Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

5 Steps to Clean a Dehumidifier

5 steps to clean a dehumidifier custom graphic

The purpose of a dehumidifier is to remove moisture from the air which, in turn, keeps humidity levels in check. This decreases the chances of mould and mildew growing in your home while also getting rid of those unpleasant musty odours. Now, considering the important role it plays and how much it works to keep your home healthy and household members comfortable, it’s not surprising that dehumidifiers accumulate bacteria, dust, dirt and the like. Over time, this compromises the performance and efficiency of the appliance, and therefore, puts the quality of your indoor air at risk. 

As far as maintenance is concerned, homeowners are generally accustomed to emptying out the water reservoir routinely or as and when needed. What many are unaware of, however, is how to clean a dehumidifier properly so that it continues to perform efficiently. Well, if you’re one of those people, MaidForYou is here to tell you everything you need to know about cleaning your dehumidifier. Best of all, you can do this in five very easy steps! Let’s begin!

Step 1: Ensure Safety First

the back view of a frigidair dehumidifier

When you are cleaning any appliance such as a dehumidifier, the first rule of safety is to switch off the machine and unplug it. This also extends to cleaning methods that are limited to wiping the exterior of the appliance with a damp cloth, or spot cleaning of any individual components. Remember, safety measures should never be overlooked when you are cleaning or handling an electric appliance.

Step 2: Clean the Exterior

white frigidaire dehumidifier exterior being cleaned

Although moisture and impurities in the air get pulled into the dehumidifier, the exterior is also prone to this dirt and bacteria. Over time, you will find the outer material of your dehumidifier to be quite grimy and greasy, especially if it is not wiped down on a regular basis. 

If you clean the appliance routinely, the exterior may only require dusting with a dry cloth; on the other hand, a long-overdue cleaning typically means having to deal with stains and stubborn grime. In this case, start with a mild cleaning method such as wiping the exterior of the dehumidifier with a damp cloth; if this does not suffice, make a mild cleaning solution with warm water and liquid dish soap; dip a clean dust cloth in the soapy water and wring it properly before wiping over the exterior.

WARNING: Avoid spraying water and other cleaning solutions directly on the dehumidifier; always use a damp cloth instead.

Step 3: Empty and Clean the Reservoir

man cleaning reservoir of a frigidair dehumidifier

Most dehumidifiers collect the water in the reservoir or bucket which needs to be manually emptied out as and when needed; other models may have a continuous drainage system that connects to one of the drain pipes in your home so that there is no need to worry about the bucket filling up. If your dehumidifier requires manual maintenance, you’ve probably seen how dirty and contaminated this water can get. Of course, this also leaves the bucket grimy and crawling with bacteria. 

Typically made of plastic, it is fairly simple to clean out the water bucket of your dehumidifier. Start by pouring the water down the sink and rinsing the reservoir thoroughly. Use dish soap and a sponge to scrub the bucket, inside and outside, before rinsing it clean. Allow the reservoir to dry while you proceed to clean the rest of your dehumidifier.

Step 4: Clean the Air Filter

man cleaning air filter of frigidair dehumidifier in a basin

Any appliance that is fitted with air filters sees a lot of use because they are the things that trap everything from dust and lint to mould spores and dirt. Similarly, the air filter in a dehumidifier needs to be cleaned in a timely manner to ensure that the appliance is performing efficiently to keep your indoor air free of moisture and bacteria.

Depending on the model you have, the air filter may be located on the back of the dehumidifier, or behind the front grille (check the user manual if you are unsure of where or what the air filter is). Remove the filter and rinse it under a faucet using a low water pressure to avoid damaging the mesh. If the filter appears greasy, soak it in a basin of soapy water for 10 minutes, and then gently clean it with a soft sponge. Finish off with a thorough rinse and allow it to air dry.

NOTE: Check the condition of the air filter and replace it with a new one if needed.

Step 5: Clean Inside the Unit

man cleaning the inside of a frigidair dehumidifier

With the water bucket and air filter removed, use this opportunity to clean out the interior space that is within your reach. You will find dust, lint, and other debris collected inside the dehumidifier which can be removed with a vacuum cleaner (and appropriate attachment), a cleaning brush, or dust cloth. 

Avoid using cleaning sprays or wet cleaning tools inside the unit. If there are stains or stubborn grime presents, dampen (and wring) a dust cloth, and spot clean the area while keeping away from any electrical components. 

The last thing you need to do is reassemble the dehumidifier. When the air filter and reservoir are completely dry, put them back in their rightful places and plug in the appliance. With that, your dehumidifier will have a new lease on life, and is now ready to perform at an optimal level again!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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