Water Cooler Talk: How to Keep the Office Water Cooler Clean and Ready for Gossip


The water cooler is the proverbial meeting spot in any Columbus office, and as such, it deserves a little respect. After all, it's the place where your employees go to outfox dehydration, catch up on spicy interoffice romances, and lament the latest Game of Thrones development.

But to keep this haven inviting and gossip-ready, you have to do more than replace the empty water bottle. You should also clean the water dispenser once every six weeks to keep germs away. Don't worry – it's easier than you might think.

Water Cooler Cleaning Step #1: Choose Your (Natural) Weapon

In order to properly sanitize the water cooler, you need to choose a disinfectant. As you might have guessed, we recommend using a green cleaning solution as opposed to a harsh, chlorine-based disinfectant. Luckily, you have two easy, low-cost options to choose from:

  • You can make your own bleach alternative by mixing 1.5 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide, half a cup of lemon juice, and 12 cups of filtered water in a gallon jug.
  • You can simply use white vinegar. Perhaps this isn't the most fragrant cleaning solution in the world, but its acidity makes for an excellent natural disinfectant. You can learn more about the virtues of vinegar in "How to Remove Rock Salt from Your Office Carpet."

Once you've selected a green cleaning agent, move on to the next step.

Water Cooler Cleaning Step #2: Prep the Cooler

All you need to do is…

  • Unplug the water cooler.
  • Remove the water bottle.
  • Drain the leftover water by pressing the water spigots (pro tip: collect the excess water to water office plants).
  • Remove the water safe (the top of the cooler).

If you have a hot/cold water cooler, plug the center hole in the reservoir with a cork. You don't have to worry about sanitizing the hot water tank because the heat does that already.

Water Cooler Cleaning Step #3: Sanitize the Well

Add either a teaspoon of vinegar for every gallon of warm water you use OR a teaspoon of your natural bleach solution for every gallon of warm water. Add the solution of your choosing to the cooler's well, and let it soak for five minutes.

While it does that, take a microfiber cloth, dip it in the solution, and use it to wipe down the cooler's exterior, spigots, water safe, and drip tray.

Water Cooler Cleaning Step #4: Drain the Solution and Rinse

Drain the sanitizing solution into a bucket until the well is empty again. Discard the solution by pouring it down a bathroom sink.

Unplug the center hole in the reservoir, replace the water safe, and install a new bottle of water. Let the water fill up the reservoir, and then drain half a pitcher of the clean water from the spigots to completely flush out any leftover traces of the cleaning agent.

Plug the cooler back in, and you're done!

For more Columbus office cleaning tips, be sure to check out "How to Deep Clean Your Office in 4 Steps." And to learn how we can help keep your office in tip-top shape, book a free office cleaning consultation with us today.