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things to clean water cooler

How to Clean Your Water Cooler: Don’t Forget To Do These 2 Things!

You wouldn't imagine that something as apparently harmless as a water dispenser could get dirty... but it could. In reality, a water dispenser has to be cleaned and even sanitized regularly. (After all, microbes love moisture, and there is loads of that in your water cooler.)

Find out the appropriate way to clean a water dispenser -- indoors and out -- and then see what you will have to do to sanitize it.

Note: Always consider the manufacturer's care directions before cleaning. Not all water coolers have the same body, and you don't want to break or damage yours.

How to Clean Water Dispenser

clean a water cooler

When it is about finding the most reliable way to clean a water cooler, you need to wait until the water container is empty. Believe this will make your job so much easier, as you won't have to carry heavy bottles of water or bother about liquid sloshing all over the place.

You will need:

  • A bucket
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • A gallon jug or a pitcher
  • A microfiber fabric
  • 3 cups of hot water
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • Dishwashing gloves (optional)


  • Unplug the water cooler and take out the bottle.
  • Using the tap, drain the contents of the cooler. This water is drinkable.
  • If necessary, eliminate the water guard from the inside of the cooler. (The water protector is the element that penetrates the lids of their water bottles.)
  • Lift the baffle, which is a metal or plastic disc.
  • Wash the water guard or the baffle with a mix of warm water and gentle dish washing liquid, just as you'd wash dishes by hand.
  • Rinse the water guard to make sure all the soap is removed and place them aside on a clean and dry microfiber cloth.
  • Mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of warm water and pour this into the cooler's reservoir. Gloves may come in use here, especially if you've got sensitive skin.)
  • Wipe the interior of the reservoir clean with a microfiber cloth and this option.
  • Drain the cleaning solution in your bucket from the reservoir.
  • Wash the reservoir by filling it with clean water that you then empty into the bucket.
  • Return the water and the water guard to their position.
  • Put a new bottle in the cooler and plug the power supply.

Tips For Cleaning A Water Cooler on the outside (Such As The Taps)

The exterior of your water dispenser wants some love! Think of all of the hands that touch it and what may be happening inside those taps. This is a rather easy task.

You will need:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Refined white vinegar in a spray container
  • Mild dishwashing liquid


  • Unplug your water cooler.
  • Eliminate tray and taps and wash them in the sink using a mixture of dish washing liquid and warm water.
  • Wipe the faucets and plate dry using a microfiber fabric.
  • Spritz the outside of the cooler with the vinegar, and the area place the tray would sit. (be aware if you have stone floors in your kitchen, as vinegar can ruin this material.)
  • Use the microfiber cloth to wipe away any vinegar and dirt residue.
  • Return the taps and tray to their positions.
  • Plug back your water cooler in.

How to Sanitize Your Water Cooler

Sanitize the water cooler

Most manufacturers suggest that you sanitize your water cooler every three to six months. Although, you'll need to check your maintenance instructions to be sure you don't need to be undertaking this task more or less often.

Additionally, sanitizing a water cooler can be challenging and doing it in a wrong way could result in your water tasting odd or being toxic to your health if sanitizer resides in it for too long.

Many people often sanitize their water coolers using bleachRemember that if your water cooler cleaned with vinegar, this isn't a smart move.

Bleach and vinegar are two cleaners that should never be mixed, as they produce toxic chlorine gas when mixed.

It is always a good idea to follow the sanitization guidelines provided in your manufacturer's manual or ask your water service provider if they offer sanitization services.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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