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Water Dispenser Cleaning & Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

water dispenser maintenance
Written by Warner Levit

Seeing your dispenser dirty will no longer make you thirsty. Pouring the water and watching grime all over the tray will make you sick to your stomach.

And as far as dispensers are concerned, owning even the best water dispenser on the market is not enough if you don’t take good care of it.

Here is a routine that you can follow for your dispenser’s well-being.

Water Dispenser Cleaning Guides

Maintenance Your Water Dispenser

Part 1: Preparing the Solution

a) Amount of water into a bucket

The initial step is to get a clean bucket. You need to be very careful about the bucket it should not contain any harmful debris in it.

The bucket with the handle is always preferable because it’s very convenient and easy to manage.

Pour one gallon of water; then, add the cleaning solution.

There are two types of solutions: bleach and vinegar. These solutions are very harmful to your skin: that’s why gloves are essential.

Plus, be conscious of the bucket’s durability so that it won’t leak. Otherwise, it will destroy the floor.

b) Preparing the bleach solution

Bleach is one of the best ingredients to clean the dispenser. To make the perfect solution, use one tablespoon of bleach in one gallon of water.

If you have two gallons, then use two tablespoons of bleach, and so on.

There are chances that you might spill it out of the bucket. Therefore, you should use rough space.

Look for unscented bleach. Otherwise, you will smell it every time you drink water from it.

Although it’s not mandatory to use gloves it is preferable to do so.

c) Preparing the vinegar solution

Undiluted vinegar with water also makes the perfect solution to clean it. You can take vinegar for one-fourth of the water.

Use white vinegar because it contains a modest amount of acetic acid.

Vinegar’s smell may remain in the dispenser. To avoid that, add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice.

Part 2: Cleaning the Dispenser

a) Unplug the cooler

First, you need to remove the plug from the socket and examine that there are no other appliances plugged into the exact outlet.

Water is an electric conductor, so keep the water dispenser away from any socket while cleaning.

Whatever the configuration, removing the bottle will spill some water so be ready yourself.

b) Clean the inner surface

For the next step, use the sponge to clean the inner surface from where you just removed the bottle. Absorb the solution in the sponge and wipe the very surface.

Afterward, squeeze it so the solution pours down.

Now, let the solution stay on the surface for 2-5 minutes, but not more than that because the solution can be harmful.

Release the tap to get rid of the solution but be a little cautious to use the cool temperature tap if there are two.

Use a container for this process and drain the solution down to the toilet.

c) Rinse off the remaining cleaning solution

Use water to clean the remains of this solution. Any particles that remain can prove harmful later. That’s why it’s necessary to get rid of them completely.

Fill the water reservoir and pour the water out from the tap.

Repeat this process 4-5 times until the last particle of the bleach or vinegar finds its way out.

You can use the same water repeatedly, but using clean water all the time is preferable.

d) Clean the drip tray

Next, to wash the drip tray, lift it off. This may contain a little moisture fungus layer. You can use the scrubbing side of the sponge to clean.

Plus, you can clean it with water or a solution.

If you’re using the sponge with the solution, make sure you rinse it off well. Next, dry the tray thoroughly and fix it back.

e) Clean the bottle

The next step is to clean the bottle if you are using the same one. Clean and dry your hands, and then dry the bottle with a towel.

In case of a new bottle, remove the bottle cap and position the new bottle precisely.

When you will fix it correctly, you will see air bubbles rising.

These bubbles will ensure that you have perfectly sealed the bottle with a dispenser. If that doesn’t happen, repeat the process.

f) Check that the dispenser works

Now you’re almost done. You just have to check all the taps (cold and hot water) and make sure they work fine.

Pour some water into a glass and drink. Make sure you don’t smell or taste anything unusual.

However, if you feel as if there is something different like the smell of bleach or vinegar, you just have to lift off the bottle and pour some warm water into the reservoir and out from the cold water tap.

Then, mount the bottle again and you are good to go.

Water Dispenser Maintenence Tips

In the office, people are a little reckless and they are always in a hurry.

Whenever they have to refill the water cooler or dispenser, they don’t cut the electric supply.

Keep in mind that doing this could prove costly. Hence, always consider unplugging it before doing a refill or any maintenance.

  • For daily light cleaning, use antibacterial wipes. You can also use mild soap and warm water.
  • Deep clean the dispenser every 5-6 weeks for deep cleaning with the above-mentioned methods.
  • Never consider any harsh or abrasive cleaning stocks, because they will damage your dispenser.
  • Fixed water container needs regular cleaning with a water-bleach solution.
  • For cleaning the drip tray, submerge it in the same solution for a few minutes. After that, rinse it with water.
  • There are sanitizing kits available in the market which are planned specifically for cleaning the dispenser.

Hot Water Dispenser Maintenance Tips

To clean the spout, you can’t use those harsh cleaning solutions because it’s chrome-covered plastic and can easily be damaged. So, use simple dish soap with warm water.

Cleaning the water tank is very important for proper functioning.

Hard water (contains minerals and sediment) can build up the layers of minerals and sediments in the tank.

This is why you need to drain the tank 2-3 times a year.

The dispenser can heat up to 87 degrees C (190 degrees F), which is way too hot than the standard hot tap water.

The water from the dispenser is instantly hot; for that reason, you need to be careful when getting water from the faucet.


Clean or pure water is extremely essential for one’s good health, and a properly functioning dispenser can help you with that.

We assure you that after following these techniques and steps, your water dispenser will look and function as if it was brand new.

About the author

Warner Levit

Water Filtration Expert

As a trained chemist and an independent researcher I started working on a portable water filter project as part of my business plan. While carrying out my research, I got involved with FaucetsReviewed. My fields of expertise include environmental science, biochemistry and water purification chemistry. Apart from contributing to this website, I’m currently working on my book “Water Filtration Science”. It will be published soon. I grew up in California, and completed my postgraduate degree from the University of California-Berkeley. I also work as a private counselor on the household water management system.

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