woman cleans brio water dispenser

How To Clean And Sanitize Your Brio Water Dispenser

You may not initially think that an appliance dispensing clean water needs to be cleaned, but it does. In fact, making sure that your water dispenser is sanitized is essential to maintaining the quality of your drinking water.

It's easy to avoid contamination and maintain your water’s premium quality by thoroughly cleaning your cooler every three to six months (depending on usage). It is generally best to clean your water dispenser when you are ready to replace the water bottle or filtration system.

Here are some step by step instructions on how to clean and sanitize your Brio top load, bottom load and bottleless water dispensers.

woman cleans brio water dispenser

Why you need to clean your water dispenser

Before we tell you how, here’s the why… Minerals from your water source can build up over time, causing a white or brown residue on surfaces within your cooler. If you don't clean your cooler, this buildup can make its way into your water, affecting the overall taste.

Although it is uncommon, microbes can also be found in unsanitized coolers, due to its humid environment.


Before you start cleaning your water cooler

Before you begin the cleaning process, please note the following: 

  1. Always read and follow the manufacturers’ user manual when performing any maintenance on your water dispenser. The parts and inner workings of coolers vary by brand and model, so consult the manual to prevent causing any damage.
  2. Always empty the water cooler before taking steps to clean. Consult the user manual to properly and safely perform this.
  3. Always ensure the hot water reservoir tank has cooled before taking any steps to empty the water tanks.

You can find the manual for your Brio Cooler on the product listing page. 


Which detergent should I use to clean a water cooler?

When preparing to sanitize your water dispenser, it's important to choose an effective cleaning agent that works against bacteria, germs, and mineral buildup. We recommend white vinegar or bleach and suggest using the following amounts:

  1. White vinegar - 1/2 gallon of water + 1/2 gallon of vinegar
  2. Bleach - 1 gallon of water + 2 tablespoons of bleach
  3. Paste of baking soda and water - optional extra for stubborn buildup

You will need the following items to clean your empty water dispenser:

  • Bleach or white vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Clean rubber gloves
  • Water
how to clean your brio water dispenser

How to clean a Brio Top-Load Water Cooler

  1. Unplug your water cooler. To ensure that the water dispenser is safe to sanitize, unplug the water cooler from the electrical outlet and allow for the hot water reservoir to cool.
  2. Remove water bottle and inspect water bottle holder. Remove the water bottle and inspect the water bottle holder and valve for any possible mildew or buildup that might have accumulated.
  3. Clean with a microfiber cloth. With a clean microfiber cloth, dip the cloth into your cleaning solution and gently wipe. If the buildup is stubborn, use a paste of baking soda and water.
  4. Remove and clean the water guard. Remove the water guard, also known as the puncturing needle, and clean with the cleaning solution. Rinse and set aside to dry.
  5. Remove and clean the drip guard (if applicable). Use the same steps as the water guard. If the drip tray does not detach from the water dispenser use a microfiber cloth that has been dipped in the cleaning solution and thoroughly wipe.
  6. Disinfect the water reservoirs. When you are ready to disinfect the hot and cold water reservoirs, simply pour the remaining cleaning solution into the water dispensers’ reservoirs. Let the cleaning solution sit for 15 minutes before dispensing it from the spigots. Alternate dispensing the cleaning solution from the hot and cold water spigot to ensure clean spigots on both options.
  7. Rinse your water dispenser. Once all of the cleaning solution has been dispensed from the water cooler, begin to add water to the reservoirs, in order to remove any lingering vinegar or bleach. Use two or more gallons of water to rinse the unit if there is still a vinegar or bleach smell or taste.
When your water dispenser has been thoroughly rinsed, reinstall the water guard and drip tray. When the new, refilled water bottle is in place, plug in the water cooler and allow for heating and cooling of the water.

    How to clean a Brio Bottom-Load Water Cooler

    #1 Turn off the hot water.

    Ensure that the hot water feature is turned off. Usually, there is a switch on the back of the cooler.

    #2 Pump cleaning solution through water dispenser multiple times.

    Instead of unplugging your cooler and removing the water guard, remove the lid, take your cleaning solution, and add it to the reservoirs. Allow it to sit in the reservoirs for 15 minutes, then pump the solution through the cooler.

    When you are ready to dispense the cleaning solution, dispense from both the hot and cold faucets, alternating to ensure clean spigots.

    #3 Rinse the unit.

    Once you've dispensed the cleaning solution, rinse the unit a minimum of two times or until the smell of bleach and vinegar disappears. If you no longer smell the cleaning solution, remove the old water bottle.

    #4 Clean the interior and exterior of the cooler.

    Using a microfiber cloth and your cleaning solution, softly clean the inside of the cooler. Once you're done, reinstall any pieces of the cooler you may have removed during the process.

    #5 Replace your water bottle.

    Install a new water bottle with fresh water and allow approximately 25 minutes for the cooler to properly cool and heat the water.


    How to clean a Brio Bottleless Water Cooler

    To maintain the quality of your water, it's important to clean your cooler and change your filters every six-eight months, depending on usage. 

    Follow steps 1-4 as listed above and then install a new filter set

    Maintaining a clean water dispenser is vital to ensuring water remains clean and fresh in every pour. Now that you've cleaned your cooler, you can drink with confidence.

    Get up to 20% off Brio replacement filters with a subscription and enjoy delivery on your schedule. Edit or cancel any time - you’re in charge. 

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    Hi briowater.com admin, Your posts are always a great source of information.

    – Mora Hay

    Hi Matthew, Sorry you’re experiencing water issues with your cooler. Please reach out to our customer service team at (844) 257-4103 for assistance.

    – Brio Coolers

    I have had my bottom loading set-cleaning cooler since April. My family now notices a unpleasant sweet after taste with our water. Why does a self-cleaning cooler need to be cleaned? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

    – Matthew Ortman

    I have had a metal taste as well. I have owned mine since April 9, 2021. I have pumped at least 30 gallons, or more, of water through the cooler and still have a metal taste. Just got of the phone with Brio, and was told to run the vinegar through the system. If it works or doesn’t, I will come back and report my findings.

    – Lance Norton

    I have a bottom load cooler how come the water has metal taste I cleaned it with vinegar and water

    – John Klik

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