How to Clean Your Swimming Pool Cartridge Filter

3 Steps to a Clean Filter

swimming pool
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The proper way to clean your cartridge pool filter consists of three steps:

  1. Rinsing the loose dirt
  2. Soaking in a cartridge cleaner
  3. Rinsing again

This cleaning method is also excellent for ​diatemacous earth (DE) filters at the end of the season.

Rinsing the Loose Dirt

In the first step, it is very important that you gently rinse off the loose dirt and debris from your cartridge. Do not use a spray nozzle for this! If you spray too hard you can actually drive the dirt into the cartridge. You just want to get the really loose stuff off first.

Soaking in a Cartridge Cleaner

Next, soak your cartridge overnight in an alkaline based cartridge cleaner solution. Using acid can break down dirt, but it does not break down the body oils and lotions that can trap and hold the dirt to your cartridge. By using a cartridge cleaner solution, you will remove these compounds, thereby thoroughly cleaning your cartridge and helping to prevent the dirt from sticking to it. Be sure to do this in a plastic bucket or trash can that has been thoroughly rinsed of any chemicals and dirt. If your cartridge is too long to be completely immersed, simply soak it in one direction then rotate it to soak the other end.

Rinsing Again

Finally, do a thorough rinse of the cartridge to remove all of the chemicals and any remaining debris. Be sure not to spray directly into the cartridge, which can drive the dirt into the membrane. Hold the nozzle so that the stream is virtually parallel to the membranes. This will rinse the cartridge without driving the dirt back into it.