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The Best Way to Clean Air Filter of Your Motorcycle

  • The Best Way to Clean Air Filter of Your Motorcycle
    November 18, 2013

    Depending on your motorcycle make, air filters are available in various forms and in three types of materials – paper, fabric and foam. Motorcycles usually come stocked with the disposable, paper type. The latter two – fabric and foam – are the more expensive versions for they are washable. Some foam air filters can last as much as 50 washes if they are properly handled, maintained and regularly cleaned. Let’s find out what is best way to clean air filter together!

    How to clean motorcycle air filter

    1. Knock off Loose Dirt

    The best way to clean the air filter for your motorcycle, be it fabric or foam, is mostly identical, with the exception of the drying process. In both instances, after you remove the air filter from its housing or air box, you need to knock off any loose dirt, where possible. This allows you to see and more easily access the tight areas that need to be cleaned.

    2. Use an Air Filter Cleaner

    As much as possible, only use manufacturer-recommended air filter cleaner. Gently knead this into your air filter. The purpose of the cleaner is to remove the grime that is lodged inside. Two things to bear in mind when getting the best out of cleaning air filters: avoid heavy corrosive type cleaning chemicals, which will clog and breakdown your filter, and in working in the cleaner, never wring or squeeze your air filter.

    3. Rinse and Wash

    Put your air filter through several rinses of warm water. Then wash it with warm soapy water to degrease it. Do this several times until the wash water no longer looks like dirt road color. Then rinse again.

    4. Dry Thoroughly

    It is important to dry out the air filter thoroughly because any water that is locked in may cause your engine to under perform or worse yet, fail.

    Use an air compressor to dry a foam air filter faster. Alternatively, a fabric air filter will dry faster if you swirl and toss it into mid-air a few times.

    5. Clean the Housing

    While the air filter is left aside to dry further, you can give its housing or air box a good cleaning too. Lightly spray it with a mild soap detergent, let it sit a while before wiping it down a few times with a clean microfiber or wash cloth.

    6. Oil It

    Saturate your dried out air filter with new filter oil. Avoid using too little or too much oil – the former will let dust through and cause premature aging of the engine while the latter will restrict air flow and affect its performance. The last thing on the oiling process is to apply grease to the filter lip and mounting hole to ensure you get a tight seal when you fit back the air filter.

    How to Determine the Best Way to Clean Air Filters

    Whether our motorcycles are for transport or fun or both, it is a reflection of our choice of lifestyle. The best way to clean and detail is thus a personal preference. Nonetheless, you should take into consideration how often they are used, the terrains they are used on and how to best fit their cleaning into your lifestyle.


    There are as many ways to clean your motorcycles as there are motorcycle cleaner brands. Everyone has their preferred way of keeping their vehicle in top shape.

    What are some of the lessons you learned in fine-tuning your process to suit you and your vehicle’s needs? Are there any suggestions and tips we might have missed and you care to share with us?

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