Homemade K&N Filter Oil Cleaning Without The Recharge Kit

dr Drashco
dr Drashco Cars

Today I'm going to show you how to clean your K&N air filter with just some simple household products like "simple green" (all-purpose cleaner), some soapy water, and a WD-40.

Don't forget that regular maintenance of the air filter is crucial for proper functioning of the car intake system. 

Here is the truth about homemade K&N filter cleaning without kit:

When K&N first came out, there were no fancy filter oils. Same with foam air filters.

So the question is:

How to Clean K&N Air Filter Without Kit

Basically, if there is nothing better available at hand, you can use ordinary dish soap.

The main trick is to do it carefully and gently as the filter is made of thousands of microscopic cotton fibers.

Cleaning K&N air filter with dish soap is a good enough solution if you are able to do it thoroughly until you remove all remaining dirt buildup. 

Then use any heavyweight motor oil for re-coating. I've cleaned mine in WD40 a few times, no issues.

However, the next method on my list proved to be even more efficient than dish soap.

Read carefully...

Cleaning K&N Air Filter with Simple Green

Instead of buying a $35 recharge kit from K&N, we're just going to go ahead and clean it with the "simple green" and oil it up at the WD-40.

So let's dive right into details on how to perform homemade K&N filter oil cleaning.

Homemade K&N Filter Oil Cleaning

As a first step, you have to remove the air filter from the car.

Mine came out of a Jeep Wrangler, so it's pretty dirty and desperately in need of cleaning, so I'm gonna go ahead and run the water.

Run the cold water and go ahead and run it underneath the filter.

It gets about full coverage here front to back; shake it out and go ahead with a "simple green".

Make sure you're using the mist, not the stream.

Start spraying this down simple greens are good there's kind of a light degreaser clean you're good for about a lot of things.

So, let me go ahead and use a tiny sprite nozzle here and see what we can get out of the thing around. Once this part is finished, rinse out the "simple green".

I'm gonna use some soapy water; this is the old Dawn, and Dawn mixes some water. Just go ahead and cover it again, just like you did with the "simple green".

Now rinse it once again.

You can already tell the dirt is coming quite a bit lighter than before. We're gonna go ahead and let this dry out, then we can do the oil.

So I went ahead another airfield to dry under a fan for about 45 minutes, and it's pretty good, so we're gonna go ahead and take our WD-40. First, give it a little shake, and just give it a nice little even coat.

So flip it over like you're painting it on. Let me go ahead and do another coat of it just so we can make sure it's completely covered front and back.

All right, that's how you recharge your K&N air filter oil with just some simple homemade products without spending the extra money on that K&N air filter recharge kit.

How to Extend the K&N Air Filter Cleaning Period?

People use certain tricks to extend significantly the need to clean the air filter.

For example, you can apply a cover on the K&N filter with gauze oiled cotton, making it a pre-filter to keep the big stuff off. Then simply replace the gauze when it gets dirty. It is much smaller and easy to clean.

Some people install the pre-filter screens. These work well to keep sand and big chunks away. Pre-filter screens are sold by K&N and many others.

Homemade K&N Filter Oil Cleaning Q&A

  1. How to clean K&N air filter without kit?
  2. What can I use to oil my K&N air filter?
  3. Can I use cooking oil on my air filter?
  4. What is K&N filter cleaner made of?
  5. Do you have to put oil on a K&N air filter?
  6. Can you use wd40 as air filter oil?
  7. Do you have to oil k&n air filters?
  8. Any recommendations on over-the-counter stuff to buy for a cleaner and oil?
  9. What household product can i use to clean k&n air filter?
  10. Would a simple spray bottle of degreaser work?

Answer on Cleaning

For people using K+N filters on cars and bikes, feel free to use dishwashing detergent and warm(ish) water if possible to clean them up. Although cleaning K&N air filter with dish soap is a good solution, for car filters I can recommend cleaning k&n air filter with simple green.

Or you can clean them with Woolite, which worked remarkably well. Dawn foam is a far better de-greaser than Woolite, as for home use items. 

Actually, using any industrial or even a kitchen degreaser for cleaning would do the job.

Answer on Oiling

The motor oil you use at oil changes will do the job. 

Or you can oil it with ATF (because it's nice and red), similar to the K&N branded stuff. I have always wondered if K&N & ATF oil were the same thing?!

Some people use a plain 30W oil, but 90W would work too.

As an alternative to oil, you can use the WD-40 spray.