How to Clean Tri-X Filters In A Dish Washer


Table of Contents

Overview - what is a Tri-X

Tri-X Filters are gaining in popularity due to their unique ceramic design which allows it to filter twice as efficiently as a standard paper filter. They have a life expectancy of up to 5 years with proper maintenance.

They are able to be used as a direct replacement for most paper/fabric filter cartridges on Hot Spring Highlife models from 1997 to current, even if it originally came with a different filter. This filter comes standard on current Hot Spring Models: Grandee, Vista, Envoy and Aria.

This filter has amazing abilities. However it’s ceramic design makes people wonder how to clean it and how often to clean it. The good news is that cleaning Tri-X filters can be easier than cleaning any other filter, since half the work can be done by a dishwasher (unless your spa is using Baqua Spa water care products).

Tri-X Benefits

  • Saves Money:
    • One Tri-X Filter will last longer then 4 regular filters with proper maintenance
  • Easy to clean
    • This ceramic filter can be cleaned with a garden hose or dishwasher
  • Twice as efficient
    • The ceramic filter material is twice as efficient as a paper filter/fiber.
  • Long Lasting
    • Tri-X filters last up to 5 years if properly maintained.

How Often do I Clean a Tri-X Filter

Before we go into how to clean the filters we should discuss how often the filters should be cleaned. Tri-X filters should be cleaned regularly to maintain water clarity. How regularly will depend on four things.

  1. How often is the spa used
  2. How Many people get in the spa.
  3. Do people get in with lotions or cosmetics will increase how often the filters will need to be cleaned.
    • If yes, you’ll need to clean more regularly (every 2 weeks)
  4. How much dust, dirt, leafs, etc that get in when the cover is open will also have an impact.

All of these things determine the appropriate time between filter cleanings. With that being said, with normal use, a filter should be rinsed every two to three weeks and cleaned with filter cleaner once a month and each time you drain and refill your spa.

How to remove a Tri-X for cleaning

  1. Turn off power to the hot tub (unless you have a second set of clean filter to put in immediately to prevent damage to the pumps and heater)
  2. Remove the filter lid
  3. Unscrew the filter cap (located on the top of the filter).
    • Caution: Do not remove the filter standpipe while removing the cap. If the standpipe is accidentally unscrewed while removing the filter cap, immediately screw the standpipe back into the spa.
    • Standpipes should never be removed while water is in the spas as objects could get into the plumbing.
  4. Remove the filters
  5. replace the filter cover back into place and close the spa’s cover while cleaning the filters. It is very important that nothing gets sucked into the pipes while the filters are being cleaned.


The diagram below shows the filter components mentioned in this section.

The Two steps of cleaning a Tri-X filter

There are two parts to keeping your filter clean. First is removing things from the surface of the filter. Typically, a filter should be sprayed off with a garden hose to remove the leafs and dirt on it one or two times a month with additional rinsing as needed.

The alternative to using a garden hose for a Tri-X filter is to put it in a dishwasher. If it is not yet time to use a chemical filter cleaner, the filter can go back into the spa after being sprayed off or washed in the dishwasher.

The second part of cleaning the filter is removing the oils from the filter that come from skin, lotions, or cosmetics that clog up the filter’s pores and prevent it from keeping your water clean and clear. This also removes mineral buildup from the water when combined with using a metal and scale product, preventing a white calcium line from forming on your tub.

Metal and scale control products will bind with calcium and make it big enough for the filter to catch. A chemical cleaner then removes this calcium from the filter.

A chemical cleaning should be done at least once a month with either a spray on or soaking filter cleaner. The chemical cleaning should always be done after cleaning the filter by spraying with a garden hose or washing it in the dish washer.

The two steps of the cleaning process are discussed in greater detail below.

Step 1: Cleaning the filter's surface

This step should be done every two to three weeks. A Tri-X Filter is unique in that there are two ways you can clean your filter

  1. Using a garden hose
  2. Using a dishwasher (Depending on what chemical system you use)

Method 1: The Garden Hose

Rinsing your filter with a garden hose is the quickest and a very reliable method.

To clean using a garden hose:

  1. Remove the filters from the spa.
  2. Either hold the filter in the air or place on a clean surface.
  3. Rotate the filter while using the garden hose to spray the inside and outside to make sure the filter is clean.
  4. Either place the filter on a clean surface until you’re ready to clean with filter cleaner (Step 2) or put it back in the spa.

The use of either a Filter Flosser, or PowerPic Reach will make this job significantly easier than trying to use a garden hose. They work by directing the water into streams that are specifically designed for use with spa filters to remove stuck on debris.

Method 2: Using a Dishwasher

Once a month, place the Tri-X Filter into the dishwasher to clean the surface of the filter.

To clean using a dishwasher:

  1. Remove the filters from the spa.
  2. Do a quick rinse in the sink
  3. Place the filters in the dishwasher with no soap and make sure the drying cycle is turned off.
    • Some dishwashers do not have the option to turn off the heating cycle so you will need to check to see if yours has the option.

Things to think abour before using a Dishwasher:

Dishwasher detergents and rinse agents, such as Jet Dry, can be harmful to the filter if used while cleaning the filter in the dishwasher.

If the dishwasher is unable to completely clean the outside of the filter or you decide not to use the dish washer, you will need to use the garden hose method above.


BAQUASPA NOTE: If the spa water is maintained with Baqua Spa Water Care products, you must use a garden hose and cannot place the filters in the dishwasher. Additionally, for step 2 you must use Baqua Spa Filter Cleaner.

Step 2: Removing Oils from the filter

Rinsing a  filter will not remove oils that are clogging up the pores of the filter. That is where this step comes in.

To maintain crystal clear water, we recommend cleaning the Tri-X filter using a filter cleaner such as Freshwater Instant Filter Cleaner. Filter Cleaners are needed to remove minerals that buildup every time you drain or refill your spa and oils from your skin or any cosmetics/lotions that get into the spa.

Be sure to rinse your filter thoroughly before placing the filter back in the spa to prevent suds from forming in the spa water.

This step cannot be completed using a dishwasher for the rinsing. You will need to use a garden hose. 

How to reinstall a Tri-X Filter in a hot tub

To reinstall the filters after cleaning, replace the filters on the standpipes and screw the filter caps back onto the standpipes to lock the filters back into place. Then put the filter lid back into place.

The Tri-X can be placed onto the standpipes with either side facing up. There is no wrong way.

Note: Do not over-tighten filter cap as this could cause the standpipe to become unscrewed during the next filter removal.

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