How to maintain your bottled water cooler

Here are the simple steps you can follow to make sure your cooler is clean and ready to receive high-quality water

Before You Begin

The most convenient time to clean your cooler is when a bottle is empty.

Before you begin cleaning the reservoir of your water dispensing equipment, have the following suggested items handy:

  1. Rubber gloves
  2. Lint-free paper towels or other clean dry lint-free clothes or towels
  3. Clean dish-type scrub brush with a long handle to help you reach the bottle of the reservoir
  4. Plastic scrubbing pad (Never use soaps or detergents, steel wool, or other abrasives on your reservoir!)
  5. Measuring spoon, one teaspoon volume
  6. Calibrated container (e.g. 2 gallon pail)
  7. Unscented household liquid bleach
  8. Clean 1 gallon container filled with bottled water


  • Step One: Unplug the power cord.
  • Step Two: Remove the bottle. If there is still water in the bottle, make sure that you cap or cover the bottle for re-use.
  • Step Three: From the COLD FAUCET, drain all water from the cooler into a bucket. Discard this water.
  • Step Four: Remove the cooler top. If the cooler is equipped with a no-spill device, it may need to be removed first. Look in the reservoir to see if there is a removable baffle. If there is, remove the baffle.
  • Step Five: If there is water remaining in the cooler, drain it out. If the reservoir has an ice ring in it, add hot water to melt the ring and completely drain the reservoir. Do not spill water outside of the reservoir into the interior of the cooler.
  • Step Six: Prepare a cleaning solution in the calibrated container by adding one teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach to each gallon of water.
  • Step Seven: Wearing clean rubber gloves, immerse the lint-free towel and/or scrub brush into the cleaning solution. Squeeze all excess cleaning solution from the towel and aggressively clean all surfaces of the reservoir interior. Do not pour the cleaning solution directly into the reservoir.
  • Step Eight: Rinse the reservoir. Carefully fill the reservoir, with bottled water from the 1 gallon container, to a 1/2 inch from the top of the reservoir. Completely drain the rinse water from the reservoir through the cold faucet.
  • Step Nine: Use the same cleaning solution brush and/or cloth to clean the baffle, the cooler top, drip receptor and faucets. If your cooler is equipped with a no-spill device, it should be cleaned with this same cleaning solution. Take care not to get the air filter wet. Use the clean 1 gallon container filled with bottle water to thoroughly rinse these parts.
  • Step Ten: Wearing the rubber gloves, re-install all parts: baffle, cooler top, faucets if removed and no-spill device (if equipped).
  • Step Eleven: Place a bottle back on the cooler and drain two cups of water from each faucet, or until there is no evidence of a chlorine taste and/or odor. Dry all spilled water on the cooler and the floor.
  • Step Twelve: Plug the cooler back into the electrical outlet. Allow forty-five (45) minutes for the water to reach the appropriate temperature.

If you have followed these steps, you'll now have a clean cooler. And, you've taken an active role in preserving the quality of the equipment you use to dispense your high-quality bottled water.

If you have any questions regarding your cooler or this cleaning procedure, please contact us.

Source: International Bottled Water Association

Learn more about how you can have better water.

Latest Blog Posts

What Clients Say
Excellent company and the person sent to service our older water softening system was quick and honest. We called Culligan's to come out and take a look at our water softening system, which hadn't been functioning since we moved in 5 years ago. They originally installed it, so they had our address already in their system with the water softener details on file. I was told there would be a trip fee of $145, plus whatever parts or extra service was needed at the time of the appointment. I was fine with that. Day of the appointment the service guy called me first thing in the morning and advised that he'd be at my house between 1:30PM-3:00PM. We had our back gate open from a different service and figured he would knock on the door when he got here. At about 5:00PM with no knock or call, I text the guy and he calls back immediately. It turns out that he was here at 2PM and because the gate was open, went directly to the water softener. He inspected it, ran a test, added some salt, and then performed a complete system restart on it. And then he left. He never knocked or called because the scope of the work was so minor that he felt it didn't warrant a full service call, so the didn't charge us. I cannot convey how much I appreciate his integrity! I also asked him whether he felt the system needed to be replaced, and he didn't try to sell me on a new system! The advice was that yes, the system is older but it functioned perfectly fine and didn't warrant replacement. It is so refreshing to encounter that level of honesty in a company and service person. Due to that alone, I would highly recommend using Culligan of Tucson if you need anything to do with water softeners!
Culligan Customer
Dana Von Trouble-Trousers
- Culligan Customer