The Importance of Cleaning Spa Cartridge Filters

Spa cartridge filters are designed to remove debris as well as collect body oils and greases from the tubs water. Most hot tubs are covered most of the time except when in use, so debris is usually kept to a minimum, although fine debris such as sand and silts can be tracked in by bathers.

However, bathers also track in a great deal of oils and greases in the form of natural body oils, body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, hair sprays, make up and more.

This is why it is key to clean your cartridge filters regularly. We recommend that filters be removed and visually checked for debris build up once per month and rinsed out under a tap or with a garden hose (don’t use pressure washers as they tend to be too strong and can actually tear the fibers in the filter).

Filters can also be chemically cleaned which is usually recommended at least every third month, but can be done more often if required. This can usually coincide with a drain and refill of your tubs water. Chemically cleaning filters is done with a solution designed especially for cleaning pleated cartridge filters such as SpaGuard’s Filter Brite. Mix this powder into water and totally submerge the cartridges in the solution for at least several hours, we recommend overnight. Then remove from solution, rinse off and ideally allow the filters to dry – this tightens up the fibers and gives maximum efficiency.

Most spa owners will invest in a second set of filters so that you can always run your hot tub with a filter while the other one is being cleaned and dried properly.

Dirty Filters
These dirty filters need to be replaced periodically.

Clean filters account for a large portion of your waters clarity. Let’s face it you would not want to get into a hot tub with cloudy or dirty water. As a secondary reason – when the filters pleats get clogged up they stop filtering so well and excess oils and grease can form a scum line which typically floats and clings to acrylic surfaces known as a “scum line” or bath tub ring. This can also be avoided using enzyme based products that breakdown oils and greases such as SpaGuard’s Refresh – a weekly dose will prevent the scum line build up.

A single filter cartridge should be replaced every year to year and a half or sooner if the fibers are tearing or fraying or are clogged even after chemically cleaned.


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