How do I clean my Levoit LV-PUR131 HEPA filter? [resolved]
We love our Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter. It’s great for eliminating the majority of odor, allergies, and clean the air in a relatively large room — the company says that their system filters up to 99.97% of dust, allergens, bacteria, and odors.
It’s great to clear up dust, suck up smoke (from cooking) and help to prevent mold. We don’t smoke cigarettes or have pets, but we assume the air purifier does a great job with smoke and pet hair/dander.
Can I reuse/clean my Levoit HEPA filter?
Depending on usage, the filter can last a few months or more before the filter loses it’s efficacy as more dust, spores, and debris clogs up the high-efficiency particulate air filters. At some point, they’ll need to be replaced. That brings up the question — can these filter be cleaned? Here’s what Molekule has to say about hand cleaning HEPA filters:
If your HEPA filter is not specifically labelled as washable or “permanent,” then the answer is no.
Of course, the companies will tell you that you can’t clean the filters. That’s a large part of their revenue, but there’s some truth to it.
The same Molekule article that says you cannot clean your HEPA filter also mentions that it’s possible to reuse. They say the filter can be taken out and tapped so that excess dust and debris falls off, use a vacuum to suck up some of the embedded dust and the filter can be rinsed in water. So the answer to whether you can reuse a filter is actually yes (but probably only once or twice).
The problem is that cleaning those filters can cause damage to the sensitive “mesh of fibers” that gives the filter the ability to “clean” particles from the air. Here’s more from Molekule:
Even if the filter looks undamaged, some of the fibers will be broken or stretched out. You will end up with a somewhat clean looking filter that does not do the job of filtering properly.
An answer provided at Amazon has a very similar answer to the common “Can filters be cleaned or reused” question. They replied: “It is not recommended to do that. Adopting the True HEPA Filter, the fiber on the filters will be destroyed if cleaned by force. For your reference, qualified and approved, the filters can last for 6 months.”
Keyword there being “by force” – as long as you’re being careful and safe, sounds like cleaning the filter should be okay if you’re not ready to spring for a new filter yet.
We’ve already taken out our filter, cleaned it using the steps above and reused it. We feel like the cleaned filter is doing a good job clearing the air, but very likely not at the 99.97% rate of a new one. Have you had any success cleaning and reusing your Levoit air filter? If so, let’s get some more reviews/comments below.