Step by Step Guide on How to Clean Your Home Air Filter 3 Ways

While you already know the benefits of washable air filters – they decrease your ecological footprint while providing a lifetime of clean air – it is critical to understand how to clean your air filter properly in order to take advantage of the convenient nature and ultimate value of the product.

How to clean a washable filter

Best Ways to Clean Air Filters

  • Vacuum the filter
  • Rinse the filter with water
  • Use soap and water to remove grime from the air filter

How to Clean Home Air Filters Using a Vacuum

  1. Don’t remove the filter just yet. First, vacuum around the encasement area with the brush attachment to prevent stirring up dust when you take the filter out.
  2. Next, remove the filter and vacuum the front and back sides, removing as much dust and dirt as possible.
  3. Finally, vacuum inside and around the filter slot for a fresh start.

How to a Clean Furnace Filter with the Rinse Method

  1. Check the filter'’s frame or packaging to see if there are any instructions about which side to rinse.
  2. Then, carry the filter outside and gently rinse it with the garden hose. Avoid using a high-pressure hose to prevent damaging the filter.
  3. Let it dry completely before replacing it. Avoid running the furnace until the filter is back in place and completely dry.

How to Remove Grime from Air Filters

If you wait too long to clean a washable filter, it may become heavily clogged with oily pet hair, cooking grease, and smoke residue.

  1. To remove this grime, mix one drop of dish soap in 2 cups of warm water.
  2. Dip a cloth in the soapy solution and wipe both sides of the filter.
  3. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely before replacing it.

What You Need to Know to Properly Clean Your Furnace Filter while Protecting Your Air Unit

Never run your air unit without an air filter. The primary purpose of this filter, besides cleaning the air you breathe, is to catch airborne debris and prevent it from settling on and potentially damaging the furnace. Air filters, whether washable or disposable, protect you, your air quality, and your HVAC system. Understanding how to clean your home air filter is the best place to start when actively improving your indoor air quality.

What is the difference between a washable and a disposable filter?

Disposable furnace filters for the home are designed for one-time use. They are usually made of cardboard and easy to dispose of. Typically, disposable filters need to be replaced every 30-90 days depending on the MERV rating of the filter.

Washable furnace filters are made of metal or plastic and often statically charged to help them attract dust to clean indoor air more effectively. The ability to wash these filters makes them eco-friendly, though washable filters cost more upfront than disposable versions. Washing the filter, however also requires a little more work on your part. Built for long-term use, washable furnace filters maintain their performance even after multiple washes.

It is also important to note that we do not suggest cleaning your disposable filters. Instead, we recommend monitoring your filters on a regular basis and making sure to replace them when they become dirty. For more specific directions, check out our filter replacement frequency guide.

When Do I Know to Clean Filters that are Washable?

The easiest way to check the condition of your washable filter is by holding it up to a bright light source. If you can see light coming through the filter that means it is still clean enough for continued use. If you can’t see through, it is time to clean it.

Now that you know how to clean your air filters, check out other ways to improve the quality of air in your home!