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How to Clean a Filtered Water Dispenser

Filtered water dispensers are easy to maintain. These units connect to a water line and turn your tap water into a refreshing hydration source. Most of the work happens inside the unit, shielded from dust and germs. Sanitizing the outside is the concern.

Most newer model point of use water filters are already optimized to prevent the spread of germs. For example, touch sensors allow one-hand dispensing.  This prevents the passage of illness throughout the workplace or home. These features reduce the time you will need to clean your water filter to a mere 10 minutes every 6-12 months.

how to clean a water filter
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  • 3 soft cloth(s)
  • Warm soapy water
  • A shop vac


  • Remove the drip tray and clean with warm soapy water or place on the top shelf of the dishwasher. If there is a build-up of minerals, soak the drip tray in a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar and 2 parts water.
  • Wipe the entire unit with a dry cloth to remove the dust.
  • Wipe the coils on the back of the unit. If the dust is thick, remove with a shop vacuum.
  • Soak a cloth in the warm soapy water and wring out the excess.
  • Wipe down the entire dispenser with the wet rag.
  • Finally, use the remaining rag for a final dry wiping of the entire outer surface.

Can I Clean The Filters and Reuse Them?

You will find “resourceful” people on the internet doing this to save money. But, we do not recommend it. Carbon filtration uses chemical bonding that is not reversible with a simple vinegar bath. Also, vinegar may corrode the filters resulting in contaminants entering your water stream. Finally, if you have a reverse osmosis system, you could damage the cartridge which will cost more money in the long run.

clear glass of water with three replacement water filter cartridges
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Should I Clean The Filter Housings?

If you intend to replace the filters yourself, you should clean the cartridge housings as well. A thorough wash with warm water and antibacterial soap will do the trick. You should perform a more thorough maintenance once a year. This includes the following steps:

Water Filtration System Maintenance Checklist


  1. Inspect for leaks and tighten loose valves/connectors.
  2. Repair any visible leaks.
  3. Inspect internal wiring.
  4. Inspect storage tank for damage.
  5. Inspect tubing (internal & external) for wear.

Cleaning & Sanitization:

  1. Replace water filter(s).
  2. Perform system flush.
  3. Sanitize & descale storage tank.
  4. Sanitize & descale internal parts.
  5. Clean outer surfaces.

Performance Check:

  1. Check the water pressure and flow rate.
  2. Test water quality.


  • Don’t ignore leaks and drips.
  • Run the tap for a few minutes if unused for several days.

Download this water filtration maintenance checklist to make it easier!

Rent a unit, purchase filters from a professional, or sign up for a service agreement to end this task. The technician will clean the housings with each filter exchange. Bonus- renting a water filtration system comes with free filter exchanges for life!

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