 3: Hose off large particles

Using a garden hose, rinse the filter cartridge to remove the larger debris. Aim the water hose inside the pleats of the filter, starting at the top and working your way down.

Step 4: Prepare the cleaning solution

Select a cartridge filter cleaner solution that's suitable for your filter type. Some filters are made of polyester or cellulose, which require different cleaning solutions. Read the label carefully to ensure you have the right product.

Step 5: Soak the cartridge filter

Follow the instructions on the product label and mix the cleaner solution in a large bucket. Submerge the filter cartridge in the solution and allow it to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight, depending on the severity of the debris buildup.

Step 6: Scrub the filter cartridge

Remove the filter cartridge from the solution and rinse it gently using a garden hose. Now put on your safety gloves and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the filter. Concentrate on the pleats, making sure to dislodge any remaining debris. The use of a high-pressure nozzle or brush is not encouraged as these can damage the delicate filter.

Step 7: Rinse the filter cartridge

Rinse the filter cartridge once more under the garden hose, ensuring that all traces of cleaning solution are gone.

Step 8: Reassemble the system

Before replacing the filter cartridge, check for missing or worn-out O-rings inside the filter housing. If you notice any damage, replace the O-ring with a new one. Grease the O-ring thoroughly with a silicone lubricant to avoid leaks.


Cleaning your swimming pool filter cartridge is not as daunting as it sounds. By following these simple steps, you'll ensure that your filter remains clean and efficient, improving water clarity and quality. Regular cleaning and maintaining of your filter cartridge will increase its lifespan and keep your pool water sparkling clean throughout the swimming season.


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