How to Clean a K&N Air Filter

How to clean a K&N air filter

K&N filter

When to clean a K&N air filter

The general rule of thumb is that the K&N air filter needs to be cleaned when the dirt build up gets as thick as the wire mesh. Check your filter after every ride.

How to clean a K&N air filter

All K&N air filters are washable and reusable. If you drive in a non-dusty wet environment with lots of trees and vegetation, it's ok to inspect your filter less ofter then if you drive in dry desert-like conditions, or muddy conditions which requires more frequent inspection. A filter inspection does not necessarily mean it needs to be cleaned. A visual inspection should suffice to identify the amount of dirt build up on the filter.

Only when the dirt build up becomes excessive should you make the decision to clean the filter. A K&N filter can accumulate dust up to 1/8th of an inch before cleaning is required. The easy way to make this determination is to see if you can visually identify all of the visible aluminum wire mesh on the top of the pleats. If they are still visible, the filter does not require any cleaning yet. Once the aluminum wire is covered with dirt and is no longer visible in some places on the exterior of the filter, it’s time for cleaning.

Cleaning the filter

Remove the K&N air filter. Gently tap the filter on the ground or hard surface to remove any loose dust that can easily fall off. Take a soft brush, like a paintbrush, for more torough cleaning.

brush off air filter

Spray on air filter cleaner

Spray on K&N's air filter cleaner evenly on all filter components en let it set for 10 to 15 minutes.

spray on air filter cleaner

Bowl Cleaning

Big K&N elements can be rolled or briefly soaked in a bowl containing K&N's air filter cleaner. Remove the element immediately and let it leak out for 10 minutes.

air filter bowl cleaning

Cleaning hints

  • Only use K&N's air filter cleaner.
  • Do not use gasoline or petrol.
  • Do not use steam cleaning.
  • Do not use aggressive cleaning products.
  • Do not use strong chemicals.
  • Do not use a high pressure cleaner.
  • Do not use component cleaning solvents.

Not using K&N filter cleaner can inflict damage onto the filter medium K&N filters are known for and they can also shrink or harden the rubber seals.

air filter cleaner

Wash off

Wash off the filterelement using a low pressure hose. Always wash off from the clean side toward the dirty side. This will removes the dirt and will prevent the dirt from going back into the filter.

low pressure water hose off

Drying tips

  • Always let dry naturally. Do not use a microwave, heat gun, hairdryer or even an air gun. Excesive use of heat will shrink the coton filtermaterial. Compressed air will blow holes into the filter.
  • After washing off, shake off all abundant water and let it dry.

Grease in

K&N air filter oil is a mixture of miniral oils and special polymeres forming an efficient blockage. The oil has red color applied to it to easaly see where the oil has been applied to and where not. The red color eventually fades, but the oil remains and still filters the air.

Evenly spray on K&N's air filter oil or recharger oil. Wait 20 minutes and re grease all white unoiled spots that appear.

air filter oil

Grease-in tips

  • Do not use a K&N air filter without it being greased in. The filter will not prevent dirt from going in without being oiled.
  • Only use K&N's air filter oil.
  • Do not use aitomatic transmission fluid.
  • Do not use motor oil.
  • Do not use lightweight oil
  • Do not use diesel fuel.
  • Do not use WD40, LPS or other lightweight oils.

Finally, reinstall the filter

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