These instructions are provided for your convenience. They are not meant to supersede any instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer or your pool builder. Pool Emporium, Inc. assumes no liabilities.

Chemically Cleaning a Cartridge Filter Element


You should chemically clean your filter a minimum of twice a year (Biguanide users, such as SoftSwim® should clean their filters at least every 6 weeks), or when pressure cannot be relieved by rinsing. Depending on the bather load or environment your pool is subject to, you may need to chemically clean your filter more often. If any of the bands on your filter are broken, the pleats are not straight up and down, or the top or bottom of your filter are not flat and symmetric, you'd be better off to invest in a new cartridge filter element.

  1. Hose off the cartridge element as you would for your normal cleaning.
  2. Remove the threaded drain plug at the bottom of the filter tank to allow the rest of the water to drain out.
  3. Fill a large, clean bucket or trash can half way up with water.
  4. Add BioGuard's Strip-Kwik® (de-greaser) to the water in the bucket. The amount of Strip-Kwik® you will need depends on how big your cartridge element is, and the size of the bucket you are soaking it in. You will need to use more Strip-Kwik® for very dirty filters, or those that have gone longer than suggested since their last chemical cleaning.(Note: Biguanide users, such as SoftSwim®, will need to use SoftSwim® Filter Cleaner, following label directions.)
  5. Place the element in the bucket, and fill the rest of the bucket with water.
  6. Soak for at least four hours. If the solution does not cover the top of the element, it will be necessary to soak it for four hours, flip it over, and soak it for another four hours.
  7. While the element is soaking, take your garden hose and manually rinse out the filter tank. Don't forget to replace the drain plug when you are finished. This is also a good time to clean-up and re-lube the tank o-ring.
  8. Rinse off the element and rinse out the bucket.
  9. The following steps may not be necessary! Test to see by placing a few drops of acid on the pleats. Proceed if you see any bubbling. If you do not see any bubbling, do not proceed - your chemical cleaning process is completed.
  10. Again fill the bucket with water, and add BioGuard's Kleen-It® (de-scaler) to the water in the bucket. The amount of Kleen-It® you will need depends on how big your cartridge element is, and the size of the bucket you are soaking it in. You will need to use more Kleen-It® for very dirty filters, or those that have gone longer than suggested since their last chemical cleaning. You may substitute an acid solution for the Kleen-It®. Add one gallon muriatic acid for every four gallons of water.
  11. Place the element in the bucket and fill the rest of the bucket with water.
  12. Soak for at least four hours, but not more than 24. If the solution does not cover the top of the element, it will be necessary to soak it for four hours, flip it over, and soak it for another four hours.
  13. Rinse off the element and rinse out the bucket. This completes the chemical cleaning process.
  14. Reassemble your filter.