How to properly clean your dehumidifier | A&J Property Restoration | A&J restoration (2023)

How to properly clean your dehumidifier | A&J Property Restoration | A&J restoration (1)

Dehumidifier frozen? It may be time for a deep clean!

Damp and damp are two things homeowners want to keep out of their home. Water is a breeding ground for many different problems, including mold and mildew, which can lead to serious health problems with frequent exposure. Using a dehumidifier can keep moisture out of the air, keeping mold and mildew to a minimum.

If you already have a dehumidifier, you know that the coils and tray can get pretty uncomfortable at times. We'll cover how to run your dehumidifier as efficiently as possible, but first let's discuss when you need a dehumidifier in your home.

Should I install a dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers suck the moisture out of the air, but how do you know if your home has too much humidity and needs a little help drying it out? Let's look at a few signs that you may need to invest in a dehumidifier.

  1. you see spotsMold stains, that is. Mold stains are a sure sign that your home is too wet. These signs can appear in any room of the house. Most often they show up in the bathroom or in the basement. Next time you're in the shower, look up at the ceiling. If you see dark spots, you have a mold problem. After thisCall a professional to assess the mold problem, it's time to invest in a dehumidifier.
  2. You've noticed condensation building up on your windows.Water beading on your windows can mean that the windows weren't installed properly or that your room is too humid. A dehumidifier can help by pulling the moisture out of the air and keeping the humidity level reasonably low.
  3. Your home is starting to smell musty.This must smell means that mold and mildew are present. These problems spread when there is high humidity and can lead to bigger problems than just a bad smell. When your home smells musty, it's important to find out where the problem is coming from and take appropriate action to fix the problem.
  4. Runoff water is a constant problem.Does your basement show water damage when it rains? If you see watermarks, it's time to get a dehumidifier. It's also crucial that you find out what the root of the problem is and fix it as soon as possible.
  5. Rotting wood is another sign that there is too much moisture in your home.Excess moisture can be a factor. Rotting wood can actually reduce the value of your home.
  6. You regularly suffer from allergies.Moisture can carry allergens like dust mites and mold spores, helping them spread and grow in your home. Keeping your humidity at a healthy level can help prevent ongoing allergies and respiratory problems.

Cleaning a dehumidifier keeps it running smoothly!

How to properly clean your dehumidifier | A&J Property Restoration | A&J restoration (2)Once you have your dehumidifier installed, keeping up with maintenance is imperative. Because the dehumidifier actively draws moisture from the air into the connected pool, it is a breeding ground for mold, mineral deposits, and mildew.

Keeping the device clean will keep these troubles out of the air and away from your family. You can use a simple mixture of vinegar and a few other cleaning tools to regularly remove the dirt from your dehumidifier.

Experts recommend cleaning the dehumidifier at least once a week. Here is the appropriate way to make cleaning easy and stress-free.

  1. Take your dehumidifier apart.It can be a chore, but to ensure you're cleaning every inch of the dehumidifier, taking the dehumidifier apart is the best step. Turn off the dehumidifier and unplug the power cord. Using the manual that came with the dehumidifier, begin to properly disassemble the unit, starting with the tank that holds the excess water. If you can remove the motor it is best to do so, but your dehumidifier may not have this capability.
  2. Clean tank.Start by scrubbing the tank well. Take a spray bottle and mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray the mixture into the dehumidifier tank. Let the spray sit for a while before wiping the splint with a sponge, scrubbing brush, or even a toothbrush.
  3. Clean the filter and coils by brushing the mesh with a soft brush.Remove accumulated dirt by scrubbing in up and down motions. Then spray the coils with the same cleaner you used on the tray. After the mixture has settled, pour lukewarm water over the coils, making sure to cover the dehumidifier motor to keep water out.
  4. Next come fan blades.With a damn cloth you can just wipe the blades and remove the accumulated dirt quickly and easily. You can also lubricate the blades with 3-4 drops of engine oil.
  5. The interior of the dehumidifier can be dusted with a vacuum cleaner.Use the hose attachment to get into every corner of the device and remove dust and dirt.
  6. Once the device is thoroughly dried and cleaned, you can reassemble and plug it back in.Run the machine and check for condensation on the coils. If it doesn't, then you've properly cleaned the device and it's ready to go! If there is condensation on the coils, it's time to call in a professional repair service or buy a new unit.

Dehumidifiers are perfect for keeping excess moisture out of your home and reducing the chances of mold and mildew in your home. Maintaining your dehumidifier will save you money and potential problems for your home down the line.

If you find that mildew and mold have settled in your home,. We understand that mold issues are a big concern and we want to make removal as easy as possible for all of our customers. We are always open for emergency services and we are ready to take your call today.

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How do I clean my dehumidifier? ›

Take a spray bottle and mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray the mixture in the dehumidifier tank. Allow the spray to sit for a while before wiping the tray down with a sponge, scrub brush, or even a toothbrush. Clean the filter and coils by cleaning the grille using a soft bristle brush.

How much vinegar do you use to clean a dehumidifier? ›

Mix a 6-ounce solution of vinegar (white or apple cider) and water (2 oz vinegar + 4 oz water). The simplest method of dehumidifier cleaning is to carry your vinegar and water mixture in a plastic bottle and use a small plastic funnel to pour the mixture into the pan.

How do I clean the filter on my dehumidifier? ›

First, unplug your dehumidifier. Pull out the filter from the device and vacuum as much of the dirt and dust as you can. Then, carefully wash the filter in soap and water. Rinse and let the filter dry completely before reassembling and using your dehumidifier again.

How often does a dehumidifier need to be cleaned? ›

All of that moisture from the air ends up in your dehumidifier bucket (unless you're pumping the water directly into a separate drain). That means it can get dirty fast and needs to be cleaned roughly once every three weeks during frequent use. Add mild liquid soap and water to the bucket. Then scrub gently and rinse.

What happens if you don't clean your dehumidifier? ›

If you don't keep the dehumidifier clean, mold will accumulate and cause that musty odor.

Can you run a dehumidifier with vinegar in it? ›

Can you put vinegar in a dehumidifier? Of course, you can spray vinegar solution into the dehumidifier's interior and exterior to disinfect and remove molds, hard water stains, and other dirt and slime.

Can I spray vinegar on mold and leave it? ›

Pour the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray it directly onto the moldy surface. Let the vinegar sit for at least an hour. Using a brush with soft bristles, scrub the moldy surface until the mold comes off.

Do you have to wipe vinegar off mold? ›

Spray the mold directly, fully saturating it with the vinegar, and allow the vinegar to sit for at least an hour. Don't be tempted to scrub or rinse; the mold needs time to completely absorb the vinegar.

Can I soak my humidifier filter in vinegar? ›

Here's how to clean it: Remove the filter from the humidifier and soak in a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the filter with hot, clean water. Allow the filter to air dry before reinserting into the humidifier.

How much vinegar do you use to clean a humidifier filter? ›

Unplugged, fill the base of the humidifier with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar and leave it to sit for an hour. The vinegar is a natural cleanser and it'll help loosen any residue and disinfect the small unit.

How often should you change the filter in a dehumidifier? ›

How often do I need to change the air filter on my whole-home dehumidifier? If your dehumidifier has a built-in filter, Honeywell recommends replacing it every 12 months. Contact your local HVAC professional for your new filter.

Should you leave a dehumidifier on all the time? ›

Don't Drop Relative Humidity Too Low

If you run a dehumidifier all the time, you might actually make the room too dry. On the bright side, this isn't normally the case– it only tends to happen when you use the dehumidifier for more than eight (8) hours resulting in a relative humidity of less than 15%.

Do dehumidifiers have filters that need to be cleaned? ›

Dehumidifiers have an air filter that cleans the air entering the unit. If the air filter is clogged, it can reduce the performance of the unit. The air filter is usually located behind the front grille and should be checked and cleaned regularly.

What is the brown stuff in my dehumidifier? ›

Mineral deposits are build-ups of calcium found in nearly all water. Calcium, and other minerals, accumulate when water evaporates and leaves them behind. Over time the deposits will turn a brownish color, the brown substance you see in the humidifier.

Is it OK to put bleach in dehumidifier? ›

Cleaning your dehumidifier regularly can prevent mold, but it doesn't take long for the spores to start growing. If you notice mold inside the dehumidifier, you can use either vinegar or bleach to clean the mold.

Can a dehumidifier cause health problems? ›

People with eczema (atopic dermatitis) may be especially prone to flare-ups in a dry environment. When you use a dehumidifier, you might need to be especially mindful of staying hydrated. If you have a dry cough or stuffy nose, running a dehumidifier might do more harm than good, too.

Is baking soda a good dehumidifier? ›

Baking soda has all kinds of uses, and dehumidifying is one of them. Since it is so inexpensive and easy to find at the store, it makes for a great choice. Though baking soda is a great option for a dehumidifier, it only works in a small area.

Why can't you drink water from a dehumidifier? ›

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, stagnant condensate can harbor biological contaminants, including mold, mildew and algae, especially if the collection bucket isn't cleaned regularly. Moreover, the condensate can contain lead and other metal residues from the component parts of the dehumidifier.

Do dehumidifiers help with black mold? ›

If the humidity in a room increases, mold will start growing in patches on walls, clothes, and more. So, to answer your question, dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, but they do prevent it by reducing humidity. If you have a mold problem in your home, don't wait. Mold spreads as long as it has a water source.

Can I leave vinegar on mold overnight? ›

Spray vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it for an hour. Then wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry. Any smell should clear within a few hours. While it's safe to use on most surfaces, vinegar is unlikely to be effective at cleaning mold off of soft surfaces.

Can you put hydrogen peroxide in a dehumidifier? ›

Mix 5:1 ratio of water to Hydrogen Peroxide 3% – Oxygen PlusTM. Run the mixture through your humidifier and dehumidifier.

Can you leave vinegar on humidifier overnight? ›

Let the heating element soak in the vinegar for at least 20 minutes, never turn the unit on while you are cleaning. If you have a lot of mineral buildup on the heating element you can soak it longer, such as several hours or overnight.

What kills mold permanently? ›

Bleach kills virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with including mold spores which leaves a sanitized surface making it resistant to future mold growth.

What kills black mold instantly? ›

For a natural solution for getting rid of black mold, combine one part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use a chemical-based mold and mildew remover, all-purpose cleaners, bleach or dish soap.

What kills mold spores in the air? ›

Hydrogen peroxide kills mold spore on contact by breaking down proteins and DNA. It's normally used to clean mold on porous and non-porous surfaces. Ionized hydrogen peroxide can kill mold spores in the air, but it requires the use of a special fogging machine.

What kills mold better vinegar or hydrogen peroxide? ›

Yes, vinegar is a mild acid that kills 82% of mold species. It's often used as a natural and nontoxic alternative to cleaning chemicals when it comes to killing household mold. Cleaning vinegar, which contains 6% acetic acid, is the best type for killing mold.

Which is better for mold vinegar or baking soda? ›

Vinegar is sometimes used along with baking soda when cleaning up a mold problem since vinegar kills different species of mold than baking soda. To kill mold, add 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle containing water.

What kills mold better bleach or vinegar? ›

Is Vinegar More Effective Than Bleach? Vinegar truly is better than cleaning with bleach when it comes to killing mold. The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In most cases, “a background level of mold spores will remain” after the application of bleach.

What can I add to my humidifier water to keep it clean? ›

Add White Vinegar: Fill your humidifier with water, distilled or otherwise, and also add a cup of white vinegar to the tank. This will help prevent any mold from growing. Humidifier Tablets: You can also purchase humidifier tablets to drop into the tank.

How often should you clean your humidifier with vinegar? ›

Empty, rinse, and dry the base and tank every day. Once a week, get rid of any mineral buildup with vinegar or another solution suggested by the manufacturer, and disinfect the humidifier with a 10% bleach solution (follow the instructions for your specific model).

Can I use rubbing alcohol to clean my humidifier? ›

Use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or a diluted bleach solution to clean a humidifier tank. Fill the tank with your preferred disinfecting solution, and swirl it around to ensure each area gets a deeper clean. Let the disinfectant sit for at least 10 minutes to kill off any lingering bacteria.

What is humidifier lung? ›

Humidifier lung (HL) is a relatively rare form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HPs) associated with the inhalation of moisture from humidifiers contaminated by various organisms. Because many of the past studies were case reports, clinical characteristics of HL have not been well described.

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar to clean humidifier? ›

Apple cider vinegar will remove or loosen all the hard water buildup. Rinse the humidifier tank and, if it still has some impurities, use a scrub or toothbrush to clean it. Wash all the parts with running water and let them dry. Reassemble and use the humidifier after it is completely dry.

How long should I soak filter in vinegar? ›

First, take the filter out and rinse under running water. You can use your soft-bristle toothbrush to get any chunks of stubborn food. Next, place it in a mix of warm water and white distilled vinegar. Finally, let this solution soak for at least 30 minutes.

What is the average lifespan of a dehumidifier? ›

Maintain Your Appliance

The lifetime of dehumidifiers usually ranges from five to 10 years. To maximize the lifetime, it's important to care for your dehumidifier. Be sure to regularly change the air filters, clean the condensing coils and exhaust grilles, and empty and clean the water bucket.

What happens if you don't change filter in humidifier? ›

Failure to change them may result in the following problems: Clogging of humidifier drainage. No moisture in indoor air. Increased growth of bacteria and mold which contaminates indoor air.

What maintenance does a dehumidifier need? ›

Clean Your Dehumidifier Regularly

At least once a month, you'll want to actively empty and clean the dehumidifier's water basket with soap, water, or a gentle chemical cleaner. You'll also want to vacuum the air intake and grills to keep dust from building up and impeding the dehumidifier's airflow.

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity? ›

Mini models can use as little as 22 watts, while high-volume dehumidifiers go up to around 500 watts. An example dehumidifier that can extract up to 20 litres a day, with a wattage of 480w would use 0.48 kWh, meaning that an hour's usage would cost just under 16p.

Is it better to run a dehumidifier at night or during the day? ›

If you're concerned about spending too much on your electricity bill, you can try calling your energy company and asking about the “best times.” Usually, the best times to run your unit, that will save you money, is between 10 pm and 7 am — this is when less people are consuming energy, which drives down the rates.

Is it normal for a dehumidifier to fill up every day? ›

The water volume will vary depending on the humidity level and the capacity of the collection tank. On average, a home dehumidifier collects five gallons of water per day. When a dehumidifier fills up quickly, you may have excess humidity in your home or an issue with the dehumidifier itself.

How do I clean and disinfect my dehumidifier? ›

Take a spray bottle and mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray the mixture in the dehumidifier tank. Allow the spray to sit for a while before wiping the tray down with a sponge, scrub brush, or even a toothbrush. Clean the filter and coils by cleaning the grille using a soft bristle brush.

How do I clean the gunk out of my dehumidifier? ›

Gently vacuum off the top layer of dust and grime or scrape it off with your hand. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to clean the coils with a spray detergent or mixture of vinegar and water. Rinse off any residue. Make sure you let the coils completely dry before using your dehumidifier again.

What is the black stuff floating in my humidifier? ›

Answer: The black particles that you see in your vaporizer are normal and do not affect the purity of the steam. These particles are the left-over minerals from your water.

Is brown mold toxic? ›

Small amounts of brown mould may not pose an immediate threat, but it can be a health risk for those with underlying respiratory issues or allergies. If brown mould is left untreated it can increase in severity and become a serious health risk for those who come into contact with or breathe in its spores.

How do you get mold out of a dehumidifier? ›

Spray bleach or vinegar on the moldy areas and let it sit for several minutes. Scrub the area and rinse it well. To keep the mold under control in the future, clean the dehumidifier more frequently and check for additional mold growth.

Does vinegar remove mold spores? ›

Vinegar is a bold mold killer. According to ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning, the mild acid in vinegar kills about 82% of known molds and can help prevent future outbreaks. You can clean small amounts of mold with vinegar yourself, but be aware of when you should call professionals.

Is vinegar effective in removing mold? ›

Vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and it can be a cheap and effective treatment for many types of mold.

Can mold spores be wiped off? ›

Use a clean cloth or a soft-bristled brush to remove the mold spores. Then, clean it with a solution of water and non-phosphate detergent before wiping it off and drying thoroughly. You can also wipe down items with a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol.

How long does a HEPA filter last in a dehumidifier? ›

They must be replaced when they change colour from white to grey/dark grey and will last roughly 3 months.

What slows down mold growth? ›

To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home. Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. You can buy a meter to check your home's humidity at a home improvement store.

What kills mold growth? ›

Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.

What temperature should you keep your house to prevent mold? ›

The ideal temperature is between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer months, temperatures are often higher than normal inside the home. Make an effort to keep temperatures inside the home lower during the summer months. Setting the thermostat to the low 70s makes it more difficult for mold to grow.

Do dehumidifiers fight mold? ›

Simply put, dehumidifiers cannot remove mold. The machine is designed to remove moisture in the air. This means that if there is already a presence of mildew in a home or building, it will not be removed just by working to reduce the moisture after the fact.

What is a good humidity level? ›

The ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is somewhere between 30-50% humidity, according to the Mayo Clinic. This means that the air holds between 30-50% of the maximum amount of moisture it can contain.

What humidity should a room be? ›

A good range of indoor humidity for comfort and health is between 30-60% during cooler months of the year. Mould is likely to occur if the relative humidity indoors is 70% or more for long periods of time. Keeping humidity levels under 50% also helps to minimise or control dust mites.


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