Informational Guide

How To Easily Clean a Dehumidifier

Cleaning any appliances is important as it will function better and last longer. We show you have to clean a dehumidifier to get the most out of it.

by Josh M

You need to regularly clean your dehumidifier to keep it running properly. Even though every dehumidifier is slightly different, the parts are largely the same and so is the cleaning process.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to clean a dehumidifier, how often you need to clean it, and the signs to look out for that your dehumidifier is badly in need of some TLC.

5 Clear Signs That Your Dehumidifier Needs Cleaning

While your dehumidifier may seem clean on the outside, you may be unaware of a potential problem growing internally. The signs that you need to clean your dehumidifier include:

  1. Louder than usual noises from your dehumidifier while it is running. This is usually because of a blocked air filter.
  2. Increased allergy symptoms while in use, usually because your dehumidifier bucket or air filter is dirty.
  3. A musty smell coming from the machine when in use.
  4. Black spots or mold can be seen on the inside.
  5. It has been over a month since you cleaned it.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Dehumidifier?

If you don’t clean a dehumidifier properly then it won’t function properly and it could harm your health and well-being. Dust, bacteria, pet dander, dirt, and potentially harmful microorganisms all accumulate inside your dehumidifier tank and air filter, and if they aren’t cleaned out then the dehumidifier will start to release these into your home.

Your dehumidifier may also struggle to run properly if it isn’t cleaned regularly. This can leave you with excess moisture in your home and may cause your dehumidifier to draw more power to function, increasing your electricity bill.

Child Covered with a Blanket and Resting on Sofa with a Dehumidifier

Cleaning Tools You Need To Clean A Dehumidifier

  • Pair Of Rubber Gloves
    Rubber gloves protect your hands from the cleaning solution and bacteria that may be lurking inside your machine. This stops your skin from transferring or absorbing harmful things.
  • Dust Mask
    A dust mask ensures that any pet dander, dirt, or bacteria that enter the air does not get into your airways and damage your health.
  • Towels, Rags, Wire Brushes, & Small Toothbrushes
    Cleaning supplies like towels, rags, and brushes help you remove any pollutants from your machine and thoroughly clean the dehumidifier’s parts.
  • Soap & Household Cleaning Agents
    Soap and other cleaning agents eliminate bacteria and ensure that your dehumidifier is clean and safe to use year-round.
  • Dry-Wet Vacuum Cleaner
    A dry-wet vacuum cleaner ensures that you remove dirt and dust from all the nooks and crannies of your dehumidifier, cleaning and drying at the same time.

How to Clean Your Dehumidifier

To properly clean a dehumidifier, you need to wash each individual component separately using soap, water, or distilled white vinegar. This cleaning process will eliminate all the dust, mold spores, bacteria, and remaining dirt so that your dehumidifier functions properly.

Not all dehumidifier components can be removed, and it depends on the size and type of dehumidifier you have.

Dehumidifier Components Which You Need To Clean:

  • Air Filter
    A dehumidifier air filter is designed to remove any air pollutants as the dehumidifier is pulling moisture and air in.
  • Coils
    These cold coils cool the air before it is reheated and emitted back into your home. These are one of the most important parts of the dehumidifier and need to be maintained properly.
  • Bucket Filter
    Some dehumidifiers come with a second filter in their reservoir bucket. This is tiny bucket filter is used to help improve the dehumidifying process.
  • Exterior surfaces
    The exterior surfaces and outer shell of your dehumidifier help protect its parts and keep them in place in an aesthetically pleasing way.
  • Reservoir / Reservoir Bucket
    The reservoir bucket holds the water that is removed from your air during the dehumidifying process. These can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, pollutants, and dust mites because of the stagnant water.

Step By Step Dehumidifier Cleaning Process:

  1. Turn off and unplug your dehumidifier.
  2. Put on your protective gear and thoroughly ventilate the area.
  3. Disassemble your dehumidifier according to manual instructions.
  4. Empty and clean your reservoir water bucket.

Empty your reservoir into the sink and rinse it carefully with warm water. Fill the sink with hot water and dish soap and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, use a soft cloth to clean your reservoir and a soft-bristled brush to scrub the corners. Leave the water bucket to dry.

  1. Remove and clean or replace your filter according to manual instructions.
  2. Clean the coils and internal parts.

Use a spray detergent or spray bottle filled with a cleaning agent to cover the coils and leave them to soak for a couple of minutes. Give them a scrub with a cleaning toothbrush. Cover the motor to avoid water damage, and pour warm water over the parts. Use a dry cloth to pat it dry.

  1. Wipe and lubricate the blades with a damp cloth and 3-4 drops of oil.
  2. Dust and vacuum the rest.
  3. Once all the parts are completely clean and dry, put the dehumidifier back together according to manual instructions.
  4. Wipe down the external surfaces with a damp cloth and mild liquid soap.
  5. Run the machine, keeping an eye out for condensation on the coils.

If you do find condensation on your coils, you may need to call in a professional to provide restoration services and fix your dehumidifier. It may also be a sign that you need to replace it altogether.

Woman on Humidifier Maintenance

Can You Clean a Dehumidifier with Vinegar?

Yes, you can clean a dehumidifier really effectively with white vinegar instead of dish soap or detergent. White vinegar is an effective disinfectant that helps to dissolve bacteria and mold build-up [1] and it is a lot cheaper than other chemical cleaning products.

How To Clean Your Dehumidifier With Vinegar – Step By Step Guide

  1. Turn off and unplug your dehumidifier.
  2. Put on your protective gear and thoroughly ventilate the area.
  3. Disassemble your dehumidifier according to manual instructions.
  4. Empty and clean your reservoir.

Remove your dehumidifier bucket reservoir according to manual instructions. Empty the dehumidifier bucket in the sink and rinse it carefully with warm water. Using equal parts vinegar and water, scrub with a soft bristle brush or soft cloth and leave to soak for five minutes if necessary. Once done, rinse and leave to dry completely.

  1. Remove and clean or replace your filter according to the user manual.
  2. Clean the coils and internal parts.

Spray them with equal parts vinegar and water and leave them to soak for a couple of minutes. Give them a scrub with a cleaning toothbrush. Cover the motor and pour warm water over the parts, drying with a cloth.

  1. Wipe and lubricate the blades with a damp cloth and 3-4 drops of oil.
  2. Dust and vacuum the rest.
  3. Once all the parts are completely clean and dry, put the dehumidifier back together according to manual instructions.
  4. Spray water and wipe down the external surfaces with a clean cloth.
  5. Run the machine, keeping an eye out for condensation on the coils.

Cleaning the Filter of Popular Dehumidifier Brands

How To Clean A Frigidaire Dehumidifier Filter:

  1. .Turn off and unplug your dehumidifier.
  2. .Remove the filter according to manual instructions.
  3. .Rinse it under clean water and leave it to air dry.
  4. .Remove the bucket according to manual instructions.
  5. .Rinse well and clean with warm soapy water.
  6. .Leave them both to air dry.
  7. .Replace them once completely dry.
  8. .Reset your filter reminder according to manual instructions if necessary.

How To Clean A GE Dehumidifier Filter:

  1. .Turn off and unplug your dehumidifier.
  2. .Remove the filter according to manual instructions.
  3. .Clean the filter with warm soapy water. Do not put it in the dishwasher.
  4. .Rinse it well.
  5. .Leave it to completely air dry.
  6. .Replace the filter.
  7. .Reset the filter reminder time by pressing the button for three seconds.

How To Clean A Haier Dehumidifier Filter:

  1. .Turn off and unplug your dehumidifier.
  2. .Pull the filter up and out to remove it.
  3. .Vacuum the filter carefully, removing as much dirt and debris as possible.
  4. .Rinse it well with water.
  5. .Leave the filter to dry completely.
  6. .Replace according to manual instructions.
  7. .Plug in and turn on your dehumidifier.

How To Clean A Hisense Dehumidifier Filter:

  1. .Turn off and unplug your dehumidifier.
  2. .Remove the bucket according to manual instructions.
  3. .Pull the filter down and away from the machine.
  4. .Vacuum the filter and inside thoroughly.
  5. .Wash the filter in warm soapy water.
  6. .Leave the filter to completely air dry.
  7. .Replace the filter and bucket according to manual instructions.
  8. .Plug in and turn on the dehumidifier.
Orange Cat Beside a Dehumidifier

How Often Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier?

You should clean a dehumidifier every 2-3 weeks. Regularly cleaning the dehumidifier is essential to keep it running properly and the more you use it, the more frequently you should clean it.

Make sure you empty your dehumidifier tank daily alongside regular cleaning. If you leave the tank full it will stop the dehumidifier from being able to draw moisture from the air, allow bacteria, dust, and dirt to build up in the reservoir, and could even cause water damage.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are Vicks Dehumidifiers easy to clean?

Vicks dehumidifiers can be incredibly easy to clean. However, make sure that you have the right tools beforehand and follow the instructions closely to get the best clean possible for your machine.

How often do dehumidifiers need maintenance?

You should clean a dehumidifier every 2-3 weeks and inspect the components for damage as you do so. Empty the tank daily and keep up with the filter-changing schedule that your specific brand recommends.

What is the brown stuff in my dehumidifier?

The brown stuff in your dehumidifier is usually dirt and mold that have accumulated on the inside. This occurs because the moisture is pulled in from the air. Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep it out of your dehumidifier.

Conclusion

The key to cleaning dehumidifiers is to clean each component individually and to get into a routine of doing it regularly. They’re excellent appliances to have in your home which improve your quality of life, and hopefully, now you can keep yours functioning for years to come.

References:

1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940030/

Last Updated on January 23, 2023

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

Top