how to clean air purifiers

An air purifier is an excellent investment for any home, especially if you live near a busy road or someone in your household suffers from allergies. Most air purifiers include a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and a carbon filter. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can remove even the finest airborne particles, leaving only good air quality behind. In contrast, the pre-filter will remove large particles such as pet hair.

Once you have invested in an air purifier to lower the air pollution in your home, it is important that you maintain it so that the HEPA filter can keep doing its job effectively. Without regular cleaning, the air filters can become blocked, putting strain on the air purifier as it tries to work as effectively as before.

Most air purifier manufacturers recommend you change the filter at quite a high frequency, which can become expensive. The good news is that you can follow steps at home to ensure that you remove dust, dust mites, and other build-ups from your air purifier filters to prolong the period of time between needing to replace the air filter.

If you have been asking yourself how to clean air purifiers, we have provided some advice and top tips below for you to read through and help you ensure that you have clean air at all times in your home.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before cleaning your air purifier, make sure you have the right cleaning tools to make the job easier. The following are useful to have:

  • Warm soapy water
  • A soft brush or the brush attachment or a vacuum cleaner
  • Damp cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Cold water

What you require will depend on the type of HEPA filter your unit includes. Some HEPA filters can’t be washed and must be replaced regularly; these are called permanent filters. There are washable HEPA filters, and you should follow any special instructions provided by the manufacturer.

If you wash a HEPA filter or any type of filter, you must ensure that it has dried thoroughly before replacing it, as moisture is not good for HEPA filters!

Cleaning the Exterior of Your Air Purifier

The exterior of your air purifier can be wiped clean to remove any dust that has gathered, and the air vent can be cleaned using a small brush so that air can travel through it freely.

If you wish to clean the inside of your air purifier, use a dry duster or cloth instead of a damp one because you shouldn’t add moisture during the cleaning procedure.

Ionic Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers use static electricity to attract particles from the air and capture them in the filters. Usually, the filters in these units are quite wide, making them easier to clean than some other air filters, but they do require more regular cleaning. In addition, particles will collect onto the metal plates used in this type of air filter, reducing its performance over time unless cleaned.

Cleaning Different Types of Filters

As mentioned above, air purifiers reduce indoor air pollution using at least three different filters to ensure that all. These have different cleaning requirements, which we have set out below.

Before you do any cleaning, an important step to follow is to make sure that your air purifier power is turned off and the plug is removed from the socket. You do not want to try and remove a filter or introduce water anywhere near it while there is still power going to it!


You will be able to see some of the dirt and dust build-up on a pre-filter if you remove it from the air purifier. As most pre-filters are foam and can be washed, knock any loose particles off the filter, such as pet dander and lint, and then hand wash it using warm soapy water.

Filters should only be gently cleaned in a bowl, as washing them in a washing machine can harm them.

Once clean, allow the filter to dry completely before replacing it in the air purifier.

HEPA Filter

closeup of hand detaching HEPA filter from home appliance

In general, you shouldn’t wash a HEPA filter, but you can clean it by using a vacuum attachment and gently vacuuming it until clean and all of the contaminants have been removed.

Most HEPA filters require replacing every 3-6 months to ensure optimal indoor air quality.

However, this will depend upon the environment the air purifier is in and how many harmful pollutants there are in the air. It will also depend on the manufacturer’s recommendation, and this differs across different brands.

Washable HEPA Filters

Some air purifiers are now manufactured with a washable HEPA filter, and if you have purchased one of these, then it is important to follow the device’s manual for the cleaning process instructions. Generally, it is only recommended to rinse the filter without touching the HEPA filter itself under cold running water until the water runs completely clean.

Once the filter is washed, allow it to fully air dry before replacing it back into your air purifier.

Carbon Filter

Carbon filters are made from activated carbon and remove smoke and odours, leaving you with better indoor air quality to enjoy. Like a HEPA filter, this type of air filter needs to be replaced regularly, but you can remove the activated carbon filter to ensure that there is nothing on its surface, such as dust, that could stop the air from flowing through.

If you wash this filter, just place it in water and swish it around. Allow the filter to dry fully before replacing it.

Cleaning and Maintaining Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are incredibly useful appliances for those of us who suffer from severe allergies, which can become particularly bad in the summer, or with asthma or other breathing conditions.

As many of us spend a significant amount of time indoors, living in a clean air environment can reduce allergy-related episodes, help you sleep better, and tackle other home issues, such as dampness or removing smoke odours.

The good news is cleaning your air purifier filter is not a cumbersome task, and you need lots of equipment. Vacuum cleaners, warm and cold water, brushes and paper-like sheets are pretty much all you need to wash your filters, all of which most of us will have to hand.

Carrying out your HEPA filter cleaning regularly to remove allergens and particles will help you ensure that it lasts for longer. HEPA filters can be expensive and add to the overall cost of running air purifiers in your home.

So, if you have been looking to clean your air purifiers at home, we hope we have provided some useful advice on the different types of air filters and how to maintain them. Cleaning your HEPA filters will ensure that your clean air purifier lasts longer and is able to clean your air effectively. We hope that your HEPA filter improves the air in your home and allows you to breathe easily.

How often do you clean your air purifier? Let us know in the comments! For more appliance maintenance tips and tricks, visit this site every day!

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