Can I Use Simple Green to Clean my Pool Filter? Find Out!

Can I use simple green to clean my pool filter? The swimming pool filter does a great job of keeping a pool clean, capturing tiny debris, fine particles, bugs, hair, and all sorts of other contaminants. To clean their pool filters, many pool owners have different methods and quite a number make use of Simple Green, an all-purpose liquid  cleaner. However, you don’t know if it’s safe to use. keep reading to find out.

Yes! Its okay to use simple green to clean your pool filter. Unlike other harsh cleaning agents like muriatic acid and trisodium phosphate, Simple green can be used to clean filters without the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals. It is tough enough for cleaning your filter until it’s squeaky clean and gentle enough to be used without hand gloves. 

Its most admirable feature is that it’s formulated with completely biodegradable materials; so you don’t worry about cleaning chemicals living rent-free in your pool. Its biodegradable formula is made with nature in mind, breaking down into harmless elements in about 6 months. So you can go right ahead to using Simple green for your pool’s filter. Read on if you want to know how to go about cleaning your pool using Simple green. 

How Do You Clean Pool Filter With Simple Green?

It is good practice to clean your pool filter once every month it’s in use. If you have a cartridge filter, you cannot backwash it as you would a Sand or DE pool filter, so you have to clean it manually, and in the right way. 

Using simple green to clean your pool filter can give you outstanding cleaning results, and the best part is: you don’t need to wear protective gloves – but you should, not because of the cleaner, but to protect you from all the harmful microbes the filter may have captured. Follow the steps below to clean your pool filter using Simple green multipurpose cleaner: 

  1. Turn the pool pump off. 
  2. Expel air from the filter by turning the air release valve slowly. The air release valve is usually found on top of the filter.
  3. Remove water from the filter tank. Attach a hose to the backwash port and open the multiport valve to drain the filter tank. 
  4. Take off the top of the compartment using a wrench. Hold and turn the clamp handle using the wrench. Take care not to injure the O-ring or seal gasket as you go about this step. 
  5. Take out the filters and lay them down side by side. 
  6. Mix a portion of 9 parts water with 1 part Simple green in a spray bottle to form a cleaning solution. If your filter is particularly dirty, mix equal amounts of water and Simple green in the spray bottle. 
  7. Next, coat the individual filters with the Simple green solution, ensuring that it makes its way into the filter’s pleats. 
  8. Let the filter soak for about 10 minutes. 
  9. In the same vein, clean the filter casing using the Simple green solution, spraying it down inside and outside. 
  10. Brush the cartridge gently after soaking for 10 minutes. Focus more on the parts that are most filthy and scrub them thoroughly. Take care not to scrub too hard so as not to rupture the filter. 
  11. Rinse out the filters under running water. 
  12. Apply lubricant to the O-ring before replacing it. 
  13. Replace the clean filter, fixing it firmly into its casing. Clamp it firmly after replacing the filter top. 
  14. Ensure everything is in order; turn on the pump and check the pressure gauge to ensure that the pressure is within normal range. 

How Often Should You Clean the Pool Filter?

How often to clean your pool would depend on many factors such as frequency of use, environmental conditions, pool size, and so on; once in two weeks if the pool water catches dirt more than usual, and once a month for normal usage. If the filter in use is a sand filter, you can easily backwash it to clear off the dirt once a week. On the other hand, a cartridge filter should be cleaned weekly or monthly depending on its size. 

For Diatomaceous Earth(DE) filters, once a year cleaning routine with a special cleaning agent will suffice. If done thoroughly, a yearly cleaning will go a long way in restoring a DE to pristine working conditions. 

The pressure gauge can also help you figure out if your pool filter requires cleaning. When more debris collects in your pool filter, it becomes more difficult for water to flow through, increasing the pressure in the process. So if your pressure gauge shows a higher-than-usual reading, usually above 8 pounds per square inch, you know it’s time to clean the filters. 

Will Backwashing Completely Clean My DE Filter?

If you have reservations about backwashing a DE(Diatomaceous Earth) filter, you’re probably thinking ‘does backwashing clean the filter completely?’ You’re right in your thinking; backwashing a pool filter will not completely clean your filter. Only 80 – 90% of the dirt gets removed. Some hard-to-remove dirt will typically remain clumped in the filter’s corners and middle – this is not unusual for DE filters. 

Even though it’s impossible to clean the filter by backwashing it, you can get out the most dirt every time by backwashing it more than once per cycle. By backwashing several times, you will get most of the dirt out, including the ones stuck in obscure places. Still, it is standard practice to do a comprehensive filter wash every six months to clean it out completely. 

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Pool Filter? 

Vinegar can be used for a variety of household cleaning, even for pool filters. Using vinegar for cleaning your pool filter has advantages such as being biodegradable and significantly less harsh than regular cleaning agents. If you want to know how to go about cleaning your pool filter using Vinegar, follow the steps below: 

Step 1 

If your pool filter has accumulated a lot of calcium, you would need to have white vinegar handy. White vinegar excels at removing accumulated calcium and other debris wherever they may be. 

Step 2

Turn the pool pump off. Expel air from the filter by turning the air release valve slowly. The air release valve is usually located on top of the filter. Remove water from the filter tank. Attach a hose to the backwash port and open the multiport valve to drain the filter tank. 

Step 3

Take off the top of the compartment using a wrench. Hold and turn the clamp handle using the wrench. Take care not to injure the O-ring or seal gasket as you go about this step. Take out the filters and rinse them under running water. This is to remove loose debris before treatment with vinegar. 

Step 4 

For best results, mix equal parts of water and vinegar(50% concentration) enough to submerge the pool filter. Submerge the filter in the vinegar solution overnight – 24 hours If the filter hasn’t been cleaned in a while. After soaking for the appropriate time, the vinegar solution should take on a dirty look color, indicating that most of the debris has come off. 

Step 5 

Take the filter out of the solution then scrub it lightly with lightly until it’s extremely clean. Alternatively, clean with hot water using a garden hose. 

Step 6

Let the filter stand and dry out before replacing it. 

How Do You Remove Algae From Cartridge Filter?

If you recently treated an algae-infested pool, chances are that your filter is now filled with dead algae. After treatment with an algaecide, the pool filter works hard to remove the dead algae and therefore gets coated with them. You must clean the filter after the operation. Follow the steps below to remove algae from your pool cartridge filter: 

  • Remove the filter cartridge from its casing and rinse it under running water using a garden hose. This will remove all the loose algae and any mineral deposits hanging on the filter. 
  • Soak the filter in a solution containing one part muriatic acid and twenty parts water. Wait until it stops bubbling then remove it. But if the cartridge hasn’t been cleaned in a while, let it soak for an hour in a regular filter cleaner solution before taking it out. 
  • Take the filter cartridge out at the time applicable and rinse it thoroughly. It’s important to rinse it to remove all the cleaning chemicals because any remnants can quickly corrode the filter pleats, irreversibly damaging it. 
  • Replace the filter cartridge and you’re good to go. 

Note: Do not use a pressure washer while rinsing the cartridge or else it might damage the filter. Preferably, rinse it thoroughly from top to bottom using a garden hose until it’s squeaky clean. 

However, if you notice heightened pressure reading each time you replace the filter, it’s a sign that the filter needs to be changed. 

Why Is My Pool Filter Green? 

Green, slimy growths in your pool and the filters are a result of algae infestation. If you decide to clean your pool filter and find these green things, you should first inspect your pool for signs of algae. They start by growing in small patches in corners around the pool. As soon as a vacuum cleaner removes them from the pool, they head over to the pool filters where they can continue their growth. 

Unbalanced water chemistry can cause your filter to become green. The ideal pool pH is between 7.2 and 7.6. An unbalanced pool pH is a viable breeding ground for algae and harmful microbes. 

When the water chemistry becomes unbalanced, its chlorine content gets affected. This creates the right atmosphere for the trapped particles to become footholds for algae growth in the filter. Hence, It is important to check your pool’s pH regularly to ensure that it’s always within range. If you’re looking for a great pool testing kit, here’s one we recommend: 

Recommended: Poolmaster 5-Way Test Kit

This test kit from poolmaster comes as five bottles meant to be used in order. The color-coded container allows you to read the result of your test easily. The test kit is simple to use, easy to read, and accurate. It can be used to test pool water pH, Chlorine level, Bromine level, Acid demand, and total alkalinity. As long as they’re used correctly, they can last for up to a year. 


  • Easy to use
  • Gives accurate reading
  • Caters for five test categories


  • Not suitable for color-blind users.
  • Can get wasted if an excess is used. 

Why Does My Pool Filter Keep Clogging? 

Nobody wants to clean a pool filter every week, but if that describes your situation right now, then you need to do some assessment first. Is your pool filter the right size for your pool? If your filter gets clogged in days or even hours, then there’s a chance that you need a bigger filter. 24 SF DE filters installed in in-ground pools, for example, are small enough to require more maintenance. If you’re sure you have the right filter, however, keep reading to find out more answers. 

The location of the pool may be a factor if the air carries a lot of dust with it. In that case, the filter is constantly picking up particles that can quickly choke it. Pool lubricants, sunscreens from swimmers’ bodies, gels, clarifiers, and other chemicals that find their way into the pool can make a mess of the filter. After a pool party, the pool water can get cloudy, so treatment with a clarifier makes sense. In that case, it’s normal if the pool filter is choked up with dirt after collecting dirt. 

If your pool water is particularly hard with dissolved minerals like calcium(above 300 PPM), it could cause minerals to build up within the filters, clogging them. Depending on how hard the water is, this can happen very quickly. In that case, you need to remove the excess calcium from the pool water. Try using an appropriate amount of muriatic acid to remove the excess calcium hardness. 

Should Sand Come Out From Filter When I Backwash? 

It depends. For a newly installed sand filter, it’s normal to see small amounts of sand coming out from the filter when you backwash or when it works. But this should clear after the first few runs. If the filter has been installed for a while, there’s probably too much sand in the filter. Backwashing agitates and lifts the sand. If there’s excess sand in the filter, it may get expelled. 

Mostly, the sand filter will correct itself after a while, but you don’t want to get sand in your pool the whole time so your best bet is to remove the excess sand. To do this, turn off the pump and open the lid for the sand tank, then take out the excess sand until the level is correct. However, if the sand is not in excess but the problem persists, the filter’s standpipe is probably cracked and leaking sand. Changing the filter will be the best option in that case. 

Conclusion on Can I Use Simple Green to Clean my Pool Filter?

A clean pool filter guarantees a healthy pool, but it can’t do its jobs perfectly if it is dirty itself. That’s why cleaning it routinely should be a priority. Depending on the type of filter, you can either backwash or clean manually. When you have to clean manually though, knowing what to use goes a long way in determining how clean the filter becomes at the end of the exercise and how long it will last. 

Also, you want to choose a cleaning agent that’s gentle on your pool filter and the skin if it eventually finds its way into the pool water. That’s why we suggest using a cleaning agent like simple green. We hope that with this post, you can give your pool filter the treatment it deserves.