How to Clean Your Air Purifier: A Guide for Easy & Simple Maintenance
For many people, the winter months can be a difficult time. It’s common for respiratory problems to worsen during this season and, in many cases, even lead to asthma attacks.
Many people turn to air purifiers as an alternative solution to these problems, as they are versatile and provide relief from allergies, colds, flu, smoke particles, pet dander, and more.
But where to start?
Through this article, you’ll discover:
One of the most important parts of maintaining an air purifier is knowing how to clean your air purifier properly. This article will discuss several methods for cleaning your air purifier that is simple and easy.
Can You Wash Air Purifier Filters?
The filters in your air purifier are designed to trap and remove particles from the air, but they will become dirty over time.
You can wash filters in a dishwasher on the hot cycle with a normal load of dishes or hand-wash them in delicate soap and water.
If you choose to clean your filter by handwashing it, drying it’s very important because it will prevent mould1 growth that could make people sick if not properly cared for.
The most effective way to dry your filter after washing is using an electric clothesline or drying rack, where you can hang all parts up-side-down so gravity will help pull moisture out of them as they drip dry.
If possible, avoid storing damp filters while waiting for them to dry so that you don’t introduce mould growth completely.
Can You Wash a HEPA Filter?
The HEPA2 filter is the most important part of your air purifier because it removes particles from the air.
It should never be submerged in water or washed with soap and water as this will cause a buildup that might interfere with its ability to do its job.
Instead, you can vacuum the outside of the filter gently using a soft brush attachment on an upright vacuum cleaner.
This method should only take minutes but does not give your filter all-over coverage like washing would provide, so make sure to use both methods if possible for more thorough cleaning.
If you choose to vacuum your filter, make sure that the brush attachment is not too aggressive on it, or this could cause damage and interfere with its ability to remove particles from the air.
Can You Wash a UV Bulb?
UV bulbs are used in many purifiers because they kill bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms for improved health benefits.
However, even though these bulbs can be submerged in water just like HEPA filters cannot, another important step before washing them, is turning off the power so that water does not get inside and short out any electrical parts.
Once you have turned off power to the bulb, soak it under running water until all debris has fallen freely away. Then turn back on power just long enough to rinse it off.
It’s also important that you dry these bulbs after washing them because water inside can cause the bulb to malfunction and die prematurely, defeating their purpose of purifying your air.
Since UV light3 cannot penetrate through glass or plastic wrap, you will also need a drying rack for this step.
Make sure there are no holes on the bottom of said drying rack, so bacteria does not somehow sneak back up into the cleaner when wet.
How to Clean an Air Purifier Filter
The exact cleaning process will depend on the type of filter you’re using, but one step will be universal: removing the filter from your device.
For HEPA or carbon filters4, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to gently remove any dust particles before washing in soapy water and rinsing thoroughly under running water.
If you have an ionizer air purifier, it’s unnecessary to wash this kind of filter because it gets cleaned by electrical charges when turned on.
Be sure to clean around these units while looking for any buildup near seams and at corners where dirt can easily collect over time as well.
For models with UV bulbs, replace them every six months or more often if needed depending on how much they’re used. For models with filters, replace them every six months or more often if needed depending on how much they’re used.
If you have a model without any filter, make sure to clean the ionizer’s metal plates regularly and wash the unit itself at least once per year, to remove dirt that can accumulate in its crevices over time.
How Often Should I Clean My Air Filter?
The frequency of cleaning your filter will depend on the model and how often you use it.
For example, if you have a household with two adults living in an apartment, then replace filters once every six months or more frequently depending on usage.
If someone who lives alone might only need to do this about twice per year.
The key is always to remember when it’s time so that you don’t let dirt accumulate over long periods, which can interfere with air quality:
- If dust builds up on one side but not both, it means your filter needs to be changed because particles are being pulled out of the air by gravity from those heavier parts where they settle first.
- When dust starts collecting near seams and corners where debris tends to gather most easily, this means it’s time to replace your filter.
- When the unit starts sounding louder than usual and airflow decreases, that is a sign of good maintenance gone bad. Your filter needs to be changed or cleaned at once.
What to Do With the Filters After Washing?
Once you have washed your filter in soapy water and rinsed it thoroughly with running water, place it on a dryer rack to air-dry before replacing it.
Ensure the drying rack has no holes at the bottom, or bacteria could sneak back up into the cleaner when wet.
If you used a washcloth or soft-brush attachment to remove dust particles, then don’t put the filter back into your air purifier until it has been thoroughly dried and further cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.
This is because any bacteria now lingering on that cloth could get transferred directly onto your device’s sensitive interior surfaces which can lead to contamination of both kinds.
After washing filters in soapy water, rinse them very well by spraying from the bottom up, this will help prevent dirt from running down all over those delicate internal components as they dry.
You may also want to wrap these freshly-cleaned parts in cheesecloth before drying, for extra protection against airborne particulates that might otherwise damage these sensitive items during their vulnerable stage (not to mention create a nasty smell that might linger for days or even weeks).
Which Air Purifier Needs the Most Maintenance?
The least maintenance will come from a HEPA filter because it’s designed to last for at least 12 months before needing cleaning or replacement.
Change your pre-filter every year and wash as needed, but this should happen only once per month in most cases if used properly.
If using carpeted areas frequently, these filters may need changing more often than once per year due to high levels of dust particles getting trapped on them with higher frequency.
A charcoal filter can be washed by handwashing it in delicate soap and water. Dry thoroughly afterward so there is no chance of mould growth occurring over time while waiting for the filter to air out naturally completely.
Change your charcoal filter every three months or when you notice a decrease in performance. You can wash HEPA filters by handwashing them with delicate soap and water, but make sure to dry thoroughly afterward.
Hence, there is no chance of mold growth occurring over time while waiting for the filter to air out naturally completely.
It would help if you changed these filters once per year or as soon as they start emitting5 an odor, this will usually happen after 12-24 months of use, depending on usage levels.
How Can I Tell When My Filter Needs to Be Changed?
The sound of the air purifier should be much quieter than usual when it’s time, and airflow may also decrease so that you can’t feel any air coming out from your device.
Dust buildup around seams and corners where debris tends to gather most easily is a sign that the filter needs replacement or cleaning.
If dust starts collecting on one side only, then change just the dirty part (not both filters) because this means they are working properly in their designated areas.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Filter?
The price varies depending on the size and quality of the filter, but you can expect it to cost around $30-$60 for most units.
Regular replacement will prolong the life of your unit while maintaining clean air that is safe to breathe in. This alone could save time and money down the line in medical bills or expensive treatments due to prolonged exposure during very stressful periods like pregnancy or when caring for children with asthma.
What Are Some Other Ways I Can Clean My Air Purifier?
Mist it with a light mix of water and vinegar (around one part vinegar to ten parts water) which will help remove any particles clinging invisibly on the surface without using harsh chemicals.
Dampen an old cotton t-shirt or towel in soapy dishwater. Then use this as your hand attachment when applying for a more gentle scrubbing motion over delicate surfaces; rinse well afterward before patting dry or placing back into the machine where possible.
Can I Use Other Chemicals to Get Rid of Odors From Filter?
The best way to get rid of smells is by cleaning your machine properly with soap and water.
If there are strong odors, you can try using vinegar or baking soda as a deodorizer by putting it in small containers inside the machine, but this method may have to be repeated more than once.
Air purifiers are a great way to get rid of allergens, irritants, and other pollutants in your home.
Unfortunately, though, as the air cleaner filters collect more and more impurities over time, they can become clogged and stop working properly.
You must know how to clean an air filter, so it continues to work well for years to come. Always keep in mind that a dirty filter can be worse than no filter at all.
Changing these filters regularly will maintain your air purifier’s performance and increase the life of the device, which is why it’s important to know how to clean an air purifier well.