2020 Report – How To Clean A Dehumidifier

| Last Updated: December 22, 2020

Any appliance works at its best when it undergoes regular maintenance, and this applies to dehumidifiers too. Just like other appliances, a dehumidifier also works efficiently when it is well maintained.

Improper or even no maintenance makes the unit noisier and lowers its efficiency, which ultimately causes its breakdown. Thorough cleaning not only provides good performance but also cuts down on the maintenance cost.

So, if you think it’s time to clean your dehumidifier, here’s how you can do it in the right manner.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier?

With time, debris and dust collect in different parts of the humidifier. This includes the cooling and heating coils present inside the unit as well as those housed in the water reservoir. The accumulation of such elements can lead to excessive damage if the unit isn’t cleaned properly. Eventually, the unit will stop working at all. So, to enjoy the highest efficiency from your humidifier, you must clean the unit at least one or two times per month when in use.

How to Clean a Dehumidifier

When it comes to cleaning a dehumidifier, the task isn’t hard at all. You must know that every part has to be cleaned including the filters, the water reservoir, and even the unit’s exterior. If it’s your first time cleaning a dehumidifier, here are six simple steps that can get the job done easily.

1. Unplug Your Dehumidifier

Before you start or even bring a damp cloth near it, make sure to switch off your dehumidifier and unplug it from the power outlet. Doing so will ensure that the unit is completely safe to clean whether you just want to wipe it down quickly or you want to clean all the individual parts thoroughly.

2. Wipe The Outside

A humidifier works efficiently to remove all the potentially hazardous stuff present in the air. Its exterior, or better understood as the outer shell, works as the first line of defense between the dirty air it tries to collect and the internal components of the dehumidifier.

So once you’re sure that your dehumidifier is unplugged, use a dry cloth to wipe off the gross elements like dirt and grime that has collected on the exterior. If it is excessively dirty, then use a damp cloth. However, remember that you shouldn’t spray water or cleaning solvents on it directly at any time. This could damage the unit and cause it to cease to function.

3. Clean Out The Reservoir

The water collection tank, or reservoir, of your unit must be emptied frequently to save it from potentially damaging elements. However, it’s better to take a step further and clean it using warm water and soap or simply a disinfectant.

Mildew and mold tend to build up quite quickly, and once they make their way inside the tank, they are dispersed into the air and can spread illnesses. For this reason, it is better to have it cleaned thoroughly once every three weeks, particularly if it’s in frequent use.

Simply pour in liquid soap into the tank along with water. Gently scrub it and rinse it. Let it dry off fully before putting it back in place. You may also use vinegar to break up hard water deposits or stubborn dirt during this step. Just check your owner’s manual to ensure it is not contraindicated.

4. Rinse The Air Filter

The air filter is the part which does all the magic and if you have a dirty filter, your dehumidifier won’t work at all. So, to clean the filter, remove it from your dehumidifier and check if it has been damaged or if there are any blockages.

Depending on the dirt and dust on the filter, determine if you need to replace the filter. If you think that the filter is usable, then you can get started on cleaning it. For that, make a solution of a gentle detergent and warm water. Then let the filter soak in the mixture for several minutes before you dry it off.

5. Vacuum

Just to make sure you get all of the particles and have your dehumidifier unit completely clean, you can vacuum it. Just grab a vacuum attachment and get rid of any remaining dirt that you can spot. You can also vacuum the filter before washing to get any loose dirt off.

6. Remove and Clean the Bucket Filter

Your unit may not necessarily have a bucket filter. This filter helps to trap the stray impurities in your dehumidifier. Compared to the main air filter, this one is smaller and is just about the size of a thimble. It is typically tucked in the reservoir, but you can check your unit’s user manual to ensure that your dehumidifier is fitted with one. If a bucket filter is present, just rinse it using warm water. Once it's completely dry, return it to its place.

Video Review

Reading the steps might seem too confusing and you might feel lost in the middle of cleaning. To help you out, here’s a video which takes you through all the steps of how to take apart the unit and clean it. You can follow along and get your job done without any problem.

The video also gives you a few helpful tips so that cleaning is made as easy as possible. So, before starting clean, put on this video and do as it is shown in the video.


By following the six simple steps listed above on how to clean a dehumidifier, you can ensure that your unit provides good performance for years to come. With the right maintenance and care, a dehumidifier can control the humidity in your house efficiently and provide a comfortable and healthy environment.

My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.