How to Clean a Carbon Air Filter

by Carole Ellis

Cleaning out a carbon air filter yourself will save you a lot of money. Most carbon filters will last between 60 and 90 days and will absorb smelly odors well. However, if you are willing to do a little cleaning, you can make them last for a full year or longer.

Step 1

Mix your cleaning liquid by fill your bucket or pan with hot water and adding 1 cup of dishwashing detergent.

Step 2

Soak the carbon filter. Completely submerge your carbon filter inside of the pan or bucket and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Shake the filter from side to side and then back to front while it is submerged. This will loosen up any dirt and grime particles inside.

Step 4

Rinse off the filter. Pull the filter out of the soapy solution and rinse it under hot water, shaking it the whole time. Make sure it is well rinsed.

Place the filter in the sun to dry. If you're washing the filter in the winter, put it on a table inside the house.


  • Discard the soapy cleaning solution down the drain.
  • Clean the carbon air filter every 90 days to extend its life by up to one year.

Items you will need

  • Deep bucket or pan
  • Biodegradable dishwashing liquid

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