How to Clean a Water Cooler

How to Clean a Water Cooler

A running office joke is about how much time co-workers spend around the water cooler, talking and chatting. What is not as funny is the fact water dispensers and coolers need to be cleaned and sanitized. Cleaning does not have to be difficult with some easy steps to get started. Try some of these tips if a home office or work office water cooler needs some TLC.


Grab Materials

Be sure to have the right materials on hand. Although it may seem like an easy job, there are a few things that make it easier. Start with a jug or pitcher, a cup of distilled white vinegar, hot water, a bucket, dish soap, cloth, and gloves if needed. When all the materials are collected, start with unplugging the water cooler and taking the bottle down. Pour the remaining contents of the water into a jug for drinking water. Begin with these instructions:

  • Remove the plastic or metal disc
  • Rinse it with warm, soapy water and clean it with a cloth
  • Wipe the inside of the reservoir clean using solution and cloth, then drain the solution into a bucket
  • Rinse reservoir a few times and repeat above steps
  • Return the plastic or metal disc to its original spot
  • Grab a new bottle to replace on top of the cooler and plug the power supply back in


Outside Cleaning

Don’t forget to clean up the outside of the water cooler. With all the hands and fingers that touch it, it is wise to keep it clean from dirt and grime. Luckily, it is a fairly easy task. Grab some distilled white vinegar, dish soap, and cloths. Unplug the water cooler and start by washing up the taps and trays. Wipe them down and dry with the cloth. Spray vinegar water on the outside of the cooler and tray. Use a cloth to wipe away residue, then return everything and put it back together for use. Plug the water cooler back in to start the water flowing freely.


Water Cooler Sanitization

Believe it, or not, a water cooler also needs to be sanitized at least every quarter to twice a year, minimum. This helps keep water quality high and microbes on the down-low. Check manufacturer care instructions to be sure it is not more or less often and how to care properly for your water cooler. Sometimes it is easier to call in experts to help with sanitization practices. Many people use bleach to do their own sanitization but bleach and vinegar should never be used together. If a water cooler is cleaned with vinegar, it may not make a good mix. In fact, it can create toxic chlorine gas, which might make people sick.


Licensed water service professionals often make visits to check on people’s water coolers and get them shiny and clean. If it seems like too big a risk or a hassle to clean, be sure to consult with professionals who do this for a living and will be sure to uphold the highest standards around. This will also ensure the health and safety of those who use the product for a long time to come. 


Greater Columbus Cleaning can include water cooler cleaning and sanitization in an individualized plan to get your space clean. If you are struggling with how to keep a home office or professional space clean, call us. We will provide an estimate from our professionals who can get the job done quickly and efficiently.