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How to remove algae from water cooler bottles

Updated April 17, 2017

Algae grows quickly and will multiply if exposed to a water supply and sunlight. When water cooler bottles maintain a minimum level of water and have direct sun exposure, algae may grow, causing water contamination. Algae can be removed from water coolers with some simple disinfection methods.

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  1. Empty all contents of the water cooler bottle. Gently shake the bottle upside down, removing as much algae residue as possible.

  2. Fill the water bottle with tap water, adding one tablespoon of household bleach per 4.5 litres of water. As a rough guide, most cooler bottles contain about 20 to 30 litres of water.

  3. Secure the lid on the water bottle. Agitate the water bottle, shaking it to ensure the bleach solution is evenly distributed.

  4. Let the bleach solution sit in the water bottle for a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of five minutes.

  5. Empty the contents of the water bottle.

  6. Rinse the water bottle with fresh tap water until all traces of the bleach residue are completely removed.

  7. Allow the bottle time to air dry completely before reusing.

  8. Tip

    Do not mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products.

    Avoid breathing bleach fumes and only use bleach in a well-ventilated area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Household bleach
  • Water

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