AEM Dryflow Filter Cleaning

I just dropped the car off at the shop for 30k love (since I can’t do any sort of trans flushes and such at home…) but figured they wouldn’t clean the aftermarket air filter, and I’d rather do it myself, plus the car was overall way too dirty yesterday, so I decided to show it some love!

The Cleaning bottles come with instructions on them, so this is really just for fun and easy reference if you want to know what’s entailed in doing this.

Things you will need:
1 Dryflow filter, removed from your CAI/SRI (if you don’t know how to do this, search for the install DIYs and work backwards)
1 AEM Cleaning kit, available online
- $15 including shipping
1 pot, a little taller and a little wider than the filter (one that no one cooks in preferably), or any comparable thing… a bucket, etc.
1 working sink for water
and about 30 minutes to clean, and however long it takes to dry the filter – plan on not going anywhere for about half a day.
optional: 1 blow dryer stolen from your girlfriend/mom/cross-dressing kit to speed up the drying.

Step 1: Gather your materials -
1 dirty filter, and a pot (in the corner there)

cleaning kit (comes with 2 of these bottles)

And I did mine inside, so I got a beach towel to sit underneath the pot and catch any extra stuff

Step 2: Measure the filter and fill the pot-
If yours is like mine, it’s roughly 4.75″ tall (measure only the media, the water should not be higher than that (of course it will come a little higher, but should not flow into the neck) and, my filter, which is for a COSMO SRI has a 2.75″ inlet – everyone who wants a dryflow and owns a cosmo sri – buy this size.

Measuring the filter:

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Fill a pot with water to a little bit below that height – I filled mine to about 5″ the first time, and a little less the second. You will be adding the cleaning solution to the water, so leave a little room for that:
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Step 3: Add your handy cleaning solution, submerge the filter, go poop.

Poor your handy bottle into your pot full of beautiful water, and then gently let the filter submerge itself (the material sort of absorbs the water as it goes in) – LEAVE THE NECK out of the water and facing up.
Like so:
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Now, go take a poop – the filter needs to sit for 10 minutes. After that’s done, you need to agitate the filter in the water for a few minutes to knock off the dirt – the bottle suggests rotating it back and forth, which works well, and I suggest also gently rocking it while knocking the filter against the bottom of the pot to get some extra agitating action going. When your bored of that…

Step 4: Remove filter, empty pot, refill with clean water and repeat step 3
The kit conveniently comes with 2 bottles, so you should remove the filter, empty the pot, add some more clean water, and then add in the second bottle, at let the 2 empty souls hang out:

and let it sit again for 10 minutes:
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In my second 10 minutes, I pulled my carpets out of the car, and vacuumed them, see:
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When that’s all done, agitate the filter some more – the same as in step 3. Then proceed to…

Step 5: Remove filter, empty pot, refill with nice clean water
Put the filter in to your pot full of clean water (rinse it out after dumping the solution, and then fill it), let it soak a little (like a minute) then agitate a bunch to clean it all out and get rid of the soap and any extra dirt.

By now, you have a clean but soaking wet filter… So:
Step 6: Drying
I set mine in front of an AC vent for a while, because while it was a joyful 90 degrees yesterday – leaving it outside where it would get dirty again sounded like a bad idea:
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After about 2 hours of cleaning the rest of the car inside and out, and doing my mom’s car too – it was still wet! Thus, god gave men women who need blow dryers.

Step 7: Tired of waiting, hurry up and dry
Get a blow dryer, your filter, and I needed a shirt to seal off the filter (you’ll see why) since the dryer was narrower than the gigantic filter inlet. (sorry the shirt isn’t in this picture – i think we all know what they look like)
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Next, insert into the filter, much like say… well, you watch the discovery channel, right?
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When you discover the meaning of “hotdog in a hallway” and all the hot air you’re trying to force into the filter just comes back out…

Seal it off with a shirt (tuck the shirt, or cloth into the inlet to wedge the dryer in there and keep any air from coming back out), lean it against something, and let it run – this dryer had both a “warm” and “hot” setting – I opted for warm.

Go into another room while it’s running, and watch some Family Guy… it took about 20 minutes of hot steamy dryer sex for the filter to be dry to the touch, so I set it out by the A/C vent again until I needed to put it back just to make extra sure it was dry.

Step 100: Reinstall
At midnight when you have to take your girlfriend back home – reinstall the filter. No pictures, because, well… it was midnight. And if you got it off, you can put it back on.

Now with your shiny new filter, you, and your engine, can enjoy a nice sigh.

Disclaimer: if you’re an idiot, and you apply oil to your dryflow filter, or buy this kit and follow these instructions on your non-dryflow filter… when your engine explodes, we call that survival of the fittest.


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