COVID-19 has taken all of us off guard and thrown us out of step. During the spring, many businesses were closed, and workers were ordered to stay at home.
But now summer has arrived. And many local and state guidelines have determined it’s time to get back to work. If your workforce has been working remotely for the last month or two, that means your water cooler has been left to its own devices.
Even if you sanitized it regularly before the closures took place, it still needs a good deep clean upon your return.
We know you’ve got a lot on your mind right now, so we thought we’d help out by providing you with a step-by-step guide on how to sanitize your water cooler.
We’re also going to supply you with a recipe for an antibacterial agent that can be mixed up on-site and used to sanitize your cooler.
Why Do You Need to Sanitize Your Cooler?
We know you want to keep your employees and customers safe and healthy. Regular sanitization will keep your bottled water products free from contamination.
Following all sanitation guidelines for coolers will provide bacteria-free water for your employees and customers.
TIP: The best place to sanitize your cooler is in a clean, dust-free, draft-free area.
What you will need:
- Mild soap or non-abrasive household cleaner (avoid abrasive cleaning aids such as steel wool etc.)
- Clean, uncontaminated water- distilled water is the best choice
- An antibacterial agent such as chlorine (we’ll tell you how to make your own later)
- A sink or another container that you can fill with an antibacterial agent
- Alcohol wipes
Let’s Get Started
1. Safety first!
Disconnect the cooler from the electrical supply.
2. Remove the bottle.
3. Inspect the cooler.
If you’ve chosen a cooler made from high-quality materials, this part should be easy, but time and use can take its toll on any cooler. That’s why you must do a visual inspection of the cooler and its components to ensure that no damage has occurred.
- If you have stainless steel reservoirs, no blemishes or discoloration should be evident.
- Plastic vessels should be free from stains, voids, cracks, scratches, and seams.
- Water passages, faucets, and “no-spill devices” should be clean with no discoloration, voids, cracks, or scratches. Check to make sure that water passages are not sagging (leaving valleys to harbor bacteria), coming into contact with other components, or worn through (allowing outside contamination).
4. Replace any parts that are damaged or worn out.
We can help you determine the parts that need to be replaced and get quickly get an order in the process if you don’t have the parts on hand.
5. Wash your hands.
Clean your hands with mild soap and water and then sanitize them with an effective antibacterial agent.
6. Now it’s time to clean the cooler.
Clean all surfaces with mild soap and rinse clean with clean, uncontaminated water.
7. Remove elements and clean them.
Remove faucets, reservoir baffle, and “no-spill devices,” and clean them with soap and water. Next, submerge them in a chlorine bath. If you cannot remove them, you can clean the faucets with several alcohol wipes.
8. Flush the unit.
Apply an effective sanitizing agent of your choice and then flush the unit with clear uncontaminated water.
9. Use alcohol wipes.
Clean all exposed surface water contact areas with alcohol wipes.
10. Take care of the Spill Guard.
If you have a Spill Guard, remove any water that may have collected in the bottom of it.
11. Spray parts with cleaning solution.
Spray water passages, reservoir, and Spill Guard with a chlorine solution. Use several alcohol wipes on the Spill Guard to remove any opportunity for bacterial contamination.
12. Clean the probe.
Use an alcohol wipe to clean the probe that pierces the bottle cap.
13. Check the water bottle.
Check the water bottle for freshness and then quickly wipe the top of the cap past the bottle shoulder with an alcohol wipe. Make sure to clean all surfaces in between thoroughly.
14. Install the water bottle.
15. Test the water from the cooler.
Run enough water from the cooler to ensure that no flavor carry-over occurs.
NOTE: Repeat steps 12-15 whenever you need to replace an empty bottle with a fresh new one. If you have followed each of these 15 steps, then your water is bacteria-free and ready to consume!
How to Mix Your Own Antibacterial Agent
Cleaning supplies can be hard to come by right now. Good news! You can make your own antibacterial cleaning agent!
An effective antibacterial agent can be made from distilled water and unscented chlorine, such as Clorox ®.
- Accurately mix the products with care.
- Too much chlorine will leave taste and odor issues and could have adverse health effects on your customers.
- Too little chlorine will result in an ineffective antibacterial agent.
For this particular solution, the proper ratio is 100-150 parts chlorine per million parts of distilled water. Don’t let that confuse you. This is the equivalent of ½ tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of distilled or sterile water.
You can make large vessels full of this agent to use for submersion of parts such as faucets, Spill Guard, and baffles. You can also put the mixture into a handheld spray bottle to use for spraying the water passages and reservoirs.
Spray Bottle Tip
When using spray bottles, you will need to use two bottles. Set one bottle to produce a solid stream for use in the water passages and set the other bottle to produce a mist that will be used in the reservoir. Before use, these bottles should be disassembled and submerged in a larger container of sanitizing solution.
Evaporation occurs at different rates in different environments, so the mixture should be monitored regularly and, when in doubt, discarded.
We Are Here For You
If you have any questions about how to sanitize your premium water dispensers, we’ve got answers! We’ll also be happy to help you with any replacement parts or units you may need to order.
Just give us a call or shoot us an email and a member of our customer service team will get back to you!