How To Clean Your Water Dispenser In 3 Easy Steps 2023

A water dispenser is an indispensable appliance in many homes and offices, providing a convenient way to access clean, cold, or hot water.

However, regular cleaning and maintenance are important to ensure the water quality remains high and the dispenser functions efficiently.

This comprehensive step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of cleaning various types and models of water dispensers, ensuring they remain hygienic and safe for use.

Step 1: Preparation

1.1. Gather your cleaning supplies

To clean your water dispenser, you will need the following:

  • Non-abrasive sponge or cloth
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Water
  • Clean towels
  • A small brush (such as a toothbrush) for detail cleaning
  • Water dispenser sanitation kit (optional)

1.2. Identify the type and model of your water dispenser

There are various types and models of water dispensers available, such as top-loading, bottom-loading, and bottle-less dispensers.

It’s essential to know your specific model to tailor the cleaning process accordingly. Consult your user manual for specific cleaning instructions and recommendations.

1.3. Unplug the dispenser and remove the water bottle

Before starting the cleaning process, unplug the water dispenser from the electrical outlet to avoid accidents.

Then, remove the water bottle from the dispenser and set it aside. For bottom-loading dispensers, open the cabinet door and remove the bottle.

1.4. Drain any remaining water

To remove any remaining water in the dispenser, use the cold and hot water taps to drain it into a bucket or sink. Make sure to empty the drip tray as well.

For bottleless dispensers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for draining the internal water storage tank.

Step 2: Cleaning

2.1. Prepare a cleaning solution

Mix a solution of 1-part white vinegar or lemon juice and 1-part water in a bucket or large container.

If you have a water dispenser sanitation kit, follow the instructions for preparing the cleaning solution.

2.2. Clean the water reservoir

Dip a non-abrasive sponge or cloth into the cleaning solution and gently clean the interior of the water reservoir. Reach all corners and surfaces.

Use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to scrub away tough stains or mineral deposits. For bottleless dispensers, consult the user manual for specific instructions on cleaning the internal water tank and filters.

2.3. Rinse the reservoir

Fill the reservoir with clean water and let it sit for a few minutes. Drain the water using the dispenser taps to ensure all cleaning solution residues are washed away.

Repeat this process until the water runs clear. For bottleless dispensers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for rinsing the internal water tank and filters.

2.4. Clean the exterior, spigots, and drip tray

Use a damp cloth or sponge with a mild dish soap solution to wipe down the exterior of the dispenser, paying attention to the spigots and buttons.

Use a small brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas. Remove the drip tray, if detachable, and clean it separately with soap and water. Rinse and dry it thoroughly before reinstalling it.

Step 3: Reassemble, Test, and Maintain

3.1. Reassemble the water dispenser

Once everything is clean and dry, place the water bottle back on the dispenser and plug it into the electrical outlet.

For bottom-loading dispensers, place the bottle back inside the cabinet and close the door. Allow the dispenser to run for a few minutes before using it to flush out any remaining cleaning solution.

3.2. Regular maintenance

Clean your water dispenser every 3-6 months, depending on your usage and the quality of the water.

Regular maintenance will prolong the life of your dispenser and ensure the water quality remains high.

For bottleless dispensers, it is crucial to replace the filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Tips for Maintaining Models of Water Dispensers

  • Top-loading dispensers: When cleaning a top-loading water dispenser, be careful not to spill the cleaning solution into the area where the water bottle sits, as this may cause contamination. Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean this area separately.
  • Bottom-loading dispensers: For bottom-loading dispensers, it is crucial to clean the water probe inside the cabinet, as this comes into direct contact with the water bottle. Use a small brush or cloth dipped in the cleaning solution to clean the probe thoroughly.
  • Bottleless dispensers: As bottle-less dispensers are connected directly to the water supply, it is vital to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining the internal water tank, filters, and any additional components such as UV lights or carbon filters.


A clean and well-maintained water dispenser is essential for providing safe and refreshing water.

By following this comprehensive step-by-step guide and considering the specific needs of your dispenser type and model, you can easily clean and maintain your water dispenser, ensuring it remains hygienic and functions efficiently.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will not only prolong the life of your dispenser but also ensure that you have access to clean, safe, and refreshing water.


How often should I clean my water dispenser?

It is recommended to clean your water dispenser every 3-6 months, depending on usage and water quality. Regular cleaning ensures that the dispenser remains hygienic and operates efficiently, providing clean and refreshing water.

Can I use bleach to clean my water dispenser?

While bleach is a powerful disinfectant, it is not recommended for cleaning water dispensers due to its harsh nature and the potential for leaving behind harmful residues. Instead, use a mixture of white vinegar or lemon juice and water, which is effective at removing mineral deposits and disinfecting the dispenser without the risk of harmful residues.

Why does my water dispenser have an unpleasant taste or odor?

An unpleasant taste or odor could be a result of mineral deposits, bacteria, or mold buildup within the dispenser. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent and eliminate these issues, ensuring that the water remains clean and safe to consume.

Can I use a water dispenser sanitation kit instead of vinegar or lemon juice?

Yes, water dispenser sanitation kits are specifically designed for cleaning water dispensers and often include specialized cleaning solutions and brushes. These kits can be a helpful addition to your cleaning process, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

How do I know when it’s time to replace the filters in my bottle-less water dispenser?

The manufacturer of your bottle-less water dispenser will provide guidelines on when to replace the filters, which typically depends on usage and water quality. It is essential to follow these recommendations to ensure optimal water quality and dispenser performance. Signs that your filters may need a replacement include reduced water flow, unpleasant taste or odor, and the filters appearing dirty or clogged.

Can I clean the hot and cold-water spigots separately?

Yes, you can clean the hot and cold-water spigots separately. Use a damp cloth or sponge with a mild dish soap solution to wipe them down, and if necessary, use a small brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas. Ensuring the spigots are clean helps prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, which could contaminate the water.

Cristian Lungu

Cristian Lungu

I'm Cristian Lungu, the founder of OfficeGearLab and a dedicated office equipment reviewer. I guide readers towards making knowledgeable choices. Additionally, I love embarking on journeys with my family and camp around the country.

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