How to Clean and Maintain Your Dehumidifier
Your dehumidifier called, it wants some TLC!

Most of us have a home improvement to-do list a mile long. But what if we told you a better living space starts with a task as simple as cleaning your dehumidifier? Reap the rewards of checking off this underrated chore.

Why Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier?

Your dehumidifier's job is to take moisture out of the air. It does this by pulling air in and cooling it. When the air cools, water forms and is collected in a bucket. Then, the air is warmed up and let out again.

You might use a dehumidifier to keep mold away, but sometimes mold can grow inside it! That's because the inside of the dehumidifier can be warm and damp, which is just what mold likes. You might see black spots or slime collecting inside—that's mildew and mold. If that gunk is not cleaned, the dehumidifier might spread mold around your room, and we don’t want that!

A dirty dehumidifier also can make your electricity bills go up because it has to work harder, especially if you use it a lot. Cleaning it now and then can save you money on your utilities.

When Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier?

You should clean your dehumidifier about every three weeks. Some dehumidifiers have a filter you can clean and use again. Others have disposable filters that you'll need to replace once or twice a year, depending on how much dust or allergens they've nabbed.

How to Clean Your Dehumidifier

Different models might have their own cleaning methods, so it's a good idea to check the manual that came with yours.

Before cleaning, switch off your dehumidifier and let it sit for a few hours. This lets everything inside cool down to room temperature. Wear a mask if you're prone to allergies or have health concerns, as cleaning can send dust into the air.

An expert repair technician in a workshop pulling the grey plug from a dehumidifier out from its black electrical outlet

If your dehumidifier has water inside its reservoir, carefully remove it from its housing and make sure to empty it out.

A repair technician pulling the water reservoir out from the bottom of a dehumidifier to empty it into a green bucket.

How to Clean the Dehumidifier's Exterior Surfaces

Starting with the outside helps keep dust from getting inside while you clean. To get rid of dust and dirt, wet a microfiber cloth with some water and a bit of mild soap. Ring out the extra water, so it does not accidentally drip into any electrical parts inside. Now, gently clean the outside, paying special attention to the vents.

A repair technician, beside a bowl of soapy water, wiping a dehumidifier's plastic casing with a green microfiber cloth.

How to Clean the Dehumidifier's Air Filter

To get to the filter, you might need to remove the grille panel or take out the reservoir, then slide the filter out.

Once it's out, give it a good look for any holes. A damaged filter cannot capture contaminants effectively, and particles might get recirculated into the room.

A repair technician removing a dusty black filter from the back of a dehumidifier to clean it with a soft-bristle brush.

Dust it off with a soft brush. If it’s super dirty, let it soak in some warm, soapy water before giving it a gentle scrub. If it doesn’t come clean after that, you might want to replace it. When you're done, let the filter dry fully before putting it back.

How to Clean the Dehumidifier's Coils and Grilles

Dirt and dust can gather on the coils and grilles, which can make your dehumidifier work less efficiently. To clean these parts, you can use a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.

If you're using a brush, gently move it up and down the coils to remove any particles. If you opt for a vacuum cleaner, place the hose against the intake opening and slowly move it back and forth over the area. Do this about two times to loosen and remove the dust buildup inside.

These coils are delicate, so be gentle and avoid pressing too hard to prevent bending them.

A repair technician sweeping away the dirt particles from the blue coils of a dehumidifier using a soft-bristle brush.

How to Clean the Dehumidifier's Water Reservoir

Give the bucket a good cleaning with soap and water or use a mix of white vinegar and water. If there's stubborn dirt or grime, use a soft cloth like microfiber to scrub it off. After cleaning, rinse the bucket well, and let it completely dry out.

A technician is soaking a dehumidifier's reservoir in a sink with water and vinegar, then wiping it with a pink cloth.

Reassembling and Testing the Dehumidifier

When everything's clean and dry, put the dehumidifier back together. Plug it in and turn it on to make sure it's working just right.

Great Job!

You've given your hard-working machine a new lease on life! And if you happened to notice any parts on their last legs, we offer just the right fix. We'll guide you to a list of genuine dehumidifier replacement parts that are just right for your unit - all you'll need is your model number!