When and How to Clean Your Swimming Pool Filter

Cleaning a dirty reusable washable pleated reinforced polyester cartridge pool filter with water pressure from an adjustable garden hose nozzle on a grass lawn.Although a seemingly simple question, the best time to clean your pool filter depends on a variety of circumstances.  While most people know that their filter is a key component of their pool’s filtration system, the knowledge of when and how to properly clean a filter is oftentimes not known. 

In order to ensure the proper performance of your pool equipment and swimmable pool waters, Our sister company, Wholesale Pool Equipment, recommends the following advice for how to clean your filter depending upon type.


Sand filters are very common. To clean a sand filter, first turn your pool pump off. Be sure to open the discharge line before moving the level to backwash and starting the pump again. Then move the main valve to allow access to any dirt or debris already trapped by the sand. Water moving through the line should be clear, then full of dirt, then return to clear after a few minutes. Once it’s clear again, you should be able to move the valve to a rinse setting and then on to filter. Once finished, be sure to check your water levels and add any necessary water to your pool if need be!


If you have a cartridge filter, in order to clean it, first turn the pump off. Next, check the water level of the pool and be sure to close the valves necessary to prevent your pool from draining when you open the filter. Next, drain the water out of the filter line. Once this is done, you can rinse out the filter tank and clean the cartridges from both the outside and inside. You can do this by using your backyard hose! Once you’ve completed this task all the way around your pool, reassemble the filter, close the drain port, and open any valves you closed before turning your pump on again. With the water on, wait for the pressure to rise before turning it off.

Diatomaceous Earth

Cleaning a DE filter is similar to cleaning a sand filter if there’s a push/pull multi-port valve on your system except you’ll need to add extra DE after back-washing this system. If your DE filter has a manual handle that must be shifted up and down, otherwise known as a bump filter, you should do the following. First, turn off your pump and open the air valves for a second. Then push the handle down and bump it, (quickly raise it) a few times. Then, restart the pump and you should be set. If the bumping procedure didn’t drop your pool pressure enough, you may need to repeat.

The best time to clean your pool filter depends on your pool! Talk with your local professional pool experts to discuss your specific needs and to ensure proper filtration!

Need more information on pool equipment or chemicals?  Contact our sister company:  Wholesale Pool Equipment.

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