How to Clean a Dehumidifier – The Right Way

Last Updated on January 31, 2021 by Justin Williams

Has your dehumidifier become a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and mildew?

Your dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air but at the same time, it accumulates a lot of nasty things. To ensure maximum performance, you must clean it regularly especially if you are using it frequently.

Cleaning a dehumidifier isn’t a hard task at all but you have to make sure that you clean every part of it such as the unit’s exterior, water reservoir, and the filters.

If you want to know how to clean a dehumidifier, here are six simple steps to accomplish the job.



The first you take before you do anything else is to switch off the dehumidifier and unplug it from the power source. This will ensure that the dehumidifier is absolutely safe for cleaning whether you want to clean every single part thoroughly or just wipe down quickly.

Don’t even bring a damp cloth near the dehumidifier before switching it off.


Wipe the outside

The exterior of the dehumidifier or the outer shell is the first line of defense between the unit’s internal components and the dirt it tries to collect. It is very effective in removing unwanted particles present in the air.

After you have unplugged your unit, wipe off the dirty elements like grime or dirt that have accumulated in the exterior of the dehumidifier using a dry cloth. If it’s too dirty, use a damp cloth. Refrain from directly using cleaning solvents and do not spray water on it at any time.

This can inflict damage on the dehumidifier and it will break down.


Clean the reservoir

clean dehumidifier reservoir

If you need to know how to clean mold from dehumidifier, cleaning out the reservoir is highly recommended.

The reservoir or water collection tank of your dehumidifier must be emptied out routinely to prevent harmful elements from damaging it. However, you should clean it thoroughly using a disinfectant or soap and warm water.

Mold and mildew build up very fast, and if it gets inside the tank they can spread illnesses. Because of this, you should carry out a thorough cleaning at least once every three weeks especially if you are using it routinely.

You just have to pour liquid soap along with water into the tank. Scrub it gently and then rinse it off. Make sure it has dried off completely before you put it back on.

If you want to know how to clean a dehumidifier with vinegar, you can use it during this step to break up stubborn dirt or hard water deposits.

Just make sure you read the manual carefully.


Rinse air filter

Your dehumidifier’s air filter is the part which does all the work so if it doesn’t work, it won’t work as well. Make sure that you clean the air filter thoroughly, remove it from the dehumidifier and inspect if there is any blockages or if it has been damaged.

You might be required to replace the filter depending on the dust and dirt collected on the filter. If you find that the filter is usable, you can simply clean it and use it again. A solution of warm water and detergent should do the trick.

After that, soak the filter in the solution for a short amount of time and then dry it off before placing it back again.



If you want to trap all the unwanted particles and have your dehumidifier perfectly clean, grab a vacuum and clean any dirt you may see.

Additionally, you can also vacuum the dehumidifier’s filter before washing to clean the loose dirt off.


Clean the bucket filter

If you’re looking to know how to clean dehumidifier bucket, you have to be aware that not all dehumidifiers have a bucket filter. This filter is effective in trapping the leftover impurities of your dehumidifier. It is much smaller than the main filter and is similar to the size of a thimble.

Generally, you will find it tucked in the reservoir, but you can refer to the product manual to make sure that your unit is fitted with one.

If your unit is fitted with a bucket filter, rinse it off with warm water. After it’s completely dried off, you can set it to its place.

How to Clean Mold from Dehumidifier

If you want to know how to clean mold from dehumidifier, here are some easy steps you can follow.

  • Put on protective gloves (rubber or latex) to protect your hands. If you have mold allergy, put on a mask.
  • Detach the basket for collecting water of the dehumidifier. If the unit’s basket is full, ensure that you don’t spill on the unit.
  • Empty out the liquid in the water basket down the drain or into your sink.
  • After that, refill the water basket till half full with clean water. Put in a teaspoon of dish soap for each gallon of water used.
  • Swirl the water basket to release the mold and debris. You can utilize a soft bristle brush to brush off any mold visible inside the basket.
  • Rinse and dispel out the soap from the unit’s basket with clean water.
  • For every gallon of water, mix a ½ cup chlorine solution and use that to fill the units water basket and cover the parts affected by mold growth.
  • Let the solution stay inside the units basket for about 15 minutes to destroy any mold spores leftover.
  • Rinse it with clean water thoroughly and empty out the water basket.
  • Set the water basket back into your unit following manufacturer’s instructions.

Is Dehumidifier Water Clean?

Yes, the water from dehumidifier is clean, but still not drinkable.

Dehumidifier works by pulling water vapor from the air and condenses the vapor on the coils then drip into the bucket. So, it is considered as pure water.

However, dehumidifier water may contain some biological contaminants, including mold and mildew or metal residues from other dehumidifier parts. Therefore, dehumidifier water is not safe for your health.


That’s all! It’s not so hard to clean a dehumidifier. Your dehumidifier ensures that you breathe in healthy and clean air, so it’s only logical that you regularly clean it and prevent mold and other grime and dirt from building up.

Cleaning it regularly also ensures that you’ll be using your unit for a long time. It’s recommended that you carry out through cleaning at least once a month.

Hopefully, this article on how to clean a dehumidifier will prove to be useful but remember to read thoroughly any user manual or instruction before you carry out these steps.

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My name is Justin Williams. I am the founder and blogger at (read more about us). I was an allergy sufferer and that is also the reason why I began my trek to finding the best dehumidifier for my own personal health issues. All of the dehumidifier top picks on the site were put through their paces by Lance Perez - our dehumidifier researcher. He put each one through a series of tests to see how well they performed. Then, our editorial team compiled the insights into articles and published them.

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