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How to Clean a Car A/C Filter (Cabin Filter) and How NOT to

The air conditioner filter, also known as the cabin filter, is one of the most overlooked
And neglected filters in a vehicle. This is mainly because of their more popular;
And critical cousins such as the oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter.

However, if the cabin filter is not regularly cleaned or replaced,
It can make your driving experience extremely unpleasant. A dirty air conditioner filter will not only hinder the HVAC system in your car,
It will also become a breeding ground for different germs and
Bacteria will release an unpleasant musky odor.


The air conditioner filter may not be included in the key components of;
A vehicle but its importance is still that of one.

Reading this may have induced thoughts of cleaning the A/C filter in your mind
And it is a fairly simple job. But if you don’t know how to do it properly,
Then you can end up with the expense of buying a new filter
If you damage the current one during the cleaning process.

Here’s how to properly clean your car’s cabin or air conditioner filter.

How to Clean a Cabin Filter.

To clean the cabin filter in your car,
You will first need to remove it from your vehicle.
The position of the filter can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer or
Model to model,
So, be sure to check the manual of your car to find where it’s located.

It is usually placed behind the glove box or
Underneath your dashboard in most cars but check the owner’s manual or
Online to confirm. Its shape and size may vary depending on the vehicle,
But the general shape of the air conditioner filter is similar to the air filter in your engine but smaller. Typically it’s a rectangular or square frame with a woven fabric filter inside it.

After locating the cabin filter (some vehicles have more than one),
Gently pull it out of its mount and place it on the ground or a work table. You will need an air compressor or another source of compressed air.


Gently hold the cabin filter and blow the air through it. Make sure to blow the air through every slot of the filter so that any dust hiding in any corner of the filter is flushed out. After thoroughly blowing the air through the filter,
Spray it with a spray such as FAB-1 or K&N Filter Refresher.

After spraying it, let it dry for a few minutes and gently place it back into the mount you took it out of. Startup the vehicle and turn on the HVAC system.
So, it’s blow air out of the vents. After a few seconds,
You should notice a big difference in air freshness.

What NOT to Do.

During the cleaning process,
Do not use any cleaning accessories like cleaning brushes or anything like that.
The air conditioner filter is one of the most delicate parts of
The HVAC system and can be easily damaged.

Also, avoid using any detergents. Do not wash with water to clean it.
Washing with water has higher risks of damaging the air conditioner filter and
The filter needs to be air-dried without any other drying systems
Which can take a lot of your precious time.

Besides cleaning the filter, also clean the vents in your dashboard to get the
Most out of the HVAC system in your car.

See More:

A/C Expansion Valve (How it Works, Failure Symptoms, and Replacement Cost)

Ekster EU

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