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How to Clean a Dehumidifier to Get Pure Healthy Air

Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance which is used to regulate moisture content of air in a particular area. An appliance works best with regular maintenance, and this is also true for dehumidifiers. If you feel it's time to clean the one in your house, read this to learn the correct way of doing it.
A dehumidifier, like any other appliance, works efficiently only when it is well-maintained. Improper or no maintenance makes it noisy, decreases its efficiency, and can ultimately lead to its breakdown. To keep it in a good working state it is important to clean it regularly.
Thorough cleaning once or twice a month will significantly reduce the maintenance costs incurred in case of breakdown and provide good performance.
When a dehumidifier draws air through its vents to remove the moisture content present in air, dust and other debris also enter the appliance. These dust particles tend to settle on fan blades, heating and cooling coils, and also in the water container that collects condensed water produced due to dehumidification.
With time, the layer of debris and dust keeps on increasing, thereby affecting its dehumidification capacity. Therefore, proper cleaning is very crucial.

Cleaning a Dehumidifier

You Will Need
  • Damp cloth
  • Long-handled brush
  • Liquid detergent spray
  • New filter (if required)
  • Vacuum cleaner


Cleaning Water Container

▣ Separate water container from the dehumidifier. Due to lack of cleaning, dust particles and mineral deposits form a layer at the base and side walls of the container.

▣ Take a damp cloth and wipe the unwanted deposited layer in the water container to render it clean. Cleaning the container at least twice a month is necessary.

Cleaning Air Filter

▣ Detach the air filter from the dehumidifier. A filter may either be disposable or permanent. If the filter is disposable and has become very dirty, replace it with a new one. However, if it is a permanent filter follow the next step.
▣ Place the filter in the sink and spray detergent solution over it. Submerge the filter completely by filling up the sink with water. Remove it after 15 minutes, clean and rinse. Leave it aside to dry.

Cleaning Heating and Cooling Coils

▣ Detach the rear grille, if present, and the metal cover to clean the coils located on the inner side. Screws used to fix rear grille and metal cover are secured at difficult places, and are often painted with the same color as that of the dehumidifier. Therefore, carefully look for screws and remove them.
▣ Clean the heating and cooling coils which are exposed after the detachment of metal cover and rear grille. Use a soft-bristle brush, having a bristle diameter of 2 inches for effective cleaning. Clean the coils using up and down motion to remove accumulated dirt.
▣ Cover the motor with a dry cloth to stop water from coming in contact with it. Now spray the coils with a light cleaner and leave it for about 5 minutes. Pour lukewarm water over the coils to remove dirt. Fins present in the coil are made up of aluminum and are very delicate.
Therefore, take care not to cause any kind of damage. After cleaning, look for bent fins in the coil. If any, straighten them using a Popsicle stick to facilitate airflow through them.

Cleaning Fan Blades

▣ Dirt also accumulates on fan blades. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe dust off the blades. Once cleaning is done, oil fan motor holes with a good quality motor oil. 3-4 drops of motor oil are sufficient for lubrication. Make sure you do not add motor oil at one go because doing so may result in over-lubrication.

Cleaning Dehumidifier Interior

▣ Interior of the appliance also needs cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the interior of the appliance. Clean every nook and corner so that no trace of dirt remains.

▣ After cleaning, check the cleanliness of the appliance. Once you are assured of it, put back all the detached parts in place and leave for drying.
▣ When thoroughly dried, plug in and see if the appliance is working properly or not. Look for condensate forming on the cooling coils which ascertains that the appliance is functioning properly and is ready for use.
Dehumidifiers are of great utility as they decrease humidity of air in places with high relative humidity. Excess moisture in air can lead to growth of mold and mildew, damaging home furnishings and increase in household pests. It can also lead to health problems like allergy and asthma in sensitive individuals.
Since all these problems can be addressed by using a dehumidifier, it has become a very useful appliance for every household. Regular cleaning can help in maintaining it for a long period of time.