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How to clean a dehumidifier filter

Updated on November 23, 2023
Written by
Danny Ashton
Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers and indoor air quality since 2010. He is our lead tester, conducting all the tests we use to evaluate air quality products. That is why you will always see his name attached to our reviews.

Dehumidifiers are extremely effective at improving indoor air quality. They reduce the level of humidity and have become difficult to live without in the home. But did you know that dehumidifiers need cleaning and maintaining on a regular basis, especially those that have an air filter? 

An air filter plays a fantastic role in tackling mold and condensation, but after a while, your unit may not be as effective as it was from the start. This is probably because your filter is in need of a good clean. Your filter can be removed and washed easily, allowing your unit to perform to its maximum potential once again.

Why Could a Filter Need Cleaning?

An air filter’s purpose is to pull contaminants out of the air, so as you can imagine the filter can get very dirty in a short space of time. Failing to keep your machine’s filter clean will evidently result in poor performance, lack of general efficiency, and will waste energy which, in turn, will cost you more money to run. 

A dehumidifier filter’s lifespan will be determined greatly on how well you take care of it. You wouldn’t let your plants go without water, or have your car run without engine oil, so be sure to clean your filter to give you the best possible results and improve your home environment. 

How to Clean a Dehumidifier Filter: A Step by Step Guide

If your home is starting to show signs of dampness, rot, or evidence of dust mites again, don’t be so quick to dispose of your dehumidifier to buy a new one. It could simply be a case that the air filter needs cleaning.

Here are some useful tips that will help you maintain your product’s filter to put a stop to any problematic development.

1. Unplug your dehumidifier

The very first thing you need to do is to switch off and unplug your dehumidifier. Remember, a dehumidifier deals with moisture and water, which doesn’t exactly mix well with electricity. You want to exclude any risk of being launched across the room from an electric shock, or permanently damaging your unit by exposing its circuits to any moisture contained in the filter when removing.

2. Find the filter cover panel

A lot of dehumidifiers are different but most have the same setup for cleaning the air filter. Seek out the panel at the back of your unit that covers the air filter and carefully remove it. The filter should be staring right at you, however, be sure to check the unit’s instructions or look for a guide on YouTube to find the best approach for your model to avoid any damage.

3. Remove the filter

Depending on the unit, the filters are usually located within the core of the dehumidifier. You may need to remove the water tank in order to slot the filters out. Generally, dehumidifier filters have a tassel that is found towards the top, simply pull on the tassel and the filter should become loose, making them easy to remove. Be wary of any hanging wires and electrics when removing the filter. We always suggest consulting the manual first.

4. Washing your filter

If this is the first time cleaning your filter it can appear filthy. Don’t worry, that just means your dehumidifier is doing its job. Place the filter dust side down in your sink and rinse with hot water,  move the filter around in your hands under the tap in order to remove the dust and dirt efficiently (if you have access to a flexible spray tap, it makes everything much easier). Dehumidifier filters are washable and reusable so keep an eye out for any breaks or tears in the material, this may be an indication that you need a new one.

5. Drying your filter

Once you have removed all the dust and dirt from your filter you need to leave it to dry for around half an hour before giving it a thorough dry with a dry cloth or dish towel. Again, be careful not to rip or tear the filter whilst drying. With all the moisture removed, your air filter is now ready to place back into the dehumidifier.

Pro tip: Some units come with filters on both the front and back. Be sure to check your manual so you’re not doing half a job.   

6. Placing the filter back in your dehumidifier

Placing your filter back into your machine is as simple as it was to remove. Slot the filter into its place, making sure it’s in the right position making sure it isn’t loose or wobbly. Don’t force anything and risk damaging your unit. 

You will probably notice that your filter is now sparkling but your unit isn’t. You’ve already come this far, you might as well give the whole dehumidifier a clean to fully maximize its efficiency. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to clean and maintain your unit to avoid any further moisture issues or having to shell out for a new one.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your air filter is paramount. If you want your dehumidifier to work to its maximum potential, it is recommended that the filter(s) are cleaned once every 2-3 weeks. This can vary depending on how high humidity levels are, or how frequently your unit is used, but as long as you keep on top of the maintenance you should not be concerned about performance.

Dehumidifiers are put under a lot of pressure, tackling excess moisture on a daily basis which takes its toll. Keeping your unit well maintained doesn’t only improve performance but will save you from buying a new one whenever there is a problem. 

About the author

Danny Ashton

Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers and indoor air quality since 2010. He is our lead tester, conducting all the tests we use to evaluate air quality products. That is why you will always see his name attached to our reviews.