How To Clean A Water Cooler

15 November 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Water coolers keep your office or home office supplied with fresh water all year. However, like other appliances, they need regular cleaning from either you or a janitorial services company. You should be able to do the cleaning yourself by following these steps.

Prepare to Clean the Cooler

To clean the cooler, gather:

  • plastic work gloves
  • screwdriver (optional)
  • sponge
  • paper towels
  • liquid dish soap 
  • white vinegar 
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • spray bottle
  • unscented bleach 

Unplug the cooler, detach the bottle by twisting it off the dispenser, and move the unit from other electrical devices. Set a bucket under the spout, and empty old water by pressing the dispense valves, if needed. Use this water for cleaning.  

Clean the Dispenser with Soap

Squirt several drops of dish soap in the bucket of water, spread it on the dispenser surface with a sponge, and let it stand several minutes. Clean the interior and exterior of the dispenser surface, including the drip tray, if applicable. 

It may be easier to clean the interior of the dispenser walls by detaching them with a screwdriver. Drain the solution in a faucet or toilet. 

Reattach the walls, if applicable, and set the bucket under the cooler spout. Run water through the reservoir until the solution has been rinsed. After every part has thoroughly dried, refill the reservoir with fresh water.

Apply Bleach or Vinegar

To use vinegar for stains, mix three parts vinegar to each one part water in a spray bottle. Hide the smell by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice. Shake the bottle, spray the stained areas, let it stand twenty minutes. Detach the spout to let the solution clean all components. Pour clean water into the reservoir to rinse.

For a thorough cleaning, or to get rid of smells from leaking, use a bleach solution. When cleaning with bleach, wear gloves and eye protection. Don't mix bleach with other cleaners. 

Combine a gallon of water with two tablespoons of bleach, and pour it into the reservoir. Let the mixture stand several minutes, and scrub the exterior and interior. Pour fresh water into the reservoir three or four times to thoroughly rinse the solution, then let the dispenser dry.

Clean the exterior of the new water bottle with a fresh bleach solution, rinse, and attach it to the cooler. Plug the unit back in, and watch for or bubbles, which indicates the bottle and dispenser made a good seal.

Drink some water to check for odd tastes, but avoid touching the spigot with the glass to reduce the spread of germs. Change the water every thirty days.