How important are they?
Which filter do I need?
Hot tubs have used a variety of filters. If you know the measurements and style of your filter you can isolate which filter you need. If you don't know that information you can contact us with your Model Name and Year and we can research for you.
What does it mean to "clean" the filter"?
On a regular basis the filter must be cleaned. Spraying with a hose might visually clean the filter but the paper gets coated with oil and matter and it needs to be chemically cleaned. If you do not do this regularly, it can affect the heating and even cause pumps to fail. How often depends on which unit you have. If you have a model with a standard size jet pump, you should clean the filters at least monthly. If you have a small circulation pump, you should clean at least every 2 weeks if not weekly, depending on usage.
How do I clean it?
As mentioned, spraying with water will not strip the oil off the paper. For the most part, bleach will also fail in emulsifying the oil. You need to deal with it with chemistry.
First choice is buying a "filter cleaner" from a hot tub dealer. These are good products.
Second choice and less costly is buying trisodiumphosphate or TSP. It's a powder you mix in hot water and soak the filters in for a couple hours and then rinse with a hose. You should find it in the painting or cleaning department at your hardware store.
Lastly and I have customers who swear by it, powder dishwasher cleaner. Some customers put the filter in the dishwasher, turn off the dry cycle (or you get melted plastic) and let the dishwasher and cleaner do the work. I have seen the results and they look good. But no one in the industry will recommend that.