Can I Clean My Hot Tub Filter In The Dishwasher?


Dishwashers should not be used to wash standard hot tub filters. Standard filters are made of polyester woven filters. The roughness of a dishwasher destroys the fabric making the filter useless.

However, some less common hot tub filters called Hot Spring Tri-X Ceramic Filters can be cleaned in the dishwasher. For this, a basic rinse cycle should be enough.

Overall, it is safest to manually clean all hot tub filters. In addition, cleaning a filter by hand ensures that all dirt and oil are efficiently removed from the filter. 

Can you clean hot tub filters?

Hot tub filters can and should be cleaned in order to maintain proper functioning and hygiene. Hot tub filters should be given a quick clean every week, more thoroughly cleaned every 2 weeks or monthly, and deep cleaned every 3 to 4 months. 

In order to clean light debris from a filter, it should first be removed from the hot tub. Then, a hose can be utilized to rinse the inside of the pleats where dirt has collected. If time allows, the filter should be fully dried before being placed back in the hot tub. 

To clean a filter a bit deeper, the aforementioned method should be employed. However, once rinsed clean, the filter should be sprayed with a cleaner and left to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, it should be gently scrubbed in order to remove contaminants. If extremely dirty, this step may need to be repeated. Then, the filter should be rinsed clean and allowed to dry before returning to the hot tub. 

Finally, in order to deeply and thoroughly clean all dirt, grime, and debris from a filter it should be removed from the hot tub and rinsed. Then, it should be left to soak in a bucket full of specialized filter cleaner for a minimum of 8 hours. After soaking, the filter should be rinsed thoroughly, left to dry, and placed back into the hot tub. 

Can you run a hot tub without a filter?

Hot tubs can be run without filters. However, a spa pump should only be run without a filter for a very short period of time and should not be done often.

Typically, running a hot tub without a filter is done in order to troubleshoot issues with a hot tub. For instance, removing a filter before running a hot tub pump can work to signal to owners whether the filter is causing the hot tub’s heater to malfunction.

Additionally, if a filter cracks or breaks for any reason, the hot tub can be used without it as long as the filter is replaced as soon as possible. However, it is important to note that doing so will not result in clean or clear water. Dirt, debris, pathogens, and bacteria will no longer be filtered from the water, and it can quickly become a major hazard to those using the hot tub.  

Can I clean my hot tub filter with vinegar?

Vinegar can be used to effectively clean a hot tub filter. Standard white vinegar has an average acidity of 2.5 pH, but it can reach levels as high as 4pH. This means that it is more than strong enough to dissolve dirt while posing fewer risks than commercialized cleaners. 

This being said, straight vinegar should not be used on hot tub filters. Instead, a solution composed of 50% vinegar and 50% water should be mixed, and hot tub filters should be left to soak in the mixture for two hours.

Yet, if the filter being cleaned is extremely contaminated with oil and dirt, vinegar solutions may not be strong enough to effectively clean the grime away. In this case, special hot tub filter cleaners can be purchased and should be used in place of the vinegar solution. 

However, if opting to use vinegar instead of ready-made cleaning solutions, hot tub owners will need white vinegar, a microfiber cleaning cloth or sponge, a bucket or spray bottle, and warm water. The vinegar should be mixed with water in the bucket or spray bottle and stirred well. From this point filters should be scrubbed down and left to soak in the solution before being thoroughly rinsed and returned to the hot tub. 

Similarly, vinegar works well to clean a hot tub itself and does not pose the risk of damaging a hot tub’s vinyl cover. To clean a hot tub, owners should drain all water, pour or spray the vinegar solution over the area being cleaned, and let it sit for roughly 15 minutes before being scrubbed and rinsed away. 

If you would like to find out how you can use vinegar as a cleaning option for your hot tub cover, I have this great article that talks about it.

However, it is important to note that vinegar should never be used to clean hot tub pipes. While it will not cause any damage to or within the pipes, vinegar simply does not work to clean them. 

How often should I clean my hot tub filter?

Hot tub filters should be cleaned to various extends on weekly, biweekly, and monthly schedules depending on how much dirt is accumulated within the filters.

As previously mentioned hot tub filters should be lightly cleaned with a quick rinse every week. Or at the very least, filters should be rinsed down every other week.

If you would like to know how long do filters last, I have a great resource about that. Head over here to read more.

Then, roughly every three months, when the hot tub’s water is replaced, the filters should be thoroughly cleaned with either a vinegar solution or a cleaner designed specifically for hot tub filters.

Finally, all hot tub filters should be fully replaced every year regardless of how often and well they have been cleaned up to that point. However, if a filter shows any signs of damage such as rips or tears, a lack of water pressure, or an inability to properly remove dirt from the water, it should be replaced immediately regardless of how recently it was swapped out with an old filter. 

Maintaining these routines will ensure that the filters and the hot tub itself remain working to the best of their abilities, providing enjoyment for all users.

Furthermore, taking good care of a hot tub’s filters prohibits long term wear and tear on the hot tub itself which often leads to malfunctionings and costly damage. Therefore, taking the time to clean and replace filters saves hot tub owners significant amounts of maintenance repairs and headaches in the long run. 

There is one other cause that will directly affect how often you need to clear your filter, which is the time of how long you run your filter. Head over here to find out more about how long you should run your filter every day.

Editorial Staff

I'm Adnan Sabanovic, the guy behind Hot Tubs Report. I've had a chance to enjoy hot tubs last few years and have really become interested in owning one of them. Nearly every weekend you'll find me spending time with my family or playing sports. If I am not doing that then I'm here writing about tubs on Hot Tubs Report. This blog is a research for my first hot tub which I decided to document and share publically so others can benefit from it as well.

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