The Best Way To Clean Your Air Purifier (And How Often You Need To)

Air purifiers are fantastic at removing dust, allergens, viruses, pet hair, and pollen and replacing them with cleaner air. Anyone can benefit from having one in their home, from those with health-related problems like asthma to those who simply want better air quality. However, to get the most out of your air purifier, you must clean it regularly for it to work adequately. These devices can work overtime if they aren't taken care of, decreasing their lifespan and causing you to purchase a new one more often than you'd want. Cleaning your air purifier regularly, about once a month, helps it continue to effectively remove pollutants and allergens from the air.

Every air purifier has a filter that can be removed and cleaned. Some filters can only be washed or vacuumed, and the specific type you have will determine the best way to clean it thoroughly. There are three filter options: high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), carbon, and disposable. The manufacturer's instruction manual can help guide you, telling you which filter your device has and if it is safe to wash. Here's the best way to clean your air purifier, depending on the type of filter it holds. A few standard materials you'll need to complete this task are a microfiber towel, a mask, soap, a soft-bristled brush, and a small vacuum.

Cleaning disposable and carbon filters

Disposable air purifier filters are the easiest to clean since you have to replace the filter with a new one. Most disposable filters allow you to wash them with water or vacuum them. However, replacing the filter is best to ensure your air purifier lives longer. Always wear a mask when cleaning to prevent breathing in dust particles. Start by unplugging your air purifier and scrubbing the filtered air outlet with your brush to remove dust and debris. Then, take out the front grill, wipe it down with your towel and soapy water, and set it aside. Remove the old disposable filter and replace it with a new one. Finally, re-attach the grill and wipe down the exterior with your damp cloth.

Carbon filters can last longer than disposable ones and sometimes, they only need to be vacuumed instead of replaced. You can check the manual to see if your model has a long-lasting filter because it can be vacuumed and used for up to a year. However, if you need to replace yours, it's effortless. Follow the same three steps we mentioned for the disposable filter and then, when you go to change the filter, follow your instruction manual for detailed steps. Essentially, you'll remove the carbon filter and replace it with a new one. Finally, re-attach the grill and wipe down the exterior.

Cleaning HEPA filters and maintaining your air purifier

HEPA filters aren't necessarily harder to clean, but there are two types that have different cleaning requirements. There are washable and non-washable HEPA filters; they're called permanent filters in the instruction manual. Your device's manual will tell you whether the filter can be washed or vacuumed safely. Cleaning both filters is straightforward. Wear your mask when cleaning your machine. Start by unplugging the air purifier and scrubbing the filtered air outlet, as we mentioned with the other two filters. Then, wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and remove the grill, following the instructions in the manual. Next, take out the filter and vacuum it or wash it under cold water, depending on your model. Use the lowest speed on your vacuum to prevent damaging the filter or the interior mesh screens. If you wash your filter, let it completely dry before returning it to the air purifier. Finally, re-install the filters, re-attach the grill, and plug it into the wall.

Keeping up with cleaning your air purifier is vital. Most manufacturer manuals will tell you how often to clean the filters, but letting the months go by can be easy. However, cleaning your air purifier about once a month will make sure it's always in great condition. Set a reminder on your phone so you never forget to complete this task, and add it to your deep cleaning to-do list.