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How To Clean And Recharge K&N Air Filter [Step By Step Guide]

If you're using a K&N air filter at home, you don't ever have to buy a replacement filter. You only have to clean it regularly so that it can fulfill its function efficiently and effectively. How do you go about it? Well, we've done plenty of research and have the answer for you!

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Here are the steps to cleaning and recharging your K&N home air filter:

  1. Remove the filter from its housing.
  2. Run low-pressure water over the filter to wet all sides.
  3. Spray both sides liberally with K&N HVAC cleaner.
  4. Let it soak for 2 to 3 minutes to loosen the dirt and grime.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.
  6. Shake off excess water.
  7. Air dry.
  8. Spray with K&N HVAC cleaner again before you put it back in its housing.

Keep reading to learn more tips on cleaning and recharging your K&N home air filter. We'll also tell you if you can use any alternative for K&N HVAC filter cleaner. Let's get right into it!

How Do You Clean A K&N Air Filter?

Reaching up to open filter holder for air conditioning filter in ceiling

Air pollutants are not just found outdoors but inside our homes as well. Dirt, debris, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, mold spores, and other unwanted particles get mixed up with your indoor air and become part of your breathing.

Good thing HVAC units come with air filters that trap these contaminants on their fibers to prevent them from circulating in your home and being part of the air you breathe.

But because of their job, air filters can easily get dirty. It's either you clean or replace them, depending on the type of filter that you have.

Replacing filters now and then can be pretty expensive, but it's the price you have to pay to have a functional HVAC unit. But there are air filters like K&N that are washable and reusable.

They are more practical as you just have to clean them regularly to maintain good condition.

K&N home air filters are advertised to be lifetime washable air filters.

They use germ-blocking technology that protects the filters against bacteria and mold to ensure better air quality inside your home continuously.

They are made of high-quality materials, so they can last as long as your HVAC unit, meaning you won't ever need to buy a replacement, and you can clean them unlimited times.

It is recommended that you inspect your K&N air filter every 2 to 3 months to have it cleaned off all the dirt that has built up over time.

Schedule this maintenance more frequently if you have pets and kids in the house or live on a busy street where you're constantly exposed to various air contaminants.

A visual inspection will let you know when it's time to clean and recharge your K&N air filter.

When it reaches the point where the dirt can be seen along the borders or outside the wire mesh of the filter, it's time for routine maintenance. Make sure you have your K&N HVAC filter cleaner with you.

Here's how to do it:

Cleaning Your K&N Home Air Filter

K&N home air filter cleaning instructions, How To Clean And Recharge K&N Air Filter [Step By Step Guide]

1.  Safety First

Turn off your HVAC unit and switch it off from the circuit breaker. Use gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask to protect yourself from the dirt.

Remember, your home air filter traps many contaminants, so you don't want these particles on any of your body parts.

2. Retrieve The Air Filter

Locate the housing of your K&N home air filter. Depending on its location, you might need a stool or ladder to access its housing unit.

Take off the protective grill by pushing the tabs that keep it in place.

3. Water And K&N HVAC Filter Cleaner

Use tap water to dampen the air filter. This will make it easier for the K&N HVAC filter cleaner to stick to the surface and do its thing. Spray a generous amount of the cleaner on all sides of the filter.

K&N only recommends using this HVAC filter cleaner on your home air filter; otherwise, your warranty will be void.

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4. 3-Minute Soak

Leave the K&N HVAC filter cleaner on the surface for three minutes but don't let it dry on the filter. Give it enough time to loosen the dirt and grime accumulated on the mesh.

5. Rinse

Rinse the filter thoroughly by placing it under running water over the faucet or water hose. Start from the wire screen side out. Don't use a pressure washer for this task, as it could damage the mesh fibers.

Don't stop until the water that's coming out of the filter is clear. All the dirt, grime, and cleaner have been thoroughly washed off.

6. Repeat Steps 3 to 5

Sometimes it would be necessary to spray more HVAC filter cleaners to remove stubborn dirt.

Do this as necessary. The goal is to remove as much dirt from the filter media as possible so that your K&N home air filter will work as if it's brand new.

7. Dry

Shake off excess water from the air filter. Then, let it stand in one corner to dry itself naturally and completely. This is important so as not to encourage mold and bacterial growth on the filter's surface.

8. Last Spray Of K&N HVAC Filter Cleaner 

Once the filter is dry, lightly apply some K&N HVAC cleaner on its surface. This time, you leave the cleaner on the filter. No need to rinse it anymore.

This will give it some protection while it continues trapping dirt and other indoor air contaminants in your home.

9. Put It Back

Put the filter back in its housing. Check the arrows on its frame to determine the proper orientation. Make sure the protective grill cover is securely in place.

There you go! You've just conducted this routine maintenance without asking for assistance from your HVAC technician. You can save on labor costs each time you clean your K&N air filter.

Watch this video for how to clean your K&N home air filter.

What Is The Best Way To Clean A K&N Air Filter?

Removing a dirty air filter

The best way to clean a K&N home air filter is by using its recommended cleaning kit.

You can buy a K&N HVAC filter cleaner in a pump bottle spray. This is the only recommended product on your K&N home air filter.

The manufacturers say that the warranty can be void if you use any other cleaning product.

The K&N HVAC filter cleaner makes it easy to clean your home air filter. You don't need to use any other tool or material for this task.

You spray it on both sides of your filter, leave it for about 2 to 3 minutes, and then rinse it thoroughly.

K&N HVAC filter cleaner has been specially formulated to remove dirt and grime on the filter media, eliminating the need for other cleaning agents.

The formulation is also just right so that the sensitive fibers won't be damaged no matter how often you clean your filter.

Manufacturers remind users to use low-pressure water when rinsing off the HVAC cleaner to avoid damaging the unit.

What Can I Use Instead Of K&N Filter Cleaner?

Some users of K&N home air filters are curious about what they can use as a substitute for the K&N HVAC filter cleaner in case they've run out of it, and it's not immediately available in their local stores.

Many users say you can dilute any mild soap in water.

They claim this is a viable alternative to K&N HVAC filter cleaner since it doesn't contain any harsh ingredients that can damage the sensitive fibers on the filter media.

Don't brush the filter media to avoid damaging the fibers.

Close up of white soap bar on marble surface

You can try this if you like and if you already need to clean your home air filter. But understand that K&N does not recommend it, and it might revoke your warranty.

It's always a good idea to stock up on K&N HVAC filter cleaner so that you have it on hand whenever your filter needs cleaning.

Our Final Thoughts

Home owner changing their dirty air filter

Cleaning your K&N home air filter is so easy. All you need is water and some K&N HVAC filter cleaner to remove the dirt and grime and have your air filter good as new again. When your air filter is clean, you breathe healthier air at home.

You can also visit the following posts to learn more about air filters:

How To Change The Air Filter In An LG Refrigerator

How To Clean A Dyson Airwrap Filter Without A Brush