How to Clean Your Pool Filter?

A swimming pool is one of the most notable water features which is adored by several homeowners.  It is ideal because of the multiple benefits that it comes with. On the other side, it can be used as a fun spot recreational facility for exercise.

Like any other essential component of a swimming pool, a pool filter is equally important, and it needs to be always kept clean if you want a healthy and clean swimming pool.

However, for effective cleaning, you must possess the right skills and materials before you start cleaning. In this article, we will look at how you can clean your pool filters and the importance of doing so.

What is a pool filter?

A pool filter is the part of the swimming pool responsible for filtering the contaminants of the pool water so that swimmers are left comfortable. A dirty filter can never guarantee you a complete performance because this makes the water slimy and murky.

Therefore, pool filter cleaning should be your number one list on your swimming pool’s maintenance programs.

Reasons for cleaning a pool filter

A clean pool filter ensures that your pool remains healthy and clean. This is because the pool filter can trap and remove large particles from the pool water. Consequently, it can assist in trapping the finer particles such as bacteria.

The filter also assists in the pumping system by ensuring an even distribution of chemicals within the waters, thus, making the pool more consistent. Following its purpose of holding the dirt and debris, it is therefore essential to regularly get cleaned.

Types of pool filters

It is important to note that there are three main types of pool filters, all of which have different cleaning ways. Therefore, you are supposed to know which one your pool uses before you start cleaning. They include;

Sand pool filter

This type of pool filter works by filtering water through fine sand, whereby all the dirt and debris get filtered out.

Cartridge pool filter

This type of pool filter can trap small particles of up to 5 microns.  It has a pleated design, which makes it appear like the air filter in the car.

Diatomaceous earth pool filter

Also referred to as the DE pool filter, this is a porous powder filter designed similar to the sand filter, and it comes in a canister. It has microscopic openings that can filter out up to 3 microns particles.

Further Read:

How to clean the pool filters:

There exists three different pool filters. All the filters have different ways of approach to clean them. Here we will cover how to clean all three types of pool filters.

How to clean the pool filters

However, it is advised that the most important thing to remember is to look at the manufacturer’s instructions. This should be your guide to accomplish the project.

How to clean a sand pool filter:

Cleaning the falter requires you to have backwash the system. It is also recommended that you clean the sand once a year. The following are the requirements necessary to clean a sand pool filter;

  • A sand filter cleaner
  • Backwash hoses

The cleaning processes

Cleaning a sand filter is the easiest of all. Use the steps below to get it complete as fast as possible.

  • You should backwash the filter for about 3-5 minutes; this ensures that the dirt and debris are removed.
  • Add the sand filter cleaner into the skimmer slowly.
  • Repeat step one above to remove the dirt and debris that the filter cleaner has dislodged.
  • Now turn your filter pump off when complete and set it to the filter and turn it back on.
  • Pour the sand filter cleaner into the strainer basket after opening the lid.
  • Use the manufacturer’s manual guide to direct you on the right quantity.
  • After this, you should turn your filter pump off for at least 8 hours.
  • Backwash the filter again to get rid of the debris and dirt left by the cleaner
  • Normalize your filter system by putting it on again
  • Take a look at the PSI in your system to ascertain if the filter works properly.

How to clean a cartridge pool filter:

To effectively clean a cartridge pool filter, you will need the following.

  • A garden hose
  • Filter cleaner
  • Spray nozzle
  • A five-gallon bucket
  • A spray lubricant that is non-petroleum
  • Wrench set
  • Rubber mallet.

Cleaning process

Equally, this is yet another easy clean pool filter. You need to pull out the cartridges and clean them. With your manual in place, everything can be easy to the end. Herein are a few steps for effective cleaning.

  • Ensure you turn off your pool pump right at the breaker
  • Release the air from the system slowly.
  • Open the pool filter with the guidance of the manufacturer’s instructions and remove the cartridge.
  • Check whether the cartridge is damaged or if it needs to be replaced.
  • With the spray nozzle’s help on your garden hose, clean the cartridge gently by rinsing between the pleats.
  • Check your filter to see if it has been cleaned effectively. If you realize that this never met your expectations, you can again try out this. Whenever your filter does not satisfy you after spraying it clean, you are advised to use a commercial filter cleaner, which has been recommended by the manufacturer. If again all goes wrong after using this product, you can now try it out with a bucket to soak the filter overnight.
  • Once your filter is clean, ensure you check if the O ring at the bottom is not damaged. If damaged, it is recommended that you do a quick replacement. By applying a little amount of a lubricant, you shall have preserved the O ring.
  • You should now rinse the O ring and the cartridge
  • Replace the cartridge and turn back the pool filtration system on
  • Ensure your filter system is working well by having a look at the PSI

How to clean a DE pool filter:

However, it is essential to note that diatomaceous earth can be abrasive to your respiratory system and your skin. Therefore, you should avoid touching it with your bare hands or breathe in powder form.

How to clean a DE pool filter

It is recommended that you clean the DE filter by use of muriatic acid regularly. Use proper protection because you may be handling very hazardous materials. To effectively clean the diatomaceous earth pool filters, you should ensure that you have the following tools.

  • A backwash hose
  • A lubricant
  • A garden hose with a spray nozzle
  • A DE filter cleaner
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • DE powder
  • Plastic spoon large enough for mixing DE
  • Gloves or chemical resistance for those working with muriatic acid
  • A face mask or a respirator for those using muriatic acid.
  • Safety goggles

Step by step guide on how to clean a DE pool filter

How to clean a DE pool filter

Cleaning these filters is a bit tricky. However, with the manufacturer’s guide, nothing is impossible. Diatomaceous earth filters are supposed to be cleaned twice a year or more, and here are the steps to help you get started:

  • For about 3-5 minutes, you should backwash the filter system.
  • Remove the air from the system immediately after turning off the pump.
  • Open the drain plug to allow water to escape from the filter.
  • Get the manifold out of the filter tank.
  • Rinse the tank itself with the garden hose and reinstall the plug
  • Clear all the dirt and debris from the manifold and filter grids with the help of a garden hose with a spray nozzle
  • You should now check if the manifold and grids are safe from damage. If you realize that they don’t meet your expectation after this exercise, you are advised to use a commercial DE pool filter cleaning product. But with strict adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions. If this does not meet your cleaning expectations, you may be required to soak them in a bucket of the entire night’s muriatic acid solution.
  • Check out on the O ring to ascertain whether it is intact or not. If you realize it is damaged, it is recommended that you replace it immediately. And if it is not, just applying a lubricant for its protection is enough.
  • After cleaning them all, you should replace the grids and manifold inside the tank.
  • Consider creating a slurry of water and DE with strict adherence to the manufacturer’s manual guide.
  • Turn the pool pump on and allow out air from the system.
  • Within 60 seconds of turning the system back, it is important to pour the slurry to the skimmer.


The above-discussed how-to steps are ideal for making your pool filters as clean as possible. All you need is to follow them to the latter without worrying about the type of filter you have.

Regular cleaning will see your swimming pool more attractive, and your pool filter will last longer than enough.

For the DIY, you are always advised to ensure that you strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Consequently, ensure that you have all the essential supplies at hand before you start your cleaning processes to avoid missing out on any step, as this will hinder effective cleaning.



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