help with cleaning hayward filters


LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2009
Austin, Texas
I followed ALL of the instructions posted here for cleaning my filters (set of 4), even buying the right nozzle, but was very frustrated! In order to clean all the gunk between every pleat I would have to widen the gap using a finger, which inevitably resulted in the band coming unglued to most of the pleats, and a few bands even breaking. If I just pointed the nozzle at the pleats, even at a 45 degree angle, only the outside of the pleats would be cleaned. What am I not doing right?? (I'm using Hayward filters, the pleats are about 1.5" deep, there are 5 thin bands around the middle area and less than 4" between the bands.) Thank you!


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2009
Northern Middle Tn.
Hey Westover. How old are your cartridges??? How often do you clean them??
I haven't had that problem with mine. I did soak mine in TSP the last time I cleaned them though. I use a skimmer sock also, which catches alot of gunk before it gets to the filter.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
The band breaking won't affect the filter's performance, just an FYI. Do you happen to know your "clean" or "new" filter's pressure? That way you can judge how clean they are coming after a soak/clean. Are you doing the soak before you hose them off?


LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2009
Austin, Texas
Thanks for your responses! The cartridges are brand new, for a new pool. My pressure never changed on the meter--so I thought I was good not to clean them until it started to rise 5psi or so, so I hadn't cleaned them for about 6 months. The pressure never changed, even though they were filthy. I didn't soak them before hosing them. I thought the directions said to just hose--or if there were specific issues to hose, soak, then hose again. I'm thinking I need to buy a spare set--it took way too long to hose them, and I felt too much pressure to get them back in and my system running again. But again, how in the world do you get all the junk out between pleats??

The skimmer sock sounds like a good idea. But what about other junk coming from the drains? Is there something like that for the pump baskets?

Those bands keep the pleats very close together (with glue). Am I OK just letting the bands go? What's more important--getting all the junk out or leaving the bands?


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
I *HATE* cleaning my catridges.

I never worry about getting all the junk out of the pleats... Just spray them down until the color changes back to close to white, and I don't see much stuff coming out.

When I am doing my yearly swamp clear, I am changing the filters once... sometimes twice a day. Then, it's not just a pressure increase that tells me to change them, there is also a noticable decrease in water flow.

With the bands: Most of my bands on both sets of my filter are broken. Haven't noticed any problems. I don't worry about it.

Don't worry about the down time while you are clearing your filter. I only run my filter 10 hours a day anyway. I would probably say that if the efficiency of your filtration system is such that an hour of down time matters... well, it's beyond my knowledge to comment on that.

I have two sets of filters. It doesn't really save me any time. I find myself rinsing the dirty set right when I remove them so that the gunk doesn't dry on them. Then I rinse the CLEAN set to get any debris that may have accumulated when sitting around. The only time that the extra set really comes in handy is when I need to do an over night soak in dishwashing detergent.

One thing that I am thinking of getting is an automatic cartridge cleaner:
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