How To Clean Your Water Dispenser
The following is a step by step guide for cleaning a water cooler dispenser. It’s not rocket science but there are certain things you need to know. If you have a bottle/barrel dispenser then no water filtration system is involved; your machine is just delivering pre-filtered water. Most bottle-less water dispensers have a built-in water dispenser and so you don’t need to worry about that, although will need to use some of the following techniques to keep it as clean and hygienic as possible.
You first need to add one tablespoon of bleach (or vinegar and lemon juice) to a bucket of water, about one-third full. The ratio of bleach to water should be 1 tablespoon to 1 gallon of water. If using vinegar you’ll need a simple 1:3 ratio; a gallon of water, therefore, should be mixed with 1/3 of a gallon of white vinegar. By the way, vinegar is about 80-90% less effective than bleach, and even contains small traces of bacteria but for regular cleaning, it does a reasonable job. Then, make sure you wear protective gloves and gently stir the solution until it is completely mixed, without getting any of it on your clothes or skin.
It is imperative that you ensure no other electronics are plugged into that shared outlet, before removing the water barrel and endeavoring to clean the inner crevices of the dispenser; this is in order to completely reduce any chance of electricity coming into contact with water.
3. Let The Cleansing Begin
Using your cleaning solution, sponge down the surfaces of your dispenser, and then flush the solution through the internal mechanism for 3-4 minutes. Don’t leave it for too long in case it congeals and causes blockages which will be hard to rectify later on. Then, remove the inner reservoir and rinse it several times, so that no lingering taste of vinegar bleach remains. You should also scrub the reservoir’s tray and screen thoroughly, drying them well before returning to position. Mold is something that could occur if you don’t.
4. Insert New Barrel
Well meticulously washed and dried hands, also dry the new water barrel well, using a paper towel; then, remove its cap and plant it neatly on to the dispenser unit. Wait for bubbles to rise up; this indicates that a seal has been activated. Give it a little test-run by drawing some water out – if there is any lingering taste of bleach, just discard that first glass; the second glass should be fine.
5. Why Bother?
Mold contains toxins that are potentially perilous to your body; it can even harvest parasites that could worm their way into your intestinal tracts. There is therefore an absolutely huge incentive to keep your water dispenser as clean as can be so that you can enjoy all the benefits of great-tasting water without the fear of poisoning your family.
6. Which Vinegar?
Apple vinegar tends to be on the more expensive side but is very effective and tends to leave less of a nasty odor. White vinegar is by far the cheaper option; if it leaves a slight taste just spend a little bit more time draining the spigots and it should eventually go.
7. Hot Water issues
Remember that the hot water spigot is heated by a heating element. It is possible to drain all the hot water and then you’ll have to wait for it to heat back up again. If it doesn’t, your manual should be able to help you troubleshoot this problem, which may involve you checking the circuit breaker; it may be short-circuited or your heating element might have blown. If not confident enough, get someone in who’s qualified to fix it.
If you experience leaking water, it could be that you haven’t sealed the water barrel securely enough to the main unit. If that is the case, with great care remove it and re-affix it so as to ensure the seal is fully enclosed. It could, however, be something more serious within the main unit. If so, switch everything off, remove the barrel and together with another adult lift the whole unit up, placing it into a shallow plastic container if you have one. Your unit will often come with a certain length guarantee. If you’ve passed this then call out a tradesperson at your first available opportunity.
9. How Often?
The best practice is to go through this whole cleansing operation (above) each and every time you change the water barrel. This isn’t as bad as it sounds – if your household is small then you won’t have to change the barrel that often. If it is larger then you can set up a rota whereby a different person is cleaning it each time.
Overall, having a water dispenser is a great asset to your household and, as long as you keep it clean, it should help you keep your body healthily hydrated, all the time.
- How to Clean a Water Dispenser – Greener Choices