How To Clean A Dehumidifier Bucket? [A Step-By-Step Guide]

While dehumidifiers are excellent appliances for controlling indoor humidity, they require regular maintenance. Among all the parts, the dehumidifier bucket is the one that requires frequent cleaning. 

This article will show you how to clean a dehumidifier bucket properly and answer some related questions. This guide will get you started if you have never cleaned or disinfected a bucket.

Why should you clean a dehumidifier bucket?

Even though a dehumidifier can be used to control mold growth, it can also become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Because the bucket is where collected water is stored, it is the most likely location for these contaminants to appear.

When the machine is working, it will constantly condense the water vapor into liquid water. A proportion of impurities in the air or the coil, like mold spores, pollen, and dust mites, will get into the bucket along with.

If the water in the bucket becomes stagnant, bacteria and mold spores will start to thrive, which can worsen the situation over time. 

Therefore, you should clean a dehumidifier bucket regularly to keep your device and yourself in a good state.

How often should you clean a dehumidifier bucket?

To prevent the water in the bucket from stagnant, it is advisable to empty the bucket every day.

The bucket may not be full in a day, depending on the indoor humidity level and how long the dehumidifier runs. In this case, you still need to dump the water. 

As for cleaning the bucket, once a week and twice a week is a good option since many contaminants will be left in the bucket even if you change the water on a regular basis. 

How to clean a dehumidifier bucket properly?

Now that you know the importance of cleaning a dehumidifier, let’s delve into the cleaning method you need to use. 

Step 1: Gathering the tools

To complete this cleaning task, you need to prepare a soft cloth, some clean water, detergent, white vinegar, or bleach. If you choose to use bleach, you’d better prepare a pair of goggles and gloves.

Step 2: Unplug the dehumidifier

Because your dehumidifier is powered by electricity, you should turn off and unplug it before doing any cleaning tasks to avoid electric shock. Anyway, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Step 3: Dump the water 

empty the dehumidifier bucket

Take out the dehumidifier bucket or reservoir carefully, then dump the water into the sink or a pot nearby. 

Depending on your dehumidifier’s design, some buckets full of water could be very heavy. If you have weak hands, drain the dehumidifier through the hose rather than a water tank.

Step 4: Clean the exterior of the bucket

The outside of the water tank can get dirty with time. The dust and dirt can leave stains on it. Luckily, these stains are easy to get rid of. 

You can dip a soft cloth into the water and then wipe the bucket down with the cloth. Sometimes, you can find the grime and dirt in some nooks and crannies. You can use this cloth to remove them at the same time. 

To remove stubborn stains, add some detergent to the water, dip the soft cloth in the solution, and then repeat the process.

Step 5: Clean the inside of the bucket

Fill the bucket halfway with clean, cold, or warm water, and then add some mild detergent. The amount of detergent used is determined by the state of the water bucket.

Wipe away the buildups on the bucket’s walls and bottom with a damp cloth after dipping it in water. Please get into the corners, as any contaminants left behind can wreak havoc later. 

Once you feel the bucket is clean, you can dump the water and rinse the bucket a few times with clean water.

Step 6: Disinfect the dehumidifier bucket 

The soapy water may not be able to kill the mold and bacteria effectively. As a result, you are required to use other disinfectants, such as white vinegar or bleach. 

If you choose to use white vinegar, remember to add the same amount of water into the bucket. Scrub the interior with a soft cloth or brush and let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes.

For those who decide to use bleach, you should wear goggles and gloves in advance since bleach is corrosive. 

Fill the bucket with some water and add some drops of bleach into it. Likewise, you need to give the interior a scour and let the solution sit for a while. 

Step 7: Rinse off and air dry

Leaving the solution in the bucket for a long time is not a good idea since it may corrode the material gradually. Once the disinfection is done, you should drain the solution and then rinse off the tank with clean water to remove the smells of vinegar or bleach. 

Next, you can use a dry cloth to remove the leftover water and let the bucket air dry. 

Step 8: Replace the reservoir

A misaligned bucket can cause a dehumidifier to leak. When replacing it, please make sure the bucket is level and replace it slowly. Remember to plug in if you plan to use the machine recently.


If you are wondering how to clean a dehumidifier bucket, I am sure this article has provided almost everything you need to know. 

If you’ve been wondering how to clean a dehumidifier bucket, I’m sure this article has covered almost everything.

To make the task easier, change the water daily to prevent mold growth. In terms of cleaning it, you can use soapy water to remove common dirt and dust and vinegar or bleach to kill the germs. Both the exterior and interior of the bucket are required to be cleaned. 

This is not a complicated task to finish. You can get it done by following the steps I mentioned above. 

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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