cleaning the airfilter with soap

i couldnt find the filter cleaner spray so i just used soap and now im not sure if it was such a good idea?? will it hur thte airfilter and allow dirt through but i did wash it all out?? :D:)

Hi Yamahasocal450,

I am no expert, but I don't think using soap on your filter to clean them will be a bad thing. I am not sure you will get all the oil out of the filter but it definately won't hurt it. If all the oil isn't removed I would think that air flow would be your biggest concern.

I use No-Toil and always wash my filters in washing machine with detergent and a bit of the No-Toil cleanser.

What does cause dirt to get through your filter is lack of a good, tacky oil.

Soap is not a factor in this unless of course, you left a lot of it in the filter (didn't rinse out well) and that soapy, flaky crap is allowed to be sucked into your baby. Too much soap left in filter probably wouldn't allow the oil to fully tack to filter causing a back door for dirt so to speak.

Wash on my friend, :)


I use soap all the time. I take some gasoline :), you should use mineral spirits :D, and clean the filter. Then I get a bucket, fill it with water and Simple Green, and wash it again. Blow it dry with some compressed air and oil it up.

Seems to work for me.

I never spend more than about 3 minutes cleaning my filter. One or two quick dunks in gasoline and it looks new. Then I blow it off with compressed air for about 2 minutes. :)


Soap & Water after using the recommended cleaner. It does not harm the glue or foam material.

I definately agree with INDY. Clean the filter in solvent (I just use gas) and then wash it with soap and water (I use liquid dish soap--hand soap works too). If you've never done it, try'll be amazed at how much more crap you get out of it. In fact to prove it to yourself do it in a bucket or in a plugged sink so you can see what was left behind by the solvent alone. It will scare you. Just let it dry good before you re-oil. BTW, the same trick applies to your hands. After washing your hands with a degreaser such as Goop, Fast Orange, etc., wash them with regular bar soap and see how much more crap goes down the drain. Soap is good.


I just dip mine in to my parts cleaning kerosene, squeeze it out then wash with dishsoap. the kerosene breaks down the oil and the soap cleans the filter. I also bought a Twin Air filter so I have 2 and can swap quickly without having to wait for the filter to dry. I realy like the TwinAir filter. Fits better than the stock filter and is not so bulky.

I use kerosene (much less of a chance of a fire than gasoline and easier on your hands if it gets on you) to cut the filter oil, squeeze it out real well, then I use warm water and Dawn dishwashing liquid. You know those commercials about how Dawn cuts grease? Well it does. I used to use whatever we had under the sink and would spend 20 minutes getting the filter clean. With Dawn, it takes about 2 minutes.

(I don't understand how those of you who don't wash the filter in soap and water think you have a clean filter. After I rinse my filter thoroughly in solvent, I always get a crapload of sand coming out in the wash. I use a white plastic dishpan to clean my filters in so I can see if dirt is still coming out. I get probably a half a teaspoon of dirt out of the filter every time during the water wash phase. And the filter looks clean when I start.)

After I wash the filter, I put it on top of the air conditioner unit outside to dry. In 20 minutes it's dry and ready for oil. And then I load it up with cheap 30 weight oil, squeeze it out, slap it on the bike and it's ready to ride. I used to use Bel-Ray filter oil or PJ 1 spray oil, but you have to wait a while for those oils to setup or you risk gumming up the carb. Regular motor oil in the filter allows better air flow and is much cheaper. And that's what my manual says to use.

If you do indeed use 30 weight motor oil, I hope you clean the filter after every ride. The factory manual notwithstanding, motor oil tends to seep to the bottom of the filter fairly quickly. Good filter oil is very tacky once the carrier solvent evaporates and stays in place, i.e. doesn't flow to the bottom of the filter. This is essential for proper filtration.

If you do indeed use 30 weight motor oil, I hope you clean the filter after every ride. The factory manual notwithstanding, motor oil tends to seep to the bottom of the filter fairly quickly.

You know, you'd think that, but I can take my filter out after several rides (if it hasn't been too dusty and I had to put in a clean one because it's caked on the outside) and you get oil on your hands when you push around on the outside. Yes, there is some minor pooling at the bottom of the filter, but not enough to drip off. If you squeeze it on top or the sides, oil comes out between your fingers, even if it's been weeks. IMO, the tacky oil argument holds no water and is perpetuated by "tacky oil" manufacturers to make us spend more money on their products instead of just going by manual recommendations and using the cheap stuff. I was a "tacky oil" disciple too until I saw if for my own eyes. It doesn't make sense anymore to me to spend the extra time and money when 30 weight works perfectly. And to answer any skeptics, I've ridden in extremely dusty conditions and afterwards the inside of the air boot was spotlessly clean so the oil is doing its job.

So I've done 3 oil changes and 4 air-filter cleanings since I got mine in May and I'm about done with that can of 'super-tacky' air filter oil they gave me. If I switch to the "engine mixing oil" they mention in the manual, are we just talking about my same old 20w-50 Yamalube4?

(and to stay on topic I'm liking kerosene and soap & water for the cleaning) :)

Yeah that'll work, but you'll spend less money if you go to Wal-Mart and get the cheapest motor oil. Yamalube is about 3x the price of Quaker State.

I have from time to time just cleaned with Dawn Liquid detergent to just soak out the built up crap.

I use hot water dawn liquid (about an oz) as said mix not to bring up sudds

and just let the filter sit for about an hour or until my hand wont get scaulded.

In the luke warm water just rub and clean and rinse with water. Make sure you rinse it with warm water to get all the sudds out and clean of detergent.

Works great

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