How To Clean A Dehumidifier Filter

Do you have a dehumidifier that has a washable filter or you intend to buy one?

You need to know how to clean it. Thankfully, learning how to clean a dehumidifier filter is not too hard.

What does a dehumidifier filter do?

In the first place, what is the work of a filter in a dehumidifier? Well, it filters the air that enters the dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier works by sucking in the air, condensing the moisture in the air and then releasing the drier air into the room.

Since the indoor air might have dust mites, pollen, dust, fungi and other pollutants, the filter captures all of these. Your dehumidifying unit will release pure air back to the room.

With time and usage, a dehumidifier filter clogs up due to the buildup of lint, dust and other material. If this happens, the appliance cannot work correctly.

That is why you need to know how to clean the filter of a dehumidifier.

For starters, the best thing is to check the instruction manual of the dehumidifier and find out what the manufacturer recommends as the best way to clean the filter.

Cleaning a dehumidifier filter can prevent infections

The filter has the important role of getting rid of dust and allergens from the air. This ensures they don’t get to the internal components of the dehumidifier. It enables the unit to generate healthier and cleaner air.

The air filter removes impurities such as dust, mold, and mildew from the air before it gets to the dehumidifying coils.

Because of this function, the filters accumulate dust and debris over time. Dust, mildew and mold are some of the indoor allergens that we all want to avoid.

A dehumidifier filter will trap these irritants. It will also capture bacteria and other nasty stuff that harm our health.

If you have a respiratory problem such as asthma or hay fever, go for antibacterial filters. These kill bacteria in the air in addition to removing dust. If your dehumidifier does not have an antibacterial filter, you can buy one.

However, not all dehumidifier filters are washable. Some are disposable.

Types of dehumidifier filters

There are two types of air filters; washable filters and disposable dehumidifier filters.

Disposable filters

Disposable or replaceable filters are thrown away once their usefulness ends and they are then replaced with a new one.

How often you replace depends on the way you are using the dehumidifier and how dusty and humid the environment is.

If you run your dehumidifier constantly, then you should change the air filter every two or three months. However, if you do not run the dehumidifier daily, change it once in three or four months.

Keep reading to see the second type – the washable dehumidifier filters.

When to clean the dehumidifier filters – Once in 2 weeks

If you are looking to save money, opt for dehumidifiers with washable filters. All that you need to do is to wash them once they are dirty and return them to the unit.

Disinfect the filters so that bacteria and mold do not grow. If the filters have mold and bacteria, then they are likely to be released back to your home.

Image of dehumidifier filter replacement

Clean the filters regularly to make sure that the dehumidifier maintains its efficiency. This also ensures that it produces good quality air.

If you are not sure when to clean it, just check to see if the filter has accumulated any dust. You should do this at least once in two or three weeks if you are using it moderately.

If you are using the unit in full power for such as when you are using it the first time, then clean the filter weekly.

Some units have a filter light that turns on when the filter needs cleaning. Do not ignore such a light. Check the dehumidifier.

You will know how to clean a dehumidifier filter if you follow the advice below. After you do it a few times, you will get the hang it.

How to clean a dehumidifier filter – step-by-step guide

There is a certain procedure to follow. You do not just jump right into it without any preparation. First, what do you need to clean a dehumidifier? Not many things, but here are a few of them.

  • Warm water
  • Soap
  • You may or may not have a vacuum


Steps to follow for how to clean a dehumidifier filter

Follow the steps we have outlined below to clean your appliance and enhance the quality of your indoor air:

Step 1 – Switch off, unplug

Switch off the dehumidifier and unplug it from electricity. Water and electricity are not good buddies. Avoid electrocution.

Step 2: Remove the filter and check for dust

Open the front grille to remove the air filter. After you open the panel, you will find the filter on the inside. Slide the filter out of the panel.

Remember that dehumidifiers are designed differently and may require you to remove the air filter in a different way. For some units, the filter is located at the top.

Check for dust on the filter. You can do this by running a finger on the surface. If you get a visible trail, know that you should have cleaned the filter earlier. Too much dust makes your dehumidifier less efficient.

If you are not sure about how to remove it, check the instructions given in the user manual.

Step 3: Cleaning in soapy water and rinsing

Wash the filter using a sponge and soapy warm water. You can also rinse it using tap water.

Make sure the temperature of the water is not above 40°C. Do not clean it in the dishwasher. Alternatively, you can vacuum lightly if it is not too dirty.

Step 4: Rinse and air-dry the filter

Rinse and wipe the water using a tea towel. Also, you can let it air-dry in a cool place under the shade. If you are in a hurry, use a leaf blower to get rid of moisture.

Step 5: Return the filter to the dehumidifier

Once the filter is dry, return it into the panel and the back to the dehumidifier. You may also have two filters such that when you are cleaning one filter, the other one is in the unit.

This can be helpful especially if you do not have enough time to wait for one filter to dry.

Why it’s vital to clean the dehumidifier filter

Cleaning the filter improves the efficiency of the dehumidifier. When it is clean, the filter removes dust more efficiently and you will end up with clean air.

Your unit will last a longer time. You don’t want to keep replacing your unit every so often because it is not functioning well.

A clogged filter causes reduced performance. When you clean the filter, you also extend the life of the dehumidifier in addition to improving its efficiency.

Save your energy costs. When the air filter is clean, the unit does not work very hard to remove moisture and dust from your home. As a result, it uses less energy.

How long should a washable dehumidifier filter last?

Do you need to replace washable air filters?

Definitely, you need to. Just like any other component, the air filters can wear out with time and reduce their efficiency.

How often will you replace it? Well, this largely depends on how the unit is used and the care you give it. For instance, if you use the dehumidifier all-round the year, you will need to replace the filter sooner than someone who uses it occasionally.

Also, if you do not wash the filter often, there is a high chance that it will not last long. It may require replacing sooner.

As a rule of thumb, you should change the filter after two years if you are a light user. Replace after a year if you are a heavy user.

However, it is better to check the manufacturer’s instructions on when to replace and how to do it.

Unfortunately, there are factors that can shorten the life of a filter. For example, the air that has animal dander, dust and smoke can clog the filter and reduce its life.

The solution is to keep your home clean so that you do not overwork the unit.

Wrapping up

You now know how to clean a dehumidifier filter. The benefits of keeping your dehumidifier filter clean are quite many.

As you have seen here, it is not too hard to keep your dehumidifier filter clean. Check the filter often even if you do not live in a dusty area.

Bacteria, virus and fungi also get caught up in the filter and can cause you serious health issues.

If you need replacement filters, you can order the AlorAir 2-Pack MERV-8 filters for Sentinel Dehumidifiers on, if you have one of their units.

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