Have you ever wondered how to clean a water cooler? Yeah, me either. Until last week.
My husband I were organizing the garage over Labor Day weekend and my 1 1/2 year old started rolling around the cooler like it was his personal toy. It kept him busy so I didn’t really mind.
When it was time to find an out of the way location in the garage store the cooler, I grabbed it from my son and opened it up. Pew-wee! That cooler was stinky!
We had taken water bottles and soft drinks over to a picnic earlier this summer, but we never cleaned the cooler out afterwards. It was obvious. Since we have a large cooler, I don’t really want to replace it very often (if ever). But even if we had a small or inexpensive cooler, there’s no reason it shouldn’t last for years.
Here’s how to clean water coolers quickly and easily…
Clean your water cooler after every use.
Depending on how often you use them, coolers are prone to odors because they’re usually damp and the lids are closed. Since the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms may leave an unpleasant odor to your cooler, we should all clean our coolers after every use. Once mildew has gotten all cozy in your cooler, it can be difficult to get rid of; so STOP it before it starts!
Clean your cooler immediately after a vacation, camping trip, or whatever fun you used your cooler for. Cleaning your water cooler after each use will:
- keep it from developing stains, mildew, and odors.
- prevent your cooler from becoming a haven for harmful bacteria which can find its way onto your food and drinks.
- will keep your cooler for getting all stinky like mine (which will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to buy a new one!).
If you clean your cooler immediately after use, it’s super easy:
- Just rinse the cooler out with a garden hose and let the cooler air-dry with the lid open. Once it’s dry completely, store it away for the next time you need it.
Deep clean cooler if needed.
If you don’t wipe out your cooler every time you use it, then here are a few ways to deep clean your cooler.
Natural, homemade cleaning solution:
- Baking soda
- Scrub Brush
Mix a small amount of baking soda and water together to form a paste. Rub the paste on any stains inside the water cooler and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then use the scrub brush to clean the interior and exterior with the paste. Pour a small amount of vinegar inside the cooler and mix with the baking soda mixture until it bubbles.
Drain the cooler by opening the spout if it has one. If there isn’t a drain, just tip the cooler over.
Rinse the cooler out with cold water (a garden hose will make it easy!) and drain again.
Odor removing solution:
- 10/90 mixture of chlorine bleach and water
- Scrub Brush
If the odor is too strong, you may need a stronger cleaning agent. Create a 10/90 mixture of chlorine bleach and water. I’m not one to measure exactly. My non-exact measurements consist of filling up the cooler with water and pouring a splash (or dash) of bleach inside it. Feel free to measure as you see fit!
Let the solution sit inside the cooler for 10-30 minutes. Again, not an exact science.
Drain the solution and scrub the interior with a scrub brush. Just be careful that you’re in an area suitable for draining bleach.
Rinse and dry thoroughly.
How to clean the liner.
Some coolers come with removable liner. Since repeated use of bleach could destroy the insulation material, the easiest thing to do is remove the liner and wash with warm soapy water.
Clean the exterior.
Keeping the exterior of a cooler clean may seem overwhelming since they spend so much time in the dirt and weather.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to take a damp cloth and wipe down the outside of the cooler after getting home from your trip. Any part of the cooler that you touch should always be cleaned, so this means the cover and handles too. It just takes a few minutes and will help keep your cooler looking new.
Just make sure it’s dry.
I mentioned this earlier but the most important thing to do after using your cooler is to make sure it’s dry. If you close your cooler while it’s damp, there WILL be an odor the next time you use it. Just rinse your cooler out after every use and dry it with the lid open.
Easy as can be!
I’d love to know, have you ever cleaned your cooler? Have you ever noticed a non-so-pleasant odor in your cooler?
Looking for more fun tips? Check out all of our cleaning tips here!