Can You Clean an Air Filter?

oiled air filterCleaning and reusing your air filter is a great way to save money and get maximum performance for your motorcycle, and it’s rare the same thing can both boost performance and save money but in this case, it’s real!  Most of the time…  

Being able to clean your air filter has everything to do with how your air filter is made and what it is made from.  There are 3 types of air filtration mediums used in motorcycle air filter:

  • Paper
  • Fabric
  • Foam

Paper air filters are used because they are inexpensive to manufacture and really do a good job filter tiny particles out the intake charge and make sure the inside of your engine isn’t getting scratched and scored.  The downsides of a paper filter include relatively high differential pressures, susceptibility to tearing which leaves your engine open to damage and they are impossible to clean.  While they may be less expensive to purchase today, you’ll pay for it in lost fuel mileage and regular replacements over the life of your bike.

Fabric filters can be constructed into a panel or cone-shaped filters and function much the same way that paper filters do.  Fabric filters often don’t have quite as fine of a weave as paper filters so they make up for that by using fabric filter oil.  The oil attracts dust and dirt particles as the air flows through the fabric fibers keep your engine safe.  Fabric filters are great because unlike paper filters they are reusable.  Simple clean the fabric with PJ1 Air Filter Cleaner by spraying the cleaner on and simply washing it off.

The last kind of air filters are foam air filters.  Foam air filters offer more filter power for dirtier environments.  While fabric filters may have a few layers of fabric weave for the air to get through the foam offers a much for tortuous flow path for the air which causes heavy particles to get stuck in the foam.  Like a fabric air filter, a foam air filter uses foam filter oil to increase its ability to capture small particles in the air.  When oiling a foam filter, be sure to use oil specific to foam filters and not fabric filters.

Even though foam and fabric air filters use different kinds of oil to increase their filtering abilities, you can clean either type with PJ1 Air Filter Cleaner.  Unlike other cleaners, there is no soaking or scrubbing that can damage your air filter and no harsh chemicals to degrade the filter media or be dangerous to you.  Can you clean an air filter?  Yes, and the right products make it easy!