How to Clean Bottom Loading Water Dispensers at Home in Easy Steps

As you may already know, your water intake keeps your body functioning as it should. But it’s not enough that you simply drink water. To keep diseases at bay, the water you drink must be clean and fresh, too.

Having access to clean drinking water is an important aspect of staying hydrated. One way to guarantee this is to have a clean water dispenser. How do you keep a water dispenser clean, though?

If you’re wondering how to clean bottom loading water dispensers, we’ve got your back. In this article, you will learn easy-to-follow and effective steps to cleaning water dispensers at home.

What You Should Know Beforehand

Before we walk you through the steps, you will first have to decide what kind of cleaning solution you want to use. This is a crucial step, as using soap or chemical cleaners might make your water taste bad.

Bleach and white vinegar are the most common disinfecting solutions for cleaning water dispensers. Both are effective and safe, so your decision will depend on your personal preference and the supplies you have available on hand.

  • Water-Vinegar Solution

If you would like to go the natural route, you will find that preparing a water-vinegar solution is very easy. In a large enough bucket, mix one part of vinegar with three parts of water. Use warm water and white vinegar for this.

  • Bleach

On the other hand, you can also use unscented bleach to disinfect your water dispenser. To prepare the solution, mix one tablespoon of mild, unscented bleach with a gallon of tap water.

How to Clean Bottom Loading Water Dispensers: Easy Steps

Keeping the parts clean ensures your water dispenser does not become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria to thrive. It also guarantees that your machine lasts longer. Ideally, you will want to do every time you change or replace the water jug. If that’s too much to ask, you can do so every four to six weeks instead.

After you have prepared your chosen cleaning solution, here are the steps to follow in cleaning a bottom loading water dispenser:

Step 1: Disconnect the unit from the wall outlet.

You will want to schedule your cleaning project at the same time you have to replace the water jug, too. This way, little to no purified water is wasted.

For safety, you will need to unplug the water dispenser from the outlet first. Move the unit to a spacious area away from any outlet or furniture, too. Doing this guarantees you don’t experience electrical shocks and gives you freedom of movement without the risk of tripping over the cord.

Step 2: Drain the water.

Next, remove the water jug from the bottom compartment and drain the pipes and tank of the remaining water.

Step 3: Put the prepared cleaning solution in the water jug.

Get the bucket with your prepared cleaning solution and transfer the mixture into the water jug. Be careful not to get in contact with the solution, as it may sting your skin and cause irritations.

Step 4: Load the water jug.

Place the water jug with the cleaning solution back in the bottom compartment. Allow the solution to fill the pipes and the tank, and leave it be for about five to 10 minutes.

Step 5: Drain.

Next, grab a bucket and drain the cleaning solution from the water dispenser by opening the spigots.

Step 6: Rinse.

Using the water jug, fill it with clean tap water, and load it into the bottom compartment. Allow it to run and get into the pipes and tank to rinse off the cleaning solution. You will want to repeat this rinsing step until you don’t smell any traces of bleach or white vinegar anymore.

Step 7: Assemble and plug it in.

Once you are sure there are no more lingering white vinegar or bleach smell, put the parts back in and then load the machine with a new water jug. Plug the water dispenser into a wall outlet and let it run as usual.

Step 8: Clean the exterior.

To make sure it looks as pristine as it is inside, wipe off dust and stains from the machine’s body. This is also when you want to clean the drip tray, too. Dip a clean cloth in the same cleaning solution you used earlier and use that to wipe every inch of the water dispenser.


As you can see, learning how to clean a bottom loading water dispenser takes no time and effort at all. What’s more, you can make use of the same disinfecting solution to clean other kitchen appliances, such as your fridge, oven, and microwave.

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