5 Handful Tips: How to Clean a 5 Gallon Water Bottle

To store your water in large volumes, 5-gallon water bottle is a great alternative. So, you must know how to clean a 5 gallon water bottle safely.

Short answer: pour a bit of dishwashing liquid and fill with plain water to a quarter full. Then, scrub the inside area with a gallon brush. Then, make a soapy water and damp a sponge in it. Next, wipe the outside of gallon thoroughly. Last, rinse under running water perfectly.

A 5-gallon water bottle is a large container that is often used to store water or other liquids. Instead of carrying around a bunch of smaller water bottles, most people just buy one large water bottle because it’s more convenient.

In addition, large water bottles are cheaper than purchasing a new pack of small ones every week.

These bottles are usually made of high-quality plastic, but they can also be made of other materials such as glass and steel.

The best advantage of big gallons bottles is purity. A lot of offices and stores provide purified water through the five-gallon water coolers, which allow you to fill up your bottle from it.

I have several of those in my house and it is useful. It helps me to store quite enough water for my family without the hassle of refilling it every time.

If we generally use 5-gallon water bottles, of course, there is a possibility that the gallon bottle will not always be clean.

No matter how long you hold it, there will be dirt inside and outside the bottle, which can lead to bacterial growth or other contamination.

Have you ever wondered how to clean a 5 gallon water bottle?

Here’s a great step-by-step guide on how to clean this large container efficiently.

Why do we need to clean the 5-gallon water bottle?


1. There might be a film of slime

We need to clean the gallon because as we use it, a film of slime will appear which causes the drink to taste bad. Also, this film is harmful to health.

2. Keep it hygiene

When the water bottle is not cleaned, it can be dangerous to use. Our water could be contaminated by unwanted treats. Washing the 5-gallon water bottle assures that the water is free of any residue of fecal or urine.

3. Keep it longer

Cleaning our 5-gallon water bottle will keep the quality of our bottles. By doing this correctly, we could protect the gallon from algae and fungi which could destroy the plastic.

Why should we use a 5-gallon water bottle?

1. It’s environmentally friendly

Using a 5-gallon water bottle is better for the environment. It is reusable so we can utilize it for a long time. No need to worry about one-time plastic bottles anymore.

Remember, invest in an eco-friendly 5-gallon water bottle. They not only reduce plastic waste, but they make it easy to carry water around without having to resort to plastic or paper water bottles.

2. It’s affordable

Buying a 5-gallon water bottle is a minimal investment, but we can reuse it in the future.

It has a decent price which could be a huge advantage for us rather than using the usual water bottle. 

We can buy a water bottle, use it to drink water throughout the day, and then wash and reuse it.

3. It’s portable

A 5-gallon water bottle could be moved anywhere. Yes, it is quite heavy. But, it is possible to bring it even if we have outdoor activity.

How to clean a 5 gallon water bottle

1. Dishwashing liquid


Dishwashing liquid is a powerful and useful product. We can use it to clean our home items, as well as to remove stains from clothes and furniture.

Prepare the following materials

  • dishwashing liquid
  • warm water
  • gallon brush
  • a sponge

First, fill a quarter of the gallon with warm water. Then, add dishwashing liquid. Make soapy water in it. Shake it gently so that the mixture reaches the whole 5-gallon water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Then, brush it using a gallon brush. Clean the unreachable area with the brush completely. To get the best result, be patient.

To clean the outside, damp a sponge with soapy water made by dishwashing liquid and wipe the surface. After that, rinse it thoroughly with clean running water.

We may need to repeat it two-three times to make sure there is no residue.

Dishwashing liquid also can be used to clean a shampoo bottle.

2. Bleach


Bleach is great to use when we are cleaning gallons of water bottles. Bleach can be used to clean off the dirt and grime that accumulates on these large storage containers.

Prepare the following materials:

  • dishwashing liquid
  • warm water
  • bleach
  • gallon brush
  • a sponge

Start by filling it about 25% of the way with warm water. Then, add half a cup of bleach to the jug. Seal the mouth of the container to be sure that the mixture does not spill.

Next, close the jug and shake it gently until the bleach has been fully incorporated everywhere in the gallon.

Shake it for 5 minutes and leave the gallon for 5 minutes. Let the mixture work and get rid of the dirt and kill the bacteria. Next, brush with the gallon brush to be sure the bleach gets into all areas. Rinse under warm water to remove all residue.

Then, put water for a quarter in the gallon and mix it with dishwashing liquid. Brush the inside part of the gallon (again) with a gallon brush. Then, make a bowl of soapy water.

Dip the sponge to the soapy water and wash the surface gently. Then, rinse under running water 2 times to get the best result.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar can be used to clean a 5 gallon water bottle.

Prepare the following materials:

  • two cups of vinegar
  • warm water
  • dishwashing liquid
  • gallon brush

First of all, fill the gallon to a quarter with warm water. Then, two cups of vinegar to the gallon. Shake it gently to make sure that the mixture is able to reach all areas of the gallon.

Allow it for 5 minutes. Then, use a gallon brush to scrub, then let it rinse with running water.

After that, fill a quarter part of the gallon again with water and add dishwashing liquid to it. Scrub again with a gallon brush thoroughly. Rinse it two times to make sure there is no residue before using it.

4. Baking soda


Baking soda and warm water are a great mixture when it comes to cleaning. By combining baking soda and water, we can convert carbon dioxide in the air into carbonate and use it to clean and deodorize any surface.

Baking soda works great because it’s non-toxic, so we don’t have to worry about harmful residue being left behind.

Prepare the following materials:

  • a small bowl of baking soda
  • two-liter of warm water
  • dishwashing liquid

Blend the two liters of warm water with a small bowl of baking soda in the gallon, then let the reaction happen.

Next, shake the mixture gently to the whole gallon. Make sure the batter reaches the whole part in the gallon. Wait for 5 minutes, then scrub it with a gallon brush.

Then, rinse with running water to get rid of the excess.

After that, put two liters of water and put several drops of dishwashing liquid. Wash the gallon again with the gallon brush. Then, rinse under running water.

Baking soda is also useful to clean a laundry detergent bottle.

5. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean many household items. It is so effective that it removes any dirt from many items such as the bathtub, and sink, including a 5-gallon water bottle.

Prepare the following materials

  • two cups of hydrogen peroxide
  • two-liter of warm water
  • dishwashing liquid
  • gallon brush

To use hydrogen peroxide to clean a 5-gallon water bottle, we can mix 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide and two liters of warm water in it. Then, put the bottle cover on top of the mixture to prevent it from spilling.

Next, shake the mixture gently to allow oxygen to come in direct contact with the walls of the gallon bottle.

Wait for ten minutes, then clean the inside of the gallon with a brush to get rid of any residue. After that, rinse under running water.

Again, put about two liter of water and mix several drops of dishwashing liquid. Then, scrub the whole gallon with a gallon bottle brush. Then, rinse with running water to remove the excess.

But, keep in mind that we should use it carefully- remember to wear gloves, a mask, and goggle when dealing with hydrogen peroxide. Also, do not inhale hydrogen peroxide as they’re both highly corrosive and toxic.

Smart tips to clean 5-gallon water bottle

1. Use a water jet

The water jet has many advantages over standard cleaning or rinsing methods. Cleaning with a high-pressure nozzle can be an efficient form of rinsing as it can remove any residue that is left on the 5-gallon water bottle.

In fact, it can remove residue that is trapped in small spaces that might be difficult to scrub or brush. It also makes it easy to get the container clean inside and outside.

2. Use a special brush


There is a special machine that can be used to clean gallons. This machine consists of an iron bar surrounded by cleaning bristles.

This machine is designed to rotate automatically and clean the inside of the gallon easily. Usually, this machine is used in a gallon refill.


How often should you clean 5 gallon water bottles?

Every 3 months, you should clean and wash your 5 gallon water bottle. This is to avoid the growth of bacteria inside it, which can be harmful. It’s important to dry it thoroughly after washing it in order to avoid mold and the growth of other microorganisms inside it.

Can 5 gallon water bottles be reused?

Yes, gallon water bottles can be reused. The plastic is high quality and sturdy enough to last for many, many uses. They are also BPA-free, meaning you don’t have to worry about negative effects from chemicals in the bottle. These qualities make them great for reuse.

How do you get algae out of a 5-gallon water bottle?

To remove algae from a water bottle, pour two liters of water into the bottle and add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Then, insert a gallon brush into the bottle and scrub the algae area thoroughly. Soon, you’ll have a clean, algae-free, and fresh 5-gallon water bottle.

How long will a 5-gallon jug of water last?

Due to the high-quality plastic, a 5-gallon jug of water can last up to 3 years if you clean and maintain it properly. As a drinking container, it might be a great investment for your home.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean water bottles?

It’s true that you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean a 5-gallon water bottle. Just fill up your bottle will 2 liters of warm water and add two cups of hydrogen peroxide. Shake vigorously for about a minute, then rinse out the best you can.


Cleaning the inside and outside of a big water bottle is not that hard, but requires some time and some patience.

You’ll discover how to clean a 5 gallon water bottle safely and clean it for reuse.

  1. Dishwashing liquid
  2. Bleach
  3. Vinegar
  4. Baking soda
  5. Hydrogen peroxide

Do not hesitate to leave a comment!