How to Clean your Water Cooler
How To Clean And Sanitize Your Bottled Water Cooler
Here are some easy steps to follow to make sure your bottled water cooler is clean and ready for your great tasting bottled Water. Generally, we recommend that you clean and sanitize your water cooler every 6-12 months. Cleaning a bottled water cooler is really pretty easy. Please read ALL the instructions before starting to clean your cooler. Make sure you follow the necessary precautions for a Hot & Cold Cooler. Before you start, you’ll need the following:
- Thirty minutes of time!
- Clean rubber gloves
- Lint-free towel or lint-free paper towels
- Clean container or bucket that can hold a gallon or two of water
- Unscented household bleach (just a tiny bit!)
- A small cork or plug if you have a hot & cold cooler This is a CRITICAL piece that you need to clean your hot/cold cooler. For a room temperature and cold cooler, a cork or plug is not needed.
For all Coolers
- To begin cleaning your water cooler, first disconnect the water cooler power cord from the outlet.
- Remove the bottle from your cooler (it’s best to do this when the bottle is empty) and drain reservoir thru the cold water (blue) faucet into a bucket and throw that away or give it to your dog. (If there is ice in the reservoir, allow it to melt and then drain. Add hot water to speed up this process.)
- Remove the water guard or spill-free top from your cooler. Some tops are a pressure fit and others require a twisting motion. Take your time and figure out how your top comes off. Once the top is off, remove the baffle inside the reservoir as well. This is a white plastic or stainless steel plate/tube assembly that lifts straight out. The baffle should just pull right out, depending upon the model cooler you have. (If there is ice in the reservoir, allow to melt and then drain. Add hot water to speed up this process.) Sometimes the baffle is missing – don’t worry about that.
- Once the baffle is removed, you’ll see two holes in the bottom of the reservoir leading to the faucets. In a hot/cold water cooler, the hole in the center is the hot water hole. That’s the one you need to plug with a cork or plug. If you don’t plug it up, chlorine will get into your hot tank and it will be very hard to get that chlorine taste out of your hot tank. See even more detailed instructions below for the hot/cold cooler.
- Clean/Wash water cooler exterior & faucets with hot water and mild soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
IF YOU HAVE A HOT & COLD COOLER, YOU MUST DO THIS NEXT!!!
If yours is a hot & cold cooler, then you must plug the hot tank off. You can do this with a small cork or plug. It has to be snug and it fits right in the center hole in the bottom of the cooler’s reservoir. The reason you have to do this is to prevent sanitizer from getting into your hot tank. The hot tank sanitizes itself since it’s very hot!! If bleach gets into the hot tank, your hot water will taste like chlorine for many days to follow.
- Prepare a sanitizing solution consisting of one gallon of clean water and one teaspoon of unscented bleach. Do not use any more than that! Use regular UNSCENTED CLOROX! Put on your clean rubber gloves and dip a clean, lint-free towel into the solution and wring out the excess liquid. Now, take that towel and thoroughly clean all of interior surfaces of the reservoir. Make sure that hot tank is plugged off! So give the interior of the reservoir a good wipe down and then fill it with the chlorine solution. Let that sanitizing solution stay in the cooler for about 5 minutes.
- Sanitize spill-free top and baffle by wiping them down with the towel saturated with the sanitizing solution. You don’t need to soak them, just wipe them. Don’t get the little air filter wet!! Allow to sit for at least 3 minutes and then rinse profusely with clean bottled water – like about a gallon and set aside to dry.
- Now let’s get rid of the sanitizing solution. Fill reservoir full (all the way to the top) of fresh bottled water and completely drain that water thru the cold faucet. Now, do it again – fill the reservoir with bottled water and drain through the cold faucet. We recommend doing the same thing for a third time, just to make sure all of the chlorine bleach is gone! That’s about three gallons of bottled water through the cold faucet.
- Put your clean rubber gloves back on and take out the hot tank cork (if you put one in), replace the baffle and spill-free top assembly by pressing firmly into place. Place a bottle on the cooler and drain two cups of water from each faucet (hot, room temp, and cold). You shouldn’t have any chlorine taste. If you do, keep draining more water until the taste disappears.
- Plug the cooler back in – it’ll take thirty minutes of so before the water is hot and/or cold!
You’ve just cleaned and sanitized your bottled water cooler!!