Ken asks: “ How do I get rid of algae build up from my water cooler?”
If the algae is in the cooler itself you will have to rinse it out with a disinfecting solution. You can get a food safe disinfectant from any janitorial supply store (check your Yellow Pages under Janitorial supplies).
Or you can use a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach and 3 parts water and using a empty water bottle cycle some of the solution through the cooler, it is very important that you rinse the cooler with water very well after cleaning.
If the algae or mold is in the front, use the same solution and spray and wipe. You may have to use a medium brush or scrubber to remove some of the more stubborn mildew.
For best results you should remove the drip tray and soak it (in the same solution) for ten minutes to kill all mildew residue and rinse well.
If the color of the cooler is dark and you are afraid the bleach will affect the color of the cooler you should seek out the professional disinfectant from a janitorial supply store. The thing to realize about mildew is it thrives in wet dark environments, so be sure that the drip tray is emptied daily to reduce the ability of the mildew to form and grow.
It is always best to test a small area first before cleaning with techniques or chemicals you have not used before on the surface you are cleaning.
Best of luck