Why so long to clean? Did you take the debris out by hand or w a brush? Just rinse them off like a cartridge filter. It should take less than 1 minute to rinse. Taking it apart and reassembling should be under 5 minutes.
The pleats are so tight, and the stuff caught inside was so small, it wasn't coming out with a simple rinse. I blasted it from both sides with the hose, and ran it under the kitchen sink, and the only way to get the stuff out was to hold each pleat open with my thumbs under the running water. It was a nightmare.