How to clean a dehumidifier with our easy, expert-approved method

Learn how to clean a dehumidifier the right way, plus all the supplies you're going to need

A dehumidifier next to a plan
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re wondering about the process of how to clean a dehumidifier, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve got you covered. We get it, the idea of taking a dehumidifier apart to clean it can seem tricky but, honestly, it’s really not. 

The chances are that when you brought your dehumidifier, you didn’t think about the fact that, at some point, it would need to be cleaned. Whether you’re using it to dry your laundry more quickly or to help deal with a mold problem that your home seems to have, keeping your dehumidifier clean is vital for its performance. So, knowing how to clean this hard-working piece of kit is crucial. 

If you've invested in one of the best dehumidifiers, you need to know how to clean it without causing damage or impacting its performance. We’ve chatted with the experts to find out all of their best advice.

Before you clean a dehumidifier

Put those cleaning supplies to work and see how to clean a dehumidifier the right way with our step-by-step guide. We also answer all your questions with expert advice in our FAQ section.

Time: 15 minutes (plus drying time)

Difficulty: Easy 

Helpful hints: Make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions before beginning the cleaning process, to ensure that the steps you're taking won't cause any damage to your dehumidifier. 

Here’s what you’ll need

How to clean a dehumidifier

Step 1: Unplug the dehumidifier 

The first step is to unplug the dehumidifier, to make sure that it’s safe to clean. Make sure it's not connected to any power source for safe cleaning.

Step 2: Remove and vacuum the filter  

Next, carefully remove the filter from the dehumidifier, before using a vacuum cleaner to suck up as much dirt and debris as possible. 

Step 3: Wash the filter 

Fill the sink (or a bucket) with warm soapy water and use it to wash the filter in, making sure to remove all remaining dirt and debris. Then, once the filter is clean, use fresh water to wash off any soap, before leaving the filter to completely dry. 

Step 4: Clean the water reservoir

Next, empty and clean the water reservoir. 

Josh Mitchell, a HVAC Technician, explains: "Remove the water collection bucket and dispose of the water. Clean it with a mild detergent, [we recommend this list of our favorite highly-rated eco-friendly detergents for the best buys] and warm water. Rinse well and either dry it with a clean towel or let it air dry."

Step 5: Clean the coils with a vacuum cleaner

While your filter is drying, take the time to clean the dehumidifier’s coils; these can usually be found at the back of the dehumidifier. Use a vacuum cleaner on a low setting to carefully vacuum up any dirt and debris from the coils. 

Step 6: Brush and spray the coils 

Next, use a soft brush to gently brush dirt and debris away from the coils, before spraying them with a mix of one part vinegar to three parts water. Use the brush to clean the coils down, before wiping off the excess cleaning solution with a clean damp cloth. 

Step 7: Allow the coils to dry

Once all clean, leave the coils to dry completely before you put the filter back into the dehumidifier and start using it again.


Is it safe to clean a dehumidifier?

It's safe to clean a dehumidifier as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions in terms of cleaning and care. As well as making sure that the appliance is switched off and unplugged.

Why is cleaning your dehumidifier regularly important?

For your dehumidifier to run efficiently, regular care is vital. 

Mitchell explains: "Regular maintenance not only ensures that your dehumidifier runs efficiently but also improves the indoor air quality of your space." 

For the best environment, you can also use an air purifier to improve your air quality at home. 

Do I have to clean my dehumidifier?

It's best practice to keep your dehumidifier clean, otherwise, you risk mold or bacteria growing within the dehumidifier's system. You definitely want to avoid this, as getting rid of mold can be pretty difficult.

Hashi Mohamed, President of Ivy Cleans, says: "Cleaning a dehumidifier is essential to maintain its efficiency and prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. 

How often should I clean my dehumidifier?

Ideally, you want to be cleaning your dehumidifier every month. 

Paul M Walker, the founder of, says "Ensure you clean the water reservoir and any visible dust or debris from the unit at least once a month." 

Meet the experts

Paul M Walker
Paul M Walker

Paul M Walker is the founder of, a website dedicated to air purification devices and their maintenance, and has over three years of experience in the field.

Hashi Mohamed
Hashi Mohamed

Hashi Mohamed is the President of Ivy Cleans, a premier cleaning and lifestyle solutions company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Specializing in cleaning, organizing, and promoting a holistic lifestyle, they are passionate about transforming spaces into clean, organized, and vibrant environments. 

 Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell is a HVAC technician and the owner of

If you've been using a dehumidifier to dry laundry, you may find that long-term exposure to damp conditions has allowed yours to develop mold. To clean mold out of a dehumidifier, use all the steps above, but if it doesn't go away, one really powerful but natural option is to use baking soda as a cleaning agent

Simply remove the parts that are harboring mold, spray with water, sprinkle with baking soda, and allow to soak. After an hour, clean off the baking soda paste with a toothbrush dipped in warm soapy water, rinse, and allow to dry before replacing.

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.