How To Clean Water Dispenser

If you happen to own a water cooler or dispenser, then it is important that you clean it regularly. A lot of experts have advised that you clean the dispenser every time you change the bottle or every 6 weeks, depending on which once comes first.

How To Clean Water Dispenser

You want to keep the dispenser as clean as possible, so that it can produce clean water for people to drink.

Cleaning a water dispenser can seem like a lot of hassle and a massive job. Yet really it is a  quite simple task to do. All you need is water, vinegar or bleach and a bit of time. In this article, we will be going over how to clean a water dispenser step by step.

Equipment Needed

To clean your water dispenser, you will need the following:

  • Bucket,
  • Rubber Gloves,
  • Microfiber towel
  • Bleach or distilled white vinegar.

Prepare Your Solution

With this step, you can choose whether you want to use bleach or vinegar to make the solution with. However, we would recommend using a bucket with a handle.

This just makes it easier to handle and to avoid spilling the contents of the bucket over. Also, we would advise you to wear gloves, to prevent the mixture getting onto your skin.

For every gallon of water that you use, you want to add 1 tablespoon of either vinegar or bleach. If you do want to use bleach, then try to use an unseen one. This way it will be easier to flush the smell away at the end.

In addition, if you use vinegar to combat its strong smell, then you can also add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Also, with vinegar it is only 80 to 90% effective when compared to using bleach.

For the solution, you will mix together your bleach/vinegar with the water.

Prepare The Dispenser

Before you can start cleaning the dispenser, there are a couple of things you need to do.

First unplug the water dispenser and move the dispenser away from our electrical outlets. This avoids any possibilities of water getting into contact with the live electricity. Once you have done this, then you should remove the bottle.

Surface Cleaning

Clean The Drip Tray

Begin by cleaning the surface of the water dispenser. With a wet sponge, clean the outside of the dispenser and the inner surface of the dispenser using the cleaning solution that we created with water and bleach/vinegar.

Cleaning Inside The Dispenser

Once the outside is clean, add a small amount of the cleaning solution into the dispenser. To do this, fill a small jug with the solution and pour it into the hole of where the bottle would normally stand.

Allow the solution to stand for no longer than 5 minutes, otherwise you risk damaging your water dispenser. Then you will want to drain the solution out of the water dispenser using one of the taps.

If there are two taps on the dispenser, use the cool temperature tap and pour the solution into a separate container, where the contents of that separate container will be flushed down the drain or toilet.

Now, with a jug of clean water, fill the water dispenser’s inner reservoir with this clean water. Then drain the reservoir using the cold tap, once again into a bucket. You will want to repeat this step 4 times in total.

This is because you want to be thorough to make sure that there is no vinegar or bleach taste being left behind.

Clean The Drip Tray

The drip tray can become quite dirty over time. Therefore, it is important that you give this section of the water dispenser some attention.

Leave the tray out of the water and take it to the sink. Give the tray a really good scrub and clean to make sure all debris has come away. Then rinse the tray with clean water to make sure all soap has been flushed away.

Before you reattach the drip tray, make sure you completely dry it. You don’t want to reattach the tray while it is still wet, otherwise the moisture may still contain chemicals or cause mold to grow. Therefore, make sure it is as dry as possible.

Attaching The Bottle

In the final step, you want to rewatch your old bottle or add a new bottle to the water dispenser.

If you are reattaching an old bottle that isn’t quite empty yet, then you need to clean the neck of the old bottle. This will make sure that any dirt you had washed away doesn’t come back in the system due to the neck of the old bottle.

Ideally, you want to be adding a new clean bottle to your dispenser, considering you have spent this time cleaning it. With a new bottle, take the gloves off and make sure your hands are clean.

Then, with your clean hands, you can remove the cap and place the new bottle in the hole.

Keep an eye on the bottle, as you should see air bubbles rising to the top of the bottle. This will indicate that the bottle has made contact and created a seal with the dispenser, which is what you want.

Finally, you can re-plug the dispenser back in and see if all the taps are still working. Also, at this point, it is wise to taste the water. This will assure you that there is no lingering taste from the cleaning solution being left behind.


Now you should know how to clean a water dispenser. Every 6 weeks or when you need to attach a new bottle, it is best to clean your dispenser.

We have given you all the steps that you require, so you should be able to clean your water dispenser easily when the time comes.

Mandy Anderson