How to Clean and Sanitize a Water Dispenser

How to Clean and Sanitize a Water Dispenser

You may not initially think that an appliance that dispenses clean water needs to be cleaned, but it does. In fact, making sure that your cooler is sanitized is essential to maintaining the quality of your drinking water.

Here's why you need to clean your dispenser: Minerals from your water source build up over time, causing a white or brown residue on surfaces within your cooler. If you don't clean your cooler, this buildup can make its way into your water, affecting the overall taste.

Although it is uncommon, microbes can also be found in unsanitized coolers, due to its humid environment.  

It's easy to avoid contamination of your water. If you thoroughly clean your cooler every three to six months (depending on usage), your water will maintain its quality. It is best to clean your water dispenser when you are ready to replace the water bottle or filtration system. 

Before you begin the cleaning process, here are a few things to note:

Always read and follow the manufacturers’ user manual when performing any maintenance on your water dispenser. The parts and inner workings of coolers vary by brand and model, so consult the manual to prevent causing any damage.

Always empty the water cooler before taking steps to clean. Consult the user manual to properly and safely perform this.

Always ensure the hot water reservoir tank has cooled before taking any steps to empty the water tanks.

You can find the user manuals for Brio Cooler products here!

When preparing to sanitize your water dispenser, it's important to choose an effective cleaning agent against bacteria, germs, and mineral buildup. We recommend white vinegar or bleach and suggest using the following amounts:

White vinegar - 1/2 gallon of water + 1/2 gallon of vinegar

Bleach - 1 gallon of water + 2 tablespoons of bleach

Ensure that all necessary cleaning items are at hand and prepare to clean an empty water dispenser. You will need:

  • Bleach or white vinegar 
  • Bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Clean rubber gloves
  • Water

If you choose to use bleach, we recommend adding 1 tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach to every gallon of water. 

How to Clean a Top-Load Water Cooler

1. Unplug your water cooler.

To ensure that the water dispenser is safe to sanitize, unplug the water cooler from the electrical outlet and allow for the hot water reservoir to cool.

2. Remove the water bottle and clean the water bottle holder.

Remove the water bottle and inspect the water bottle holder and valve for any possible mildew or buildup that might have accumulated.

3. Clean with a microfiber cloth.

With a clean microfiber cloth, dip the cloth into your cleaning solution and gently wipe. If the buildup is stubborn, use a paste of baking soda and water.

4. Remove and clean the water guard.

Remove the water guard, or also known as the puncturing needle, and clean with the cleaning solution. After cleaning it with the solution, rinse and set aside to dry.

5. Remove and clean the drip guard (if applicable).   

Use the same steps as the water guard. If the drip tray does not detach from the water dispenser use a microfiber cloth that has been dipped in the cleaning solution and thoroughly wipe.

6. Disinfect the water reservoirs.

When you are ready to disinfect the hot and cold water reservoirs simply pour the remaining cleaning solution into the water dispensers’ reservoirs. Let the cleaning solution sit for 15 minutes before dispensing it from the spigots. Alternate dispensing the cleaning solution from the hot and cold water spigot to ensure clean spigots on both options.

7. Rinse your water dispenser.

Once all of the cleaning solution has been dispensed from the water dispenser begin to add water to the reservoirs, in order to remove any lingering vinegar or bleach. Use two or more gallons of water to rinse the unit if there is still a vinegar or bleach smell of taste.

When the water dispenser has been thoroughly rinsed, reinstall the water guard and drip tray. When the new, refilled water bottle is in place, plug in the water cooler and allow for heating and cooling of the water.

 

How to Clean a Bottom-Load Water Cooler

1. Turn off the hot water.

Ensure that the hot water feature is turned off. Usually, there is a switch on the back of the cooler.

2. Add your cleaning solution to the reservoirs.

Instead of unplugging your cooler and removing the water guard, remove the lid, take your cleaning solution, and add it to the reservoirs. Allow it to sit in the reservoirs for 15 minutes, then pump the solution through the cooler.

When you are ready to dispense the cleaning solution, dispense from both the hot and cold faucets, alternating to ensure clean spigots.

3. Rinse the unit.

Once you've dispensed the cleaning solution, rinse the unit a minimum of two times or until the smell of bleach and vinegar disappears. If you no longer smell the cleaning solution, remove the old water bottle.

4. Clean the interior and exterior of the cooler.

Using a microfiber cloth and your cleaning solution, softly clean the inside of the cooler. Once you're done, reinstall any pieces of the cooler you may have removed during the process. 

5. Replace your water bottle.

Install a new water bottle with fresh water and allow and allow approximately 25 minutes for the cooler to properly cool and heat the water.

 

How to Clean a Bottleless Cooler

To maintain the quality of your water, it's important to change your filters and clean your bottleless cooler every six months.

1. Turn off the hot water.

Ensure that the hot water feature is turned off. Usually, there is a switch on the back of the cooler.

2. Pump your cleaning solution through the water dispenser multiple times.

Instead of unplugging your cooler and removing the water guard, remove the lid, take your cleaning solution, and add it to the reservoirs. Allow it to sit in the reservoirs for 15 minutes, then pump the solution through the cooler.

When you are ready to dispense the cleaning solution, dispense from both the hot and cold faucets, alternating to ensure a clean spigot.

3. Rinse the unit.

Once you've dispensed the cleaning solution, rinse the unit a minimum of two times or until the smell of bleach and vinegar disappears. If you no longer smell the cleaning solution, reinstall any pieces of the cooler you may have removed during the process. 

4. Clean the interior and exterior of the cooler.

Using a microfiber cloth and your cleaning solution, softly clean the inside and outside surfaces of the cooler. Once you're done, reinstall any pieces of the cooler you may have removed during the process. 

5. Install a new filter set.

After cleaning your cooler, it's best to add a new filter set. This will ensure the best water quality possible. It's important to change your filters and clean your bottleless cooler every six months.

Read: How to Change the Water Filters on a Bottleless Cooler

 

Maintaining a clean water dispenser is vital to ensuring water remains clean and fresh in every pour. Now that you've cleaned your cooler, you can drink with confidence.

Enjoy!


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