Full star Empty star Half star Pause Play Arrow Arrow Trash Icon Starburst GasElectricDual FuelWood PelletsLiquid PropaneCharcoalLiquid propane charcoal Energy Star Certified Email Faacebook Twitter Pinterest Special Deals
Free Lifetime Tech Support
Save throughout the site
Main Content
How to Clean an Air Purifier Hero Image

How to Clean An Air Purifier

With cold and flu season around the corner, an air purifier is a great way to keep germs at bay. Learn how to clean an air purifier to ensure yours can do its job best.
Close-up of a hand removing a filter from a white air purifier

Getting Started

With cold and flu season approaching, it's important to take steps to protect your health. Adding an air purifier to the most-used rooms in your home is an easy way to keep germs at bay. However, proper maintenance is crucial to ensuring your air purifier works the way it should. Learning how to clean an air purifier will ensure longevity and efficiency to keep cold and flu germs out of your home.

Learning How to Clean an Air Purifier

There are several steps one should take to ensure you're cleaning the air purifier correctly and protecting yourself and others in your household from allergens. Of course, each air purifier may vary slightly in how the filter is removed or how it should be cleaned, so be sure to check the owner's manual before you begin.

Step One: Proper Protection

The first step when cleaning an air purifier is proper protection from the allergens and bacteria trapped in the filter. We suggest wearing a disposable mask and gloves to minimize the spread of germs or potential allergy triggers. Allergy sufferers should avoid the area while you're cleaning the filter in your air purifier.

Step Two: Unplug the Unit

Turn off the air purifier and unplug the unit to avoid damaging the device while cleaning. Be sure to turn it off before unplugging to avoid an electrical surge. Like any electronic device, air purifiers should never be operated on while plugged in and turned on.

Step Three: Clean from the Inside Out

The easiest step in the cleaning process is wiping down the exterior of the device with a damp cloth to remove dust, dirt or similar particles. Next, you'll remove dust from the air intake/outlet with a vacuum cleaner. This ensures that contaminants aren't being blown back into the air.

Step Four: Clean the Filter

Cleaning the filter is arguably the most important step when you clean an air purifier. Gently remove the filter(s). If your air purifier uses disposable filters, now is the time to put in a clean one. If you have a permanent or washable filter, you should clean it now. Depending on the type of HEPA filter in the machine, they should either be run under water or cleaned with a vacuum. If your filter can be run under water, ensure it is completely dry before replacing it in the air purifier.

Step Five: Replacing the Filter

Eventually, you won't be able to wash your air purifier filter anymore. It's time to replace it. Replacing the filter as needed will keep your device working its best. Depending on the air purifier you own and the type of filter inside, you should follow these general guidelines:
  • Carbon filters: every 3 months
  • HEPA filters: every 12 to 18 months
  • Permanent filters: replace when worn or damaged
Close-up of a hand removing the grill on the front of an air purifier

Find Air Purifiers at Abt

Now that you've learned how to clean an air purifier, you're ready for cold and flu season—and protecting your family year-round. You'll notice that you breathe easier and you'll feel the improved air quality in your home. If you still have questions about the cleaning process, contact an Abt expert at 800-860-3577. If you're in the market for a new air purifier, browse our selection online or visit us in store.

Q & A Summary

What does an air purifier do?

Air purifiers pull in unwanted particles from the air using a fan and a filter. These particles include allergens, dust and bacteria. The filter traps the contaminants so they cannot be recirculated into the air. The contaminated air, now purified, is circulated back into the room to improve the air quality in your home.

How does an air purifier work?

An air purifier has a fan that sucks in air and filters that capture pollutants to remove them from the air that has been sucked into the device. The air purifier then recirculates the sanitized air back into the room to improve indoor air quality.

What is the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier?

An air purifier is very different from a humidifier. An air purifier removes allergens, dirt and bacteria from the air in your home to help keep you healthy. On the other hand, humidifiers are designed to add moisture in the air if you live in a dry climate or if the air in your home is dry (if you're running the heat, for example).

Can you wash a HEPA filter?

Typically yes, you can wash a HEPA filter. Check your owner's manual before washing as permanent HEPA filters should not be submerged in water. Instead, clean your permanent HEPA filter by removing dust and dirt with a vacuum cleaner.