The Most Comprehensive Guide on How to Clean your Water Dispenser

Water dispensers are water dispensing devices usually positioned at strategic places in the building to dispense water into disposable cups. There are two categories of dispensers, point-of-use (POU) water dispensers, and bottled dispensers.

In the classification of dispensers, we have types and categories. There are five types of dispensers: Wall-mounted,Bottom-load water dispenser, Tabletop water dispenser, Direct-piping water dispenser (POU), and Freestanding.

To function correctly, a water dispenser needs a source of water. This comes from two sources: Natural mineral and spring water and purified water. After being used over some time, to prevent mineral build-up in heating tanks, water dispenser needs to be cleaned.  

This cleaning process is called Descaling. Citric acid is used for the cleaning process.


Table of Contents

What is a water dispenser?

A water dispenser is a machine that offers an unlimited supply of filtered water. It has a refrigerator mechanism that makes your drinking water cold before delivery. Other features of the machine include filtration, carbonation, and heating up of water. Of all the time of water dispensers, the freestanding designs are commonly used in the office.

To get water from a dispenser, place a container under the faucet, and press the lever above it. The machine uses a three-step filtration process to filter water: Carbon filtration, BioCote surface protection, and UV purification. 

Beyond being used in offices, water dispensers are used in other places and university campuses and hospitals. Research by the Environmental Working Group reveals that drinking water from a water dispenser reduces your chance of having cancer. Tap water has at least 22 carcinogens and heavy metals, which are by-products of using chlorine as a disinfectant.  

Possible Contaminants in a Dirty Water Dispenser

There are many possible contaminants in a dirty water dispenser. These include algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can cause serious health risks. Typical contaminants in a water dispenser are lead, mercury, chlorine, copper, and zinc. People are unaware that they can be exposed to these contaminants through their water supply.

Contaminants found in dirty water dispensers include lead, mercury, chlorine, copper, and zinc. These contaminants can cause serious health risks if ingested too much. The fact that drinking water can contain these contaminants is unknown to many people.

What You Need to Know About Cleaning a Water Dispenser

When used over some time, if not cleaned, water dispensers could accumulate dirt and germs.  This could, in turn, Waterborne infections, one of the deadliest you can ever.

What You Need to Know About Cleaning a Water Dispenser

To prevent the spread of infection in homes and workplaces, it is pertinent you clean your dispenser regularly. Cleaning your water dispenser can be done in the step listed below.

Step 1: Disconnect the dispenser from the power source. Water is a good conductor of electricity, to prevent electrocution, remove its plug from the source.

Step 2: Make sure you remove the top water bottle and empty it before you start cleaning.

Step 3: Move the dispenser to a comfortable location

Step 4: Prepare the cleaning agents in the ratio of 1:1, one teaspoon of cleaner to 1 gallon of water. Start cleaning the machine from inside, allow the solution to be in the dispenser for about 2 minutes.  

Step 5: Drain the solution from the machine. You may want to remove the top of the dispenser to make this easy. However, ensure that you read the instructional manual before you do this.

Step 6: Pour clean water into the dispenser reservoir and drain it. Repeat the process two times. 

Step 7: To be sure the cleaning agent is thoroughly rinsed from the dispenser. Rinse two more times. Drain through the tap. 

Step 8: Discard the water you drained the water from the machine. Detach the drip tray, clean, and dry with a soft towel.

Step 9: Re-fix the machine's top you removed earlier. Ensure it is properly fixed.

Step 10 : Put in a new water bottle on the dispenser. Run the water through the tap and taste to ensure that there are no traces of the cleaning agent in the water.

What materials do I need to clean a water dispenser?

What Materials Do I Need To Clean A Water Dispenser

To have a hitch-free cleaning process while cleaning your dispenser, you need the below-listed material

  •  Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Cup
  • Paper towel
  • Gloves
  • Lint-free towel
  • Vinegar or bleach
  • a waterproof apron
  • smock

How to Clean a Water Dispenser with Vinegar

How to Clean a Water Dispenser with Vinegar

Vinegar has anti-microbial properties. That is, it can kill microorganisms, and since it is also beneficial to our body. Those who want to loss wait use 

The purpose of the primary use of cleaning the dispenser is to get rid of microorganisms that are harmful to our health. Vinegar is suitable for cleaning water dispensers because it kills germs and improves our health. Vinegar is also cheap.  

Here are the steps to using vinegar to clean your dispenser. 

Step 1: Unplug the dispenser to prevent electrocution. Remove the old water bottle and empty it

Step 2: Prepare the vinegar in the ratio of 3 to 1. 3 lire of water to 1 liter of vinegar. 

Step 3: Put the vinegar in the reservoir of the water dispenser 

Step 4: Wait for 15 minutes

Step 5: Drain the water through both the hot and cold tap channels 

Step 6: Ensure drain out all the vinegar. 

Step 7: Rinse the reservoir of the water dispenser over and over again till you can no longer smell the vinegar. 

How to Clean a Water Dispenser with Bleach

How to Clean a Water Dispenser with Bleach

Cleaning with Bleach is almost the same as cleaning with vinegar. Both have the same goal, but the processes are different. The bleach is a disinfectant, e.g., Chlorine 

While using bleach like chlorine, unlike vinegar, it is not friendly on your body.  Make sure you wear a glove when you are mixing the bleach, and don't let it touch your cloth.  

Here are the steps to using bleach to clean your dispenser with bleach

Step 1: Unplug the dispenser to prevent electrocution. Remove the old water bottle and empty it

Step 2: Prepare the vinegar in the ratio of to 1: 1. That is 1 liter of water to 1 teaspoon of vinegar.  

Step 3: Put the bleach in the reservoir of the water dispenser 

Step 4: Wait for 15 minutes

Step 5: Drain the water through both the hot and cold tap channels 

Step 6: Ensure drain out all the bleach solutions.

Step 7: Rinse the reservoir of the water dispenser over and over again till you can. There are no traces of chlorine solution.  

Clean a Water Dispenser

How to Clean a Water Cooler Run Using Your Cleaning Solution

The process still the same as stated above for cleaning through vinegar and bleach. If the already listed process is followed, the cleaning solution will clean the Water cooler run.  

Follow the either of the above-listed steps you will get water cooler run cleaned

Cleaning a Water Dispenser on the Exterior

When cleaning the exterior of Water Dispenser. Do not use bleach; instead, use mild liquid detergent. And follow these steps

Start using your machine again. 
How to Clean a Water Cooler Run Using Your Cleaning Solution

Step 1: Unplug your water dispenser

Step 2: Unmount the water bottle

Step 3: Unscrew and remove the baffle disk. Prepare your cleaning agent. 

Step 4: Dip a clean towel into the cleaning solutions you have prepared. Use it to clean the internal reservoir, faucets, and battle disk. 

Step 6: Rinse the reservoir with water

Step 7: Insert a new battle disk and reassemble your water dispenser. 

Step 8: Mount a new water bottle on the dispenser, draw at least a cup of water, both hot and cold faucets. 

Watch How to clean and sanitize a water cooler

How to clean a 5-gallon water dispenser

To clean a 5-gallon water dispenser, the first step is to turn off the water supply. To stop the machine, press the stop button on the top of the machine or turning the water valve off.

Next, the dispenser will need to be emptied of any remaining water collected in the bottom. Alternatively, you can use a bucket to catch the water once it runs out of the machine. When the dispenser has been emptied of water, it must be rinsed. Pour warm soapy water into the dispenser through the spout after filling the sink with warm water.

Avoid letting too much soap enter the dispenser, as this could damage the internal components. Wait 10 minutes to drain excess water from the dispenser after filling it with hot soapy water. Finally, after waiting at least 30 minutes, the dispenser should be left alone until next time.

Bottom loading water dispensers: how to clean them

Some bottom loading dispensers have a removable water filter. Before you start cleaning the dispenser, take off the cover and remove the filter. You can also use a plunger or turkey baster to remove the water from the dispenser.

Afterward, rinse all the parts and let them dry before replacing them. Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water and add a few drops of olive oil. Then fill the dispenser all the ways with water, holding down the push button. Swirl the pump a little bit and make a rotation through the dispenser.

Ensure all debris has been removed from the water dispenser after cleaning it with pills or paper clips. If there are still some pieces stuck inside, repeat these steps once more. To finish, put everything back together and test your new dispenser.

How to clean a hot and cold water dispenser

The hot and cold water dispensers in the kitchen should be cleaned every three to six months. Clean it by turning the machine upside down, removing debris, and shaking out any food left inside.

Finally, use a mixture of water and mild detergent to rinse the inside of the machine. Next, fill up the dispenser with warm water and use a toothbrush to scrub the inside of the machine. Finally, turn on the water and rinse out any remaining detergent. Let the machine air-dry overnight.

When cleaning a water dispenser, what is the best method?

Water dispensers are devices that provide drinking water from a large tank of pressurized filtered water. The machine's interior contains a filter, a pump, and an outlet valve for the water. As a result, the filter becomes clogged, so it needs to be cleaned. There are two ways to do this:

1) Unscrew the top of the water dispenser and detach the filter from it. The filter can be washed in a sink using dish soap, hot water, and a soft sponge or cloth.

2) Unscrew the top of the water dispenser, flush it with clean water, and then dry the unit. Water dispensers that do not come apart might need to be repaired by a plumber. They can fix leaks, broken pipes, and other problems related to your home's plumbing system.

What happens if I don't clean my water dispenser?

Over time, dirty filters get clogged with sediment and bacteria. When they become blocked, the pressure needed to force water through the filter increases. This causes the water flow rate coming out of the spout to slow down until no water comes out at all.

Eventually, the entire supply line will need to be replaced. In addition, when the water isn't flowing, the temperature may drop as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do you clean algae out of a water dispenser?

The best method for cleaning an algae-filled water dispenser is by using a brush with bristles long enough. If you have no such brush, try using your hand to clean the algae out of the dispenser.

Make sure to keep the area around the spigot free of moisture. Also, avoid putting anything through the spigot, which could damage the mechanism. Algae can be removed from water dispensers with special cleaning products.

The cleaner contains chemicals that dissolve algae without damaging the dispensers. But, these types of cleaners aren't always safe for children or pets. So make sure to read labels before buying them.

How do I clean my reservoir water dispenser?

The most effective way to clean your reservoir water dispenser is to fill it with vinegar and water. The vinegar is filled into the reservoir, left to sit for about 10 minutes, then emptied into the sink. Once this is done, you should rinse out your water dispenser to remove any remaining vinegar.

The most effective way to clean your reservoir water dispenser is to fill it with vinegar and water. Fill your reservoir with vinegar, let it sit for 10 minutes, then empty the mixture into the sink. You should then rinse the second part of the water dispenser to remove any remaining vinegar.

How do you clean a dispenser with baking soda?

Mix one cup of baking soda with two cups of water in a bowl. Add the mixture to the dispenser and cover it with a small plate or lid. Let sit for 15 minutes, then scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse well. Repeat every three months.

Baking Soda: Mix 1 Cup Baking Soda & 2 Cups Water; Pour Into Dispenser Covering It With A Plate Or Lid; Leave For 15 Minutes Then Scrub Clean Using Tooth Brush; Rinsed Well; Repeat Every 3 Months

You can reduce exposures for all members of your family, including your children if you remove particulate matter (particles) from your home.

How do I clean my water dispenser nozzle?

If you want to clean the nozzle, remove it from the machine and run hot water through it. You may also use a pipe cleaner if you do not have one. Hot water will help loosen the debris. If you want to get into every nook and cranny, you will need a pipe cleaner.

However, do not use a pipe cleaner to clean the dispenser since this could damage it. Instead, use a pipe cleaner to clean up and around the nozzle and the sink area. Once everything looks good, put the nozzle back on and turn off the tap. Turn on the water again until you see some pressure. This process usually takes less than 30 seconds.

Water dispenser cleaning kit

Three types of dispensers need to be cleaned, the water filter, the water tank, and the nozzle. There is sometimes a fourth type, the leakage tube.

To remove the debris inside the pot, you start by removing all the parts that are screwed together. Hands should be protected with gloves and eyes should be protected. Do not use a screwdriver to pry the parts apart, and do not put your fingers into any spaces you cannot see.

The next step is to unscrew the bottom part of the pot.

Go around the front of the water dispenser with a brush to remove the dirt. It will be thick and ugly, like gunk on your eyeglasses or dust on an instrument.

You can put a dustpan, brush, or attachment on one end of the hose to collect water if you remove the bucket lid. Afterward, reassemble everything and re-fill your water pot. Put food scraps under the saver basket to divert the flow of dirty water.

To prevent the siphoning of dirty water across the pot, you could also plug it with a wire. If the location is in the kitchen and we need to do this, we check for leaks around the dispenser and any cracks in the base.

The manufacturing process of consumer models is complicated, but a professional model used for years indicates that it has been tested and adjusted. It may not be possible to do this in all cases, so consider a vinyl drain cover.

The repeated flipping of the upper rack could also be preventing the water pot from draining.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How To Clean Water Dispenser 

1. How Often Should I Sanitize A Water Dispenser?

You should clean your dispenser every 3 to 6 months.

2. I see black mold on my machine’s drain, what does it mean?

Black mold is hazardous to your health. They can cause harm to your health. Stop drinking that from the Dispenser till you get rid of the mold, and ensure the water is safe before drinking again.  

3. Which is better to clean my dispenser white or cider vinegar?

You can use either in cleaning. However, Apple Cider Vinegar is more expensive than white vinegar.

4. Will cleaning my machine improve the taste of my water?

Not. If you are experiencing that, we would advise that you stop drinking the water and check if the water is not contaminated

5. My dispenser is leaking. What should I do? 

To prevent electrocution, unplug the machine, drain the water and call a professional for help.

6. How often should I clean my dispenser?

Cleaning should be done often to prevent the accumulation of germs. Do it at an interval between 3-6 months.

7. Are Water Dispensers Safe?

Water dispensers are safe if the water is filtered and clean.

Drinking too much tap water is not related to the dispenser itself but rather to what's in the water. 

Water is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites (including giardia). It is not possible to kill these types of bacteria with bleach or other disinfectants.

In older models, the dispenser cools, and the water flow is insufficient after the pump stops. Once there's no coolant pulling through, turn the pump on again and let it run for ten seconds.

The coolant in water dispensers drains into the pipes and cannot be retrieved, causing them to become murky and clog. To fix this, replace the old coolant with new at the same time. If there's corrosion, don't use it. You can clean out clogged pipes by removing them and using an air pump to blow through the system.

8. What Should I Do If My Water Dispenser Is Leaking?

You should turn off the water supply and call your plumber. If you can't turn off the water, put on rubber gloves and remove the cap from the reservoir. Hold the container under running water for 10 seconds. Then empty any floating objects with a wet towel.

9. What is the best way to keep your bottled water dispenser fresh?

The best way to keep your bottled water dispenser fresh is to store the bottles in a cool, dark place. This ensures that the water inside stays cold and doesn't worry about being exposed to light or heat.

10. Do I need to clean a self-cleaning water dispenser?

A self-cleaning water dispenser cleans itself when it becomes dirty, so you don't have to do it yourself. To ensure that your water dispenser is in good working order, you may want to clean it periodically.

11. Can I use bleach to clean my water dispenser instead of vinegar?

It can be used to clean sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, grills, countertops, etc., but not for cleaning water dispensers.

Watch How to Clean a Water Dispenser

Wrapping Up!

From the review, we have two major products that can be used to clean your water dispenser: a bleach and apple cider vinegar.

Looking at the two products, as an agent of cleaning your machine, it can be concluded that using apple vinegar to clean your dispenser is slightly better than using bleach.

Though both have the same effect, Vinegar is friendlier to use than bleach. People still take vinegar for weight reduction, but bleach harms the skin.

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