How to Clean an Air Purifier Properly

If you’re wondering how to clean your air purifier, you are in the right place. Air purifiers are for cleaning the air, but after filtering airborne pollutants, they also need attention. Today, we present a comprehensive guide on how to clean an air purifier properly.

Not only do you need to clean the filters, but even the outside of the unit gets dirty with time. Keeping an air purifier clean ensures that you get the best performance throughout the year.

Besides, regular cleaning ensures that the filters and the air purifier last long. You will save money from buying filters less frequently and prolonging the air purifier’s lifespan.

How to Clean an Air Purifier – Step by Step Guide

Below is a step by step procedure on how to clean your air purifier:

Step 1: Unplug the air purifier

Before cleaning any electronic device, you must unplug it. An air purifier can also produce an electric shock that can harm you if you tend to it while plugged, especially when using water or a wet cloth to clean it.

Pull out the plug from the power outlet or extension cord and you’re good to go.

Step 2: Clean the pre-filter

Air purifiers are very different, even from the same manufacturer. Various models have different designs, and you should check the user manual on the specific process of opening it up and accessing the filters.

Most pre-filters are very easy to access since they are the first line of defence against pollutants. Because of this fact, they also tend to get dirty quicker since they trap all the large particles – dust, lint, hairs, etc.

How to Clean an Air Purifier - How to Clean Your Air Purifier - Alen BreatheSmart Classic Pre-filters
Alen BreatheSmart Classic Pre-filters

If your air purifier has a washable pre-filter, take it out and vacuum it or wash it per the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you wash it under running water, ensure it is completely dry before putting it back into the air purifier.

You can leave it to air dry for about 24 hours or dry it using a fan if you need to run the air purifier urgently.

If your air purifier’s pre-filter is not washable, you can still vacuum it gently using a brush attachment. However, most pre-filters get worn out fast and need to be replaced every 3 to 4 months.

Step 3: Clean the primary filter

After air leaves the pre-filter, air passes through the primary filter, usually HEPA or True HEPA. The primary filter takes care of tiny particles such as fine dust, pollen, dust mites, smoke particles, bacteria, mould, and viruses.

Most HEPA filters last for 6 to 12 months. However, some primary filters can last up to 24 months if you don’t run the air purifier 24/7. So, they also need cleaning in between replacements to maintain maximum efficiency.

Some air purifiers have a filter check (or change) indicator that lets you know when to clean or change o the filter. However, even without that feature, you can tell by the reduced performance levels that the filters are dirty or need replacing.

Again, you need to check what your user manual says about removing and re-installing the filter to avoid damage. Once you remove the filter, gently vacuum it on both sides using a brush attachment.

How to Clean an Air Purifier - How to Clean Your Air Purifier - Coway Airmega 250 Max2 Filter Set
Coway Airmega 250 Max2 Filter Set

Some air purifiers have permanent filters. These filters also need regular vacuuming (every 1 to 3 months, depending on usage and pollution levels). If your air purifier has a permanent washable filter, consult your manual on how to clean it.

For most permanent filters, washing them under cool running water will work. Others need soaking in water before gently rinsing off. Before re-installing the filter, make sure that it is completely dry. Like the pre-filter, you can leave it to air-dry or use a low-speed fan to quicken the process.

Step 4: Clean the outer body of the air purifier

With time, dust and dirt tend to settle on the air purifier. Also, it would be best if you wipe any dirt on the grills on the air inlet and outlet. Use a damp cloth to wipe off the dust and dirt for this task.

Depending on how dirty the air purifier is, you can use a detergent on the first run before rinsing the cloth and wiping it a second time.

Step 5: Let the air purifier get back to work

After thoroughly cleaning the whole air purifier, ensure that it is dry. Then, plug it back into the power outlet and switch it on to continue enjoying clean, fresh air in your indoor space. Remember that even the best air purifier in Canada must always be spotless for maximum efficiency.


Keeping your air purifier clean is the key to ensuring that it lasts long while delivering the best results. By following our step by step guide on how to clean an air purifier, you’ll never go wrong.

The most important part of an air purifier is the filtration system. So, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to clean or replace the filters. Also, if it has a filter check indicator, monitor it from time to time and act accordingly.

Lastly, each air purifier brand and model is different, so you must consult the user manual on accessing the filters and putting them back once they are clean and dry.

Below is a YouTube video by Consumer Reports on how to clean your air filters properly:

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