Cleaning Air Filters


How do you guys clean air filters?

I have tried soaking in Simple Green but it looks like that does not get all the oil out.

I have been cleaning with gas and it removes the oil well but over time my filters get orange spots all over. Is this rust or dirt that is not getting washed out all the way?


I use k&n brand filter cleaner. Im sure other brands would work too. Simply spray the filter or foam pre-filter, let it sit for a bit then wash out with water. Works well for me.


Site Supporter
Simple Green let em soak for 10 minutes or so and hose them from the inside out. If your having trouble getting the oil out with simple green I’d say your over oiling.


Site Supporter
I used to have an article up on our website -- I guess it's been taken off of there.
Here's the Reader's Digest version:

Rinse from the inside out with cold water (garden hose or sink sprayer hose works very well.)
Spray exterior of filter with Simple Green (undiluted.)
Let filter set for 10 minutes.
Rinse from inside out with cold water.
Shake/sling the filter out to remove excess water.
Allow to air dry.
Re-oil (at least 24 hours before race day.)
Store spare filters in clean zip-lok bags.

🏁Thanks and God bless,
Brian Carlson
Carlson Racing Engines
Vector Cutz
Carlson Motorsports on Facebook
30 years of service to the karting industry
Linden, IN
I use a Vienna sausage can and clamp it on the filter to keep dirt out then use a small bucket with cleaning solution and swish the filter back and forth to get loose material off. Let it sit in solution to soak then repeat swishing. Dump dirty solution and refill bucket with clean solution and repeat. Dump, then refill bucket with clean water to rinse. Remove can and blow air from inside out to get all excess water off then let sit to dry or use a blow drier. Put can back on to keep dirt out any time filter is not in use. Anytime filter is removed from carb I use the cap from Right Guard deodorant spray to cover carb to keep dirt out.

Dover Power

Carlson pretty well nailed it..
Heres a couple add ons.

**** NEVER use Hi Pressure Air (Air Compressor) or Pressure Washer on gauze type filters.. It will literally rip and put holes in the gauze and will no longer properly filter out the dirt fully.. Same goes for the Foamie Pre Cleaners...


Site Supporter
^ That's right -- and I see someone else in another thread on here suggesting just the opposite. Yikes!
Using compressed air to dry an air filter is a big nokey dokey!
If you need to dry the filter quickly - use a hair drier on a low heat setting - or set the filter in front of a fan.
Lack of preparation on your part should not come into play in proper kart maintenance - but I realize how things can get some times. :)