Portable evaporative coolers carry a parcel of nature with them while they traverse hot buildings. They channel that natural cooling force efficiently, but this control comes at a price. It’s exacted as dirt and sediment, hard water and mold, contaminants that age the appliance. Don’t worry, though, because we can avoid nature’s underbelly by applying a handful of simple DIY cleaning tips to the problem.

The Power of Fresh Water

Use fresh water to clean the exterior of the housing and the inner assemblies. Caution, consult the manual before opening the housing, for dangerous electrical currents flow inside portable evaporative coolers. This same strategy applies to the water-soaked media. The pads are typically removable, so they can be washed in fresh water.

Brushing Up On Cleaning Tips

Dirt acts like a miniature garden for bacteria to prosper. Meanwhile, on the water output line, white chalky deposits cover the hoses and the water reservoir. A hard-bristled hand brush is an appropriate response here, for the bristles scour the plastic surfaces and wipe away stubborn accumulations of particulate matter. Turn up the heat on this tip by pairing a wet/dry vacuum cleaner with the brush so that the particles can be properly dislodged and extracted.

Bring on the Vinegar

This household liquid is available from any grocery store. It adds a nice bite to food because it has acidic properties. Use a gallon of diluted acetic acid (white vinegar) to thoroughly clean the water tank. Just pour the vinegar into the reservoir, let it lay for a few hours, and drain it into a waiting bucket. Of course, we’re not finished yet. Use another bucket to load the tank with water, and finish this household cleaning tip by rinsing the reservoir.

Avoid Household Products

The purchase of that one-gallon bottle of white vinegar is not meant to advocate the employment of any old household cleaner. Don’t use bathroom bleaches or other caustic chemical compounds, for they will cause respiratory problems when the unit is returned to service. Strong oxidizing agents are also not advised, not when they’re known to cause skin and eye irritation.

Mild cleaners, including dilute white vinegar, are known to kill germs. They also eliminate odors and wash away mildew. Otherwise, a little elbow grease, a brush, and fresh water will keep the pads and inner assemblies clean and sanitary. Just remember to unplug the portable evaporative cooler and empty its tank before applying any of these DIY cleaning tips.