How to Clean a Drinking Water Fountain Thoroughly

Water is essential to our health and well-being, and access to clean, refreshing water is something many of us take for granted. However, maintaining the cleanliness of your drinking water fountain is crucial to ensuring that the water you consume is free from contaminants and safe for daily use. 

Imagine reaching for a refreshing sip only to find that your fountain harbours unseen bacteria and grime. Regular maintenance isn’t just about prolonging the life of your fountain; it’s about safeguarding your health.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to effectively clean your drinking water fountain, helping you enjoy pure, delicious water every time. From gathering the right supplies to mastering the art of deep cleaning, you’ll learn everything you need to keep your fountain in pristine condition. 

Whether it’s at home, in the office, or at school, a clean water fountain is a cornerstone of a healthy, hydrated lifestyle. Let’s ensure your water is as clean as it is refreshing.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

First up, get together the cleaning supplies you’re going to need to complete the job. Here’s a list of the things you’ll likely need to get your drinking water fountain spick and span. 

  • Mild dish soap 
  • White vinegar 
  • Soft cloths or sponges 
  • Toothbrush or another type of small scrub brush 
  • Bucket 
  • Gloves 

Preparing the Fountain for Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to prepare your drinking water fountain properly. This preparation ensures that the cleaning is effective and that the fountain’s components are not damaged in the process. Begin by turning off the water supply. This step is crucial as it prevents any accidental spillage or water flow during cleaning, which could lead to a mess or potential damage to the fountain’s internal mechanisms. Locate the shut-off valve, typically found on the water line feeding the fountain, and turn it off securely.

Next, drain the fountain of any remaining water. This can usually be done by dispensing water until the flow stops, ensuring that no stagnant water remains in the reservoir or pipes. Draining the fountain helps to avoid dilution of the cleaning solution and ensures that all parts of the fountain receive a thorough clean. What’s more, it makes the handling of the fountain easier and safer.

With the water supply turned off and the fountain drained, the next step is to remove any detachable parts. Most drinking water fountains have components like the spout, nozzle, and drip tray that can be easily detached. Carefully remove these parts, following the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damage. Detachable parts often accumulate the most grime and require soaking and scrubbing to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.

Laying out all the components and the necessary cleaning supplies in an organised manner will streamline the cleaning process. 

Finally, wipe down the exterior of the fountain with a damp cloth to remove any surface dust or dirt. This preliminary wipe ensures that the cleaning solutions can penetrate more effectively during the detailed cleaning process. 

When you get your drinking water fountain ready for cleaning like this, you’re setting up for an efficient and effective clean. 

Cleaning the Exterior

The exterior surfaces can accumulate dust, grime, and even bacteria over time, making it essential to clean them regularly. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water in a bucket. This solution is gentle enough to avoid damaging the fountain’s finish but effective at cutting through dirt and grime. 

Step 2: Wipe Down the Surfaces

Dip your cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and wring it out; wipe down the exterior surfaces, paying particular attention to the areas that are frequently touched and more likely to harbour bacteria. 

Step 3: Address Stubborn Stains and Spots

For any stubborn stains or spots, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or small scrub brush. Gently scrub the affected areas. This can help when removing mineral deposits that can build up around the spout or on the stainless steel surfaces of the fountain.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

After cleaning, it’s important to rinse off any soap residue as it could attract dirt or leave streaks on the fountain.

Once rinsed, dry the exterior thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. This step helps to prevent water spots and keeps the fountain looking shiny and new.

Cleaning the Interior Components

Remove and Disassemble Parts

Carefully remove any detachable parts, such as the spout, nozzle, and drip tray. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to safely disassemble these components. Removing these parts will allow for a more thorough cleaning.

Soak in Vinegar Solution

Prepare a cleaning solution using equal parts white vinegar and warm water. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that effectively removes mineral deposits and kills bacteria. Place the removable parts in a bucket or large container and soak them in the vinegar solution for about 15-20 minutes. This soak helps to loosen any build-up of limescale and other residues.

Scrub with a Brush

After soaking, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or small scrub brush to scrub the parts, paying special attention to any crevices and tight spots where grime may accumulate. The bristles can reach into the small areas to dislodge any stubborn dirt or mineral deposits.

Clean the Reservoir

While the parts are soaking, clean the reservoir inside the fountain. Use a sponge or cloth dipped in the vinegar solution to wipe down the interior surfaces. Be thorough, ensuring that all corners and hard-to-reach areas are cleaned. If there are any signs of mould or mildew, apply a bit of undiluted vinegar directly to the spots and scrub with the brush.

Rinse Thoroughly

After scrubbing, rinse all the components and the reservoir thoroughly with clean water. It’s crucial to remove all traces of vinegar, as its strong taste and smell can affect the water quality. Rinse the parts under running water for several minutes to ensure they are completely clean.

Sanitise (Optional)

For an extra layer of cleanliness, consider sanitising the components. You can use a mild bleach solution to sanitise the parts. Soak the components in the bleach solution for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any bleach residue.

Dry Completely

Before reassembling, ensure all parts are completely dry. Use a clean cloth to wipe them down, or let them air dry on a clean towel. This step is important to prevent any remaining moisture from fostering bacterial growth.

Reassemble the Fountain

Once all parts are dry, reassemble the drinking water fountain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure each part is securely in place to prevent leaks and ensure proper functioning.

Flush the System

Turn the water supply back on and flush the system by dispensing water for a few minutes. This step ensures that any residual cleaning agents are completely rinsed out, leaving the fountain ready for safe use.

Regular Maintenance Tips for Your Drinking Water Fountain

  • Daily Wipe-Down: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior surfaces of the fountain daily to remove dust and grime, preventing buildup.
  • Weekly Cleaning: Conduct a thorough cleaning of the spout, nozzle, and drip tray each week. Remove these parts and soak them in a vinegar solution to eliminate any mineral deposits.
  • Monthly Deep Clean: Perform a deep clean of both the exterior and interior components once a month. This includes draining the reservoir, scrubbing all removable parts, and cleaning the interior surfaces.
  • Filter Replacement: Check and replace the water filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically every 3-6 months, to ensure optimal water quality.
  • Inspect for Leaks: Regularly inspect the fountain for any signs of leaks or wear and tear. Address any issues immediately to prevent further damage.
  • Sanitise: Consider using a mild bleach solution to sanitise the fountain’s components periodically, especially if the fountain is in a high-traffic area.
  • Check Water Quality: Monitor the taste and smell of the water. If there are any changes, it may indicate the need for cleaning or filter replacement.
  • Professional Servicing: Schedule an annual professional maintenance check to ensure all parts of the fountain are functioning correctly and to address any potential issues.

By incorporating these regular maintenance tips, you can extend the lifespan of your drinking water fountain, ensure it operates efficiently, and provide safe, clean water consistently.