Why You Should Never Put Other Drinks In A Water Dispenser

Typically seen in offices and waiting rooms, water dispensers or coolers are also great tools to have at home since they make reaching your daily water goal much more convenient. Unfortunately, the quality of tap water across the U.S. is not consistent, so water coolers also serve as a way to ensure your family has access to clean drinking water. Whatever your reasons for investing in a water cooler are, it's imperative that you never put any other liquids in your dispenser. Doing so can affect the efficacy of your machine, and is simply unhygienic.

When drinks like soda, coffee, or juice are run through a water dispenser, they may leave behind sugars or sticky residue that causes buildup and can attract bacteria over time. Dispensers and coolers are intended for use with filtered, purified water, so they are not equipped to handle the grime that other liquids may leave behind. If you were to put something like juice into a water dispenser, you would have to take the whole thing apart afterward to clean everything. It's also just a little gross; no one wants room-temperature soda that's been sitting in a dispenser for days.

Putting other liquids in a water dispenser can cause build-up

The same goes for sparkling water. Even though there isn't any added flavor, most run-of-the-mill water dispensers aren't designed to deal with carbonation. This rule also applies to water-filtering pitchers like Brita Filters and LifeStraws. Putting in drinks other than water can damage these devices' filter systems and leave residue behind. It would also be rather pointless since the pitcher would filter out most of the taste of whatever liquid you're putting into it anyway.

Water dispensers may seem like a good way to serve drinks like juice or tea to a crowd, but the cleanup, health risks, and potential damage to the machine will not be worth it. Instead, go for a simple glass or plastic pitcher, or a beverage dispenser intended for liquids other than water.

If you're serious about your water quality, you may want to invest in a water dispenser — or even try out some artesian water. Just remember, it's a "water" dispenser, not an "anything but water" dispenser, so treat it accordingly. Doing so will help you and your family stay hydrated, and maybe even more connected as you chat around the water cooler.