An air purifier is an important part of any healthy home. By removing allergens, pollutants, and other particles from the air, they help keep us safe and healthy. But even these machines need cleaning sometimes!
Depending on the type of air purifier you have, the steps for cleaning will vary. Here are some tips for how to clean every kind of air purifier.
Let’s get started!
Checklist to Clean an Air Purifier: 6 Simple Steps
Here are six simple steps to perform a deep clean on your air purifier:
Step 1: Get Prepared
The first step to cleaning your air purifier is gathering all the materials you need. This includes:
- a soft brush
- a soft cloth (microfiber works well)
- a vacuum with a soft brush attachment
- alcohol cotton swabs (if your purifier has a cleanable dust sensor)
- alcohol wipes to clean any tempered glass screen
- lukewarm water and mild detergent (if your purifier has washable filters).
Do not use any cleaning products that are harsh or abrasive, as these can damage your air purifier.
Step 2: Remove the Filters
At first, power off your air purifier and unplug it from the outlet.
Next, you will need to remove the filters and any other parts that can be taken off of your air purifier. Check your owner’s manual to see how to do this, as it will vary depending on the model of your purifier.
Once all of the removable parts are off, vacuum the inside of the machine to remove any dust or debris. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the inside as well.
Step 3: Clean the Filters
The next step is to clean the filters. They accumulate dust and create a musty smell over time, so it’s important to clean them regularly.
3.a: Clean the Pre-filter:
Many air purifiers such as Blueair, Coway, Rabbitair, and Winix have a pre-filter that can be washed with mild detergent and lukewarm water. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely before putting it back on your purifier.
Don’t use any stiff brushes or scrubbing pads on your filters, as this can damage them.
If your purifiers have fabric pre-filter sleeves, you can toss those in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
Clean the pre-filter every two to four weeks or as needed.
3.b: Clean the HEPA Filter:
There are two types of HEPA filters – washable and replaceable. Most of cases, the HEPA filters are not washable, and you’ll need to replace them.
If your air purifier’s HEPA filter is replaceable-only, then follow the steps:
- Clean the outer surface of the HEPA filter (single or combined) using a soft brush or vacuum hose. Do not use water or any other liquids to clean it.
- Do not attempt to clean the inner side of the HEPA filter because this part is already dust-free.
- You can sanitize the filter using direct sunlight. It helps eliminate musty smells from the filter (I have tried this method, and it works!).
Clean the outside of the HEPA filter once a month and replace it every six to twelve months or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
3.c: Clean the Activated Carbon Filter:
There are usually two types of activated carbon filters – pad filters and granular filters. Both types of filters are not washable and need to be replaced.
However, some manufacturers such as Winix have reusable carbon filters that can be clean with water.
To clean these washable carbon filters:
- Lightly rinse with room temperature water.
- Do not use soaps, detergents, or any other cleaners.
- Allow the filter to air dry thoroughly.
- Do not use hot water, which can damage the granular carbon pellets.
Activated carbon filters need to be replaced more frequently than HEPA filters – every three to six months or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
3.d: Recharge your Activated Carbon Filter in the Sun
Did you know you can recharge the activated carbon filter at home? Just put your carbon filter in a sunny spot for a few hours and let the UV rays from the sun do their job.
The activated carbon filter is like a sponge, soaking up any chemicals and gases that enter its pores. Over time this can lead to molecules becoming saturated with particles which affect their ability for absorption.
When the UV rays from our sun hit carbon, it re-activates and allows for pores to open up. These small channels then let particles escape as well as different gases that are trapped within them over time!
Place your activated carbon filters in the sun for 60 minutes every two months to maintain their performance and longevity.
3.e: Clean the Permanent Washable Filters:
Unlike HEPA-based air purifiers, some models have a permanent washable filter as the primary filter. These types of filters can be cleaned using water and mild detergent.
For example, the Honeywell HFD series air purifiers have a washable iFD (intense field dielectric) filter, which is permanent. Other models such as the NuWave OxyPure and Airdog use various permanent filters that can be washed and reused.
To clean these types of filters:
- Soak in lukewarm water with mild detergent for about 3 minutes (don’t put it for more than 5 minutes).
- You can use mild degreaser spray, do not use corrosive detergents or harsh cleaners.
- Gently swish the filter in the soapy water to loosen any trapped dirt or debris.
- Rinse the filters thoroughly with room temperature water to remove all detergent residue.
- Dry the filter overnight or until completely dry.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially how long you are allowed to leave the filter in the water.
Step 4: Clean The Exterior of The Air Purifier
After cleaning the filter and the filter housing – it’s time to wipe the body of your air purifier. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the exterior of your air purifier. Do not use any water or cleaner.
You can use a damp cloth to clean the exterior of your air purifier, but make sure that you don’t get any water inside the machine.
Vacuum the air inlet grill and outlet to remove any dust that might have accumulated. Check if any blooms or debris are stuck in the grill.
Some models such as Dyson’s perforated grill can get blocked by pet hairs. To clean this, you need to remove the intake grill and then use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any debris.
If your air purifier has a touch screen display, use a microfiber cloth or alcohol wipes to gently wipe the screen to clean.
Step 5: Clean the Dust Sensor
The next step is to clean the dust sensor if your air purifiers have any. The purpose of the sensor is to detect how much pollution is in the air and adjust the fan speed accordingly.
To clean the air quality sensor:
- Use a cotton swab or soft brush to gently clean the sensor.
- You can also use a wet cloth or alcohol cotton swabs.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any dust from the sensor grill.
Clean your air purifier’s dust sensor once every six months.
Step 6: Reassemble Your Air Purifier
Once everything is clean and dry, you can reassemble your air purifier. Make sure that you check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you’re putting back the filters correctly.
After you have finished reassembling your air purifier, plug it back in and turn it on.
That’s it! You have now learned how to clean an air purifier properly.
Cleaning your air purifier regularly will help extend its lifespan and keep it running efficiently. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your air purifier will continue to work effectively for years to come.
Do you have any tips for cleaning an air purifier? Share them in the comments below!
Happy air-purifying! : )