How to Clean a K&N Air Filter

If you have a K&N air filter that’s dirty or hasn’t been cleaned in awhile, or maybe hasn’t been cleaned with recent oil changes, it’s time to clean the air filter. This post explains how to clean a K&N air filter properly with K&N cleaner and oil, and water.

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How to Clean a K&N Air Filter with K&N Cleaner, Oil, and Water

Steps for How to Wash and Clean a K&N Air Filter

  1. Remove the K&N Filter

    Remove the K&N Filter from the air filter housing

  2. Spray Both Sides of the K&N Filter with K&N Filter Cleaner

    Spray the K&N cleaner inside the fins on the filter. Add more cleaner if the air filter is dirtier than usual. Spray both sides of the filter.

  3. Let the Cleaner Soak into the Filter for about 10 minutes

    Place the air filter in a location to let the cleaner soak for about 10 minutes.

  4. Wash the K&N Air Filter with Clean Lukewarm Water

    Run lukewarm water through the air filter. Make sure the water is exiting from the filter on the side the air first flows through (the side with dirt collected on it). For example, if an air filter stands vertically when installed in the air filter housing, one side will be contacting the air and collecting dirt. Make sure the water is filtering and exiting from this side so the dirt falls from the filter. When the dirt is cleaned out, the water will turn from brown to clear.

  5. Let the Air Filter Dry

    Place the K&N air filter in a location where it can dry

  6. Spray the Side that First Contacts Airflow with K&N Air Filter Oil

    Place the dry air filter on a disposable surface like a piece of cardboard. Spray K&N air filter oil on the side of the filter that the air will first contact and flow through (the side the dirty water filtered from). This will help the dirt cling to the filter once reinstalled.

    Stand about 3-4 inches away from the filter and spray it evenly across the fins until they are covered with oil. The oil will be a different color from the filter and will let you see if you’ve missed any fins.

  7. Let the Oil Soak into the Air Filter

    Let the oil absorb into the air filter. Wipe any oil from the rubber edges.

  8. Clean the Air Intake and Air Filter Housing

    Clean any dirt or debris from the air intake or air filter housing

Learn How to Replace Air Intake System Parts and Other Parts

Learn how to replace air intake system parts and other parts with 1A Auto’s how-to videos, which have step-by-step instructions for many repairs that apply to many makes and models.

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How to Clean a K&N Air Filter - Expert Advice - 1A Auto
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How to Clean a K&N Air Filter - Expert Advice - 1A Auto
If your K&N air filter is dirty or hasn't been cleaned in a while, our mechanics explain how to clean a K&N air filter properly to get it working at a high performance.
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1A Auto
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