How to clean a water dispenser | Step by Step Guide

Question should be asked; can we live without water?
The answer is big NO.


The water is greatest resources on the earth, which most species can live without. For healthy living, it is important that we drink fresh and clean water every day to quench our thirst.


For us, you can never overlook the importance of having a water dispenser in your home, office or business premises. You get to enjoy great tasting freshwater and stay hydrated throughout the day. In order to make the day more enjoyable, making a delicious cup of coffee or tea conveniently whenever you feel like, out of the water in your dispenser. Nevertheless, most people hardly ever remember to clean their water dispenser. This leads to the accumulation of mold as well as other pathogens that may cause various illnesses. When you clean the water dispenser properly, you will ensure that the water does not get stale and also keep the growth of pathogens at bay. A great place to start is cleaning the gadget each time you change the water bottle. Although you can use bleach to clean your water dispenser, there is an option of using vinegar which is more natural and safer. It is good to note that cleaning gadgets using soap or other chemicals is not advisable as it may negatively impact the taste of your bottled water. The best time to clean your water dispenser is when the water bottle gets empty. This saves you the hassle of carrying around heavy bottles.


Keep reading for a detailed guide on how to clean your water dispenser.

Here are the materials that you will need for a successful cleanup

  1. 1 (one) cup of white vinegar
  2. Bucket
  3. Gloves\Optional
  4. Paper towels
  5. A microfiber cloth
  6. 3 (Three) cups of hot water

The following is an orderly guide for cleaning your water dispenser’s interior surface.

  1. The first step is preparing the cleaning solution. Start by pouring a gallon of water into a bucket, preferably one with a handle, as it is easier to manage. Add vinegar or bleach, and ensure that the solution doesn’t spill over. Wear gloves for added protection.


  1. Once the solution is ready, unplug the dispenser from the wall socket and remove the water bottle. Ensure that there are no other appliances close to the cleaning area. This reduces the chance, however small, of getting electrocuted.


  1. Dip the microfiber cloth into the cleaning solution and use it to wipe the dispenser’s interior surface. Let the dirty water stand for up to five minutes, then drain it through the tap into a separate container. If the taps are two, use the one that dispenses cold water.


  1. Rinse out the remaining cleaning solution. The best way of doing is by filling the dispenser’s inner reservoir with water and draining it through the cold temperature tap. Do this thoroughly (at least four times) to ensure that no vinegar taste is left behind. Ideally, it would be best if you use hot water after running cold water.


  1. After rinsing the interior surface, lift off the drip tray and scrub it thoroughly. Wash the tray and the screen and rinse them using running water before returning them to the dispenser. Make sure that they are dry to prevent moisturizing your dispenser’s tight spaces.


  1. Wash your hands and wipe the new water bottle using a dry towel.


  1. Remove the cap and fix the new water bottle. Confirm that it fits correctly, and look out for rising bubbles inside the bottle, as this shows that the placement was right.


  1. Check that it works by opening both faucets. Taste the water to confirm that it does not have an unpleasant taste.

How to Clean Your Dispenser on the Outside

Like the interior surface, it is essential to keep your dispenser’s outside clean. Besides creating the right first impression to your visitors, it lowers the risk of contracting water-borne diseases. Luckily, cleaning your water dispenser on the outside is a simple task.

Here are the items you need for cleaning.

  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

Once you have all the required stuff, follow the steps below to clean your water dispenser.

  1. Unplug the water dispenser from the wall socket to prevent electrocution. Do this for other nearby appliances.
  2. Remove the tap and tray and wash them in your sink using warm water and the dishwashing liquid.
  3. After rinsing the faucets and tray, wipe them dry using a microfiber cloth.
  4. Spray the dispenser’s exterior surface with vinegar, including the area where the tray sits. If your room has stone floors, exercise caution when spraying because vinegar can damage it.
  5. Use the microfiber cloth to wipe off dirt and any vinegar residue. Rinse the fabric using running water and wipe the dispenser again until it is sparkling clean.
  6. Return the tray and faucets to their positions.
  7. Plug you water dispenser back to the wall socket.

Sanitizing Your Water Dispenser

It is advisable to sanitize your water dispenser at least twice yearly. However, it is also helpful to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you do it at the recommended frequency. Sanitizing often removes the dirt and other unwanted material left behind by cleaning, especially pathogens.


While sanitizing is useful in extending your dispenser’s lifetime, it can be harmful if done incorrectly. For instance, it can alter the taste of your water or make it a potential health hazard. This often happens when you leave the sanitizer inside the reservoir for too long.


Most people use bleach to sanitize their water dispensers. Whatever you do, never mix bleach with vinegar. A combination of these to chemicals forms toxic chlorine gas, which causes vomiting, throat and stomach pain, low blood pressure, and in extreme cases, loss of eyesight.

Final Words

If you do not like the idea of using bleach or vinegar for cleaning, you can use an anti-bacterial detergent instead. However, you will need to use more water for rinsing.


Never keep water in your dispenser for more than 30 days. Like other consumables, bottled water harbors bacteria. Over time, these bacteria can cause problems for your health, such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea and vomiting. When using the dispenser, avoid touching the spigots, as this increase the risk of water contamination.

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