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Proper Cartridge Cleaning When Using Chlorine, Bromine, or Baquacil

The best way to prolong the life of a pool cartridge or spa cartridge is by preventive maintenance. Pool Cartridges and spa cartridges are made of synthetic 100% spunbond polyester fibers. These fibers filter the water by trapping particles that are in the water before returning it to the pool or spa. For the best filtration and water circulation, you must keep the cartridge filter clean.  The cartridge in your pool filter should be cleaned every 3-4 months or when the pressure gauge on your pool filter reaches approximately 8-10 pounds above normal operating pressure.

You should establish a schedule for cleaning your spa filter based on the amount of usage the spa receives. Your Spa filter cartridge should be cleaned once a month depending on bather load. At minimum you need to spray off your spa filter monthly with a cartridge cleaner and deep clean the cartridge every time you change out your water, or more often depending upon bather load.

Cleaning Cartridges For Pools Using Chlorine/Bromine

1.     Remove the cartridge from the filter housing by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

2.      Use a garden hose with a nozzle sprayer, Water Wand or Automatic cartridge cleaner to wash the filter clean.  You can spray the cartridge with a spray cleaner to loosen the dirt. If you use a garden hose, work from the top down, holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle. Wash all the pleats thoroughly: being sure to spray between the pleats until all the dirt and debris is gone. Do not use a high powered pressure washer of any kind to clean your cartridge element as this could destroy the cartridge.

3.      All spa cartridges and many pool cartridges where perspiration, suntan lotions, grease and oils are used should be soaked for several hours or overnight for maximum cleaning effectiveness.  The soaking of the cartridge element with specially formulated soaking solution removes these oils that can build up on the cartridge element. Two soaking solution suggestions follow:

a.     A ratio of 5 gallons of water to one cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) (DO NOT use TSP in a Biguanide pool or spa)

b.      A commercial cleaner such as “Soak Solution”. NEVER use household bleach or acid on a cartridge as this weakens the cartridge media and greatly decreases their lifespan. Rinse the cartridge element thoroughly to remove all oils and cleaning solutions.

4.     Alter rinsing the cartridge, replace it in the pool filter or spa. If you have a pool filter, you should lubricate the o’ring on the filter with a silicone based lubricant – this prolongs the life of the o’ring and inhibits air from leaking into the filter upon reinstallation.

Cleaning Cartridges For Pools Using Baquacil

In a chlorine pool the chlorine oxidizes the bacteria in the water, however in Baquacil the active ingredient is polyhexamethylene biquanaide (PHMB). The PHMB locates and binds the bacterial surfaces, and then attacks the outer bacterial wall. Once this wall has been compromised the inner cell membrane is destroyed. This allows the cell contents to disperse into their surroundings where they are broken down more into their elemental parts by Baqua Shock, a non-chlorine oxidizer.

Also, Baquacil is a mild coagulant which combines bacterial cells and other small particles into particles large enough to be trapped by the filter. The residue on the filter is a gray sticky film which can only be removed with Baqua Clean. You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using Baqua Clean.


If you use Baquacil in your pool or BaquaSpa in your spa it is imperative that you clean your filter cartridge with Baqua Clean 

Be sure to inspect your filter cartridge as you clean it to be sure there are no rips, punctures or tears in the fabric. If there are rips or tears, then particles will go through the material and into your pool or spa water. Your cartridge should be replaced.

Special Note: It is highly recommended to have a backup cartridge element to place in your filter. That way your spa or pool does not have to be down while you are soaking your cartridge element. This also allows your pool cartridge or spa cartridge to dry out between uses. It is a very good idea to allow them to dry after you have cleaned them. Once it has dried thoroughly you can lightly brush off or blow off the excess dirt and dead fungi or microorganisms that may have remained on the filter. By allowing the filter cartridge to dry out completely after cleaning it will help destroy these microorganisms residing on the filter as they will die without moisture. During this drying and cleaning time you can be operating your filter with your backup cartridge.