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How to Clean a Dehumidifier for Beginners

To sustain your dehumidifier, you need to take good care of it. But what is the appropriate way of cleaning since the wrong step can cause the machine to damage? Well, read here to know how.

How to clean a dehumidifier

It’s essential to clean your dehumidifier

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Nowadays, dehumidifiers are widely used in both offices and many families for different purposes.

Just like other appliances, a dehumidifier works properly as long as it’s well maintained. Meanwhile, no maintenance can make your dehumidifier noisier and less efficient.

So is it essential to clean our dehumidifiers? How to clean them in the right way? Our article will give you the answer below.

How to clean a dehumidifier
It’s essential to clean your dehumidifier

Does a dehumidifier need to be cleaned? Why?

Maintenance and cleanup are vital for all kinds of machine because:

  • They prolong the lifespan of your unit.
  • They guarantee that your device operates properly.
  • They help us to avoid minor faults before it becomes costly to repair the machine.

All these benefits are applicable to your dehumidifier. When you’ve installed your dehumidifier, regular maintenance is really important. Here are 3 specific reasons:

  • Avoid mold and mildew

Your dehumidifier works to pull the moisture out of the air and into the attached reservoir. Therefore, it can be an ideal home for mildew, bacteria and mold.

Frequent cleaning will help in avoiding mold and mildew.

  • Remove dust and dirt

Over time, dust and dirt collect in several components of the dehumidifier, which will cause excessive damage if the unit isn’t cleaned properly on a regular basis. As a result, your unit can stop operating at any time.

  • Increase your dehumidifier’s durability

Professionals recommend that you clean out the dehumidifier at least once or twice per month. Regular cleaning and maintenance help in avoiding problems and increasing the durability of your device. You can also diagnose some issues early to fix your own dehumidifier.

How to Clean A Dehumidifier?

What you will need to follow this tutorial?

When it comes to cleaning a dehumidifier, what you have to do is quite straightforward.

  1. Pay attention to the time you clean your dehumidifier. You shouldn’t be lazy to clean it regularly. Mark on your calendar to remember the time you should clean your dehumidifier.
  2. You need to know which component should be cleaned such as the filters, the water reservoir, and even the  exterior, etc.
  3. Be sure that you know how to clean each of the components properly.
  4. Don’t forget your manufacturer’s manual guide. It will give you great support.

And here are our recommended tools:

  1. A big container
  2. A vacuum
  3. Several rags
  4. A bottle of mild detergent/ liquid soap
  5. Screwdrivers

Easy Steps to clean your dehumidifier

Don’t worry if this is the first time you have cleaned a dehumidifier. We will show you 8 easy steps below.

1. Disconnect your unit

Disconnect your unit
Take the plugs out of the socket

Remember to turn off your dehumidifier and unplug it. Doing this can assure that your unit is totally safe to wash. Pay attention to what you are going to do so that you can avoid hurting yourself or damaging something.

2. Clean the outer shell and grills

Cleaning the dehumidifier filter
Cleaning the dehumidifier filter

A humidifier ‘s exterior is really important because it  protects all the inner components of your unit.

So once you’re certain that your dehumidifier is disconnected from the socket, use a dry rag to wipe off the dust on the shell. If it’s too dirty,  you can use a damp cloth.

However, bear in mind that you shouldn’t spray any water directly on the surface. This might harm the unit and cause it to stop functioning.

Next, mold and bacteria can reproduce on the grills. Without regular cleanup, they can potentially cause a musty smell or prevent the air from flowing into the unit properly.

Use a small vacuum attachment to vacuum any dust on the intake and outtake grills.

3. Disassemble your unit

To ensure you can clean your dehumidifier thoroughly, this step is imperative.

After cleaning the outside, use the manual that came with your device to dismantle your unit properly. You should begin with the water tank first.

Remove your unit’s outer cover. In case you need some kinds of screws, prepare several ones. When removing the cover, be extra careful! You may need to remove a few bolts or the front grill first.

Sometimes the pieces are screwed to each other or there is a puzzle structure. Work around all the wires or lights of indicators and try not to pull them off.

4. Clean the tank

Clean the tank
The dehumidifier tank should be cleaned regularly

As you know, bacteria and mold can build up rapidly in a damp environment. When they grow within the tank, they will spread into the air and may cause some serious problems.

Therefore, the reservoir should be emptied regularly to avoid damaging other parts of your dehumidifier. Moreover, it will be much better to clean it with some warm water and soap.

Mix the liquid soap with some water. Pour the mixture into the tank and swish it around. After that, rinse it with water. Let the tank dry off completely before putting it back to the unit.

You can also use some vinegar at this step. Don’t forget to check your manufacturer’s manual to be sure it is allowed.

Remember to check the bucket regularly to remove all the mold and mildew in time.

5. Clean the air filter

This is one of the most important components. If the filter is too dirty, your unit won’t work properly.

You have to remove the air filter from your dehumidifier to clean. Look at the panel on the dehumidifier’s back first, and you should find a comfortable space at the bottom of this panel to fit your fingers in.

Simply pull the panel out and it will slide easily from the dehumidifier.

Sometimes, the panel may clog up due to the dust. Try to run a finger over the filter and see if a trace of dust is visible. If there is, this means you clean the filter a bit too late. Next time remember to clean the filter  earlier.

Remember to check whether the filter needs to be replaced. If the filter still functions well, you can start to vacuum the filter gently.

After that, dip the filter in a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent  for a few minutes. Wash it with water. Then dry it off.

Here is a video that may be helpful for you.

If your dehumidifier does not have a filter, then proceed to the next stage.

6. Use a vacuum cleaner

Use a vacuum cleaner
A vacuum cleaner can remove the dust

To make sure that you get all of the components completely clean, you can use a vacuum cleaner. It will help you remove all the dust and dirt in every corner of your dehumidifier.

You can also give the filter a quick vacuum before washing to remove all the loose dust quickly.

7. Clean the bucket filter

Some dehumidifiers have a bucket filter while others don’t; so check the manual to know if there is one in the tank. This filter is responsible for keeping the unit free of impurities.

Use warm water to clean the filter. Let it dry off, then put it to its position.

8. Reassemble and connect your unit to the electricity supply.

These steps may not be clear enough. So in the middle of cleaning you may feel lost. Here’s a video that guides you through all the steps of how to disassemble  and clean the unit. You can follow these steps easily to get your task done.

Last but not least, you should not only clean your dehumidifier regularly but also remember some maintenance tips.

Tips for maintenance

We will provide you with these 4 important tips:

1. Choose a wise location

You should not put your unit closer than 6 inches to the walls. Make  sure that the air intake and exhaust are not blocked.

Place the device close to the source of moisture in a large room to make the most of it. A central location is better in a smaller room. Keep the doors and windows closed for the best results.

2. Set the right humidity levels

The ideal humidity for optimal efficiency is typically between 40 and 50 percent.

But be careful because this is not always ideal.  If you use your unit to protect your precious items against humidity, for example guitars or classic cars, you may be confused about the suitable humidity level.  Don’t worry, you can ask for some advice from an expert.

3. Protect the compressor

This component can overheat when you switch off and then turn on your dehumidifier right after that. Let your unit  equalize the pressure in the system for at least 10 minutes after you switch it off.

4. Vacuum your room

When you want to install your new dehumidifier in a room, first vacuum your room. This will prevent the spread of any dust around your system. Removing all  the dust will help the filter of your dehumidifier last longer.

5. Replace the filter

The air filter of your dehumidifier is equipped to remove dust and allergens from the air.

Review your unit’s instruction manual to see how often your manufacturer suggests you adjust or clean the filter. You need to check the filter every month to know if it needs replacing or cleaning.

This is really important in humid conditions as mildew and mold tend to grow on the filter and infect the air released into your environment.

6. Frost Control Helps

If you set up your dehumidifier in a cold place, you may need a model with frost control.

Its role is to shut down your dehumidifier before the unit freezes and becomes impaired. Such types of units usually work best in an enclosed basement or garage.


After all, we hope that you have understood the benefits of cleaning your dehumidifier. Bear in mind to clean your unit regularly.

If you follow our 8 steps above and apply  the maintenance tips, your unit will remain in good condition for a long time.

We hope that this article will be helpful to you. Please let us know if you enjoy our tutorial. Please show your opinion in the comment section. Thank you for reading!

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