Asked on May 30, 2013

How do I clean mold out of a window air conditioner?

Howard Greene
by Howard Greene
I stored a window air conditioner in an outside shed over the winter. I guess it got damp in there. When I took it out of the shed to install in my window this spring, I saw that there was quite a bit of black mold on and in the a/c unit. What is the best way to clean it and get rid of the mold?
  6 answers
  • Rosalie M Rosalie M on May 30, 2013
    It was always my understanding that Clorox removed mold. You should try a solution of warm water and bleach and wipe the air conditioner down with that. If the solution didn't work, I would try straight Clorox. It won't hurt it.
  • Miles Enterprises Inc. Miles Enterprises Inc. on May 31, 2013
    i agree with Rosalie M i would put a ltle bleach with a glass cleaner so the unit does not smell like bleach .
    • Kathy Driscoll Kathy Driscoll on Jul 26, 2014
      @Miles Enterprises Inc. don't mix chemicals- the odor can make you sick- especially bleach and ammonia- in the glass cleaner.
  • One thing with a window unit it is easy to clean. Put it on a set of saw horses so your not bending over. Put this perhaps on the driveway because cleaners and lots of water is involved. Remove the plastic cover on the front to expose the fins and perhaps the filter. Using care not to damage the fins or the tiny tube that may be attached to the front of the fins itself. The plastic cover that was removed can be scrubbed clean with any quality cleaner that will not harm plastic. Good old warm and soapy water always does the trick. A soft brush will aid in getting between the grooves in the panel. ON the AC system itself. Tape a plastic baggie over the control section. Then simply using a soft scrub brush and water wash the unit down. Hose it off as needed. Just try not to direct the water onto the control area and directly onto the fan motor that drives the blower and outside fan part. Try to spray the foam or metal tray that the coil sits on, and be sure to spray and brush well the inside blower wheel that should be partly exposed from where the air comes out. The better you clean, the better the fan will blow cold air. There is really nothing you can hurt as long as you attempt to keep water out of where the wires and switches are connected. Once done, tilt and move unit around to dump as much water you can out of the unit and let sit for a few hours to let it dry off in the hot sun. Just try not to turn the unit upside down. Once that is done and if the system is a 110 volt unit, plug it in and run the fan on high. This will help blow out any water that may be hidden in cavities that you cannot see plus is will dry it off better before you install it and run it.
  • Jay Taylor Jay Taylor on Jul 22, 2014
    Just like any other appliance in your place, the window AC also needs tender love and care. Make sure to give it a thorough cleaning at least once a year: Air conditioners work more efficiently when the evaporator and condenser coils or cooling fins are clean and the fins are straight. Wash (or replace) the air filters and re installs the unit. It just might blow a lot cooler.
  • @ Jay Taylor. He is spot on with this. I cannot tell you how many times people call us to service their window units because they think it needs to be charged. The fact is the blower fan, which is quite small considering the amount of air it blows is simply plugged with dust. Keep the filters clean. And wash the unit out once a year.
  • Capernius Capernius on Jan 26, 2016
    Bleach is dangerous to anyone & anything that comes in contact with it directly or its vapors. I would never use bleach for anything. The safest way to get rid of mold in a window A/C unit, is vinegar. saturate the mold with it, wait 10 -15 minutes & then hose down with a garden hose. if you can remove the cover, usually 6 - 8 small screws, do so & you will prolly see more mold inside. Vinegar will kill old on contact, the vapors will not kill you (lest you have asthma) & the vinegar itself will not poison you if you get it on you. if you get it on your clothes, you'll just have a clean spot amongst all the dirt. lol :-)