Hot Tub Maintenance & New Spa Brands

Hot Tub Filter Cleaning and Maintenance

Why clean your hot tub filter on a regular basis?  Because it saves money and keeps the spa cleaner.

Replacement hot tub filterHow does it save money?  By assuring the pump seals are not being degraded by debris and by assuring cleaner water is circulating through the hot tub. This not only benefits bathers but equipment too.  Unkept hot tub water is one of the main causes of hot tub component failure, nevermind bather discomfort.

The hot tub filter traps contaminants and particles such as metals in the water of the spa.  The filter helps ensure that your hot tub stays working properly and efficiently and that water is pure and clean.  Your spa will also require sanitizing chemicals to battle bacteria such as chlorine or bromine. The regular operation of a spa with a clogged filter can cause flow issues or damage hot tub pumps and heaters. Unfiltered waste can create a water imbalance.

It is best to rinse the filter at least twice a month, and maybe more depending on use.  The filter can also be sprayed or set in an overnight filter bath once every few months to deep-clean the pores.

Hot tub manufacturers recommend that a hot tub be refilled 2-3 months or so depending on use. In areas with higher levels of calcium in the water, hot tub owners may have to change the water more often than owners in areas with low levels of calcium.

If on visual inspection the filter has a cracked end, or appears physically deformed, it is time for a new filter. If the folds (filer media) are broken or worn, the core is no longer intact, or too much dirt and debris is in the filter and it cannot be cleaned, then it is also time to replace the filter.   The cartridge filter should be replaced every year to year and a half anyway.

Cleaning the filter is easy. Follow the directions that came with the spa.  Usually, you first remove the filter from the filter compartment, rinse the filter  (at least monthly or more). To rinse the filter, you can buy a hot tub filter rinse attachment or just use a garden hose sprayed at an angle of about 45 degrees to the filter to avoid backspray. Spray lightly all residues of each pleat in the filter. Avoid use of too much pressure such as a pressure washer which can damage the paper filter pleats.

Clean the filter with a filter cleaning solution or bathe it in an overnight filter cleaner every 2-3 months or at least when changing out the water. There are two types of filter cleaner: Spray Cleaning (spray on the filter pleats): Using a filter cleaner with a spray nozzle, spraying down each pleat cleans the filter. It should sit about 15-20min. and then be rinsed off.  The other method involves a complete soak (usually overnight). An overnight filter cleaner is put in a bucket and water is added as per directions.  (usually cleaner to water ratio 1:5) . Once the filter bath is complete, rinse off the filter and then reuse. (I wish my refrigerator filter was reusable).

Replace the filter in the filter compartment and then start the spa again. There are many shapes and sizes of filters. In order to find the correct replacement filter online, you can measure your filter (length x width x diameter) noting any special things about it on each of the ends (or does it just have 2 holes). Some filters have endcaps, threads or strings, while others have just a center hole through the entire core.  The filter usually contains a Pleatco, Filbur or Unicel reference number stamped on one of the end-caps. With this number, you will be able to find a suitable replacement online.

In Canada, find hot tub filters at

In the U.S., find hot tub replacement filters by contacting us by email at or visiting Hot Tub Outpost.