How to Clean K&N Air Filter Products

When Do I Clean My K&N Air Filter?

Cleaning your K&N Air Filter is not required if you can still see the wire screen on the entire air filter regardless of how dirty it may appear. If you have not experienced a decrease in mileage or engine performance, chances are your K&N air filter is fine and does not yet need to be cleaned. When the screen is no longer visible some place on the air filter, it is time to clean it. Check out these pictures of dirty and clean air filters to help determine if your K&N air filter needs cleaning.

Dirty K&N Air Filter that IS NOT ready to be cleaned

Dirty K&N Air Filter that IS ready to be cleaned

K&N Air Filter that IS cleaned and NOT oiled.

K&N Air Filter that has been cleaned and re-oiled

K&N replacement air filters that fit in the factory air box can go up to 50,000 miles before cleaning is required and large conical filters on a K&N air intake system can go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be cleaned, depending on your driving conditions. If your K&N air filter is used in dusty or off-road environments, they will require cleaning more often. We recommend that you visually inspect your air filter once every 25,000 miles to determine if the screen is still visible.

How to clean your K&N Air Filter:

Once you determine your K&N air filter needs to be cleaned, K&N air filter cleaning kits simplify the process and restore your air filter to a like new condition. Cleaning your K&N air filter is simple when following the 4 easy steps below.

STEP 1 - APPLY K&N AIR FILTER CLEANER

Liberally spray K&N Air Filter Cleaner onto both sides of filter and allow to soak for 10 minutes to loosen the dirt. Do not allow cleaner to dry on air filter.

Clean K&N Panel Air Filter
Clean K&N Round Air Filter
Clean K&N Cone Air Filter

STEP 2 - RINSE YOUR K&N AIR FILTER

Rinse off your air filter with cool low-pressure water applied to the clean side out in order to flush the dirt out of the filter. Continue to rinse the filter until all traces of cleaner are gone. It may be necessary to repeat steps 1 and 2.

Rinse K&N Panel Air Filter
Rinse K&N Round Air Filter
Rinse K&N Cone Air Filter

STEP 3 - DRY YOUR K&N AIR FILTER

After rinsing your filter, gently shake off the excess water and only allow filter to dry naturally. Do not apply oil until the air filter is completely dry.

STEP 3 - DRY YOUR K&N AIR FILTER

After rinsing your filter, gently shake off the excess water and only allow filter to dry naturally. Do not apply oil until the air filter is completely dry.

STEP 4 - APPLY K&N FILTER OIL

When using the air filter oil squeeze bottle found in K&N filter cleaning kit 99-5050, apply K&N air filter oil evenly along the crown of each pleat. Allow the oil to wick for approximately 20 minutes then touch up any light areas on either side of filter until there is a uniform red color at all areas. K&N offers 1/2 ounce pillow pack air filter oil for the smaller jobs and one gallon jug air filter oil for bigger jobs. Individuals who require a large supply of oil on hand, K&N also offers 5 gallon pails of air filter oil.

Squeeze K&N Panel Air Filter
Squeeze K&N Round Air Filter
Squeeze K&N Cone Air Filter

When using the air filter oil aerosol spray found in K&N filter cleaning kit 99-5000 or K&N's 12.25 oz aerosol air filter oil, spray the oil evenly along the crown of each pleat holding nozzle about 3" away. Allow oil to wick for approximately 20 minutes. Touch up any light areas on either side of the filter until there is a uniform red color at all areas.

Aerosol K&N Panel Air Filter
Aerosol K&N Round Air Filter
Aerosol K&N Cone Air Filter

The above process is the only approved procedure for maintaining your K&N Air Filter.

Frequently Asked Questions

The service interval for a drop-in replacement K&N® High-Flow Air Filter™ can vary greatly depending on the severity of driving conditions—from 100 miles in a desert-racing environment to up to 50,000 miles under normal highway driving conditions. K&N replacement air filters that fit in the factory air box can go up to 50,000 miles before cleaning is required (under normal highway driving conditions), and the larger conical filters included with K&N air intake systems can go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be cleaned (under normal highway driving conditions). Follow this link to view complete cleaning instructions.

K&N® High-Flow Air Filters™ can be cleaned and re-oiled using a K&N Recharger® kit as often as is reasonably necessary. K&N drop-in replacement High-Flow Air Filters™ typically require servicing once every 50,000 miles under normal highway driving conditions, and the larger filters included with K&N intake systems can go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be cleaned (under normal highway driving conditions). Follow this link to view complete cleaning instructions.

Once you determine your K&N® High-Flow Air Filter™ needs to be cleaned, K&N® air filter cleaning products help restore your air filter to like-new condition. K&N oiled filters require Recharger® kits. Follow this link to view complete cleaning instructions and available products.

Once you determine your K&N® DRYFLOW® air filter needs to be cleaned, K&N® air filter cleaning products help restore your air filter to like-new condition. There are specific cleaning kits available for non-oiled K&N filters. Follow this link to view complete cleaning instructions and available products.

Most K&N® cotton air filters come from the factory pre-oiled and ready to install. Certain specialty and racing filters are manufactured as un-oiled filters, and will be clearly indicated as such. Synthetic air filters (such as DRYFLOW® air filters) do not utilize filter oil. Please refer to the Product Specifications on the product details page for your air filter to determine if oil is required, or contact customer service.

When servicing your High-Flow Air Filter™, be sure to follow the re-oiling directions carefully. Use only K&N oil, and never saturate the filter. If oil drips from the filter, allow the filter to sit for several minutes until it stops dripping, and then wipe any excess oil from the filter frame. Follow the oiling instructions included in the Recharger® cleaning kit, and contact customer service if you have questions regarding the oiling process. For the required oil quantity by filter part number, enter the part number in the "Search by Part" box on our Application Search Page, and the factory oil amount will be shown.

Refer to our air filter cleaning and re-oiling procedure for details on how to properly oil your filter once it is clean and dry. For the required oil quantity by filter part number, enter the part number in the "Search by Part" box on our Application Search Page, and the factory oil amount will be shown.

If a tube of sealing grease was included with your air filter, the grease must be used during filter installation to ensure a good seal. Use K&N® sealing grease or lithium-based grease as a substitute. Do not use petroleum-based grease, as it may deteriorate the seal on your air filter.

K&N® does not recommend using other detergents or solvents to clean your air filter, and does not recommend applying any other type of oil. Products other than those manufactured by K&N® have not been tested and may deteriorate the performance and filtering ability of your air filter. Follow this link to view K&N® cleaning product options.

K&N® recommends against using compressed air to dry your air filter, as compressed air may rip and tear the filter fibers. Always allow the filter to dry naturally.

K&N® does not recommend the use of brushes to clean air filters, as the bristles from a brush may rip and degrade the filter media.

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