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what's the best way to clean a pool filter


Poolking | Pool Sand Filter Manufacturers

Keeping Your Pool Filter in Tip-Top Shape

A clean pool filter is essential for keep your pool water clean and clear. In fact, a dirty filter can lead to cloudy, unhygienic water that’s less pleasant to swim in. So, what’s the best way to clean a pool filter? Read on for some tips.

Understanding Your Filter

Before getting into cleaning techniques, it’s important to understand the three main types of pool filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Each type has its own set of cleaning needs.

Sand Filters

Sand filters use sand to filter out debris and dirt from the water. They’re generally the easiest filters to maintain and clean. However, sand filters do require a backwash periodically, which is when water is forced through the filter backward to flush out debris.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters consist of a pleated cartridge that filters out debris. They’re a popular choice because they’re easy to maintain and don’t require backwashing. Instead, you’ll simply need to remove the cartridge, rinse it off, and put it back in place.

DE Filters

Diatomaceous earth filters use a powdery substance to capture dirt and debris. They’re the most complex filters to maintain and clean. However, they also provide the best filtration.

Cleaning Techniques

Now that you understand your filter type, it’s time to dive into cleaning techniques.


As mentioned earlier, sand filters require periodic backwashing. This process is easy to do and generally only requires a few minutes. First, turn off the filter and empty the skimmer basket. Then, set the multi-port valve to backwash and turn the filter back on. Wait until the water running out of the waste line is clear, and then turn off the filter, return the valve back to “filter,” and turn the filter back on.

Cartridge Cleaning

To clean a cartridge filter, start by turning off the filter and emptying the skimmer basket. Remove the cartridge and rinse it off with a hose. For particularly dirty cartridges, you may need to soak them in a filter cleaning solution. Once clean, reinsert the cartridge and turn the filter back on.

DE Cleaning

Cleaning a DE filter is the most complex of the three types. To begin, remove the DE filter grid from the filter housing. Use a hose to rinse off the grids and apply a cleaning solution if necessary. After cleaning, reassemble the filter and add new DE powder.

Maintaining Your Filter

Keeping your filter clean isn’t the only part of proper maintenance. Here are a few additional tips to keep your filter working its best:

- Check and adjust the pH and chlorine levels in your pool regularly. Keeping these levels within a healthy range can reduce the amount of debris your filter needs to handle.

- Inspect your filter basket regularly and remove any debris that has collected there.

- Keep an eye out for leaks or cracks in your filter housing. These should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

- Replace your filter cartridge or DE powder on a regular schedule. This schedule will vary depending on your filter type and usage. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for guidance.


Cleaning and maintaining your pool filter isn’t the only step you’ll need to take to keep your pool in top condition. However, it’s an essential part of your pool care routine that will help ensure clear, hygienic water. By understanding your filter type and following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a pristine pool all season long.


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