Cartridge Filter Cleaning


Well-known member
Oct 8, 2015
San Diego, Ca.
My Pleatco Cartridge Filter is less than 2 years old. I currently soak it in a trash can with laundry detergent and hose it down real well.
The PSi never gets down to where a new filter would be. Is there a better (stronger) cleaner. How about E Z OFF Oven Cleaner...?


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
You should never use foaming soap products to clean a cartridge.

The most straightforward cleaner is trisodium phosphate (TSP) which can be mixed with water to form very strongly alkaline solutions. Bleach can be added to it as an oxidizer. TSP/bleach solutions are used for many tough cleaning applications. You can find TSP in a hardware store’s paint section. Just don’t buy the “alternative” eco-friendly TSP which is not TSP at all.


Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
Houston, TX
Ditto on never using dishwater soap and do use TSP.

I buy the stronger liquid TSP, mix it w the correct amt of water per directions for 2 gallons, then add 1 cup of bleach. I add to a 2 gal pump up sprayer and spray the filters applying about 1 gal per filter, so it takes 2 total applications.

By the time I've sprayed the last gallon on the last filter, I rinse out the pump-up sprayer and get a bottled water and let the filters soak a little more - all of this should be done in the shade [no direct sun]. Then crank up the hose to full blast w a solid narrow stream nozzle and hose down the first filter I sprayed going from the bottom upward. This keeps the solution in the pleats and prevents streaking. When I've worked my way all the way to the top, I give it one top to bottom washing. Repeat on cartridges 2, 3 & 4...

Now, since you probably have just your skimmer baskets in the skimmers like we all did, you're fighting a losing battle bc what gets past the skimmer baskets make it to the pump basket then makes it to the cartridge filters...BUT, by installing white poly-spun hair nets, your life will be changed from ever having the same degree of intensity of cartridge filter cleaning...

Here's a link to make your life 1000 x's easier for $5-7 bucks per yr..every one I've given these to have all purchased and installed you can join TFP forum for this great tip...Merry Christmas..tstex

Note: EZ OFF will eat the rubber and other material holding your pleats together...only use this type of cleaning agent on approved surfaces...don't inhale it either...


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
I never use any type of cleaner. I just hose it down once a year using a higher pressure water nozzle.