DPF systems can be found on most modern diesels and they trap and hold any harmful emissions. The stored deposits are eventually burnt off at high temperatures and this is a process called DPF regeneration. This process usually happens at speeds over 50 MPH but if you don’t achieve these speeds regularly, it can lead to the DPF becoming blocked. This is where a DPF cleaner becomes useful because it’s designed to clear the deposits blocking the filter.
After having trouble myself with a blocked DPF in the past, we have since always used DPF cleaners. Over the years, we have tested a number of formulas (such as the photo we took above). Therefore, along with our own experience and plenty of research, we are able to rate and recommend a number of DPF cleaners.
If you are looking for a quick answer, the best DPF cleaner is the Forte DPF Formula, which is suitable for all diesel engines and aids passive regeneration of the DPF. However, if you are able to spray the cleaner directly into the diesel particulate filter, the K2 DPF Spray is the best alternative.
Best DPF Cleaner Overview
- Best Overall: Forte DPF
- Best For Regular Use: Millers Oils Cleaner
- Best All-Rounder: Wynn’s WY28272
- Best Professional: K2 Additive
- Best For City Driving: Redex Additive
- Best Budget: STP Cleaner
It’s important to note that the formulas need to be used in accordance with their instructions for the best results. Some may require regular use every 3,000 miles in order to clear trapped soot that’s clogging up the filter.
If you have been using the cleaner and there is no difference, we advise that you connect your car to an OBD2 scanner to confirm that the filter is actually blocked.
Below is a list of the best DPF cleaners that clear trapped soot and aid the regeneration of the DPF system.
The Best DPF Cleaner
1. Best Overall: Forte DPF Cleaner and Regenerator
By far the most popular DPF cleaner is the Forte formula and for good reason too. It’s compatible with all diesel engines and is designed to aid the passive regeneration of the diesel particulate filter.
The brand recommends that you completely fill the fuel tank and then pour the whole formula into the tank afterwards.
Although expensive, the Forte DPF cleaner is a highly rated formula that won’t disappoint. If you have experienced the dreaded warning light or limp mode, this cleaner may solve your issues when used every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
2. Best For Regular Use: Millers Oils Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner
The Millers diesel particulate filter cleaner is another premium option that’s available in a 250 ml bottle. According to the brand, it’s designed to clean the system and restore engine power as well as fuel economy.
In terms of using this cleaner, the whole bottle treats 60 litres of diesel and as a preventative measure, it should be used every 2,000 miles.
The Millers DPF cleaner is a high quality option that can be used regularly to maintain a cleaner and more efficient DPF. The formula is also backed by the reputable Millers brand, who have a great reputation in the UK.
3. Best All-Rounder: Wynn’s WY28272 DPF Cleaner
Wynn’s is a highly rated brand in the UK that produces a number of specialist chemical treatments. Their diesel particulate filter cleaner is designed specifically for city driving cycles and provides ultra-fast results.
For the best results, the brand recommends that you add one bottle to a minimum of 40 litres of diesel. They also advise that you add it to every third tank of filling as a preventative measure.
The Wynn’s WY28272 DPF Cleaner is an excellent all-round formula that clears blocked soot filters without requiring dismantling. For those that mostly drive around the city, the brand promises ultra-fast results.
4. Best Professional: K2 DPF Cleaner Additive
The K2 DPF cleaner is a professional formula that comes in a form of a spray and is sprayed directly into the filter. Unlike the alternatives, this solution requires you to know where the filter is located and how to remove the sensor.
After the formula has got to work, it completely evaporates and leaves no trace whatsoever inside the filter.
Overall, the K2 DPF Cleaner is a professional grade and highly effective formula that won’t disappoint. As long as you know where the DPF filter is and the sensor that you need to remove, this product is a great choice.
5. Best For City Drivers: Redex Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner
Redex is a highly reputable brand in the UK that are well-known for their fuel injector cleaner additives. However, they do produce many other additives such as this diesel particulate filter cleaner, which simply pours into the fuel tank and is designed to be used on every third full tank.
The advanced formula works by lowering the temperature that the soot burns at, which is a requirement for those that only drive short distances.
The Redex DPF cleaner is an affordable and highly rated formula that’s developed by the reputable Redex brand. The only drawback is that it has to be used regularly for the best results.
6. Best Budget: STP Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner
The STP DPF cleaner is one of the cheapest formulas on the market that’s actually worth buying. It’s designed to regenerate the filter and prevent soot build up by lowering the temperature required to burn the trapped soot.
The formula treats 50/60 litres of fuel and it’s advised that you use it every 1,800 miles as a preventative measure.
If you are on a tight budget and simply want a last-ditch attempt at cleaning the DPF, the STP formula is a great option. It’s made in the UK and meets all the latest regulations to ensure it’s safe to use.
How We Rated
As mentioned earlier in the article, we’ve experienced a blocked DPF filter in the past and it was an expensive repair. However, with the regular use of DPF cleaners, we haven’t had an issue since and highly recommend them to anyone with a modern diesel car that features a diesel particulate filter. In terms of testing the DPF cleaners for this article, we’ve had great success with multiple cleaners over the years and we regularly use them in our diesel cars.
However, in a recent test that we conducted, we used the Forte additive (our best rated DPF cleaner) on a friend’s Volkswagen Golf that had a blocked DPF (as shown in the image below).
After using the formula and driving 50 miles on the motorway with the car in a low gear but travelling at 70 MPH, the fault code had cleared. We advised our friend to continue using the cleaner and he has yet to see the DPF fault reappear.
As well as testing multiple cleaners, we also based our recommendations upon the latest research and a number of factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included how easy they are to use, duration between the treatments, additional qualities and value for the money.
DPF cleaners are suitable for most diesel or biodiesel engines and they may require regular usage to keep the DPF clean. However, if you find that they aren’t as effective as you would expect, go on a “spirited” drive whilst keeping the RPM’s high. You could also drive on the motorway and keep the car in a lower gear whilst travelling at 60 to 70 MPH. This type of driving along with using the cleaner should help to keep it clean as long as there isn’t a fault with the DPF.
All of our recommendations are suitable for a range of budgets and available in bulk buy options for extra value for the money. To avoid disappointment, we advise that you purchase from a reputable brand for complete peace of mind.
If you require further information with regards to DPF cleaners, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.