|Ask The Expert: Cooler cleaning
Q: I would like to know how to clean the drinking water machine in my office. Many people drink distilled water, which is dispensed from this drinking water machine. But I wonder how frequently should we clean the water machine inside? How do we clean it? Which kinds of disinfection solvents should we use to clean it? I would appreciate your answer to those questions. Thanks.
Hong Kong, China
A: Typically, water dispensers such as this should be cleaned at least once a month. Assuming no one with a waterborne disease contaminates the unit, it will likely grow only non-pathogenic bacteria; however, high concentrations of certain kinds of these bacteria will produce objectionable taste and/or odor over time if the unit is not properly sanitized and maintained. Typically, soapy water and a clean cloth is all that's required. If the buildup is extensive, though, you can make up a dilute solution of chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) and water to rinse out the cooler. Concentration of about 10 ml per liter of water will disinfect the unit effectively. Let us know if we can be of further assistance.
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