cleaning air filters on 2 cycle equip...

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by gogetter, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    How do you guys go about cleaning the air filters on your 2 cycle stuff?
    The manual for my Shin handheld blower says to clean the filter in "clean fuel". First, do they mean 2 cycle fuel, or straight gas?

    Then in my manual for my Poulan Pro backpack blower it specifically says " do NOT use gas or other flammable solvent" to avoid risk of fire.

    So, what's right?
  2. I've always used hot water and dishwashing soap.
  3. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    I blow them out with a compressor. Just make sure you blow from the inside out.
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    The weird thing is that the manual for my Shin trimmers (T-230's) says soap and water (as well as the manuals for all my other 2 cycle equip), it's only the handheld blower that says use "clean fuel" to clean the air filter. Seems strange.

    I'll stick to soap and water and blowing them out (although I really need to get that air compressor as I don't think I'm blowing hard enough and it's making me light headed! LOL).
  5. :laugh: :laugh:

    I know the old foam air filters (before paper) on 4 strokes said to clean with solvent before re-oiling. Is you blower older model?

    Can't see where soap and water would cause harm as long as you dry it well first.
  6. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    We replace the filter/paper air cleaners. The stihl BR400 back packs and cut TS 420 saw get the pre cleaners washed out/rinsed out with water/soap. If we're desparate we'll blow out a paper element until we get the replacement within a day or two.

    For foam pre cleaners we rinse/wash in 2 cy gas and then lightly oil to trap dirt from passing through as readily to the paper element.
  7. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    For the big foamy filters I soak it with motor oil, then wring it out really good, since the oil traps dirt, it takes all the dirt out with it.
    Clean fuel? I wouldnt do that.
    For everything else I just blast it with my air compressor, it works great. And when I really want to pamper them I use Air Filter Cleaner, made by KCM. Then I oil them all with Air Filter oil. Hope this helps :cool:
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Paper, if it's visibly dirty, replace w/ new or blow out and replace.

    Foam, I use either gas, gas and oil mix, let dry, re-oil and replace.
    or soapy water, dry, re-oil and replace.

    Works for me.

  9. dynodp1

    dynodp1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I thought for sure someone would mention its not the best idea to blow out those paper style filter b/c its very easy to tear it and not notice that you've done so,,, use lower pressure if you have to blow compressed air on it...
    to clean pre cleaner <foam> i'll washed them in solvent cleaning out all old dirt and oil.... then warm water and soap to rinse out the solvent, then reoil
  10. Jeffsmowing

    Jeffsmowing LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 13

    Use hot wate and dish soap, dry than pour some motor oil on the foam filter and dab it with a paper towel to remove excess oil. And don't wash your filters in the kitchen sink...I always get yelled at for doing that.

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