Some may think of the office water cooler as relatively innocuous because, hey, it's water, and water, the elixir of life, is also used to clean. However, water coolers can be breeding grounds for bacteria and germs; when it comes to cleaning, and office cleaning in particular, water cooler maintenance and deep cleans should be a part of every janitorial regimen.
Most personnel drink through the cooler bottles quickly. But companies where everyone has worked from home that have not run water or flushed toilets after long periods of time also risk infecting people with Legionnaire's disease which is deadly and cause by bacteria that grows in stagnant water in pools and pipes.
Dangers to stagnant water include bacteria, mildew, and parasites. In fact, the reason why mosquitoes harbor deadly diseases like malaria and the West Nile Virus is from feeding off of stagnant water pools. Not that the water bottle in the office is going to become the next plague of the Serengeti, but if you've been out of the office for awhile, then make sure the entire plumbing and drinking system has been thoroughly and deeply cleaned and flushed.
Among the various types of dirt and grime can build up are hard water stains (essentially calcium deposits) which can be challenging to remove if allowed to accumulate and fester. Lint and dust can accumulate on the wire grid. Oils and germs from hands can contaminate the water spigot. Dust and dirt from the air will settle in crevasses surrounding the bottle.
So how often should you do a deep clean and disinfection routine on your water system? Ideally every time you change the bottle, but every six months at the very least.
If you have a hot water function on your cooler, boil some water, use some gentle, preferably non-toxic cleaner (because this is where water you will drink passes through), and run the hot water and cleaner through the well while gently scrubbing with a brush. Removable parts can go in the dishwasher or be cleaned with bleach and water or soapy water. Just make sure if you use bleach that all the parts are rinsed thoroughly to prevent people from ingesting it. Do not scrub any part with an abrasive brush or you may create scratches.
If you need a deep cleaning in your office or commercial space, PopUP CleanUP offers add-on services for everything from lights to blinds to water coolers to keep your work environment healthy and safe.