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How to Clean and Sanitize Your Bottleless Water Cooler

Fresh, clean water is vital to a healthy lifestyle; our bodies are 60% water and we lose some of that water through a variety of daily activities. Our body’s water reserves must be regularly replenished to keep us happy and healthy. Water coolers have long provided a source of clean drinking water; however, in the past, providing drinking water through a water cooler involved a bulky, unwieldy dispenser and an endless supply of hefty, environmentally-unfriendly plastic jugs.
Fortunately, bottleless water coolers are now an option, offering an environmentally-friendly, space- and money-saving solution for safe, clean drinking water! These modern units are a viable way to provide drinking water in any setting. Just like any machine, bottleless water coolers require regular maintenance and cleaning in order to complete the functions it’s intended to.
Periodic cleaning and sanitizing of your water cooler is the best way to ensure the safety of the drinking water the unit provides. By practicing routine maintenance of your bottleless water cooler, you can protect your water cooler, as well as the health of anyone who uses it!
What You Will Need
Like any cleaning project, regular maintenance of your bottleless water cooler system requires some tools and supplies. Here is what you will need:
30 minutes of time
Rubber gloves
A container that can hold a gallon or more of liquid
Paper towels
Unscented household bleach
A small cork if you have a hot- and cold-water dispenser
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Bottleless water coolers need to be cleaned approximately once a month to prevent bacterial growth from tainting the water. Once you’ve gathered your supplies, the first step in cleaning and sanitizing your bottleless water cooler is to prepare a disinfecting solution. To do so, add one tablespoon of your unscented household bleach to a gallon of water in the container you have selected for this activity. The next step is to unplug the unit from the electrical outlet. Now you are ready to begin cleaning and sanitizing!
Start your cleaning process by wiping down the exterior of the cooler. This can be done with hot water and soap or with your bleach solution. Wipe down the cooler, the lid, and the faucets. Make sure to be very thorough wiping down the faucets, as this is the most common place that bacteria gathers. Once finished, use paper towels to dry the machine. When the exterior of the machine is clean, you can go ahead and drain any remaining water in the reservoir through the faucets. Now you are ready to clean the interior of your bottleless water cooler!
If your water cooler is equipped with hot water and cold water, it is crucial for your safety not to miss this next step: use the plug or cork you have to plug the hot water tank. This will keep the sanitizing solution from seeping into the hot water tank, protecting you from possibly ingesting bleach. The hot water tank does not need to be cleaned with the sanitizing solution, as the heat in the tank acts as an ongoing disinfectant.
The first step in cleaning the interior of your unit is to use a dry paper towel to wipe out any film. Next, you can go ahead and pour your sanitizing solution into the unit. Once you’ve poured the sanitizing solution in, fill the remainder of the tank with plain water. Let the solution sit inside the cooler for 15 minutes and then drain the reservoir using the faucets. It is suggested you repeat this process two or three times to ensure a thorough sanitizing. Once this process is complete, the interior of your bottleless water cooler is sanitized and ready for use!
The last step in cleaning and sanitizing your bottleless water cooler is to remove some of the external pieces of the unit to sanitize them. Remove the water guard from the top of the unit and the baffle from inside the reservoir. Also, remove the faucets from the front of the water cooler. You can wash these pieces in your sink with warm water and mild dish soap. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly after sanitizing. Once they are clean, you can reattach them to your bottleless water cooler and voila! After following these steps, your bottleless water cooler will be as fresh and clean as the day you bought it, guaranteeing safe, clean drinking water for everyone who uses it.