Basically, bleach vapors have gotten into my dehumidifier after I used clorox "tilex" All Purpose Cleaner With Bleach for mold control in the kitchen sink. Now the dehumidifier is blowing bleach vapor into the air, which irritates my throat and causes me sleep apnea which is extremely frustrating. Last time, this happened with the AC, and continued until I replaced the unit. How can I avoid needing to replace the unit whenever this happens? While I am sometimes successful at properly scrubbing all the bleach out of the sink after treatment, sometimes residue remains and it is activated whenever I use the sink.

  • 1
    In the future, consider avoiding the "all purpose cleaners" and other brand formulations in favour of unadulterated materials such as liquid bleach, Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach), or Hydrogen Peroxide without any additives except water to adjust strength. Do not run your ac/dehumidifier during your application and removal of your odour producing anti-fungus treatment(s). Don't restart it until your environment is odour free.
    – Stan
    Dec 1, 2020 at 17:34

4 Answers 4


My father, as part of his HVAC business, would clean fans from restaurant ventilation systems and the like. I guess for the price he was charging, his clients imagined him painstakingly dismantling them, scrubbing, and putting them back together. In reality he took them to a manual car wash and just blasted them with soapy water then rinse water. :-) Then he let them dry thoroughly before reinstalling. It must have worked well because he had many repeat calls.

I might consider spraying coils from a non-greasy environment with rinse water only. You could probably do it with just your garden hose. Then let dry for a good long time before plugging back in. Assuming the other parts of the device won’t be damaged by clean water, and that water doesn’t just collect and sit in the device. It’s worth a try if the alternative is junking the device.


The simple answer is: water and / or alcohol. However, if you do not know what you are doing, you risk ruining the unit - as well as creating fire, electrocution and other hazards.

My best advice: take the unit to an electrical service. They have the tools, substances, experience and knowledge to deal with the problem. It should not cost a fortune, I assume.


  1. Chlorine vapors can be dangerous to the health. Have the unit cleaned a.s.a.p. to avoid problems.

  2. Do not repeat the mistake :)


Oh my! It's generally a mistake to clean electronics with bleach. I will clean the fans with spray cleaners and simple rags/dusters, but I do my best to make sure that content stays out of the electric motor. The fan will last years just by wiping off the blades and dusting off the visible and accessible parts of the motor. I wouldn't submerge it in anything or spray any cleaners on the motor. The wire coils are coated with a material to keep electricity flowing through them rather than simply across the coils, and bleach and other cleaners will eat that coating, effectively ruining the motor.


If you put chlorine bleach into the AC, it became acidic. It's not only good bad for breathing, it also may degrade the metal parts inside. You need to remove that. What I'd do:

  • Power down the unit, remove its power cord from the socket.
  • Add a teaspoonful of baking soda to a pint of water, put it into a sprayer, and spray it gently into the coil of the unit.
  • Ideally, tilt the unit a little and drain the water which might get stuck somewhere.
  • Once the chlorine smell is gone (maybe after a few sprays), spray the thing with plain water, and drain it.
  • Power the unit back up, and let it dry up. Since it's a dehumidifier, it should be used to removing water from the coil anyway.

The coil part is usually well-insulated from all electrical things. Still exercise caution while spraying, and be careful to not put the spray onto things other than the coil and the fan.

Next time use alcohol for mold control, or something else but bleach.

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