Dehumidifier: 7 Helpful Tips To Clean & Sanitize Now

We’ve got 7 tips & FAQs to help you dehumidify before your house turns into a swamp! Read on below for our expert advice on how to clean and sanitize your home so you can keep cool.

It’s been a scorcher of a summer and the air is thick with high humidity. We’re all feeling it, but your home might be suffering more than you know. The truth is that moisture in the air can cause mold to grow on walls, ceilings, and furniture.

It can also damage wood floors or create an ideal environment for dust mites to thrive in your carpets. And if there’s no relief from this heat wave soon? You may have some major problems on your hands come wintertime!

During humid months removing excess moisture from the air is quite a tedious job unless you have a dehumidifier.

But to maintain a comfortable and healthy environment in your home for a long time it is necessary that your dehumidifier works efficiently to collect all types of malicious elements from its air like bacteria, mold, and mildew, etc.

For this purpose, it is necessary to clean the dehumidifier regular basis.

How to Clean & Disinfect Your Dehumidifier?

  • Get a mask, brush, washcloth, cleaner.
  • Put on the mask.
  • Turn off, unplug.
  • Filter. Remove, wash, rinse, rewash, dry, replace
  • Tank. Empty, wash with soapy water, rinse.
  • Coils. Defrost oils
  • With Vinegar. Rewash the tank with white vinegar, water.
  • Disinfect with bleach. Use cup per gallon. Scrub, rinse tank.
  • Prevent mold. The vinegar helps to prevent mold growth.
  • Regular Maintenance will keep your dehumidifier running for years.

Tools Needed To Clean Dehumidifier

In order to clean the dehumidifier, you may need a few equipment and tools like:

  • A pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from dust and grime as well as chemicals and soap used for this purpose
  • Dust mask especially if you are sensitive to allergens in the air to avoid breathing in particulates
  • Basic cleaning tools like towels, rags, wire brushes, and small toothbrushes, etc. to complete the task
  • Soap and household cleaning agents (vinegar & bleach)
  • Use a mild detergent.
  • A dry-wet vacuum cleaner with an attached hose to remove grime and loose dirt from the interior of your dehumidifier.
  • Give it a thorough cleaning.

Dehumidifier Cleaning Process

Safety steps

When you plan to clean a dehumidifier then you should take some safety steps to avoid getting sick or electrocuted.

1. Put on gear.

You should put on rubber gloves and a dust mask to avoid inhaling dust and other airborne allergens as well as protecting your hands from dust, grime, chemical cleaners, and soap, etc.

2. Turn off and unplug.

Secondly, you should switch off and unplug the dehumidifier before starting to clean it to make it completely safe while wiping it from inside and outside.

3. Water Reservoir (Tank): Regular Cleaning

It is necessary to clean the tank of the dehumidifier where the water extracted from the air is collected to avoid the growth of mold.

  • Remove the tank and empty any water. Turn the tank over in a bathtub or sink to drain any water out from the bottom.
  • Wash with soapy water. You should detach the tank from the main unit to clean its interior with a mixture of hot water and mild soap.
  • Dry it with a towel before placing it to the side to clean the remainder of the dehumidifier parts.

Pro Tip: Attach a hose from the tank to a drain.

Since the dehumidifier will be constantly filling up with water to remove moisture from the air you will need to quickly dispose of the water or else risk mold growing.

If you don’t have a close drain nearby then you may have to empty the tank once a day.

4. Coils:

The evaporator coils on the back of the dehumidifier get very cold while the unit runs due to drawing in the moist air from the room to condense the air with the help of a fan. The condensation process will freeze if the air temperature is too cold. The fan blades should be cleaned as well.

  • Defrost the coils. Unplug the machine. Let it thaw for a couple of hours. Catch the dripping water and dispose of it in a drain or outside.

5. Filter:

You should remove the air filter of your dehumidifier and vacuum it to remove loose dirt and debris from it as it can be clogged up with the dust particles in the humid air.

Then you should rinse it with a mixture of cold water and mild soap to remove the grime and dust stuck on it. Then dry it carefully before replacing it.

6. With vinegar:

You can disinfect your dehumidifier by using the mixture of white vinegar and water in equal quantities. You can use this mixture to wash its tank and scrub its interior with a soft brush to avoid the growth of mold.

Before rinsing and drying the tank with a towel you should allow the vinegar mixture to stay in its tank for 30- 90 minutes according to its condition to disinfect it thoroughly.

7. Mold:

Mold in your dehumidifier can be cleaned effectively by cleaning its tank thoroughly by emptying it and cleaning it by using warm water and mild soap regularly. You should scrub its interior before rinsing it and drying it.

Check the outer shell to make sure there is no mold on it either.

Cleaning Dehumidifier FAQs

Can a dehumidifier kill mold?

No, but it does help prevent mold from growing in the first place.

Mold is a problem in many homes and it can be very frustrating to deal with.

There are two ways that you can reduce the chance of mold growth: prevention, or removing what has already grown on your home’s surfaces.

A dehumidifier will help keep relative humidity below 60%, which is often enough for eliminating most household molds without using chemicals such as bleach or vinegar (which may cause other problems).

To learn how these work, read more about our products here!

Mold thrives within damp environments where there’s plenty of food sources like wood, paper and dust particles so when moisture levels rise above 40% RH then mold spores start to grow rapidly.

What is the brown stuff in my dehumidifier?

Don’t let your dehumidifier get bogged down with grossness! It’s easy to avoid, though. First and foremost: keep it empty of water.

If you notice that the slime is starting to build upon its own, clean out all of the gunk in a container or outside somewhere before placing it back inside so as not to contribute any more ickiness than necessary.

And if you’re wondering what those brown sludges are–they could be just about anything including mold spores which can cause respiratory disease; bacteria which may lead to infections; dirt from our shoes mixing into stagnant puddles left over after we emptied them days ago; etcetera ad infinitum until they’ve grown enough for us humans

Do dehumidifiers clean the air?

Dehumidifiers do not clean the air, but they can indirectly help to keep your space more sanitary and safe by preventing mold from growing.

Dehumidifiers are a great way of maintaining optimal humidity levels in any room or living situation because high levels of moisture will cause all sorts of unwelcome guests such as bacteria, molds and mildew spores that could lead to respiratory problems like asthma for allergy sufferers.

What can I put in my dehumidifier to prevent mold?

There are several products you can use to add to your dehumidifier. They range from dehumidifier treatment capsules to bacteriostatic chemicals to help keep it clean.

These antimicrobials are sprayed on the coil, in the tank and in other areas that are susceptible to mold. Repeat the treatments every few months to keep the mold away for good.

How to prevent mold from growing?

Mold and mildew grow fast in the water tank of the dehumidifier. So to prevent their growth you should clean its water tank frequently and regularly by using the solution of water and mild soap and scrubbing it gently.

How often should you clean the dehumidifier bucket?

The water tank or bucket of the dehumidifier collects all the moisture collected from the air. So it gets dirty very fast.

Thus it becomes necessary to clean it after every 3-4 weeks by using a mixture of water and lid soap and scrubbing it gently and rinsing it thoroughly.

Some buckets have a bucket filter. Make sure to clean that as well when you empty the bucket.

How to clean a Frigidaire dehumidifier?

In normal conditions to clean a Frigidaire dehumidifier, you will have to remove its filter and bucket after every 2-3 weeks.

Now use clean water to wash the filter and dry it. Use the mixture of detergent and warm water to clean its bucket. Replace them after drying.

Now use an oil-free or dry cloth to dust the exterior of its cabinet and use a vacuum with a brush attachment to duet the grille of the dehumidifier.

How to clean a Bionaire dehumidifier?

To clean the Bionaire dehumidifier, remove the filter and water tank from its base. Use a paper towel damped in white vinegar to wipe its base. Dry its base after rinsing with warm water and dry with paper towels.

To clean its water tank, remove and fill it with a mixture of warm water and white vinegar for at least 20 minutes.

Scrub it gently with a soft-bristled brush to remove sediments and dirt from it.

Rinse the tank thoroughly with warm water after emptying the dirty vinegar and dry with paper towels. Replace the water tank and filter to use it again.

How to clean a Toshiba filter?

To clean the Toshiba filter in your dehumidifier you should remove it by pulling the filter outwards. The filter should be washed with clean water and dried thoroughly before replacing it.

To bleach or not to bleach?

Use diluted bleach to clean the dehumidifier parts (besides the filter).

While cleaning the filter of your dehumidifier you should not use any kind of abrasives or bleach.

What does the Owner’s Manual require special cleaning?

Some owner’s manuals will require special cleaning for the dehumidifiers. In most cases you can use the steps we outline here. It is a best practice to check it first. Proper maintenance is your first line of defense against respiratory diseases. Your indoor air quality will dramatically improve.

What if the dehumidifier has a musty smell?

Chances are it is a dirty dehumidifier and the easiest way to get rid of the smell is the clean it

Also of Interest: How to get rid of vinegar smell in the car


Also of Interest: How to get rid of vinegar smell in the car





D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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