Cleaning Your Swimming Pool Filter Cartridge

pool filter cartridgeA clean swimming pool filter is vital to have a clean swimming pool.

A clogged filter will cause more than a dirty pool; it could require costly repairs.


Regular pool maintenance includes cleaning filters, testing pool chemicals, adding pool chlorine, and vacuuming debris.

Removing the Pool Filter Cartridge

If your pool filtration system uses a cartridge, you must open the housing to remove the filters. Otherwise, you can’t rinse the dirt and debris that collect on them.

Note: This post does not cover removing the filters from the housing because each pool manufacturer uses a slightly different filter assembly.

Your pool should have a manual for you to follow, otherwise check with your installer for the correct filter removal procedure so you don’t damage anything.

Once you have the filters out, take your water hose on medium pressure and spray a stream of water over and through them to push the dirt out, similar to backwashing and pushing the dirt out from the inside outward…

Caution! Do not use a high pressure nozzle! This will ruin your pool filter cartridge and can even result in the filter being torn or damaged.

If cleaning your pool filter becomes too much of a hassle, you may need to hire a swimming pool service to avoid getting frustrated or causing costly damage.

Solutions for Hard-to-Clean Clean Pool Filter Cartridges

Aside from just water, there are pool filter cleaners on the market to make life easier for the DIY pool service technician.

Always read the instructions carefully because most cleaners need to be diluted; otherwise, they are too concentrated and will not loosen the dirt.

Normally, you will place the swimming pool filter cartridge inside a tub or container with the cleaning solution for 2 – 3 hours. If you want, leave the pool filter to sit overnight, but remember to turn off the pump so you aren’t jumping out of bed at midnight to turn it off.

Another solution for cleaning pool filters is acid, but it’s not as effective in breaking down oils and other liquids that build upon the filter. Acid can also be harsh on the swimming pool filter cartridge and accelerate the replacement process. Use common sense!

Back to my earlier point, after you’ve allowed the filter to sit in the cleaning solution, the next step is to rinse it again carefully. Continue rinsing until no residue from the pool filter cleaning solution is still washing off. Usually, this is when the rinsing water runs clear*.

Unfortunately some filters don’t always get clean the first time so you may need to repeat the cleaning process. Or if the filters are too clogged or damaged, replace them.

Replace Old Pool Filter Styles to Save Time and Money

In today’s swimming pool market, many new filter styles are much better than the old styles of the ’70s. That’s why if you have an older pool filter style that is always dirty or clogged, it should be replaced with modern pool filters.

Your swimming pool should be fun, not a hassle!

Swimming Pool Filter Upgrade

Should you find you’re always repairing something because of a filter problem, upgrade to a better one ASAP.

Also another benefit of an upgraded pool filter is that it will last longer if you take proper care of it.

Make sure you get expert assistance at a swimming pool service center with a good reputation. It’s important that your pool filter upgrade is compatible and can handle the water volume and pressure.


Remember, a clean pool filter is the key to a clean swimming pool. Regular filter cleaning will reduce the time it takes to clean the filter the next time and will minimize the need to replace your pool filter cartridges as often.

When In doubt, always check with your pool service professional.

Ads last updated on 2024-07-16.

3 thoughts on “Cleaning Your Swimming Pool Filter Cartridge”

  1. I have a large cartridge Filter which has 4 cartridges. I am getting heavy amounts of particulate thru the filter. Is there a way to find which of the filters is torn, or do i have to replace all four cartridges each time this happen? Its expensive and a waste of money to throw out 4 cartridges to fix one.

    1. Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for the comment.

      My pool uses the sand style filter so I am not familiar with handling cartridges however I did find a couple of good posts on the topic.

      1. When to replace cartridges –

      2. How to Care for your Cartridge Filter –

      Cost is definitely the issue though – whether it is a torn filter or broken pop-up, it all cost to repair or replace.

      Hope this helps you.

      Good luck!

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