Sparesbox Blog

How To Clean Your K&N Air Filter

By Beatrice McBride

Fri Aug 05 2016

So you decided to buy a K&N Air Filter, gold star for you. They’re great for your fuel economy, your air flow and most importantly, they’re washable and reusable! We previously talked about why they’re such nifty filters. Now, how to clean your K&N air filter!

Your filter might look a little dirty but doesn’t really need to be cleaned yet. So how often should you clean your K&N Filter and how often should you oil your K&N Filter? Your K&N Air Filter should go for 80467.2 kilometres (that’s 50,000 miles) before it really needs a clean.  Here’s some pics from K&N’s website on when to clean and when not to clean:


K&N Dirty vs. K&N Clean

If your filter looks like the one on the right, we recommend getting your hands on a K&N Filter Recharge Clean and Oil Kit 99-5050. This K&N air filter cleaning kit will give you 355 ml of K&N Power Kleen Air Filter Cleaner and 237 ml in the Squeeze Oil Bottle to get you on your merry way. K&N’s kit will help you achieve the best results as it’s made with K&N filters specifically in mind.

You might be thinking, “Can’t I clean K&N Air Filters without a kit?” Yes, by all means, if you’d rather not spend $19.95 and trust some dodgy online forum and hope that username: BigDady69 knows what they’re talking about, then by all means, stop reading here and run along.


Don't Clean Your K&N Air Filter with Gas


We hope you haven’t run along because we want to give you four easy peasy steps to clean that dirty filter! We also have some great pics we borrowed from K&N to help make these steps even easier to follow because we’re all about sweet and simple. We also suggest picking a nice sunny day, so you can roll up the garage door and enjoy  a cold beverage while you do this. Will make it all the more enjoyable.

Alright, alright, enough chit-chat already , let’s go:


1. Apply the K&N Air Filter Cleaner

Spray that K&N Kleen Air Filter Cleaner onto both sides of the filter, and don’t be scabby, get liberal about it. Let it soak for max 10 minutes (that’s more than enough time to get that drink out of the fridge and start sipping) to loosen the dirt BUT DO NOT allow the cleaner to dry on the filter.


Clean K&N Round Air Filter

2. Rinse the K&N Air Filter

Use cool low-pressure water to rinse out the dirt and rinse off all traces of that Kleen Cleaner. However, if your filter was looking more like a shag pile carpet that hasn’t been cleaned since the 70’s then you might need to repeat these first two steps.


Clean K&N Panel Filter


3. Dry the K&N Air Filter

After rinsing, gently shake off the excess water. No shaking it like you’re in the Outkast film clip for “Hey Ya.” Only gently shake it. Then you need to let it dry naturally (perfect time to make some headway through that drink).


4. Apply K&N Filter Oil

It’s important NOT to apply the K&N Air Filter Oil until after the filter has dried. Once it has squeeze the oil along the crown of every pleat. Leave the oil to wick (aka absorb) for roughly 20 minutes then go back and touch up any sections that haven’t turned up a uniform red colour. Repeat until it all looks the same colour.


Oil K&N Air Filter