I have around 6 penguin cartrages and 2 penguins. about once a month o go outside and clean all of them with the hose.
I definintely wouldn't do it with hose water. The chlorine in the water will instantly kill off your beneficial bacteria residing on the surface of the cartridge. You need to clean in old tank water or any dechlorinated water.
Save your money on replacing those cartridges. The carbon becomes inactive after 7 days and IMO
, the only time you need to replace it is when you are trying to remove meds from your tank. Or when you have cleaned it so many times that it is still getting clogged.
I"m assuming yours has the bio-wheel on it too. I would suggest you replace all of them with sponges. It will be easier to clean and you will save tons of money.