How to clean k&n air filter: the best way

K&N air filters are a popular reusable performance upgrade that can boost airflow and horsepower. But to maintain that added power, you need to clean your K&N filter regularly. A clean K&N filter ensures optimal airflow to your engine. Follow this guide to properly clean your K&N air filter at home and keep it running in top shape. Let’s find out how to clean k&n air filter together!

How to clean k&n air filter?

When Should You Clean Your K&N Air Filter?

K&N recommends cleaning their oiled air filters every 50,000 miles as part of routine maintenance. But other signs mean it could be time for K&N air filter cleaning:

  • Decreased throttle response or acceleration
  • Increased exhaust smoke indicating dirt bypass
  • Check engine light for low airflow error

Cleaning the K&N filter restores full airflow and prevents possible engine damage from dirt ingestion when the filter is overloaded.

While reusable cotton gauze filters seem expensive upfront, cleaning a K&N filter is far less costly over the lifetime of your vehicle compared to replacing disposable paper filters.

You maybe also interested in our article: Uncovering the Best Air Intake: S&B vs K&N

How to clean K&N air filter: Supplies Needed for Cleaning

Cleaning and re-oiling your filter requires a few specialty supplies:

  • K&N Air Filter Cleaning Kit – includes cleaner and filter oil
  • Lint-free towels or cloths
  • Protective gloves and safety glasses
  • A clean working area outside away from dust

K&N’s cleaning products are designed specifically for their filters. Using other cleaners can damage the cotton filter media.

Step-by-Step K&N Filter Cleaning Instructions

Cleaning a K&N air filter involves several key steps: filter removal, spraying on cleaner, rinsing, drying, and re-oiling the filter.

Remove the Air Filter From Housing

  • Locate the air filter housing, usually in the front bumper or fender well.
  • Release the housing clips or retainers and open the cover.
  • Carefully remove the K&N filter element.
  • Inspect the housing interior for accumulated dirt or leaks.

Pre-Clean the Filter

Before applying the cleaning spray:

  • Gently shake the filter to dislodge any loose debris. Be careful not to bang the element to prevent filter damage.
  • Wipe the exterior housing of the filter using a dry lint-free cloth. This prevents debris from entering the air filter material once cleaning begins.

Apply K&N Filter Cleaner Spray

  • Shake the can of K&N Air Filter Cleaner and spray liberally across the entire filter surface.
  • Apply cleaner to both the dirty and clean side of the filter.
  • Allow the cleaning solution to soak for 10-15 minutes so it can penetrate the cotton filter media. This is key for dissolving oil and releasing embedded particulates.

Rinse Away All Cleaner and Debris

  • After letting the cleaner soak in, rinse the filter with a gentle stream of water inside and out. Low pressure allows rinsing without driving in dirt.
  • Continue rinsing until the water runs clear with no dirt visible. This ensures all loosened contaminants are removed.

Dry the Filter Thoroughly

  • After rinsing away all the cleaner, gently shake the filter to remove excess water.
  • Stand the filter upright and allow it to air dry naturally. Or you can speed up drying by patting with a lint-free cloth.
  • Check that the filter is completely dry before re-oiling. Any moisture will dilute the oil.

Re-oil the K&N Filter

  • Apply the included K&N filter oil evenly across the entire surface of the filter.
  • Follow the oil can directions for the proper number of oil treatments based on your filter size. This saturates the cotton filter media.
  • Let the oil soak in for 20 minutes then wipe away any excess dripping oil.

Reinstall the Clean K&N Filter

  • Before inserting the filter back in the housing, inspect for any cracks or leaks.
  • Insert the filter carefully, seating it firmly in the housing.
  • Replace the airbox cover and fasten all clips and retainers.

And that’s it – the filter is now cleaned, oiled, and ready for action. K&N recommends cleaning every 50,000 miles for optimal performance.

How to clean K&N air filter: Essential Cleaning Tips and Warnings

How to clean k&n air filter

Here are some additional pointers to properly clean K&N air filters:

  • Only use approved K&N cleaners – harsh chemicals like gasoline will damage the filter.
  • When rinsing, never use compressed air or steam cleaners. High-pressure drives in particles.
  • Take care not to bang or drop the filter – the media is durable but still fragile.
  • After cleaning, check for any tears or holes and ensure no dirt remains embedded.
  • Allow the filter to dry fully before re-oiling to prevent filter damage.

Regular cleaning and maintenance keep your K&N filter flowing freely. Avoid replacements by taking the time to properly service your filter every 50,000 miles. Your engine and acceleration will thank you!

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