Sanitisation of Your Water Cooler

March 10, 2023

Water cooler hygiene and maintenance

According to legislation, bottled water is considered a food product and should be treated as such during the bottling, storage, delivery, and dispensing processes. To comply with industry regulations, regular sanitisation is required for all water coolers. Bottled water dispensers should be sanitised every 3 months, while plumbed-in water coolers require sanitisation every 6 months. This maintenance involves cleaning to remove visible dirt and sanitising to eliminate bacterial contamination. The sanitisation fluid used is approved for food use, safe for humans, and has minimal taste and odour.

To ensure the hygiene and safety of your bottled water cooler, we offer approved timed sanitisation programmes. Our trained water cooler sanitisers work to the standards set by the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) to ensure your water cooler is properly functioning and fully sanitised.

The sanitisation process takes approximately 20 minutes and does not disturb your office or workplace. Our sanitisers inspect and sanitize each working part of the cooler. If any parts are found to be faulty, our team will attempt to replace them on-site or order and fit them as soon as possible.

You do not need to contact us to request sanitisation unless there is a problem. We automatically schedule thorough cleaning and checks for your cooler.

Mains-fed water cooler: For plumbed-in water coolers, we schedule a visit every six months to clean, disinfect, and change the filter. The external parts of the cooler are cleaned, and internal water contact surfaces and taps are disinfected. Direct Chill machines are flushed with an approved sanitising fluid and thoroughly rinsed with fresh water. Filters and UV lights (where applicable) are also replaced during each visit. Function tests, including flow and temperature checks, are conducted.

Bottled water cooler: For bottled water coolers, we schedule a visit every quarter to sanitise, clean, and inspect your cooler. The external parts of the cooler are thoroughly cleaned, and all internal water contact surfaces, pipework, and taps are disinfected using a food-approved sanitising fluid. Function tests, including flow and temperature checks, are also carried out.

Here are some simple steps you can take to keep your business hydrated safely:

  1. Regularly wipe water cooler taps and dispensing areas with food-safe antibacterial wipes or spray.
  2. Empty the drip trap regularly and wash it in a dishwasher or sink with hot, soapy water.
  3. Maintain a safe distance of at least 2 meters from others when waiting in line for water.
  4. Thoroughly wash or disinfect your hands before using the water dispenser. It is recommended to have hand sanitiser nearby for users.
  5. Use a freshly cleaned water glass or bottle, or provide recyclable cups.

We have created a useful guide for your office, which you can download and print. It serves as a helpful reminder to your staff on how to use the water cooler safely.

Download PDF to print

Keep your water cooler in excellent condition and sparkling clean with these maintenance tips:

  • Unplug the cooler from the mains socket and use a lint-free soft cloth and mild detergent or water and vinegar to clean the outer casing. Avoid cleaning the black wire and tube condenser at the back. Vacuum or dust the back of the machine to remove any loose dirt.
  • Remember to check and empty the drip tray regularly. It should not be used as a drain but rather to catch occasional spillages. Use a mild detergent to clean it.
  • Always check the plug first if your water cooler is not working properly before contacting customer service. Turn off the cooler if it is not in use for an extended period or without a water bottle on top.
  • Store water bottles in a cool place away from direct sunlight and off the floor to prevent potential floor contamination. Rotate the bottles to avoid forgetting and using expired ones. Replace the bottle if it has not been emptied within three weeks, and never refill an empty water bottle.
  • While you can sanitise your water cooler yourself using the correct cleaning fluid and equipment, we recommend our regular sanitisation visits. We sanitise your water cooler every 3 months for bottled coolers and every 6 months for plumbed-in or mains-fed coolers. Our visits include thorough sanitisation and checks to ensure all parts are working properly.

When placing your water cooler, ensure it is conveniently accessible for people to use and not in a cluttered or obstructive space. The cooler requires a nearby socket for safe plugging, with no trailing wires or extension leads. Keep it away from toilet entrances or blocks. If you need to relocate your water cooler, it is preferable to let us handle the process. Please contact us before attempting to move it.


This article was originally featured on Edgar’s Water blog.