How To Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter Like A Pro?

Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter Like A Pro

The air filter of a dirt bike is a small but very important part. It prevents dirt and debris from entering the engine. If you want optimum performance, you need to change it periodically as a dirty air filter cannot stop dust and debris from entering your motorcycle’s engine.

Cleaning the air filters is an inexpensive method to keep the engine running smoothly. In this article, I will discuss how to clean a dirt bike air filter without removing it.

Not only that, but I will also make sure that the guide is simple and easy so that even if you are a beginner, you don’t face any hassles.

7 Steps To Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter: A Complete Step By Step Guide

If you’re a dirt biker, chances are you will require a cleaning of the air filter very soon. It’s a pretty simple process that you may be able to complete in about 1 hour or less. Let’s head to the guide without wasting any more time.

Step 1: Preparations Before the Cleaning

Before starting the cleaning process, you have to prepare some items like:

  • Air Filter Cleaning Solution or Cleaner Spray or kerosene or WD-40 or water,
  • Air Filter Oil or 1-liter bottle of vegetable oil,
  • An old toothbrush or a rag,
  • Soap solution.

Step 2: Remove the Air Filter

You have to remove the air filter from your bike first. The air filter is usually located under your seat in a plastic box. To get to it, you’ll need to remove the side panels or the whole plastic bodywork of your bike (depending on the make and model). Unscrew the box, and you’ll see the air filter inside.

Step 3: Give the Air Filter the First Cleaning

Take out the filter, give it a first cleaning by using the rag and the brush, and remove all the dirt you can see by hand. Do not apply any chemicals at this stage. You can use water, but only if you have a foam filter. Cotton filters shouldn’t be washed with water.

Step 4: Use the Cleaning Solution

Once all the visible dirt is removed by hand, you can start using a specific product for your type of filter. There are many products in the market for dirt bike filters, but you should always check what type of filter you have before buying one. 

The cleaning material you bought from the market will have specific instructions. It will be best if you follow them. However, the rule of thumb is not to press the filter very hard while cleaning it with a solution. Let your hands work less and the cleaner the most.

Step 5: Let the Filter Dry

After the cleaning process is done, it is time to let the air filter dry. You should not forget that you can’t use a hairdryer, laundry drier, heat gun, or anything like that. That means you should not start cleaning your air filter if you are in a hurry with your dirt bike.

Step 6: Oil the Air Filter Up

The air filter is completely dry after the cleaning. Don’t just go and reinstall the filter. You have to wait a little while and oil the filter before reinstalling it. This is one of the crucial things to remember. Failure to do this will result in a dry filter and dirt getting past it and into the engine. Filter oil works best in this case.

Step 7: Make Everything Tip-Top

Now you have to put the air filter back into its previous position. Add some grease to the filter cage of the air filter. It will help delay the decay of the air filter’s cage and ensure more longevity.

6 Easy Steps To Clean A Dirt Bike Air Filter With Gas:

It is a great idea to clean your air filter at least once every couple of rides. This process can be very messy, though, especially if you are using gas or some other cleaning agents like Maxima or No-Toil. Without any further ado, let’s have a look at the steps to follow while cleaning a dirt bike air filter with gas:

Step 1: Get the Air Filter Out

The first thing you need to do is take the air filter out of your dirt bike. To do this, you will need a flat head screwdriver and a pair of pliers. You may need to remove the entire body of your bike to get to the air filter or just the airbox, depending on the model of your dirt bike. 

Step 2: Place the Air Filter Over Something Safe

Once you have removed the air filter, make sure you place it on some newspaper or something similar that will catch any dirt and oil. In this way, you will make sure that no dirty or greasy thing spoils over anything important of yours. Why take the risk when taking a small precaution can save the day? 

Step 3: Gather a Container

Now you have to gather a container that can easily fit your entire air filter. Put the air filter inside the container. The idea behind getting a container is to fit the entire air filter within the container. By doing this, you can ensure a smooth mixture of gas and air filter which will be necessary to clean the air filter properly. 

Step 4: Pour Gas into the Container

After that, pour some gas into the container and put your finger over the top. You will need to put your finger over the top so that the gas doesn’t leave the container right after you put it inside the container. Keeping the gas inside the container is very important as you are cleaning the air filter with gas. 

Step 5: Shake the Container Well

Shake the container around vigorously so that the gas comes into contact with all areas of your air filter. After a few minutes of shaking, you should see that most of the dirt has been removed from your air filter. If you are not happy with the results, shake the container again for one or two minutes. 

Step 6: Leave the Container for a While

Once you are finished doing the shaking, cover your container and then allow it to sit for an hour or two so that all of the dirt settles at the bottom. Now you can easily take out the clean air filter from the container. Replace the filter at its place. Your dirt bike is ready to go again!

Common Problems With Dirty Air Filters And How To Prevent Them

All dirt bikes and motorcycles, in general, use air filters to keep dirt and dust from getting inside their engines. This means that air filters have an extremely important role to play, but they also need frequent maintenance.

The following are some of the most common problems associated with dirt bike air filters (and how you can prevent them):

Dirt Bike Air Filter is Clogged

If your air filter gets dirty, you may need to replace it. However, if it is simply clogged up with debris or oil, you may be able to clean it instead. You can clean the air filter with water, compressed air, or with a specialized cleaning solution. If you can manage, a cleaning solution is the best recommendation from me.

Dirt Bike Air Filter Doesn’t Fit Right

This is probably one of the easiest problems to spot. You can tell if an air filter doesn’t fit right when there are large gaps between the filter and your carburetor.

To prevent this problem, you should make sure that you buy a genuine OEM replacement air filter. 

Or, if you buy an aftermarket one, make sure that it was made specifically for your bike model and year of production.

A Dry Air Filter

Air filters also need lubrication. If you’re checking off all the maintenance items on your pre-ride checklist, you may notice that your air filter looks clean, but it feels different. That difference is usually because the air filter is dry.

The best solution to this specific problem is oil. You can use any type of filter oil, but a model-matched one will be the best choice.

Air Leaks

If your air filter is not installed properly, it can cause air leaks which allow dust and debris to enter the engine. This is especially true with foam-type filters, where the seal can be compromised easily if it is over-oiled or if the foam gets compressed when installing the filter cage.

You will need to tighten all of your bolts, clamps, and hose connections until this sound goes away. Be careful not to overtighten as this can cause other problems such as stripping threads or breaking housings.

Tips For Keeping Your Air Filter In Good Condition

It is one of the easiest parts to maintain, but many riders overlook their dirt bike air filters. Here are some tips for keeping your dirt bike air filter in good condition.

Check It Regularly

You should inspect your air filter every time you ride, ideally before and after each ride. That way, if you notice any build-up of dust or debris, you can clean it straight away and avoid causing damage to the engine.

Clean It Regularly

Ideally, you should clean your dirt bike air filter every twice or thrice or so, depending on how much you use it. How much cleaning you need also depends on the condition of the weather in the area you live in.  When riding your dirt bike in sandy conditions, you must clean the air filter after every ride.

Use a Filter Cleaner

Use a filter cleaner. You don’t need an expensive cleaner for dirt bike air filters; in fact, grease or oil won’t do any good for your filter. You should use a cleaner specifically designed for air filters so that it will remove grime and dirt without harming the filter material.

Don’t Drive Your Dirt Bike Very Rough

Don’t hit your dirt bike too hard. If you hit your dirt bike hard enough, it will knock out some of the dirt from the air filter to the inside of your bike’s engine. And I am sure you don’t want that. If you don’t want that to happen, you must be sincere about your speed and driving nature while riding a dirt bike. 

Follow the Instructions While Replacing the Filter

If you need to replace your air filter, make sure that you follow the instructions on removing the old one and installing the new one. Don’t be impatient and don’t just go with the flow. This will help prevent any problems with your new air filter in the future. 

Related Questions About How To Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter

Why Should You Clean Your Dirt Bike Air Filter? 

The air filter is an essential part of the dirt bike’s engine. It ensures that no debris and dust enters the engine, which can cause significant damage to a dirt bike. A dirty air filter can lead to a clogged carburetor, which will lead to the engine running rough and potentially failing.

Some bikes have a foam filter, while others have a paper or plastic filter. No matter what type it is, the air filter needs to be clean to keep the engine running at its best. Dirt will get through the filter and into the engine if the filter is too dirty.

The amount of time between maintenance depends on how much you ride, where you ride, and what type of terrain you ride on. When riding in dusty conditions, it is recommended that your air filter be cleaned after every ride. A good quality air filter will be able to last longer between cleans than those of lesser quality.

In general, though, you should check your air filter every time, and you change your oil. If it isn’t dirty enough to warrant a cleaning at that time, check it again after 10 hours of riding time.

What Can You Use To Clean A Dirt Bike Air Filter?

There are a lot of different ways to clean your dirt bike air filter. These include water, an air compressor, and a dedicated air filter cleaner. If the air filter is not super-duper filthy, all you need is some dishwashing soap and a bucket of warm water. 

Most people use hot water, and that’s fine, but I’ve found that warm water works just as well. The bright side of using warm water is that it is not so hot that it might damage the glue on the filter element.

Using an air compressor to blow out dirt might work out well too, but it may not get all of the dirt out, especially if it has been a while since you last cleaned the filter. This can lead to performance issues down the road. So, be careful when you use this method.

The best way to clean an air filter is by using an air filter cleaner spray made specifically for cleaning dirt bike air filters. You can easily get a good product on Amazon or Ebay.

How Often To Clean Dirt Bike Air Filter

How often you need to clean your dirt bike air filter depends on various factors. These include how much riding you do, where you ride, and whether the air filter is a foam or paper type.

So if you’re a regular rider, I recommend cleaning the air filter after every ride. This is the most important maintenance task to keep your engine running smoothly. Rides less than two or three times a week are fine.

Making sure that it is completely dry and properly oiled before refitting it is just as important as cleaning it regularly. If you use water to clean the filter, make sure that it has been dried properly. 

Otherwise, the wet (water residue) foam or paper will cause the engine to run poorly. The most important thing is to check your air filter frequently and clean it if needed.

Can You Wash Your Dirt Bike Air Filter?

You can, but you need a specific product to clean the dirt bike filter. The reason for using a product is that it will clean the filter and lubricate the foam so that it does not dry up and crack. I hope now you understand why. If you do not have a product, then use water and dish soap.

Does Dish Soap Work On Dirt Bike Air Filters?

Dish soap has excellent oil removing properties, which will make sure that your dirt bike air filter gets cleaned properly. You should be careful when washing the dirt bike filter with dish soap as it may leave residues on the surface or in the pores of the foam. So yes, you can clean your dirt bike air filter with dish soap. 

How Do You Clean Your Bike Air Filter at Home?

Well, if you’re wondering how to clean your bike air filter at home, the best way is to put it in soapy water and wash it gently. Make sure that you don’t rub it too hard or press it too much. Use a soft brush for scrubbing. And make sure that you don’t soak your foam filter in water for a long time.

How Long Does It Take For A Dirt Bike Air Filter To Dry?

Cleaning an air filter takes less than an hour if you do it right. First, remove the airbox and set it aside somewhere safe. Next, spray your dirt bike air filter with a degreaser or soap and water solution. 

Let this sit for five minutes before scrubbing lightly with a soft brush. Rinse the filter thoroughly under warm water. Dry it in a sunny spot outside or with a hairdryer on low heat until completely dry (usually about thirty minutes). When finished, reinstall your air filter and enjoy!


The air filter is one of the essential parts of your dirt bike. It serves as a filter to get rid of any harmful particles in the air that may enter your dirt bike’s engine. 

Even if you are a first-timer and don’t know how to clean a dirt bike air filter, it is pretty easy and does not take much time or effort. With a little preparation and some elbow grease, you can have your bike running like new in no time!

Check out more cleaning tips for your amazing bike:

How To Clean Dirt Bike Chain? [A Step-by-step Guide]

How To Get Scratches Out Of Dirt Bike Plastics?

Md. Saifur Rahman

Dirt bike riding was a fascination for Saifur since he was a child. Later that fascination turned into a passion and his profession. Apparently, it may seem that tips and tricks are useless for bike riding sometimes, but you may find them really useful after reading his blogs. Saifur is a regular rider.

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