How To Clean Water Dispenser

If you own a water cooler or dispenser, you must clean it regularly.

A lot of experts advise that you clean the dispenser every time you change the bottle, or every 6 weeks, whichever comes first.

How To Clean Water Dispenser

You want to keep the dispenser as clean as possible so that it can produce clean drinkable water.

Cleaning a water dispenser can seem like a lot of hassle and a massive job. Yet it is a simple task to do. All you need is water, vinegar, or bleach and a bit of time.

Let’s find out how to clean a water dispenser step by step.

Equipment Needed

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

  • Bucket with handle
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Jug
  • Sponge
  • Bleach or distilled white vinegar

Prepare Your Solution

Collect your bucket. The handle makes it easier to carry the solution and avoid spilling the contents of the bucket. You should also wear gloves to prevent the mixture from getting onto your skin.

Decide whether you want to use bleach or vinegar to make the solution. Vinegar is only 80 to 90% effective when compared to using bleach. 

For every gallon of water that you use, add 1 tablespoon of either vinegar or bleach. Use an unscented bleach if you opt for this material. This will be easier to flush the smell away once you’re finished. 

If you decide to use vinegar, to combat its strong smell, add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.

Prepare The Dispenser

Before you 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 your electrical outlets. Once you have done this, remove the bottle. 

Surface Cleaning

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
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