How to Clean a Foam Air Filter

What You'll Need
Filter oil
Plastic bag

Do you have a dirty foam air filter? If you do, you should consider cleaning it yourself. Cleaning a foam air filter is simple enough that anyone can do it using simple supplies. Because of this, there is no reason to rely on a professional if you want a clean foam air filter. If you decide to do your own cleaning, the following should be enough to help you figure out what you need and how to get started.

Step 1: Setting Up

First, pop open the hood of your car. Your air filter should be on either the right or left side, with a hose connecting it to the engine. Release the tabs holding the cover in place, remove it, and take out your air filter.

Next, heat up some water. You should heat enough water to fill the bucket that you are going to be using. Once your water is heated up, put it in the bucket and mix in your detergent of choice. You are now ready to begin.

Step 2: Soaking

Now that you are set up, you can clean your foam air filter. First, take your dirty foam air filter and place it into the bucket of hot water and detergent. You should be able to submerge it completely — if you can't, you need a bigger bucket or more hot water. Let the dirty foam air filter soak for a few minutes before continuing. Once you have your dirty foam air filter submerged completely, you can start the process of removing the dirt, debris, and oil that have accumulated.

Step 3: Cleaning

Wrap the plastic bag around your hand so that it is covered and your hand stays dry. Then, reach into the bucket and squeeze the air filter. This removes anything that should not be in your foam air filter. Do this until your foam air filter is as clean as it is going to get. You should expect this to take only a few minutes, but it could take more or less time.

Step 4: Oil

Once your foam air filter is clean, you will need to add new oil to it. Put the foam air filter inside your plastic bag, and pour in some new filter oil. This step is important to your cars performance, so be careful. If your foam air filter ends up with too much oil inside it, the oil may accidentally work its way inside your car's engine. However, if there is too little, your air filter will perform its job poorly and allow foreign particles into your car's engine.

Once the bag has plenty of oil inside, and the oil has fully soaked the air filter, you should squeeze out most of the oil by squeezing the outside of the bag. Doing this removes excess oil while allowing the oil to fully work its way through the air filter.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Now that your air filter is clean and has fresh oil, you can simply put it back in place.