How to Clean a Water Cooler Dispenser

Water cooler and large bottles
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 2-20
What You'll Need
Plastic gloves
Garden hose
Dish Soap
Plastic bottle sprayer
White vinegar/all-purpose vinegar

A water cooler dispenser is a handy device for ensuring a steady supply of drinking water, found at residential and commercial places. The dispenser needs little maintenance apart from a periodic cleaning. You can easily clean your water cooler dispenser by using the following information.

Step 1 - Dismantle Water Cooler Dispenser

Prepare yourself by wearing plastic gloves. Get started by unplugging the cooler. If the cooler doesn’t weigh too much and is secured above a movable trolley, take it outside the room. The water dispenser cooler has various parts secured with screws. For removing such parts, use a screwdriver. The rear part of the machine usually has a big, single-layered panel. Remove all panels and set aside their screws. Some parts of the dispenser can be easily slid out of their dedicated slots without using any tools. The drip tray is one such part. Ensure that you remove all traces of water that has collected within the dispenser (more common among older dispensers).

Step 2 - Start Basic Water Cooler Dispenser Cleaning

For basic cleaning, use a light-pressured hose for wetting the dispenser. Ensure that you spray water on all sides. Use dish soap for soaping the surface of the dispenser. Alternatively, you can use lukewarm water. Repeatedly rinse the surface with water. Now, examine the body of the dispenser for hard stains that need a thorough cleaning.

Step 3 - Do a Thorough Water Cooler Dispenser Cleaning with Bleach

Prepare a cleaning solution containing 1 gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of bleach. Pour the ingredients into a bucket and mix them thoroughly. Use a tumbler to pour this cleaning solution over stained or spotted dispenser surfaces. This solution is also useful for getting rid of the odor that develops in dispensers where internal water leakage and water stagnation is a problem. Do not rinse the bleached dispenser immediately. Allow it to work upon the stains/spots for a few minutes. Now, use a wet sponge for slightly scrubbing the bleached surfaces. Repeatedly rinse the dispenser with tap water. Examine the dispenser for hard stains like those formed by corrosion. If you find such spots, proceed with vinegar.

Step 4 - Clean with Vinegar

For vinegar-based cleaning, first dry the dispenser for at least 24 hours. Use all-purpose or white vinegar for this cleaning. Prepare a solution containing vinegar and water in equal parts. Spray this solution on the stains using a plastic bottle sprayer. If you are worried about infections within internal chambers of the water dispenser, fill the water tank of the dispenser with this solution. Now, open the spout of the water filter. This allows the vinegar solution to make contact and pass through every internal component. Since vinegar is a natural disinfectant, this ensures that all internal parts of the dispenser are disinfected. Wait for a few minutes before you rinse the vinegar-covered spots.

Step 5 - Re-assemble Water Cooler Dispenser

Put back the panels and screws you had removed. Plug in the dispenser and reconnect its water supply. It is recommended that the cleaned water dispenser’s water isn't immediately used for household consumption. Open the spout of the dispenser and allow the water to be drained away for about an hour. This ensures that any trace of soap or vinegar is washed-away.