How to Clean a Reusable K&N Air Filter: The Detailed Process

how to clean a reusable K&N air filter

A high-performance vehicle will always get you far with trust and confidence. It is assuring to note that reusable K&N air filters can provide you with that.

A factor that makes you sigh for relief is when you maintain clean air filters from harmful debris, the dirty and dusty road environments cannot block your driving adventure if your air filters give you comfort.

This article will help you learn about the simple yet thorough process on how to clean a reusable K&N air filter.

What You Will Need

  • K&N Recharger Kit
  • K&N Squeeze or Spray oil
  • K&N cabin air filter cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye Protection Cover
  • Breathing mask
  • Water hose or faucet
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Bath towel
  • Paper towels

Cleaning a Reusable K&N Air Filter


To maintiain a high-performing vehicle, it is important to clean K&N air filter. Here are the KN air filter cleaner instructions that will serve as your guide.

1. Before the Cleaning

Step 1: Put on the protective gear

In washing K&N filter, never forget to put on your breathing mask, eye protection cover, and rubber gloves before the drill. Dealing with tiny particles can harm your health.

Step 2: Locate the filter

To start with cleaning KN filter, find its location in the car. Open the car hood, and there you can easily catch sight of your air filter, packed in a plastic box.

Go through the car’s manual if you need help locating it. You can also do an online search if the manual is not available.

Step 3: Remove the filter

After locating the K&N washable cabin air filter, analyze and observe how you will remove it. For the latest car models, KN air filters are equipped with clips for easy removal.

Slowly detach the filter from the clips and lift it straight out by sliding it. Be careful with pulling it from its case, ensuring you will not disengage the rest of the engine parts.

2. Cleaning

In K&N air filter cleaning, assess whether it needs cleaning or not after removing it. The filter folds may indicate how often you need to do cleaning with the air filter.

If you notice they are already covered with dust and dirt, proceed with cleaning.

Step 1: Brush the filter

Using a soft-bristled brush, begin by brushing off the air filter lightly to partially remove debris. This is one way to save cleaning time.

Step 2: Clean the filter


Prepare your cleaner kit. Get the K and N cabin air filter cleaner. Spray it on all parts of the filter, especially its pleats. This way, you loosen the dirt that sticks to it that the brush could not remove.

Use a sink where you can place the filter and wait for the cleaner to soften the stuck dirt liberally.

Let it sit for ten minutes, but no longer than that to prevent it from drying.

NOTE: Alternatively, you can also clean K&N air filter with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. It may be harsh on grease and heavy soils, but it is user-friendly and cannot harm the filter.

Step 3: Rinse the filter with water


Hold the filter carefully and rinse it lightly with running water.

Be sure you include each pleat when rinsing. You may wish to repeat steps 5 and 6 if dirt is still present on the filter.

Step 4: Dry the filter


After a series of water rinsing, shake the filter or let it drip off to have it dried. Use a bath towel so you can let it dry naturally. This requires 6-8 hours to a maximum to completely dry the filter.

You may place the dryer in a clean and open space for it to dry naturally. Make sure the temperature is not too high to not damage the filter.

WARNING: Never use devices to dry the filter like a vacuum, blow dryer, or oven, for any of these may cause damage to your filter.

Step 5: Apply oil


  • Put oil on the filter pleat crown. If you use the spray oil, apply it at least three inches away from the filter.
  • If you have oil in a squeeze bottle, spread it evenly on top of each pleat.

When the filter turns reddish, you have thoroughly covered it with oil.

If there is excess oil on the filter edges, do not ignore it. Get the paper towels and gently wipe them off. It is not advisable to over-oil the filter, for this weakens the engine’s performance.

This part requires 20 minutes for the oil to wick. After that, the filter can now be re-installed.

3. After the Cleaning

Step 1: Check the filter

Check the filter if it is ready for re-installation. Note that you must complete the whole process and let the filter dry before reinstalling it.

Step 2: Reinstall the filter

Go back to the way you removed the filter. Then, do the same by reinstalling it by sliding it straight to its position.

Attach the clips to it. Close the car hood before tidying up.

Maintenance cleaning of the air filter is a must for car owners. Remember what to use to clean K and N air filter. You might not like cleaning it without kit.


K&N air filters also need cleaning. The basic steps on how to clean a reusable K&N air filter can be a lot to remember, yet simple to do.

Following them will increase engine performance and minimize structural damage to the filter.

If driving through rough roads with dusty environments becomes your daily route, cleaning the air filter may become frequent. Consider it as part of your car cleaning so that you will enjoy a smooth journey with your car’s cleaned air filter.

Before you go, please take a look at the following articles to take care of your car engine:

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