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How To Clean Compressed Air Filter Elements

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How to Clean Compressed Air FiltersMany industrial filter elements can be cleaned and re-used. It is important to confirm if your filter elements are the type that can be cleaned. Coalescing filter elements, high efficiency filter elements and filters with special filtration media typically cannot be cleaned.

A dirty filter cartridge must be cleaned when the pressure drop causes a noticeable loss of air flow. Actual operating experience will tell you how long to wait until you should clean or change your filter, based on the type and amount of dirt in the air being filtered. A pressure drop indicator can also be used to signal when the filter elements need to be cleaned.

Once you’ve established your maintenance schedule for cleaning filter elements, choose one of the following three easy ways to clean:

Filter Cleaning by HAND 

Remove the cartridge filter from the housing and hold it vertically with one hand, move the other hand across the fins in a strumming motion. This light snapping action will dislodge most of the dirt. The filter cartridge is then ready to be used.

Filter Cleaning by COMPRESSED AIR 

Blowing off dirt with compressed air restores the cartridge to it’s original condition. Using about 100 psi, blow off the inside of the filter element, directing as much of the air flow as possible torward the inside of the radial fins. Next, blow off the outside of the filter cartridge, directing the air flow down the fins to avoid embedding dirt particles in the felt. Finally, blow off the inside again to remove any dirt that might be on the clean side of the filter element.

Filter Cleaning by WASHING 

When you’ve cleaned the filter element several times by hand or compressed air, you can restore it to like-new condition by washing or soaking it in soap or detergent and water. After rinsing, remove excess moisture by using compressed air as in the above method.

CAUTION: If you wash the filter element, do not try to dry it by oven-baking or exposing to intense heat. Never use gasoline, kerosene, alcohol or any other solvent, as these will permanently damage the plastic end seals.

Not sure if your filter element can be cleaned? We can tell you, and if not we have recovery services available. Don’t take a chance, just call us at 888-551-0774 or contact us for filter element help.