How to clean my ceramic water dispenser
July 5, 2006 10:18 AM   Subscribe

I have a ceramic water crock and have recently noted an odd taste in the water that it dispenses. I've tried pouring several kettles of boiling water through it, and running the water through the spout, with no results. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for cleaning out the crock, getting rid of the strange mildew-ey taste..?
posted by atlatl to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Vinegar or lemon juice are common recommendations for getting rid of mildew. Anything mildly acidic.
posted by Mr. Six at 10:26 AM on July 5, 2006

How old is it?

Do you know what it is made of(is it smooth or rough, light or dark)?

Some clay bodies and glaizes are not meant to be used for foodstuffs, in particularly liquids, and over time will start leeching chemicals into your water, especially if it is hot. I am assuming this is not the case if what you are using was sold as a water crock. Conversely some clay bodies, particulary some Japanese and Chinese varieties such as Bizen and TaoYi ware respectively are supposed to "grow in flavor" over time and are prized for what a wells seasoned pot can add to some tea for example.

For cleaning, I would just suggest some dilluted water and dish soap and try letting it sit over night.
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:27 AM on July 5, 2006

Lemon juice solution, soak overnight. That way if the cleaner taste lingers it'll be more refreshing than vinegar.
posted by edgeways at 10:31 AM on July 5, 2006

Are there any cracks in the crock? Cracks can provide safe harbor for all sorts of nasty things.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:08 AM on July 5, 2006

I would use bleach -- regular Clorox-type laundry bleach. Mix 3 parts water to one part bleach. Put it in the crock and let the mixture sit a few hours. Then replace with clean water and wait a few days until the residual chlorine dissipates. If you're concerned about lingering chlorine, you can buy a product meant to remove chlorine from aquarium water: Prime, AmQuel, AP Tap Water Conditioner, Aquasafe Plus, etc.

You can find out more about chlorine dissipation if you do a google search. Tropical-fish sites are helpful; fish are a lot more sensitive to chlorine than we are.
posted by wryly at 11:28 AM on July 5, 2006

From the zojirushi service site:

1. Fill a glass with warm water and add 1/2 cup of lemon juice from concentrate. If using freshly squeezed lemon juice, please be sure to strain first, so the pulp does not get caught in the pump and damage the pot.
2. Fill the electric dispensing pot with water and pour the lemon juice mixture into the pot. Boil the water.
3. After the water is boiled, let it sit for approximately 2 to 3 hours. If necessary, you can let it sit for 6 to 12 hours.
4. Empty the pot by pouring out the water and wipe the inside of the pot using a clean towel. If the pot is still dirty, repeat steps 1 through 3.
5. Fill the pot with clean water and set to boil. After the water is boiled, dispense the water to flush out any lemon juice mixture that may be trapped in the water gauge tube
posted by mhuie at 12:11 PM on July 5, 2006

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