How to Clean an Air Purifier

How to Clean an Air Purifier

Want to know how to clean an air purifier? Taking care of any appliances can be tricky and confusing. We give up at times in the quest to know how to manage our mechanical stuff, and in this instance, our air purifier. In as much as they come with a maintenance guide, some of them are not easy to follow. Like they say ignorance is no defense and I am glad you have taken it a step further to sort out information on how to clean your air purifier.

A Brief Introduction to the Air Purifier

An air purifier is a device used to remove contaminants from indoor air making it very beneficial for human use. In our present time, one can not be too sure of the kind of air we inhale. They are highly beneficial to allergy sufferers and asthmatics. It will shock you to know that indoor air is more toxic than outdoor air, common indoor air pollutants include molds, dust mites in pillows and blankets, tobacco smoke and cooking fumes, pollen and dust, etc. Air purifiers come in different grades, small stand-alone units,  large units, and the industrial Size unit. In essence, the benefits of an air purifier cannot be overemphasized.

Air purifiers function in two ways, Passive and active form. Active air purifiers release negatively charged ions into the air, causing pollutants to stick to surfaces, while passive air purification units use air filters to remove pollutants. Passive purifiers are more efficient since all the dust and particulate matter is permanently removed from the air and collected in the filters. Air purifiers are used in cars, homes, industries, and companies and so it is important to know how to maintain such a very important device in our world today.

There are basically two types of air filters: the HCVA and the HEPA. There’s no need to worry as they are both efficient at purifying air, just that the latter can be said to have the highest efficiency as it traps about 99.97% of 0.3-micrometer particles and is great at removing larger particle from the air while the latter is a bit lower. But that’s not why we are here, let get at knowing how to clean our air purifier.

How to Clean Your Air Purifier

Here are steps to clean your air purifier:

For Your Car

Cars come with a permanent filter and has to be cleaned occasionally to remove accumulated dirt. Find out where the air filter or purifier is placed, use your car manual, or get the help of a mechanic. When this is done, pull out your air filter, before now you would have gotten your vacuum cleaner ready, the hose connected properly and all. Vacuum each side for one minute or two and ensure you do this properly to remove debris.

Alternatively, you can wash the filter in a bucket with clean water and soap, swirl it around and bring out the filter, rinse it with clean-running water, and place it on a towel to dry. This particular method is very perfect at doing a great job for your air purifier but it is time-consuming.

Another way to clean your filter ( especially if it’s oiled) is by using a filter cleaning agent. Saturate the air filter with the cleaning agent and allow it to stand for about 10minutes before rinsing off gently and slowly. Then allow the filter to dry.  For this, be sure not to allow the cleaning agent to dry off on the filter and rinse properly. Finally, apply air filter oil evenly to your filter and allow it to dry for a few minutes before setting it back to your car. And you are good!

For Your Homes

This is somewhat similar to the air purifier in your car, there are various ways you can clean the air purifier in your home.

Firstly, before taking out the filter, unplug it (I mean, pull the plug and not the cord), clean the vents or inlet grill, you can use a vacuum cleaner for effectiveness and ease but ensure you do this properly. Pull it open to a 90′ angle.

Secondly, take out the exterior pre-filter gently and examine for dirt and debris, also use a vacuum cleaner to remove all dirt and debris. Vacuum the front, back and sides of the filter then check the filter unit. Clean the filter unit too as it is one of the major components of your air purifier or discard if it’s disposable. Be very careful when doing this, damaging your filter unit will render your air purifier useless and replacing permanent filters are very expensive, I am sure you don’t want an extra bill.

Another way to clean your air purifier is to rinse the filter (for permanent filters) under running water. As simple as may sound, you have to be very careful when handling and pouring water, the water should be pouring out gently and not with full force, doing this otherwise,  could damage your filter.

Additional Tips

Now, maybe after going the easy way of rinsing and vacuuming, you still think your filter is not as clean as desired due to its exposure to grease, smoke, or who knows, your pet’s hair? Not to worry, you could use soap and water or simply a soap solution. Apply a few drops of the solution on your filter and clean with a cloth gently on both sides of the filter. Finally, rinse off with a low pressure running water and dry completely before setting it back. One important tip about drying is that you can simply air-dry your filter or use a cloth or a tissue paper to pat your filter very gently until it is no longer wet. Remember the aim is to get your filter dried as fast as possible.


In addition, part of maintaining your air purifier is to know when and how to clean or replace your filters, depending on whether you use a permanent filter or a disposable one. Based on study and manufacturers’ guide/instructions on most air purifiers, it is advised to clean or replace your filters every 3 months. It could be more. Fortunately, some air purifiers come with dirt visual indicators but whether or not they have that, make it a habit to clean your air filters. Failure to maintain and clean your air purifier could be risky as it could lead to a fire outbreak in a worst-case scenario or it could damage your air purifier on a lighter note. Both cases will increase your bill.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning an Air Purifier

Now let’s focus on those little things we didn’t mention about cleaning and maintaining an air purifier but are important.

  1. When your air purifier is not in use, for instance when you are not home, unplug it, and please turn it off before doing this.
  2. Since this is a mechanical appliance, do not allow moisture to come in contact with the main housing of the air purifier.
  3. The exterior pre-filter should be changed every 30days usually because it clogs up much faster due to larger dust particles, hair, etc that get stuck to it. If it is washable, then clean at the same time interval without delay to improve its efficiency.
  4. Do not use any cleaning chemical agent on your permanent filter, this has damaging effects.
  5. If your air filter is disposable, discard properly to ensure no dust comes back to the home.
  6. After cleaning reinstall your filter properly, make sure every nut is in its place. Plug in to check if you did this right.
  7. Lastly and most importantly, follow the instructor’s guide. Every air purifier manufacturer has their rule book, use it!

Timely maintenance of your air purifier ensures clean air for everyone and protects your family and friends toxic indoor air and It reduces damage and cost and you get to save more.


Do air purifiers need to be cleaned?

For effectiveness, air purifiers need to be cleaned in a timely fashion. Clean the pre-filter every 30days or when necessary. Replace disposable pre-filters and clean the permanent filter every 3-4months.

Is an air purifier worth buying?

The overall benefits of an air purifier cannot be overemphasized. The air today is polluted and toxic. Taking this toxic air I to our lungs is dangerous to our health. Having an air purifier cleanses the air around you and your loved ones regardless of the type you buy.

Is it okay to leave your air purifier on all night?

Yes, having your air purifier on at night is best. It helps you have a good rest. Leaving your air purifier on for 24hour is not a bad idea but for maintenance purposes, it’s not advisable. If you go to work during the day, turn it off. Read your instructions manual for further clues on how to occasionally regulate the usage of your air purifier.

How long does it take for an air purifier to clean a room?

There are a lot of factors to this, for instance, the size of the room, but a good air purifier should take 30min to 2hours to clean a room.

Can an air purifier make the air dry?

An air purifier is an ionizer and it doesn’t change the humidity of the air. So the answer is no.

What are the side effects of an air purifier?

Side effects of using an air purifier are throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. This effect is usually seen in the ozone air purifier. Ozone air purifiers can cause an attack for asthmatic patients and people with breathing problems. Get an air purifier that is not ozonized for this set of people. Asides this, the air purifier has a lot important to health benefits.

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