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DIY Instruction: How to Sanitize a Drinking Water Cooler

Updated: Jul 28, 2023



Regularly sanitizing your drinking water cooler is crucial to maintain clean and safe drinking water. Follow these step-by-step instructions to effectively sanitize your water cooler and ensure the removal of any bacteria or contaminants:

Materials needed:

- Rubber gloves

- Mild dish soap

- Bleach or vinegar

- Clean sponge or cloth

- Water bottle brush

- Towels or absorbent pads

Step 1: Wear rubber gloves

Before starting the sanitizing process, put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from any cleaning agents or bacteria.

Step 2: Empty and unplug the water cooler

Disconnect the water cooler from the power source and remove the water bottle. Empty any remaining water from the reservoirs by dispensing it through the taps. Dispose of the water properly.

Step 3: Clean the exterior

Prepare a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water. Dip a clean sponge or cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the exterior surface of the water cooler to remove any dirt or stains. Pay attention to the handles, taps, and any other areas that come into contact with hands.

Step 4: Clean the reservoirs and taps

Using the same soapy water, clean the inside of the reservoirs and taps thoroughly. Scrub the surfaces with a sponge or cloth, ensuring all areas are reached. Pay extra attention to any visible buildup or residue.

Step 5: Rinse with clean water

Once you have cleaned the exterior, reservoirs, and taps, rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. This step is important to prevent any lingering taste or odor from the cleaning agent.

Step 6: Prepare a sanitizing solution

You have two options for creating a sanitizing solution:

- Option 1: Dilute 1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Mix well.

- Option 2: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar.

Choose the option that suits your preference, but do not mix bleach and vinegar together.

Step 7: Sanitize the reservoirs and taps

Pour the sanitizing solution into the reservoirs, ensuring they are fully submerged. Let the solution sit for approximately 5 minutes to allow for effective sanitization. During this time, wipe down the taps with a cloth soaked in the sanitizing solution.

Step 8: Scrub the reservoirs

After the solution has had time to sit, use a water bottle brush to scrub the inside of the reservoirs thoroughly. Pay attention to corners, crevices, and any hard-to-reach areas. This step will help remove any stubborn buildup or bacteria.

Step 9: Rinse with clean water

Once you have scrubbed the reservoirs and taps, rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining sanitizing solution. This step is crucial to avoid any lingering taste or odor.

Step 10: Dry and reassemble

Using towels or absorbent pads, dry all parts of the water cooler, including the exterior, reservoirs, and taps. Ensure that everything is completely dry before reassembling the water cooler.

Step 11: Reconnect and refill

Once the water cooler is dry, reconnect it to the power source and place a fresh water bottle on top. Wait for the water to cool before dispensing and enjoying clean, sanitized drinking water.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively sanitize your drinking water cooler and maintain a safe and healthy water supply. Remember to perform this sanitization process regularly, following the manufacturer's recommendations or specific instructions for your water cooler model.


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