Dehumidifier Maintenance: How Often Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier and More

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Regular maintenance of your dehumidifier is vital for it to effectively control humidity and function for years to come. But, how often do you need to clean the humidifier to ensure it functions well?

When it comes to regular maintenance, you should clean the dehumidifier at least once every 3 to 4 weeks. Regular maintenance includes taking various parts of the device out, such as the water tank and filters, to clean them thoroughly. This frees the parts and the device of dirt, dust, and other pollutants that can damage it. 

We look at why it is important to clean your dehumidifier regularly and the cleaning process itself. 

Why do you need to clean your dehumidifier?

The amount of pollutant the dehumidifier comes into contact with will shock you. As the device pulls air in, it also pulls in everything the air carries. So, the device typically draws in dust, dirt, bacteria, and mold spores. 

Cleaning the unit ensures that it continues to function well and prevents the chances of mold growth in the device. If the dehumidifier develops mold, it will release mold spores in the air. The spores would spread throughout the room, allowing mold to grow on the walls, furniture, and carpets. 

How do you determine whether your dehumidifier needs to be cleaned?

Inspect the dehumidifier to determine whether it needs cleaning. There are two components you need to check:

  1. The vents that draw and release air
  2. The air filter

If you notice a lot of dirt and dust collecting in them, your device needs cleaning. 

To inspect for mold, check the water tank and the part of the device around it. Mold needs water to grow. So, it typically grows in the body around the tank first, spreading from there. However, if you regularly clean your tank and the device, it shouldn’t develop mold. 

How to clean your dehumidifier in 6 easy steps

Cleaning products

Let’s look at the steps to take in cleaning the dehumidifier. 

1. Unplug the device

A dehumidifier is an electronic device, so before you clean them you need to unplug it. Otherwise, you may put yourself at risk of getting shocked or the device short-circuiting due to coming in contact with water. 

2. Clean the exterior of the device

The exterior body of the device is its first line of defense. You can easily spot dirt on it. All you need to do is take a dry cloth and wipe it down. If you notice gunk remains after a wipe down, dampen the cloth with a cleaning solvent before you wipe the body again. 

3. Clean out the water tank

Unless you’ve connected a drainpipe to the device, all the water extracted from the air collects in the water tank. You need to drain as soon as the tank is full.

Otherwise, the dehumidifier automatically turns off and stagnant water in the tank increases the chances of mold growth. Many people opt to recycle the water rather than throw it out. 

Besides, emptying the tank regularly, you need to clean it. Make a mixture of mild soap and water and soak a sponge in it. Scrub the tank down with the sponge and then rinse the tank with water. Let the tank dry before you put it back into the device. 

4. Clean the air filter

Next, you also need to clean the air filter. The filter is typically located in a slot near the vents of the device. It collects a lot of dirt and other impurities from the air of your home.

Take the filter out and wipe it down with water and soap. Then, leave it out to dry. 

5. Clean the bucket filter

The bucket filter also collects impurities that the air filter might have missed out on. But not all devices have one. You can check the manual to see if the device has one and locate it.

It is typically located in the device near the water tank. Take the filter out and rinse it with warm water. Let it dry before you put it back into the device. 

6. Vacuum the device

If you want to be thorough in collecting all the dust and dirt from the device, you can vacuum the body after you are done cleaning everything else. Attach one of the pipes with a brush to the vacuum and apply it to the vents and the exterior body. 

With that, you are done cleaning the dehumidifier.

Just make sure that all the components you’ve washed are thoroughly dry before you plug the device back on. 

How often should you clean your dehumidifier?

To ensure your dehumidifier continues to work well, you should clean it once every 3 to 4 weeks. However, if you notice a lot of dirt collecting on the device, you should clean it immediately. Otherwise, the device can develop problems and not function as it should. 

How often do you clean coils on a dehumidifier?

We recommend you clean the dehumidifier coils every time you clean the dehumidifier. So, that means every three to four weeks. By cleaning the coils you ensure that they effectively extract water vapor from the air. 

How to clean the dehumidifier coils?

The following step-by-step guide explains how you can clean the dehumidifier coils.

  1. Before you start, unplug the device and empty the water tank. The unit should be completely dry when you clean the coils. 
  2. Next, you have to locate the coils. Most devices have them behind a plastic panel on the back of the unit. 
  3. Unscrew or pop the plastic panel open. 
  4. Some units have a hose with the coil. Detach the hose and clean it with water and a brush. 
  5. Take the coil out and scrape off the dirt with a toothbrush. Make sure you clean the coils thoroughly.
  6. Spray coil cleaner on the coils. Let the cleaner sit on the coils for a few minutes. It will loosen stubborn dirt and grime.
  7. Using a toothbrush, scrub the coil one more time. 
  8. Rinse the coils with hot water.
  9. Finally, pat the coils dry with a soft cloth and leave them out to dry. Give it about 25-30 minutes before putting the coils back in the unit. 

Inspect the coils every other week to make sure they are clean. If you notice dirt and grime build-up, clean them immediately. 

How often do you clean the dehumidifier filter?

Like dehumidifier coils, you need to clean the filter every 3 to 4 weeks. As mentioned above, you can find the filter next to the vents. The cleaning process is simple, scrub the filter using a water and soap solution. Let it dry for about 30 minutes before putting it back into the unit. 

How often do you clean dehumidifiers in a baby room?

Keeping the dehumidifier clean at all times is vital for your baby’s health. Therefore, we recommend you clean the dehumidifier in the baby’s room at least once a week. 

This may seem like overkill, but remember that a baby’s immune system is weaker than that of an adult. If bacteria or mold were to form in the unit, it could easily spread through it. Thus, putting your baby’s health in danger. 

Besides cleaning it once a week, empty the water tank daily. So, there are limited chances of mold growth in the unit.

Final thoughts

Cleaning the dehumidifier should be a part of your monthly cleaning tasks. The process is simple and takes around 10-15 minutes. It ensures that your device continues to function as it should while also preventing mold and mildew growth in the device. 

About the Author Belal

Belal Rizvi enjoys writing about home improvement and do-it-yourself projects. He is an avid learner of the mold removal and dehumidifiers industry and provides insightful information about it to the readers.

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