How To Clean KN Air Filter Correctly?

One of the many benefits of K& N air filters is that they are washable and reusable. I suggest you should inspect your filter annually or more ofter if you drive in dusty or dirty environments.

But how to clean k&n air filter correctly? Is it easy? In this post I will guide you step by step what need to do.

Let’s start!

The video will guide you on how to clean a kn air filter. If you don’t want to watch, you can read the k&n air filter cleaning instructions below.

K&N Air Filter Cleaning Instructions

Step 1: Carefully remove the air filter from the stock air box or the intake system’s end.

Step 2: Spray both sides of the filter with K&N cleaner. ONLY USE K&N Filter Cleaner Kit. It is inexpensive and the only product guaranteed to properly clean your K&N filter and not damage the cotton fibers. 

It is cheap enough that there is no excuse for using anything else. I like that K&N makes their cleaning/re-oiling kits very affordable. They don’t try to make these products a profit center.

Step 3: Let it sit for about 10 minutes after soaking the element.

Step 4: Then, use a gentle stream of water from the back side (opposite of air flow) to rinse it. 

NEVER use high-pressure AIR or WATER. I use the kitchen sink most of the time. Most car washing hoses have too much pressure; turn down the pressure to a gentle stream.

Step 5: Shake the filter to remove excess water and set it aside to dry naturally. 

I clean my filters in the evening so they can dry overnight or when I start a day-long detail session. The filter is ready to oil when the next day dawns or the detail is over.

DO NOT use compressed air or heating elements to speed the drying process.

You can buy K&N Air Filter Cleaning Kit below:

K&N Air Filter Cleaning Kit

K&N Air Filter Cleaning Kit

You may concern: Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar?

How Often To Clean KN Air Filter?

Based on my experience, you should clean the KN air filter every 12,000 miles or at least once a year.

Air filter maintenance will help to protect your engine from harmful contaminants.

How Do I Know When To Clean My Filter?

The best way is to use an air restriction gauge, as most giant diesel trucks have. But without this, you can see if the filter is plugged up. The old drop light behind the filter is NOT a very good test, but it’s time to clean if you can’t see the light through your filter.

I recommend my customers to clean and re-oil at least once a year or check it every 12,000 miles.

If you drive on many dirt roads or race on dirt, you may be cleaning your filter much more often. In that case, consider a K&N “Pre charger” filter wrap to keep out the enormous dirt chunks and cut down on how often you have to clean.

How To Re-Oil K&N Air Filter?

K&N oil comes two ways, a squeeze bottle of oil or a spray can. Remember you are oiling the OUTSIDE of the filter, the way air goes into the filter.

With the squeeze bottle:

Put one thin line of oil on each pleat, only on one side please.

With the spray oil:

Step 1: Hold the can two -three inches from the filter and spray across the top of one pleat onto the side of the next pleat and put one quick line of oil on each pleat.

NOTE that the spray oil comes out in a sputtering stream rather than a fan spray, like paint.

Step 2: Wait at least 10 minutes and touch up any spots that are still white.The entire filter should have a light red color. 

DO NOT OIL THE ENTIRE FILTER TWICE! Only touch up white spots.

I like to take a lint-free cloth or one of those Scott blue shop towel (paper towels) and lightly pat the filter and wipe off the seal area.  Some drops of oil can stay on the wire mesh, and you don’t really need this oil to be there.   Again, take extra care to never wipe on or pull at the cotton filter material.

Step 3: Reinstall the air filter back into your car.

You done!

How Long Will the K&N Filter Last?

K&N has a “Million Mile Warranty” or basically for the life of your vehicle. K&N says their filter will go up to 40,000 or more miles before needing cleaning.  They also says that you should not clean your filter more than 25 times or the cotton filter media can become to worn to filter effectively.  If you divide 1,000,000 by 40,000, you get 25….works out pretty nice doesn’t it!

How To Clean K&N Air Filter Without Kit?

In case you don’t have KN air filter cleaner kit, you can clean it with warm water and the dish soap solution. Then rinse it with clean water. Let the filter dry completely before reinstalling it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.