Originally Posted by snrusnak
Anyone have a substitute for cleaner and oil for a K&N type filter?
I use dawn dish soap to clean foam filters and bar and chain oil to oil them, but am not sure if that's ok on the cotton gauze type filters. It works great on the foam though.
Sean, since K&N first started coming out I've been using gasoline, laundry detergent, and fabric oil for motorcycles in the following manner.
I use just enough gasoline in a shallow container to be able to dunk the exterior portion of the pleats without letting dirty fluid splash on to the clean side of the filter. For a round or conical filter, you rotate the filter slowly, gently tapping it in the container. This cuts the oil and dislodges most of the dirt. Any dirt left in the filter is loosely held. I leave the filter hanging in a safe place to dry during the day or overnight.
Next I get a bucket of lukewarm water with a quality liquid laundry detergent. Vigorously wash the filter completely submerged in the bucket. Next rinse the filter in a bucket of lukewarm clean water. Now rinse the filter with a garden hose in the direction on the pleats from the clean side out through the dirty side. Let it dry completely.
For oiling I use spray on fabric filter oil from motorcycle shops. It's just like K&N oil for the exact same purpose. I usually use Bel-Ray. It's no more expensive and is readily available. I wouldn't use an oil not designed specifically for fabric filters. A little of this goes a long way.
Before some get jerky about the gasoline cleaning step, those of us who have been using K&N style filters from way back will recall that this was an official cleaning method in the old days. Since it's not politically correct anymore, and lawyers have made their millions on the backs of idiots doing stupid things in the presence of volatile liquids, K&N changed methods years ago. I tried the Al Gore approved methods of different kinds, but frankly nothing cuts the oil and crud like gasoline. When my filters are through this process, they are amazingly clean. And to be environmentally friendly, I pour the small amount of gasoline used into my oil recycling container to be disposed of appropriately.
On my longest use K&N filter, I got 300,000 miles out of a large round version on a full size '89 GMC Jimmy that I sold when I bought the Express. I've always been skeptical about their million mile promise, but at 1/3 of that, my Jimmy's filter was still in excellent condition.