How To Clean A Dehumidifier

5 Steps To Clean Your Dehumidifier
5 Steps To Clean Your Dehumidifier

5 Steps To Clean Your Dehumidifier

Part of maintaining a dehumidifier involves cleaning it. When you clean it, you stop dirt accumulating and damaging the dehumidifier. Here is a quick way to clean your dehumidifier:

  1. Unplug your dehumidifier for safety before cleaning
  2. Clean the outside of your dehumidifier 
  3. Clean the bucket, tank, or hose.
  4. Clean or replace air and bucket filters
  5. Plug your clean dehumidifier back in and turn it on 

Cleaning should be a regular thing so that your dehumidifier works well and lasts longer. [1]  Larger size dehumidifier require the same cleaning as smaller sized units. Let’s dig deeper into some cleaning considerations.

My Dehumidifier Needs Cleaning
My Dehumidifier Needs Cleaning

How Can I Tell If My Dehumidifier Needs Cleaning?

Debris and dust accumulate in various sections of the humidifier over time. This includes the cooling and heating coils in the machine and those in the water reservoir.

If you don’t clean the device, the accumulation of such elements can cause real damage. The appliance would eventually stop functioning altogether.

You can also tell that a dehumidifier needs cleaning because of mold growth, a musty smell, or mildew growth. Also, if you have a dirty filter. To get the most out of your dehumidifier, clean it at least once a month. [2]

How To Clean A Dehumidifier [in detail]
How To Clean A Dehumidifier [in detail]

How To Clean A Dehumidifier [in detail]

Here is how you clean your dehumidifier. Several components need attention, and this is how you handle them.

Step 1: Unplug the dehumidifier

Turn your dehumidifier off and unplug it from the socket before you begin cleaning it. Your appliance uses electricity and you don’t want to fuss with it when it is running. Unplugging your appliance means that touching the device is safe.

Step 2: Clean the outside

Dehumidifiers pull air in through pipes. This can cause a considerable amount of dust and dirt to accumulate. The outer casing catches larger particles that attempt to penetrate the dehumidifier.

To clean the exterior, wipe it down with a dry cloth to remove any dirt or grime accumulated. If the dry cloth isn’t working, dampen it a bit. You may need to apply some elbow grease as well. 

Step 3: Clean the tank

The removed moisture goes into the dehumidifier’s tank or reservoir. It’s critical to empty this as soon as it’s full. Clean the bucket or tank often. If you don’t clean it well, mold will grow inside the bucket.

Mold growth or mildew in the tank has the potential to spread into the air and your house.

To clean and sanitize the reservoir, it must first be dry. Fill it with clean warm water a quarter way up. Add one or two squirts of liquid soap or dish soap. Scrub it with a towel, making sure to get into the corners.

After scrubbing, drain the water collection tank. Spray it with pure vinegar; the smell will linger until it dries. White vinegar works as a natural disinfectant. Allow the vinegar to sit for up to 10 minutes before wiping the tank down with a damp cloth.

Allowing the bucket to dry. Replace the bucket in the dehumidifier when it is dry. 

If your dehumidifier drains to a nearby drain through a hose, the hose may have mold. As a result, you can take the hose out and flush it with white vinegar. Dehumidifiers with pumps and hoses require less cleaning compared to units with buckets. Self draining dehumidifiers also require less cleaning as compared to units with buckets.

Step 4A: Clean the air filter

Some dehumidifiers have air filters. The air filter is critical for protecting the dehumidifier’s internal components. The air filters the dry air. The dehumidifier will not operate if the air filter is dirty. If it has grime, the air cannot move through.

If you have breathing issues or like clean air consider buying a air purifier dehumidifier.

Consult the user manual if you’re not sure where the filter is. It may be in the back of some units. You may need to slide it out after removing the tank. After removing the filter, check it to see if you need to replace it. 

Some dehumidifiers use washable or reusable filters. Your user manual will let you know if you need to wash or replace the filter.

In the case of cleaning, some people take filters outside and gently tap them on cement, stone, or brick to loosen any dust. Give your filter a fast clean by vacuuming any loose dirt or dust. 

If you are washing your dehumidifier filter, make a cleaning solution with warm water and a mild detergent in a wide pan.

Put the air filter in the solution and soak it for 10 minutes. Dry your filter out completely. Make sure the filter is completely dry before putting it back into the dehumidifier. 

Step 4B: Clean the bucket filter

Some dehumidifiers have tank or bucket filters. This small filter is not in all dehumidifiers. But, if your dehumidifier has one, it’s essential to clean it to prevent clogs. 

The bucket filter catches any impurities that make it into the dehumidifier. 

Take it out and clean it under warm water. After that, let it dry before reinstalling it.

Step 5: Plug your dehumidifier in

It’s time to bring everything back together after you’ve washed all the dehumidifier pieces and let them dry.

To test whether the dehumidifier is working, plug it into an outlet and turn it on. Next, look at the display to see if there are any errors. 

Finally, let the machine operate for a few hours. Thereafter you can check the reservoir and humidity to see if everything is working. [5]

Dehumidifier Cleaning Supplies
Dehumidifier Cleaning Supplies

Dehumidifier Cleaning Supplies

You will need the following equipment and supplies to clean your dehumidifier:

  • Rubber gloves to shield your hands from dust and grime.
  • A dust mask to avoid breathing in dust and particulates. A mask helps if you are allergic to allergens in the air.
  • Towels, rags, wire brushes, and small toothbrushes. You will need these to clean corners and small areas.
  • Soap and other cleaning products (vinegar & bleach)

 A dry-wet vacuum cleaner to remove grime and loose dirt from the interior. [6]

Use vinegar to clean your dehumidifier

  • Remove the dehumidifier from the plug. Disassemble the machine and drain the tank. Different models disassemble differently. You should remove the water bucket from the heating element at the very least. The majority of models come apart into many parts.
  • Fill the tank with an equal amount of water and distilled white vinegar. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Fill the base with straight vinegar and position it near the heating element. With a soft-bristled cloth, gently scrub the tank and heating element surfaces.
  • If you have other, smaller parts to clean, fill a bowl with vinegar. Place small parts in the bowl and submerge them. Any parts with electrical wiring should not get wet. Use a brush to gently scrub the parts.
  • Allow at least 30 minutes and up to six or eight hours for the vinegar to work on the parts. If your device has mineral deposits in the heating unit, the vinegar should dissolve them. If the vinegar fizzes around these deposits, use fresh vinegar and keep cleaning.
  • Remove the vinegar from the reservoir, the heating element, and the cup. After rinsing each part, let the parts dry. Use a clean cloth to dry parts, if needed. Allow parts to dry thoroughly before putting the humidifier back together. [7]

Maintaining your dehumidifier

1.) Carefully read your owner’s manual.

Different maintenance recommendations apply to different brands and models. For information on items like positioning and draining, consult your owner’s manual.

2.) Place Your Dehumidifier Properly

To get the most out of your dehumidifier, make sure to do the following:

Avoid Obstructions. Most models suggest a distance of at least 6-12 inches from walls and furniture. This ensures enough air intake and exhaust.

Make sure your dehumidifier is on a level surface with no obstructions in the air intake.

It would be best if you closed all doors and windows in the region where your dehumidifier is operating. Otherwise, the dehumidifier would have to work hard to remove moisture from incoming wet air. 

Higher energy bills may result if windows and doors are open for long times to a cold & wet outside environment. If you are concerned about your electricity bill, consider buying an energy efficient dehumidifier

Room Temperature: Dehumidifiers work best in 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher rooms. If you’re using one in a harsh setting, look for a low temperature dehumidifier. An example would be a commercial-grade desiccant dehumidifier.

Your dehumidifier controls the humidity in your house. It makes your home healthier and more comfortable.

3.) Replace your air filter.

Most dehumidifiers have an air filter. An air filter eliminates harmful airborne particles like dust and other allergens. The following are benefits of an air filter:

An air filter removes impurities. Enjoy healthier air while preserving the dehumidifier’s internal components.

Air doesn’t move as well through a dirty dehumidifier. Clean or replace the filter so clean air can move effectively.

Replace your dehumidifier’s air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This helps to maintain the highest performance.

4.) Make sure the water tank is free of debris.

Emptying the dehumidifier’s water storage tank often. But this does not always guarantee a clean water tank. If you don’t clean the water tank often with soap and water, it can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Keep an eye on the water tank of your dehumidifier and remove any debris that is in there. Even if it appears clean, give buckets a thorough cleaning with soapy water and dry it before using it again.

5.) Keep moisture at bay.

Make sure the control panel does not get wet. Wipe it down with a damp cloth as desired.

6.) Do not use the compressor for a short time.

It’s not a smart idea to turn the dehumidifier on and off quickly. After waiting at least 10 minutes, restart the dehumidifier. The elapsed time will cause the pressure in the system to equalize. This protects the compressor.

The compressor will overheat if you turn on and off repeatedly and quickly. This may trip your circuit breaker.

Look for dehumidifiers with an automatic delayed start mechanism. This protects the compressor from damage caused by short-cycling.

7.) Inspect the condenser coils for frost or ice build-up.

In colder climates, frost or ice will develop on the condenser (or cooling) coils. This causes the dehumidifier to malfunction or cause excessive damage. Consider getting a low temperature dehumidifier.

Final thoughts

There is no way to run a dehumidifier and never have to clean it. Your dehumidifier collects a lot of pollutants from the air. Dirt from moisture in the air is bound to accumulate. 

Clean your dehumidifier regularly and reap the benefits of breathing clean and comfortable air. Regular cleaning makes your dehumidifier effective and long-lasting. 

If your dehumidifier isn’t working, consider buying a new one that’s rated for a larger area.