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How to Clean Your Hot Tub Filter

 Owning a hot tub is one of the nicest 'perks' you can give yourself. Relaxing alone at the end of a long day or inviting your friends over to share the fun are both benefits to hot tub ownership. As most spa owners know, it is very important the water in your hot tub is free from dirt or debris, so you need a reliable water filter. This is the vital part of any spa or hot tub for trapping the contaminants in the water and making it clean and fresh.

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Remember that oil, soap of any kind, lotion, skin cream and hair are the worst enemies of filters, so avoid using these to maintain the clarity of your spa and to keep your filter working well for a long time.

Nothing is more important for your hot tubs water quality than the filtering system.  A dirty and clogged or worn-out filter will fail its job of trapping contaminants, and put strain on your spa's pump. Clean your filters with every water change and replace them annually.

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Spa filter cartridges should be rinsed every two weeks (more often when the bather load is heavy). Use a garden hose, and apply the water stream at a 45-degree angle, making sure to dislodge all foreign matter by spraying between each pleat.  There are some nifty devices that attach to your garden hose that can make cleaning the filter super easy such as the Grime Blaster and Water Wand.  These devices also allow for deep removal of dirt and grime from the filter pleats, without damaging them.

At least every 3 to 4 months, and with EVERY water change, your cartridge should first be pre-rinsed with the garden hose, then soaked overnight (or according to package instructions) in a non-foaming filter cleaning compound such as Leisure Time's Filter Clean.  Then rinsed again and allowed to dry out.

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  • Check the filter pleats for tears or holes - these allow dirt and debris to go past the filter - it's time for a new filter.
  • Avoid laundry detergents and household cleaners-- you may have a major foaming problem with your hot tub if you use them.
  • Use a product designed for cleaning pleated filter cartridges.
  • Rotate your spa filters.  When cleaning, always rotate out your filters with a clean, dry spare.  With this system you'll never have to wait to use your spa, and your filters will last longer. Allowing filters to dry completely after cleaning will help destroy any resident microorganisms.
  • We recommend filters be replaced every six to twelve months.
  • Never use a power-washer or dishwasher to clean filter cartridges. The high water pressure will damage the media. Be gentle if you use a brush.
  • Always follow your equipment manufacturer's instructions for removing and reinstalling filter cartridges.
  • Ensure that you always have the freshest, clearest and cleanest water possible at all times by taking care of your filter and replacing it when necessary.


do Freeflow spas run continually so as to constantly filter and keep water temp constant? (either 110v or 220v)
Posted @ Sunday, January 08, 2012 11:53 PM by Dee Allan
Hi Dee, 
Thank you for your inquiry! 
We utilize a two speed pump for filtration and heating. On low speed, the pump filters approximately 70 gallons per minute. In it's two hour filtration setting (one hour twice a day), it will filter over 8000 gallons ~ hot tubs that utilize a 24 hour circulation pump circulate approximately 3.5 gallons per minute, equating to ~5000 gallons per day. 
I hope this helps.  
Freeflow Spas
Posted @ Tuesday, January 10, 2012 7:59 AM by Tom
Hot tubs with clean filters make for a cleaner and healthier spa. Great advice, though how often do you recommend changing/cleaning filters?
Posted @ Friday, March 30, 2012 1:24 PM by Casey @ hot tubs
Cleaning your hot tub filter will have a significant effect on the condition of your spa water.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 16, 2012 2:18 PM by Karen Reader
Cleaning hot tub filter on regular basis makes your hot tub life long. Great Advice on cleaning hot tub filter, Thanks.
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 5:24 AM by Markiv Martin
Definitely you have provided a great information here. Cleaning a hot tub filters & replacing them periodically is very important to keep your hot tub working regularly.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 17, 2012 4:59 AM by hot springs spa parts
Preset Filter Cycles: I want to set to FC1 as per owners manual but cycles will only adjust down to FC2. Thanks
Posted @ Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:44 PM by Bruce
I use Liesuretime products exclusively in my excursion spa and my question is when changing out the water I use Jet Clean and it says on the bottle to run the spa with no filter for this step. Is this safe for my spa? the manual states to never do this. Thank you, Lee
Posted @ Saturday, January 05, 2013 8:58 AM by Lee
I am wundering if you have inside one's and small wones that fit's in small room's inside a Apt.side's. Could you send me inforemaytion on some that you have that I can see and other information I may see Please.
Posted @ Friday, April 05, 2013 4:00 PM by martha walston
I whundering what side's you have and that would help me with aceing part's andthing's that would calm me down and not uptint so I can calm me down after hard day.
Posted @ Friday, April 05, 2013 4:12 PM by martha walston
I want a replacement filter for my new FreeFlow Solstice. The replacement that the dealer is selling has an opening in the top, while the stock model came with a closed top. Can you tell me the proper replacement water filter please?
Posted @ Friday, November 08, 2013 7:34 AM by Jack
Hi Jack,  
The open top filter will work for your Solstice. Earlier this year we made a slight modification in the filter design in order to gain consistency among all our products. But it will work for your new Solstice. 
Thanks and have fun with your new tub! 
Freeflow Spas
Posted @ Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:06 PM by Caitlin Woelfel
Now, it gives me a good idea on how to clean our hot tub filter. Impressive indeed. thanks!
Posted @ Thursday, November 28, 2013 4:25 AM by insurance for jet ski
We are in the spa repair business and it is so difficult to get our customers to take proper care of their filters. They want to rinse of wit a hose, when things are not working correctly, then blame us or manufacture for pump failures. Thanks for a great write up! 
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 11:22 AM by Eddie
I have a two person Hot Springs Tri Star hot tub, that I need help with. We didn't get a instruction booklet, even though we bought it new from a dealer. Could you please help us? I drained it to clean it and filled it back up and turned it on and the motor runs, but the jets don't work.
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 9:07 AM by graham renfroe
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