A Procedural Guide on Cleaning Water Coolers

Over the years, having water dispensers at homes and even in the office workspace has become a trend. It is a good, hygienic way of dispensing clean water for hydration needs. Better still, the dispenser allows one to choose between cold and hot. In view of this, one ought to learn maintenance to keep that best bottom loading water dispenser operating at peak.

Learn the Mechanics

It is quite obvious that there are top and bottom loading dispensers. However, most people do not know the inner workings. So, before learning how to clean both versions, one ought to understand how they work. The top loading dispenser utilizes gravity in executing its functions. On the other hand, the bottom loading version uses an electric pump, and definitely needs better care.

When it comes to cleaning detergents, white vinegar or bleach works best. Other than cleaning quite well, they get rid of mold build ups. Choose mildly scented solutions and avoid soaps as they will most likely affect the water’s taste. When using chlorine bleach, mix 1 tablespoon with a gallon of water and stir thoroughly. As for vinegar, 1 quart should be mixed with 3 quarts of warm water.

Cleaning a Top-Loading Dispenser

The cleaning process is quite simple. Naturally, cleaning is done once the bottle is completely empty. Here are the steps.

  • Switch off the power socket and disconnect the chord connecting to the dispenser. That is a major cautionary step with regards to safety against electric shock.
  • After carefully removing the water bottle, check the seal for mildew build ups. If present, wipe away with a paper towel. Most of the times that does the trick but if you have not cleaned for some time, more is needed. Mix baking soda and water to clean excessive build up with the help of a scrub brush. Then, rinse off using a clean sponge dipped in a disinfectant.
  • Some dispensers come with a guard that perforates the bottle on installation. If yours has one, remove it, clean thoroughly with disinfectant, then place it for drying.
  • The drip guard and cup holder often have the most dirt. Remove both and intensely clean with your chosen solution. Scrub off tough stains using the baking soda paste.
  • To sterilize the reservoir, pour down your solution through the top and let it stay there for about 5 minutes. Drain everything through the corks to ensure they too are clean.
  • To rinse off the solution use two gallons of water to be dispensed through the corks. Once through, pour a gallon of water and taste to check for any bleach smell or taste. In case there is some, pour another two gallons and rinse again.
  • After thorough rinsing, place all components in their respective places. Attach a new bottle and let the water sit for 30-60 minutes.

Cleaning a Bottom-Loading Dispenser

A bottom-loading dispenser cleaning process is more or less like that of the top-loading versions. Perhaps, the only difference is that you will need a funnel for this one.

  • Unplug your dispenser to avoid electric shock.
  • Remove the water bottle and drain the reservoir through the corks.
  • Mix the chosen solution in the bottle you removed. Use of a funnel helps in adding vinegar or bleach.
  • Connect the bottle and let the reservoir suck up into the reservoir to sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Rid off the solution in the reservoir through the corks.
  • After rinsing go through the process of tasting and checking for smell. If present, add another two gallons for another round of rinsing.
  • Finally, plug in everything back and add a new water bottle to be used after 30-60 minutes.


As illustrated above, cleaning is quite simple. Do it often, and it even gets simpler. It is also wise to refer to the user manual for some manufacturers may have varying specifications.

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