Water Dispenser Cleaning and Maintenance: A Complete Guide

by Jay | Posted on May 2nd, 2023

Maintaining a clean water dispenser is more than just a hygiene practice; it’s a necessity for good health. Even the best water dispensers can accumulate bacteria and biofilm, which can affect the quality of your water if not handled properly.

Whether you have a self-cleaning water dispenser or a manual one, cleaning and maintenance should still be part of your routine. This guide will provide you with easy, step-by-step instructions on how to clean and maintain your water dispenser to ensure that you’re always serving the freshest, cleanest water.

Water Cooler Dispensers

Why is Cleaning Your Water Dispenser Important?

Don’t be alarmed if you notice an unusual odor, buildup, or any other undesirable substance emerging around your water dispenser. These items are simple to clean, and dealing with them promptly can save you from potential health hazards. Bacteria and mold love damp places, and a water dispenser is an ideal place for them to flourish if not properly maintained.

When Should You Clean Your Water Dispenser?

According to the US Department of Energy, it is recommended that you clean your water cooler every six weeks or whenever you change the bottle. Regular cleaning helps maintain the functionality and longevity of your water cooler, ensuring that it remains in optimal condition for years to come.

The Cleaning Process: What You Need

Cleaning your water dispenser is a straightforward process. All you need is some boiled water, a soft-bristled brush (like a toothbrush), and perhaps a little vinegar or bleach, depending on the materials of your cooler. If you’re unsure about what cleaning agents are safe to use, consult your product’s manual. Most brands offer specific cleaning recommendations.

Let’s Clean Your Water Cooler: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here are some essential tips to get your water cooler sparkling clean:

  1. Ensure Safety First: Always unplug your cooler before starting the cleaning process to avoid any potential electrical accidents.
  2. Inspect Your Water Guard: Check to see if your water cooler has a water guard. This piece permits your water bottle lids to be pierced for use. If it’s present, remove it.
  3. Clean The Water Guard: Once removed, wash the water guard with mild dish soap and warm water to remove any buildup. Rinse off all soap and pat it dry with a towel before reassembly.
  4. Rinse The Reservoir: Prepare a solution with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Rinse the reservoir with this mixture, then drain and rinse multiple times to ensure all baking soda residue is gone.
  5. Replace The Water Guard: Once everything is clean and dry, replace the water guard kit.

Going the Extra Mile: Additional Cleaning Tips

Regular cleaning aids in the upkeep and operation of your water cooler. But you can take additional steps to ensure your dispenser remains in top shape:

  1. Sanitize Your Water Dispenser: Regular sanitization is crucial. Prepare a solution of half a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water, and pour it over the reservoir. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then drain. If your cooler has two separate faucets, drain them both through the cold water faucet and quickly rinse with water.
  2. Clean Around the Water Cooler: Don’t just focus on the interior; the exterior needs attention too. Disconnect the power supply cord before cleaning around the water cooler. Use a small brush attachment from your vacuum cleaner to clean around the cooler, getting into those hard-to-reach places.

In conclusion, maintaining a clean water dispenser is crucial for ensuring the health and safety of those who use it. With these easy tips and regular cleaning, you can keep your water tasting great and free from harmful bacteria. Now, you’re not just only an expert in using your water dispenser, but also in maintaining it. So, don’t wait any longer, get your cleaning tools ready and give your water dispenser the love it deserves!

What if I Have a Specific Brand of Water Cooler?

If you have a brand-specific query, such as “How to clean a Primo water cooler,” keep in mind that most brands will have unique cleaning recommendations. It’s always a good idea to check your product’s handbook. If you can’t find the information you need, consider reaching out to the manufacturer’s customer service for assistance. They can provide brand-specific instructions that can help you keep your dispenser in top shape.

Is Regular Maintenance Enough?

While regular cleaning is essential, sometimes, due to heavy use or just the passage of time, parts of your water dispenser might need replacement. Always keep an eye on the performance of your dispenser. If you notice any changes, such as the water tasting different or the dispenser not cooling or heating the water as efficiently as it used to, it might be time to check if any parts need replacement.


Remember, your water dispenser does an important job – providing you and others with clean, refreshing water. To keep it working at its best, it needs regular care and attention. Cleaning your water dispenser may seem like a bit of a chore, but with this guide, it should be a breeze. In the end, it’s well worth the effort, ensuring that every glass of water you pour is as fresh and clean as possible. Cheers to good health and clean water!


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."