Metal cleanliness is an important aspect of ingot quality, with requirements that vary according to the final product. Too often, filters are treated as the only option to improve metal cleanliness. All of the molten aluminum filters used in industry today act by removing a percentage of the incoming inclusions. The cleanliness of the metal coming into the filter is thus critical to the final ingot quality. This means that final ingot quality is impacted by charge makeup, melting practices, furnace treatment, and in-line degassing as well as filter performance. Each of these individual steps must be considered to provide the metal cleanliness required for a particular product at the lowest cost. This paper will provide an overview of how various steps in the casting process affect metal cleanliness and will examine several examples of how they might be combined into an economical process.