What can you put in a water dispenser?

A water dispenser seems like a nice way to enjoy any liquid refreshment with the push of a button. But before you let that wild imagination cloud over you, ensure that you read this article first.

A water dispenser should carry only water in it and nothing else. That’s the sole purpose of the machine in the first place.

Forget the idea of dispensing fruit juice, fizzy drinks, milk or any other type of drink from it, even if it’s a fridge dispenser. If you manage to make that happen, realize that the downside is far greater than the perk, which certainly is a gradual toll on your health!

Don’t ever try it!

Water dispensers come in a variety of form factors such as the wall-mounted types, the fridge dispensers, the splash resistant, the top-load dispenser, the table top dispenser, as well as the bottom loading variants too, all having their own advantages and disadvantages to deal with.

Despite all these variations, one thing is at least common to all of them: the first name ‘water’ in allusion to the fact that every single water dispenser is meant, and only meant, to carry water in it and nothing else.

While it’s true that you many not necessarily find a specific warning issued out by the manufacture against the practice of going otherwise, like stuffing  milk or coffee in there, i think a little bit of analyzing and digging should do the trick of convincing anyone to stay away from such thoughts or practice.

Here is the primary reason why you shouldn’t put anything aside water in a dispenser.


You don’t need anyone to tell you how unhygienic putting fruit juice or beverage in your water dispenser will be when common water itself makes the machine insanitary on a regular basis —  keeping in mind that the water supplied, processed and then dispensed is often of high quality and filtered, and also without sugar and other sweet based ingredients that certain microorganisms love to worship; which by the way are a common staple in many of these drinks.

With fruit juice in there, the stakes are higher now, because they attract more gunk, grime and microorganisms than plain ol’ water. So you’ll have to clean the machine every damn time you manage to get drinks in it, else, every next cupful will be a treat full of pregnant mold and E.Coli bacteria. Ewww!

And here’s the thing. Believe it or not, your cleaning efforts can never be 100 percent efficient no matter how often the consistency is. It’s just one of those recognized constants of cleaning a compact and complex appliance at home.

Remember, that’s the reason why you end up with slime build up, mold and deadly bacteria in your water dispenser even when you clean the machine regularly. Low and behold you get this even with a liquid as basic as water. Now think of fruit juice and how much worse things can get because of the sugars in them which are so much fancied by microorganisms?

Adding to that, remember that drinks need to be refrigerated in order to keep bacteria and other microorganisms at bay, and that doesn’t sound like something possible in a water dispenser since it only cools at the instant and never really stores cold water at refrigerator temperature all the time.

This means that you’re really compacted when it comes to this idea.

  1. First, you have to finish up the drink in as little as 2 hours, doesn’t matter how much of it you’ve stuffed in there.
  2. Second, you have to clean the machine every single time you stuff drinks in it as opposed to less often in the case of water.
  3. Third, your chances of eating mold spores and bacteria are now higher since drinks contains things that easily excites these organisms, so they’re most likely going to build up faster.

If i am a rational person right now, i’d be putting back the cork on the red grape champagne and returning the nose fill adapter back in its place. The risk is definitely not worth the convenience!

What about fridge dispenser?

Just like any other water dispenser, fridge dispensers are sensitive too. Never attempt to stuff anything outside of water inside them for the same reasons as outlined above; bacterial contamination, gunk build up etc. Water alone is more than enough.

The alternative

If you must have drink pouring down from a valve and into your cup — perhaps that stimulates you the most, do invest in a beverage dispenser like this 2.5 gallon dispenser from amazon designed with a plastic body that is stain resistant.

It’s smaller than your regular water dispenser and much more portable. You can use it to dispense lemonade, tea, beverage, fruit drinks and of course water, in no more than a 24 hour time frame.

It also has a wide mouth that makes cleaning effortless and much efficient. If that seems like too much of an investment, consider making your own dispenser at home using pieces of cardboard, wires, and a motor.

With the store bought beverage dispenser, make sure to thoroughly clean it on a daily basis with clean boiled water and clean sponge. Avoid soap and abrasive cleaners that can get stuck in areas of the dispenser or cause scratch, respectively.

Also, make sure you’re only stuffing in what you can finish in a day.

Final thoughts

The only thing you should be putting inside a water dispenser is water, and only water. Fruit juice, beverage, milk, and other drinks can cause unhygienic issues to explode which can have health consequence for people. If you must dispense sweetened drinks from something, invest in a drink fountain or dispenser which can serve the purpose for you on a 24 hour threshold.

For coffee, there’s Keurig and other brewers too that are designed specifically for them and also with maintenance of such magnitude in mind.