With the right air purifier for your home, you can clean the air and make it smell good.
That said, sometimes air purifiers can actually be the source of the foul odor in the first place.
And for many air purifier owners, the foul smell their air purifiers give off is similar to vinegar.
Vinegar has a very sour and acidic smell and can be very strong.
And if you’re like everyone on the planet, you wouldn’t want the appliance you bought for clean and fresh-smelling air to stink up your house.
Since it’s an unusual problem with air purifiers, it can be hard to figure out why this happens and how you can fix it.
So today, I’ll explain why your purifier smells like vinegar, my personal experience with it, and how you can fix this issue yourself.
Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Like Vinegar?
There are a few reasons why your air purifier smells like vinegar.
Typically, your air purifier smells like vinegar because the carbon filter initially absorbs chemicals like formaldehyde and releases them into the air.
Other times, a sour smell coming from the air purifier can be due to a malfunction in the device.
In my case, my air purifier smelled like vinegar because the carbon filter absorbed certain chemicals.
And because I was using the air purifier in a humid and poorly ventilated room, the smell couldn’t disperse properly.
I cleaned the air purifier and replaced the carbon filter to fix the issue.
And after that, I didn’t experience any more foul odors from my air purifier.
So, while it’s important to pay close attention to your air purifier if it smells like vinegar, it doesn’t mean it is broken.
But I’ll get to how exactly I fixed this issue later.
Is Vinegar Smell From An Air Purifier Normal?
If your air purifier smells like vinegar, don’t worry.
This is something that many people experience with their air purifiers, and there is a solution to it.
And fixing the issue doesn’t take much work at all.
In the next section, I’ll explain how to eliminate the vinegar-like smell from your purifier.
What to Do If Your Air Purifier Smells Like Vinegar
A sour smell coming from your air purifier can be annoying.
And a lot of the time, the odor can get stronger when the air purifier is on.
Usually, I would tell you you should always leave the air purifier on if you want to get the most out of it.
But if it smells like vinegar, there is no doubt that you’d have a difficult time leaving it on around the clock.
So, here are some of the things you can do to fix your air purifier if you notice a vinegar-like scent.
The easiest solution is to wait.
As time goes by, the smell of vinegar will likely disappear naturally.
It will be much less noticeable after a few days, but you will have to wait a couple weeks for the smell to completely disappear.
With that said, waiting for your air purifier’s vinegar scent to disappear can be frustrating.
But as long as you’re patient, it will naturally go away.
However, if you can’t stand the smell and want to keep your air purifier on, there is another way.
Clean the Air Purifier
As I mentioned earlier, the most likely reason your purifier smells like vinegar is that something’s trapped in the filter.
Unfortunately, the carbon filters only come disposable.
When you open your device, take a whiff of the carbon filter.
If it smells like vinegar, replace it with a new one.
On the other hand, if it’s been a couple of months since you first used your air purifier and it smells like vinegar, it could just need a cleaning.
I have a comprehensive guide to cleaning your air purifier that you can read here to ensure you’re cleaning it correctly.
Air Purifier Repair
While rare, vinegar smell sometimes comes from faulty electrical components.
If this is the case, it’s best to bring it to a professional.
They will use the right approach and restore your air purifier to its original state.
Other Smells That May Come from Your Air Purifier
Vinegar isn’t the only odor that can come from your air purifier.
Here are a few other smells you might notice from your air purifier and where they come from.
A Sweet Scent
If you notice a sweet and fresh scent coming from your air purifier, it’s working the way an air purifier is supposed to.
The air purifier should make the air in the room smell and feel clean, so if it smells sweet, you have a fully functional air purifier.
A Chlorine-Like Scent
Chlorine or bleach-like scent could indicate that there’s ozone in the air.
Some air purifiers produce ozone when cleaning the air, which can be dangerous if you inhale too much.
I recommend staying away from these types of air purifiers.
This could indicate an electrical issue that you need to address right away.
Some air purifiers will smell like plastic the first few days you use them. This should go away naturally and isn’t something to worry about.
If your air purifier has a fishy or wet-dog-like smell, it could mean that the filter is moldy.
Try and open the air purifier to see if there’s mold on the filter.
If there is, you might have to clean or change the filters in the machine.
While air purifiers are meant to make the air smell and feel fresh and clean, they can sometimes do the opposite.
If your air purifier smells like vinegar, it could be a sign that it’s due for a cleaning or needs repair.
And once you do either of these things, you’ll find your air purifier working as usual and making the room smell fresh again!