How To Clean A Water Cooler With Vinegar

A water cooler is an appliance that provides a convenient way to keep your office or home hydrated. It can store and dispense hot and cold water, making it ideal for any environment. The water cooler typically consists of two tanks – one tank with cold filtered water and another with hot water.

Filters are often included in the cooler’s design to ensure the water remains clean and impurities-free. Over time, these coolers can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can compromise water quality.

If you have a water cooler at home or in the office, it’s essential to clean it regularly to ensure that the water is safe to drink. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean your water cooler with vinegar, an easy and effective way to keep your cooler clean and hygienic. So, let’s get started.

Why Clean the Water Cooler?

Regularly cleaning your water cooler with vinegar is essential for keeping it running efficiently and eliminating any potential health risks. Bacteria, sediment, and other contaminants can build up in the water cooler over time, making it less effective.

Contaminated water can also harm people’s health, especially if they consume contaminated water regularly. Cleaning your water cooler regularly will help reduce any health risks and improve its performance.

Cleaning your water cooler is relatively straightforward. All you need is some white vinegar and simple tools like a scrub brush or cloth, an old toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas, and some paper towels for drying afterward.

How to Make a Vinegar Solution?

Making a vinegar solution to clean a water cooler is a simple and effective way to remove mineral deposits, bacteria, and other residue that can accumulate over time. Here’s how you can do it:

Materials Needed:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Bucket or basin


  1. Prepare the Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bucket or basin. For a standard cleaning solution, you can use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water.
  2. Empty the Water Cooler: Before cleaning, make sure the water cooler is empty and unplugged. Remove the water bottle and drain any remaining water from the reservoirs.
  3. Clean the Exterior: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the vinegar solution and wring out any excess liquid. Wipe down the exterior surfaces of the water cooler, including the handles, buttons, and faucets. This helps remove dirt and grime.
  4. Clean the Interior: With the water cooler still empty, use the vinegar solution to clean the interior components. Pay attention to areas where mineral deposits or mold might accumulate, such as reservoirs, water spouts, and drip trays.
  5. Soak Removable Parts: If your water cooler has removable parts like a drip tray or water reservoirs, you can soak them in the vinegar solution for 10-15 minutes. This helps dissolve mineral deposits and makes them easier to clean.
  6. Scrub and Rinse: Use a cloth, sponge, or soft brush to scrub any stubborn deposits or stains. After cleaning, rinse all parts thoroughly with clean water to remove any vinegar residue.
  7. Empty and Rinse Again: Empty out any remaining vinegar solution from the water cooler. Rinse the interior components and reservoirs with clean water multiple times to ensure that there is no vinegar odor or taste left.
  8. Dry and Reassemble: Allow all parts to air dry completely before reassembling the water cooler. Make sure all components are dry to prevent mold growth.
  9. Replace the Water Bottle: Once everything is dry and clean, place a new water bottle onto the water cooler and ensure it’s securely in place.
  10. Plug In and Test: Plug in the water cooler and turn it on. Dispense a small amount of water to ensure that the vinegar smell and taste are gone. If there’s any residual taste, continue running water through the cooler until it’s clear.

Regularly cleaning your water cooler with a vinegar solution can help maintain its performance and ensure that the water you dispense remains clean and fresh.

Applying the Vinegar Solution

Water coolers are a common fixture in many offices and homes. Unfortunately, over time, they can become dirty and develop unpleasant odors. Cleaning your water cooler with vinegar is an easy and effective way to keep it clean and hygienic. Here are the steps to follow.

1. Disconnect the Power Supply

Disconnecting the power supply is key to properly cleaning your water cooler with vinegar. First, unplug the power cord from the wall outlet and ensure no electricity is running to the cooler. Then, remove all filters and other removable parts from the cooler before proceeding with the cleaning process.

By taking these steps to disconnect the power supply, you can ensure a safe and effective vinegar-cleaning experience for your water cooler. This is important to prevent any electrical shocks or accidents.

2. Empty and Clean the Reserved Water Tank

Begin by unscrewing the lid of the tank and then pouring out any remaining water. Once all the water has been emptied, you can clean the tank. Mix one part white vinegar with two warm water in a bowl.

Replace the lid on the tank, ensuring it is securely fastened before reconnecting power to your cooler. Drain all the water from the water cooler. Please dispose of the old water and clean the water basin thoroughly before refilling it with fresh water.

3. Mix Vinegar and Water

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a clean container. For example, if you have two cups of water, add two cups of vinegar. White vinegar is an effective cleaning agent for your water cooler. Not only does it kill bacteria, but it also helps to remove sediment from the cooler. To use white vinegar for cleaning, pour 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the water reservoir and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

4. Clean the Components

Dip a clean cloth or sponge in the vinegar and water solution and use it to wipe down the water cooler’s components properly. Pay special attention to the nozzle, spout, and faucet, which tend to accumulate dirt and grime over time.

5. Dry the Water Cooler

Once you have rinsed the components, dry them off with a clean cloth. You can also let them air dry for some time.

6. Refill the Water Cooler

Once the components are dry, reassemble the water cooler and refill it with fresh water. Plug the water cooler back in and allow it to cool before using it again.

Alternatives to Vinegar: Other Natural Cleaning Solutions for Your Water Cooler

Several natural cleaning solutions are available as an alternative to using vinegar when cleaning your water cooler. One option is to use lemon juice, which is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. Simply mix lemon juice with water and use it to clean the interior of your water cooler.

Another option is baking soda, which can help remove stains and odors. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste and use it to scrub the interior of your water cooler. You can also use hydrogen peroxide, a natural disinfectant, to clean your water cooler.

Mix hydrogen peroxide with water and use it to wipe down the interior of your water cooler. Natural cleaning solutions ensure that your water cooler is clean and safe for you and your family to use.

The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Water Cooler with Vinegar

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water to create a cleaning solution.Don’t use undiluted vinegar; always dilute it with water.
Empty and unplug the water cooler before cleaning.Don’t clean a plugged-in water cooler to avoid electrical hazards.
Clean the exterior and interior surfaces with a soft cloth or sponge dipped in the vinegar solution.Don’t use abrasive scrubbers or brushes that could damage the cooler’s surfaces.
Soak removable parts, like drip trays or reservoirs, in the vinegar solution for 10-15 minutes.Don’t soak electrical components or immerse the entire cooler in the solution.
Scrub stubborn deposits with a cloth, sponge, or soft brush.Don’t use sharp objects that could scratch or puncture the cooler.
Rinse all parts thoroughly with clean water after cleaning to remove vinegar residue.Don’t skip the rinsing step, as vinegar residue can affect the taste and odor of the water.
Allow all components to air dry completely before reassembling the cooler.Don’t reassemble the cooler while parts are still wet, as it can promote mold growth.
Test the water cooler after cleaning to ensure there’s no vinegar taste or smell.Don’t use the water cooler if you still detect vinegar odor or taste; continue rinsing until it’s gone.
Use the vinegar cleaning method regularly to maintain the cooler’s performance.Don’t wait too long between cleanings, as mineral deposits can build up over time.
Dispose of the vinegar solution properly after cleaning.Don’t pour the used vinegar solution down drains that may be sensitive to acidity.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Frequency Of Water Cooler Cleaning?

Keep your water jug cooler pristine by giving it a good scrub every time you switch out the bottle or every six weeks.

2. What’s The Best Way To Clean A Water Cooler’s Interior?

Wash these parts with mild dish soap and warm water.

3. What Is The Proper Method For Disinfecting A Water Cooler?

Use a natural vinegar cleaning solution to keep your water cooler clean, and safe without harmful chemicals.

4. How Do I Clean The Reservoir?

Get your reservoir squeaky clean by using a gentle scrub brush with a handle long enough to reach every nook and cranny!

5. How Do I Use A Bucket?

Catch every drop of refreshing water by strategically positioning your bucket under both the hot and cold taps of the water cooler.


Cleaning your water cooler with vinegar is an effective and affordable way to keep it clean and functioning properly. It’s easy to do and only requires a few simple steps. By following our guide, you can ensure that your water cooler is providing you with clean and refreshing water every time you need it. Remember to clean your water cooler regularly, especially if it’s in a high-traffic area or has much use. Not only will this improve the quality of the water you drink, but it will also extend the life of your water cooler.


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