How to Clean an Air Purifier: A Step-by-Step Guide

Air purifiers play a vital role in improving indoor air quality by removing pollutants and allergens from the air we breathe. However, to ensure their optimal performance and longevity, regular cleaning is essential. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to clean an air purifier effectively. From basic maintenance to deep cleaning techniques, we will cover everything you need to know to keep your air purifier functioning efficiently.

Understanding the Importance of Cleaning an Air Purifier

Regular cleaning of your air purifier is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and ensuring the removal of airborne contaminants. Over time, dust, pet dander, and other particles accumulate on the filters, hindering their ability to capture pollutants effectively. A dirty air purifier may not only provide subpar air purification but can also strain the motor and increase energy consumption.

Basic Maintenance: Regular Cleaning

To begin, make sure to turn off and unplug the air purifier before cleaning. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe the exterior surfaces, removing any dust or debris. Pay attention to the air intake and outlet vents as they tend to accumulate dirt. For more stubborn stains, you can lightly dampen the cloth with water or a mild detergent solution.

Removing and Cleaning the Filters

Different air purifiers have varying filter types, such as HEPA filters or activated carbon filters. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to locate and remove the filters properly. Once removed, gently tap or brush the filters to dislodge any loose particles. In the case of washable filters, rinse them under running water until the water runs clear. Allow the filters to air dry completely before reinserting them into the air purifier.

Cleaning the Exterior of the Air Purifier

While cleaning the filters is crucial, it’s equally important to maintain the cleanliness of the air purifier’s exterior. Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust from the air vents and grilles. Pay attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas where dirt may accumulate. For plastic or metal surfaces, a damp cloth can be used to wipe away fingerprints or stains.

Deep Cleaning Techniques for Stubborn Dirt

Over time, dirt and grime may build up in hard-to-reach areas or within the air purifier’s internal components. In such cases, a deeper cleaning is required. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on disassembling the air purifier for thorough cleaning. Use a mild cleaning solution and a soft brush to scrub away stubborn dirt. Ensure all components are completely dry before reassembling the unit.

Drying and Reassembling the Air Purifier

After cleaning the filters and other components, it is crucial to allow them to dry completely before reassembling the air purifier. Placing damp filters or parts back into the unit can lead to mold growth or damage. Ensure all components are dry to the touch and free from any moisture before reinserting them.

Tips for Extended Longevity

To maximize the lifespan and effectiveness of your air purifier, consider the following tips:

  • Regularly monitor the air purifier’s filter replacement indicator and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for filter replacement.
  • Keep the air purifier in a well-ventilated area, away from walls or furniture that could obstruct airflow.
  • Vacuum and dust your home regularly to reduce the amount of dirt and particles that the air purifier needs to filter.
  • Avoid smoking indoors, as it can significantly reduce the efficiency of the air purifier and lead to filter clogging.

How often should I clean my air purifier?

It is recommended to clean the filters of your air purifier every 2 to 3 months, depending on usage and the manufacturer’s instructions. Basic maintenance, such as wiping the exterior surfaces, can be done more frequently.

Can I clean the filters with soap and water?

For washable filters, mild soap and water can be used for cleaning. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are using the correct cleaning method for your specific air purifier model.

Can I use compressed air to clean the air purifier?

Using compressed air can be effective for removing dust and debris from the air vents and grilles. However, avoid using excessive air pressure as it may damage delicate components of the air purifier.

Should I clean the pre-filter as well?

Yes, if your air purifier has a pre-filter, it is recommended to clean it regularly. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on cleaning the pre-filter and the recommended cleaning frequency.

What should I do if my air purifier has a strange odor after cleaning?

If your air purifier emits a strange odor after cleaning, check if the filters and other components are completely dry. Dampness can lead to mold growth and unpleasant smells. Ensure everything is dry before reassembling the unit.


Cleaning your air purifier is a simple yet essential task that ensures it functions optimally, providing you with clean and healthy air. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can maintain the performance and longevity of your air purifier while enjoying improved indoor air quality.