How to Clean your Dehumidifier: Filter, Tank(bucket) and Drain Hose

how to clean dehumidifier guide
A dehumidifier with a dirty filter. ©
In short: to ensure that a dehumidifier continues to perform well, proper maintenance is important. You should regularly flush the water tank – or drain hose – and filters. Wash filters – if possible – or replace them in time. You can wipe the outside of the dehumidifier with a dry microfiber cloth.

A dehumidifier is intended to improve the air quality in your home. However, the device can only do this properly if it itself is also properly clean. Regular maintenance of the air purifier is therefore very important.

What is involved in cleaning a dehumidifier? In this article I tell you how best to clean all parts and how often you should do this.

Why clean a dehumidifier?

Let me start with the main reasons why it is so important to maintain a dehumidifier properly.

  • Prevent bad odors: the water tank of a dehumidifier contains stagnant water. This can eventually start to smell and contain bacteria.
  • Retaining good performance: a contaminated dehumidifier is less able to properly dehumidify the air.
  • Longer lifespan: good maintenance can ensure that you can enjoy your dehumidifier (and its filters) for longer.
  • Same noise level: a dirty dehumidifier can make more noise than usual. Often the result of clogged or dirty filters.
qlima d620 water tank
A water tank contains stagnant water, which can start to smell. ©

What do you have to clean from a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier consists of several parts. For example, there is a water reservoir that collects the moisture that the device removes from the air and the device is equipped with several filters. Let’s see how best to clean each part.

Clean dehumidifier water tank

There are two ways to drain the water: by emptying a water tank or by using a drain hose. In the case of a water reservoir, there is stagnant water. Stagnant water can contain bacteria and start to smell.

It is therefore important to empty the water tank once a week, even if the water tank is not completely full yet. I recommend that you clean the water tank every two weeks. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the water tank
  2. Empty the bucket over the sink
  3. Fill the water tank with warm water
  4. Clean the water tank with a little washing-up liquid
  5. Rinse the water tank well afterwards

Clean dehumidifier drain hose

Do you use a drain hose to drain the water from the dehumidifier? You also need to clean these. This can prevent blockages. It is recommended to clean the drain hose once a month. Follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the drain hose
  2. Flush the drain hose with lukewarm water and check for possible blockages (blockages)
  3. Use a narrow brush (for example a bottle cleaner) and clean the inside
  4. Rinse the drain hose again with lukewarm water*

* You can choose to use vinegar and baking soda. This creates an organic cleaning agent with which you can remove possible bacteria in the hose and prevent odors.

cleaning dehumidifier drain hose
You can clean the drain hose with vinegar. ©

Clean dehumidifier filters

Just like an air purifier, a dehumidifier is equipped with several filters. These filters ensure that polluted particles can be filtered out of the air. Filters can become clogged, after which the air is cleaned less well. Cleaning filters with an air purifier keeps the cleaning performance high. Note: Not all filters are washable: check in advance whether the filters of your dehumidifier are washable.

dirty dyson air purifier filter
A Dyson air purifier filter is not washable. ©

The pre-filter can often be cleaned. It is best to clean these with a vacuum cleaner. Carefully vacuum the pre-filter with a soft brush. If possible, you can also gently clean it with warm water. Do not replace the filter until it has dried completely.

Replace filters regularly

Not all filters are washable: it is therefore important to replace them regularly. If you find out when cleaning the dehumidifier that it has a crack or that the filter has a dark color, you should replace it immediately. Replacing an air purifier filter is often a simple job.

Clean dehumidifier housing (Exterior)

Finally, the housing of the dehumidifier is also a part that you should not forget when cleaning. The device often stands still for a long time, which can cause dust to accumulate on the device.

It is therefore advisable to dust the housing of the dehumidifier weekly. You can do this with a dry microfibre cloth or with a vacuum cleaner. If you use the vacuum cleaner, it is recommended to use a soft dusting brush to prevent scratches or damage.

How often should you clean the device?

Now that we know how to clean a dehumidifier, it is of course also important to know how often you should do this. I already mentioned the cleaning frequency in the various step-by-step plans above. View the cleaning plan with cleaning intensity in the overview below.

Cleaning jobFrequency
Emptying water tankWeekly
Cleaning water tankEvery 2 weeks
Cleaning filtersEvery month
Replacing filtersEvery 6 months
Cleaning exteriorWeekly

Note: cleaning frequency depends on a number of factors

Exactly how quickly and how often you should clean your dehumidifier depends on a number of factors. I’ll list them for you:

  • Location: where you place an air purifier is very important. In a heavily polluted room you will have to clean it faster than in a bedroom.
  • Temperature: The temperature affects how quickly a dehumidifier needs to be cleaned. Always pay attention to the minimum working temperature.
  • Use: the more you have the dehumidifier on, the more often you will have to clean it.
  • Maintenance: replacing your air purifier filter in time can ensure that the device does not get dirty as quickly.

I hope your dehumidifier is clean again after my manual. Do you have additional questions or feedback on my article? Feel free to leave a comment!


Bram Tigchelaar

Bram Tigchelaar

Bram is the co-founder of Together with his brother, he gives advice for cleaner air quality in your home. He combines decades of experience in the world of air quality products with a passion for product testing. Questions about his approach? Feel free to send him a message!

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