How Often Should I Clean My Water Dispenser

If you have a water dispenser, you have to clean it regularly to enjoy fresh, clean and healthy water. They say that water is life, but then dirty water could be why you recently got sick!

Although you might be refilling your dispenser with clean water, you aren’t doing yourself any justice if you rarely clean the dispenser.

And yes, most people usually forget to clean it.

So, how often should I clean my water dispenser? The US Dept. of Energy recommends cleaning a water dispenser every 6 weeks or with every water bottle change.

Daily Cleaning to Deep Cleaning

We all need to drink water regularly to keep hydrated. And keeping your dispenser clean is key to making this possible.

Whether you’re drinking from a POU dispenser or a bottled unit, you need to ensure that it’s always clean.

From daily cleaning of the outer parts of your water dispenser to deep cleaning and sanitation, do all it takes to get the best results.

To keep your water dispenser clean at all times, consider the following tips.

Daily Cleaning

How Often Should I Clean My Water Dispenser

Imagine a situation where you visited a friend only to see them getting you a glass of water from a dusty dispenser; how would you feel?

If our guess is right, you might even be unable to drink the water, right? Nobody likes a dirty water dispenser.

It’s therefore very important to keep your dispenser clean at all times. And wiping the outer parts of a water dispenser is relatively easy. You just need food-safe sanitizing wipes to get the job done.

Use a new wipe when cleaning the taps as these require extra care.

Also, empty the drip tray and wipe it clean too.

Monthly Cleaning

Alongside your daily cleaning, it would be great for your water dispenser if you gave some clean up once every month.

This practice is ideal for hot water dispensers and bottled water coolers.

To clean a hot water dispenser:

  1. Ensure that the unit is turned off
  2. Clean the dispenser( you don’t need bleach for this), the dispensing area and tap
  3. Turn on the unit and empty the tank
  4. Leave for 30 minutes and allow the dispenser to refill and reheat
  5. Drain the tank again via the tap to refresh the system
  6. Your hot water dispenser is now clean and ready for action

To clean a bottled water dispenser:

  1. Ensure that the unit is removed from the plug/unplugged.
  2. Remove the water bottle.
  3. Drain the water from in the unit(if any) from both taps
  4. Remove the drip tray, empty the stale water and clean it
  5. Clean the unit, outer parts and taps
  6. Place a new water bottle on the unit
  7. Your bottled dispenser is now clean and ready to use

Six-Monthly Cleaning

After every 6 months, you need to deep clean your water dispenser. The cleaning needs to be more thorough.

To do so, you first need to get the right cleaning equipment. You’ll require:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Overall/waterproof apron
  • Unscented bleach
  • Empty bucket
  • Clean, dry cloth

And now…the deep cleaning process

  1. Wait until your dispenser water bottle is almost empty, then unplug it from the power outlet.
  2. Remove the water bottle and drain any remaining water from the tank via spit into the empty bucket.
  3. Wear your gloves and safety gear.
  4. Prepare your cleaning solution by mixing 1 to 3 teaspoons of bleach with a liter of water.
  5. Fill the tank with the solution and let it sit for several minutes.
  6. Use a cleaning brush to clean the tank.
  7. Remove the unit’s drip tray and wash it. If the grill at the back of the dispenser is dirty, clean it as well.
  8. Clean the dispenser’s exterior and the taps as well. To sanitize the faucets, drain the solution from the tank through them.
  9. Empty the tank and fill it with clean water. Now, run the water through the taps to rinse the unit. Repeat the process severally to flush out all the solution.
  10. To ensure that all the parts of the dispenser are dry, wipe them with the clean, dry cloth.
  11. Reassemble the dispenser.
  12. Wipe the new water bottle before placing it on the dispenser.
  13. Plug in the water cooler and resume drinking pure, fresh and clean water from your dispenser.

Maintaining a Water Dispenser

In addition to cleaning your water dispenser, you need to ensure that you’re keeping it in good condition at all times.

This way, cleaning will be a lot easier during your routine cleaning process.

To keep the dispenser in good condition, always wipe its exteriors every few days, if not daily, to avoid any dirt/dust build-ups. It would help if you also encouraged hygienic habits such as cleaning refillable bottles and washing hands to everyone using the unit.

In addition, clean the area around your water dispenser from time to time and check behind to ensure that no dust is blocking the grill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you sanitize a water dispenser?

You can sanitize a water dispenser using unscented bleach or white vinegar solution.

Q: How do you maintain a water dispenser?

To keep your water dispenser in good condition, you need to wipe its outer parts regularly to prevent dust build-up. You should also encourage hygienic habits to everyone using the unit and clean the unit’s surroundings.

Q: Are water dispensers hygienic?

Water dispensers are hygienic but require regular cleaning to keep them free of bacteria and germs.

Q: Should I turn off the water dispenser at night?

You can turn off your water dispenser if not using it at night.

Q: How do you clean algae out of a water dispenser?

You can remove algae from a water dispenser using a paper towel that is dampened with lemon juice or vinegar.

Q: Can a dirty water dispenser make you sick?

A dirty water dispenser is a home to bacteria, which causes Legionnaires disease. This disease causes flu-like symptoms and can lead to pneumonia.

Q: How do you clean a Primo water tray?

To clean a Primo water dispenser’s drip tray, remove it by pulling it forward. Then, remove the cover. Place the cover and the tray in a dishwasher or clean it using a soft cloth and warm soapy water.

Q: Can I use apple cider vinegar to clean my water dispenser?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to clean a water dispenser.

Q: Does mold grow in water dispensers?

Mold can grow in a water dispenser as it thrives in warm, damp areas with poor air circulation.

Q: Is my water dispenser making me sick?

If you rarely clean your water dispenser, the water you are taking from the unit could be the reason why you’re getting sick. Disease-causing bacteria and germs thrive in dirty water dispensers.


Cleaning a water dispenser is the only way to ensure that you always have clean and safe drinking water. Since you don’t want to suffer from pneumonia or other dirty water-related problems, make cleaning and sanitizing your water cooler a priority.

And yes, it can be a little challenging for the first time, but if you follow the user manual, you should do just fine.

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