Quick Reference for Fryer Filter Cleaning

Cleaning the Fryer Filter

Filtering deep fryer oil can produce a better-tasting final product, extend the life of your oil, and remove debris from the process. Experienced chefs often prefer using a filter unit for their frying oil or shortening for these benefits, but keeping the fryer filter clean can be a challenge. This quick-reference guide for how to clean a fryer filter will help you keep your oil fresh for as long as possible, although you should keep in mind that every fryer filter may have specific cleaning instructions that should be followed.

How to Clean a Fryer Filter

After Each Use

Every time you use your fryer filter unit, some small cleaning steps should be taken to ensure the machine is ready to use next time you need it.

  1. Use hot oil to clean the sides of the filter pan as you transfer it. This prevents residue from building up inside the filter pan.
  2. Change the filter paper after each session if your fryer utilizes disposable filters. If you are filtering multiple fryers in a single use of the filter unit, the same filter paper can be used, but check between each use to ensure the paper isn't clogged or blocked, as this could damage the pump.
  3. Clean up spilled oil and wipe down the exterior of the unit.

End of Day

After using your fryer filter for the last time in a day, a thorough cleaning should be done to ensure no residue or debris remains to harden and clog the machine overnight.

  1. Run the filter unit for an extra 30 seconds after air bubbles come from the oil return line. This ensures the pump lines are clear.
  2. Drain the transfer hose as thoroughly as possible.
  3. Discard the used filter paper if your unit uses disposable filters. If not, clean the filter screen.
  4. Wash filter components with hot, soapy water. DO NOT wash inside the filter pan with water! Use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe the filter pan clean.

  5. Dry all filter components before reassembling.
  6. Store the fryer filter unit for the next day's use.

Weekly Cleaning

Some manufacturers recommend an extra-thorough cleaning on a weekly basis. Following appropriate maintenance procedures will keep your filter system running efficiently for as long as possible. Complete the end of day cleaning procedures and then follow these additional procedures for the best results.

  1. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, wipe the filter pan clean of build-up and residue. This prevents the machine from clogging and stops food debris from ending up in your cooking oil. Do not use water or soap in the filter pan.
  2. Clean the area around the fryer and filter with hot water and soap, then rinse thoroughly. Performing this task regularly makes it much easier, as the oil is not allowed to build up for too long.
  3. Check the connections between the filter and hoses to ensure hot oil is not leaked and air isn't permitted to infiltrate the oil.

Tips for Fryer Filter Cleaning

Here are a few other tips to help in operating your fryer filter:

  • Most filter system problems come from a clog somewhere in the process. Check your filter, filter paper, and hose lines for blockages as a first step in troubleshooting.
  • Only operate the filter when the oil is at a useable temperature. The exact temperature will vary depending on your model, but cold oil won't run through a filter and will cause blockages.
  • Filter powder might be needed to keep your filter screen from corroding. Consult your model's instructions regarding filter powder before use.


By following the steps outlined above, regular fryer filter cleaning – which is an integral part of using and maintaining a commercial deep fryer – doesn't have to be a headache. As always, operators should be incredibly careful when operating or cleaning a deep fryer, as the hot oil can cause significant injury from minor lapses in concentration.