How To Clean Air Purifier Filters?- The Ultimate Guide In Your Hands

“How to clean air purifier filters?” has been always a concern to keep our home assistant performing well.

Though the main function of air purifier filters is to obstruct all the pollutants and purify the air, these filters seem packed with those specks of dirt day by day. That’s why we need some tips to clean your air purifier filters properly.

What are air purifier filter types?

air purifier filter types

A normal air purifier includes three main filters: pre-filter, activated carbon filter and HEPA filter, which are placed in a fixed arrangement to make sure that the purifier functions well.

The order is normally following: pre-filter -> HEPA filter -> carbon filter. However, some other types of air purifiers might locate these filters in a different way: pre-filter  -> carbon filter -> HEPA filter. So, don’t be confused with these installations. The important thing is the cleaning steps will not be the same.

What do we need to clean air purifier filters?

Obviously seen, your purifier filters are surely getting clogged with contaminants. The thing you should do is to start cleaning them. Here are some things to prepare before cleaning.

  • A screwdriver (if necessary)
  • A microfiber cloth or soft cloth
  • A vacuum.
  • A hair-dresser

How to clean air purifier filters?

First, you need to make sure the filters are compatible with cleaning. Non-washable filters should be replaced whereas permanent filters might be washable.

Make sure that you do it on a cool day and a dry place to prevent the filters from getting moisturized. 

  • Turn your air purifier off and disconnect all the power off from the purifier to make sure that you will not get any electric shock. Use the microfiber cloth or soft cloth to gently wipe the whole surface of the purifier.
  • Remove the filter cover. Some larger models may require a screwdriver to access filter compartments. (If you find it hard, please check the physical or online vehicle manual from the manufacturer.)
  • Remove the pre-filter.

Remove the pre-filter air purifier filters

This first filter contains a lot of nasty stuff, so be careful when removing it. After removing it, you can gently wash it with a wet soft cloth and dry it in a cool place or by a hair-dresser. If the pre-filter is very dirty, use a soft brush to brush away the dust before cleaning. Otherwise, you can use a plastic bag to put your old dirty filter in, avoiding releasing contaminants back into the air, because this is a replaceable filter.

Remove HEPA air purifier filters

Remove air purifier filters

  • For washable HEPA and carbon filters, you need to wipe them carefully with a soft cloth. For non-washable filters, let’s replace them with new ones. (In case you are not sure about this, don’t hesitate to call for an instructor or contact the manufacturer for more help.)
  • Use the vacuum to suck up dust and dirt and the hair-dresser to dry them.
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Always ensure you re-install filters in the correct order after cleaning. If you can’t locate the filters, check the physical or online vehicle manual. After installation, plugin and test for your purifier performance. If there is any improper installation, some changes need to be made.


How often should I clean or replace my air purifier filters?

The HEPA filter must be replaced every 12 to 18 months. The carbon filter must be replaced from 3 to 6 months. The pre-filter must be cleaned every month and replaced if necessary. However, permanent filters should be cleaned every 3 months and replaced when damaged.

Can air purifier filters be cleaned with water?

The surface of the air purifier can be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth. The filtered top air vent can be cleaned of dust with a small, soft brush. If you want to clean the inside compartments, please remove filters and ideally, use a dry and soft cloth to wipe it down. You should not wash HEPA or carbon filters with water, to ensure their original functions.

Can HEPA filters be washed and reused?

HEPA filters are commonly used in air purification systems. Removing and cleaning the filter can improve the life expectancy of the filter and allow it to be reused. The two most common types of HEPA filters are washable and non-washable filters. For the washable one, you can remove it and wipe gently. For the non-washable one, you need to replace it with a new one after a certain time of use.


With electronic appliances in your house, always remember to keep their specific installation and maintenance documents provided by the manufacturer, so that you can take useful information if necessary. Remember to clean your air purifier filters regularly to enhance its longevity, and keep your indoor air quality at its best operation.


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