How To Clean a Dehumidifier (Bucket, Coil, Hose)

Any home appliance must undergo regular maintenance to keep everything in check. A clean dehumidifier is crucial in providing healthy air for you and your family. With regular upkeeping, it will give you the best performance consistently for many years ahead. However, there are many parts that require proper cleanings such as the filter, coil, bucket, and hose. Failing to do may reduce the dehumidifying output and promote the growth of mold. So to extend the device lifespan, here are our best tips on how to clean a dehumidifier without breaking a sweat.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier?

We recommend cleaning the dehumidifier every 2 weeks to a month depending on the usage frequencies. Dust, debris, and bacteria will accumulate in the machine over time. Most of the mineral residues in the reservoir will eventually spread to parts like coils and compressors if is left unattended. A dirty dehumidifier will have gradual airflow disruption and eventually stop working.

Turn Off And Unplug The Dehumidifier

To prevent the risk of fire hazard, switch off the dehumidifier and unplug the cord from the power outlet so it is safe to clean. You do not want to experience electric shock during the whole cleaning progress.

Wipe Out Dust From The Exterior

With a damp rag, start wiping the outside of the dehumidifier from dust or grime. Be extra careful on the grill and ventilation as it may break from excessive force. For hard to reach places, use a toothbrush to scrub out the stain. Avoid spraying water or any cleaning solvents like bleach that you would normally use on any home appliances. The chemicals may damage the unit’s internal components.

Empty And Clean The Reservoir

Arguably the most important step, first empty all the water collected from the bucket. Next, mix liquid soap with water (around 1/10 ratio) and start scrubbing the tank thoroughly. If there are mineral deposits that are hard to remove, try using vinegar plus warm water and scrub in a circular motion. Once the tank is sparkling clean, rinse it with water and let it air dry before placing it back. You can reduce the cleaning frequency by using demineralized or distilled water.

Clean Or Replace The Removable Filter

Most dehumidifier comes with a permanent filter that stops dust, dirt, and bacteria from getting into the water. When the filter indicator light lits remove the filter and rinse it with warm water for a couple of minutes,. Then, gently scrub it with a soft bristle brush to avoid tearing the filter. Let the filter dry completely before placing it back to the machine. Alternatively, use a vacuum cleaner attached with a dusting brush and gently brush off any particles. If the filter is non-washable, replace it according to the owner’s instructional manual.

[OPTIONAL] Clean the Bucket Filter And Hose

Some dehumidifier comes with a drainage hose and bucket filter. A bucket filter is a tiny part that helps catch any stray impurities that are not captured by the filter. A hose is used to redirect the collected water straight to a drain rather than to the collection bucket. Simply rinse them with warm water, leave it dry before installing them back.

Final Check and Repeat

Check and vacuum any exposed coil or compressor if there is dust accumulation. Once done, plug back the dehumidifier and record down the date for future references. Monitor and check for any condensation or dip in performance. If there is, repeat the cleaning steps until there are no signs of clogging.

Cleaning a dehumidifier is easy but may take some time especially at first try. So before we get started, let's make sure all the cleaning tools are ready so we can do it in the right manner. The following basic items is a must: a rag/ towel, a vacuum cleaner with dusting brush attachment, and a toothbrush. For those that are sensitive to dust, allergens, and soap, consider wearing a mask and a pair of rubber gloves. This can protect you from direct contact with the chemicals or inhaling to the particulates released during cleaning. Lastly, if you have not clean the dehumidifier for quite sometimes, do it in an open space area as there will be a lot of collected dust let loose.

Why Does a Dehumidifier Need To Be Cleaned?

Any appliances that involve water collection must be periodically checked and cleaned. No exception with a dehumidifier. It is designed to capture moisture so the air is much more comfortable to breathe in. The lower room humidity level will create an inhabitable environment for mold. With an unclean dehumidifier, the mineral build-up in the tank will have a reverse effect on what it supposes to do. The allergens will continue to spread over the filter, coil, and hose. Air quality will deteriorate and everyone in the household will be at risk of allergic reactions or asthma attacks. The dehumidifier will be clogged by dirt, grime, fungus resulted in poor dehumidification efficiency and long-term durability.

Symptoms Of a Dirty Dehumidifiers

  • No draining - Clogged drain hose
  • Poor moisture removal - Dirty filter, clogged grill or coil
  • Increase fan noise - Faulty compressor that fails to run smoothly due to congestion
  • Frost on coil - Clogged on coil or malfunction de-icing sensor
  • Stop running with error code - Filter is dirty or electronic board failure



Kingston Kay

Growing up in New Orleans; one of the highest relative humidity in the United States, Kingston Kay knows a thing or two about humidity. Besides reviewing dehumidifiers for living, you will find him gyming in the basement.