Dehumidifiers are essential appliances that we rely on to keep our home’s relative humidity ideal, prevent mold and mildew growth, and more. While the unit works, it collects water, and its water collection bucket will get dirty from all the dirt collected with the moisture. If left uncleaned, it could pronounce problems. So, how to clean the dehumidifier bucket?
The cleaning process is straightforward; it requires minimal materials and tools. The first place you will start is to wipe the surfaces clean before taking the battle to the dehumidifier bucket. With the outside clean, pour some mild soap in the dehumidifier tank and scrub the surfaces using clean water, a soft-bristle brush, and rubber gloves.
The process is as easy as it sounds. However, there are a few details you might want to know about why it’s crucial you clean your dehumidifier bucket and an elaboration on the steps involved. So, be sure to continue reading to the end.
How Do You Clean a Dehumidifier Bucket
Dehumidifiers are excellent at removing excess moisture indoors. They can help maintain an ideal relative humidity level and much more. Their working mechanism also allows them to maintain a healthy environment; they can help keep your indoor air free of mold, dust mites, allergens, mildew, and more.
However, all these stuff and microscopic mold spores get collected by the air filter or inside the dehumidifier. As the water drops into the bucket, it carries some with it, and with time, it starts to get dirty. For some people, this doesn’t seem to be a bother. However, it can become a problem later on. So, how do you clean a dehumidifier bucket?
Things you will need:
- Mild Dishwasher Soap
- Clean Cold Water
- Clean Warm Water
- Soft Bristle Brush
- Dry Cotton Towel
- Damp Cloth
- White vinegar or Household Bleach
- Rubber Gloves (Optional)
Steps to Follow:
Step 1: Shut off the dehumidifier to prevent it from producing water while the bucket is out.
Step 2: You want to start your cleaning from the dehumidifier outside before cleaning the water bucket. So, take the damp cloth and use it to wipe the dehumidifier exterior surfaces clean.
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Step 3: When the unit’s exterior is clean, remove the bucket and empty the water in it. (You can find the bucket either on the unit front or back, depending on the model. It should snap out easily – don’t force it. If you can’t find it, use the unit’s manual to locate it if this is your first time.)
Step 4: With the bucket empty, pour some Dishwasher Soap in it and mix it with clean water. Shake the solution a bit to allow it to touch all the surfaces. Give it a few minutes for the detergent to work on the dirt – 5 minutes are enough.
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Some models have a removable cover on the bucket, mostly hooked up under the bucket carry handles. You want to check the user manual to remove the handles and the cover to access the bucket interior.
Step 5: Wear the rubber gloves and gently scrub the dirt out of the water tank bottom using the soft bristle brush. Make sure you dislodge any dust must or any brown stuff that accumulates inside. You want to make sure the surfaces are clean of any stubborn stains too.
Step 6: When done with the scrubbing, rinse the soapy water with cold water and repeat it with some warm water.
Step 7: If there are still some spots of stubborn stains or dirt left, get your household bleach and pour some drops inside the tank before diluting it with some cold water. Spread it to the spots and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Come back and give it another scrubbing to make the tank spotless.
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If you want to go all-natural, you can use white vinegar for the cleaning and scrubbing. It’s an excellent disinfectant (but not as good as bleach), and it can help break down the remaining dirt, metal stains and eradicate mold build-up.
Step 8: If the buck is clean, wipe it dry with a cotton towel before you can replace it with the dehumidifier.
What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Dehumidifier Bucket?
Before explaining why it’s crucial to clean the dehumidifier bucket, allow me to explain how it gets dirty.
When the dehumidifier’s fan pulls in the air, the air is first cleaned off the contaminants by the air filter, usually above the water bucket.
After here, the wet air gets exposed to freezing coils that freeze the moisture out of it and any remaining contaminants that might have passed through the air filter.
The mechanics of the freezing coils keeps the water in a liquid form allowing it to drip into the water bucket with all the dirt that it might have collected.
And because the tank isn’t closed, air dust, pollen, mold and mildew spores, and other contaminants might still get into the wet bucket and hold the surfaces.
With time, the water tank, the water collection tank, the exterior surfaces, and other dehumidifier parts might become breeding ground for mold spores.
With the main aim of installing a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth and a musty smell, you might want to allocate some time to clean the unit, starting with the most accessible part, the water collection bucket.
While most people assume that emptying the dehumidifier tank cleans it, too, it doesn’t. The mold spores can easily stick to the surface and wait for the next water collection to continue breeding. What’s more, the oxidized metal ions in the water can stick on the bucket interior, causing metal stains.
Most of the time, mold growth can be a huge problem inside the tank if moisture builds up and you’re using a built-in condensate pump to drain the water out automatically.
Since the process is automatic, you will find yourself interacting with the dehumidifier less often. That means, unless you have a cleaning schedule, you will never know how dirt the unit is from the inside.
Most people assume that the water bucket won’t collect any water because the pump is draining it. However, it does hold some moisture that creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew when it comes into contact with dust, mold spores, and other contaminants.
How Can You Know When Dehumidifier Bucket Needs Cleaning?
The water collection bucket of your dehumidifier is constantly collecting water converted from moisture extracted from the air that passes through the dehumidifier.
With time, the tank will fill up and require emptying; it can be twice a day, once in a day, or even once in a few days, depending on how damp your indoor environment is.
As you go to empty the dehumidifier, you’ll want to check its status. If it’s dirty, why not clean it then. It doesn’t hurt to scrub the bucket a few times in a month.
If you’re using an automatic condensate pump, it’d be best to clean the whole unit once a month. You may want to wipe the exterior surfaces once a week and, as you do so, check the status of the water bucket.
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If you regularly clean the condensate tank, the unit’s exterior, and interior, you can be sure mold and mildew won’t build up.
Which is better for cleaning vinegar or bleach?
Of course, bleach is a better disinfectant than vinegar since it can kill up to 99% of bacteria and viruses from surfaces. It does also help remove stains easily. But when it comes to cleaning regular dirt, vinegar is the champion. It does help loosen the stubborn dirt fast and easily compared to bleach.