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The filter for our well water is about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. About every 2 months or so our water stops flowing and we have to change it with a clean one. They are expensive and it is hard to remove the rust and hard water sediment. We used to try soaking them in bleach, then scrub with a toothbrush the best we could. This still didn't clean them.
One day I squirted "Sno-Bowl" toilet cleaner on it. Instantly it was like new. I know it is some kind of acid so then I scrubbed with dish detergent and rinsed. We do this every time now. It also lasts longer than before. We rotate 2, so 1 is always ready.