Keeping your home or business clean should mean using a HEPA filter. You will want to get the most out of it and that may mean finding one that is washable to be reused several times.
After all, HEPA filters can be very effective which can come at a high cost. If you can reuse your HEPA filter, that should save you money in the long run.
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that washable HEPA filters are still as effective as disposable ones.
They can reduce around 99.97% of airborne particles through this efficiency will diminish after they have been washed and reused.
The process of cleaning it could damage the fibers or tear the filter itself.
Knowing if your HEPA filter can be washed and reused is the first step yet how you clean it is also important.
In this guide, we will look at how you can effectively wash and reuse your HEPA filter.
How Do You Know If A HEPA Filter Can Be Cleaned?
There should be a label on the box that comes with the air purifier or vacuum cleaner that would state if the HEPA filter is either washable or disposable.
If there is no label then check the specific model and type of device on the manufacturer’s website.
In either case, you should be sure that there is a note that will mean that the HEPA filter is cleanable and instructions for how it can be reused.
If there is no label or no instructions to be found on how to clean the HEPA filter then that would indicate that it is disposable and needs to be replaced rather than cleaned.
How To Clean And Wash A HEPA Filter
A lot of washable HEPA filters only require gentle cleaning, usually with a vacuum cleaner to get them ready to reuse.
There may be instructions on how to remove the HEPA filter which would be on the instruction manual of the device it belongs to.
Simply attach a brush attachment to the vacuum cleaner, set it to the lowest possible speed, and let it do the hard work to remove the hair, dust mites, and surface dust.
There may even be specific instructions on how to wash the HEPA filter which you can follow from the manufacturer which you would be recommended to use.
If you want to give the HEPA filter a good wash then you can either rinse it in cold water or use a damp cloth.
This should loosen up those trapped particles though you will need to let it air dry for around 24 hours after giving it a good shake for any excess water.
Once completely dry, reinsert the HEPA filter into your device so it can be reused.
When you are cleaning and washing your HEPA filter, make sure you take precautions.
That means wearing a face mask to ensure that you get rid of the pollutants the filter has picked up but you do not inhale them yourself.
You would also be advised to do the cleaning outside simply to make sure that those airborne particles are kept out of your home.
Exposure to those pollutants should be reduced as they can set off allergic reactions including coughing, a sore throat, and sinus problems though in the long-term this could mean asthma attacks and even bronchitis.
Reasons Why You Should Not Clean A HEPA Filter
If the HEPA filter fails to have instructions on how to clean and reuse it, it is likely because it is disposable and non-washable.
Cleaning may even pose a problem and there are several risks associated with washing a HEPA filter that is not supposed to be washed.
One is that the process of washing may impair the density of the fibers that make it so effective in capturing those microscopic particles.
Even when cleaned with the most care, you may be harming the cleaning and filtration process.
By cleaning any filter, you are posing a risk to your health by letting those captured pollutants escape into the open air again.
Not only that, when you do decide to clean the reusable HEPA filter, you may decide to do this every couple of weeks or every month to prevent clogging.
This would then become a regular occurrence and may take up more time than you realize when you could simply replace a disposable HEPA filter once a year.
If you do not clean a HEPA filter properly then you are likely to cause more harm than good.
This is important if you fail to let the HEPA filter dry completely as when left damp, the filter can encourage the growth then spread of microorganisms.
Once rinsed, it should be left to dry if you want to make sure mold and bacteria do not return and grow.
That means a full 24 hours and any impatience will not help either. Should you decide to use a hairdryer to quicken it up, the heat would damage the fiber and the filter itself.
How Many Times Can You Reuse A HEPA Filter?
As long as the HEPA filter is a washable one, you can clean it, wash it and reuse it multiple times.
Though you may want to do this regularly such as every two weeks or every month, you may not need to do it so often.
You would be advised to wash your HEPA filter every three months or even every six months.
Certain HEPA filters are washable and can be reused though you have to check that this is the case first. If it is, you could save yourself some money by continuing to reuse the same filter.
However, there are several issues associated with cleaning and reusing a HEPA filter including washing it effectively and ensuring you remain safe when doing so.
The most predominant issue will be if you ever damage the filter as that would mean having to replace it.