How to Clean Lint from an Electrostatic Air Filter


Rick asked: “How can I clean lint from an electrostatic air conditioner filter? We have an Air-Care Electra Silver 9400 Anti-Microbial Electrostatic Air Filter in our overhead vent.

Electrostatic air filters offer high quality air filtration to remove even the tiniest particles from the air and keep them from entering your home. With simple maintenance, they will last for many years. While dust is easily washed out from the filter, lint can become more firmly attached to the metal components. Here is a cleaning method to remove both the dust and lint from your filter and keep it running strong.

You Will Need:

  • Soft scrub brush
  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment
  • Running water
  • ZAP! Cleaner (specially designed for electrostatic filters)

Cleaning Electrostatic Filters:

  1. Remove the filter from the vent and take it to a space with running water and plenty of space. Outdoors often works best using a hose to spray the water.
  2. Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to gently remove dust and dirt while the filter is still dry. Start with the dirty side of the filter first to avoid pushing the dirt further into the air filter. This vacuuming will also help to loosen any lint that is stuck in the filter.
  3. Once the loose dirt and lint has been removed, turn the filter over and spray water through the filter in the opposite direction of air flow. A spray nozzle on a hose works well for this. Be cautious not to use too much force with the water as it may damage the filter.
  4. Spray with ZAP! Cleaner and use the soft brush to gently brush the areas where dirt and lint remains.
  5. Rinse the filter thoroughly, again spraying water through the filter in the opposite direction of the air flow.
  6. Allow the water to drain out. Shaking the filter gently will help to remove excess water.
  7. Allow the filter to air dry completely before reinstalling.

Additional Tips and Advice:

  • Be sure your system is off and no air is being pulled through the vent before removing the filter. Dust and debris will be freely pulled into the system, potentially damaging it, and then re-circulated throughout your home without the protection of the filter.
  • Generally, filters should be cleaned monthly for top performance.
  • Neglecting to maintain your filter may cause a breakdown in your system or start a fire. Be diligent!
  • If there is still excessive amount of lint after vacuuming and washing the filter, it may need to be cleaned more often than monthly. In some areas, there are higher levels of dust and dirt in the air that build up more quickly making more frequent cleanings a necessity.


  1. Jessica says:

    Where do I find this Zap! cleaner? Does anybody know the website? Thanks,

  2. Melanie says:

    I found the cleaner for sale online via Amazon, eBay, etc.; do a search for “Zap! Electrostatic Air Filter Cleaner.”
    However, this is the company website: Air-Care is the maker. There is also a video tutorial for cleaning the filters with the Zap! cleaner on their website.

  3. Kevin says:

    When vacuuming the filter with a soft brush attachment, you clean the side opposite of the airflow side (that’s the dirty side), but do you vacuum the other side too?

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