How To Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker? (Simple Steps Explained)

how to clean keurig
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Keurig coffee machines have revolutionized the at-home barista experience. There is no doubt that Keurig’s value-for-money designs are renowned for their convenience. Pop a capsule in, press a button, and your brew will be ready in seconds.

If you want the best-tasting coffee, you should regularly clean and descale your Keurig machine. Mineral deposits and limescale buildup can affect your device, especially if you have hard water. Unclean machines can also accumulate bacteria and mould over time.

Keurig brewers need to be Descaling regularly to stay in efficient working order. Calcium deposits, or scale, can accumulate inside a coffee maker over time. Although calcium and scale are non-toxic, they can impede your brewer’s performance if left unattended.

Read on to understand the importance of Descaling and its correct process.

For what reasons cleaning your Keurig Coffee Maker is Necessary?

Maintaining the cleanliness of any equipment is an essential hygienical precaution. Cleaning your Keurig single-serve coffee maker shouldn’t be a choice but an obligation. You must adequately descale and rinse frequently, depending on its usage.

When you pour water into your Keurig, you might think it is harmless because it doesn’t stay in the coffee machine. But when the water passes through the coffee machine, it leaves some bacteria behind, mainly if you use hard water to brew water.

If not descaled frequently, the bacteria create buildup and limescale in the coffee machine.

To ensure that your Keurig performs to its full potential and that coffee tastes fresh, you should clean it regularly and keep mould and bacteria at bay. The coffee maker will need frequent cleaning depending on how hard the water you use is.

Keeping your coffee machine clean will prevent mineral buildup from affecting the taste and quality of your coffee. The coffee quality will be the best if your Keurig coffee maker is maintained well.

When should you clean a Keurig Coffee Maker?

Keurig recommends descaling its coffee makers every three to six months, depending on how often you use them. If you use your coffee maker several times a day or share it with others, it will probably need Descaling before three months.

The more cups of coffee you brew, the more frequent cleaning and Descaling it will require. Cleaning the coffee machine can prevent the buildup, bacteria, and coffee grounds from becoming chunks of gunk that could affect its functionality.

Other than that, it would help if you did not neglect the exterior of your Keurig coffee maker. If you use your Keruig daily, you must clean its removable parts weekly or daily.

Empty its drip tray so it is dry before subsequent use. Make sure you discard the used pod from the pod holder.

Lastly, use a soft and clean cloth to wipe the exterior of the coffee machine, so it looks spotless and tidy from the outside too.

What is the best time to clean your Keurig coffee maker?

If your Keurig doesn’t have a descaling light indicator, there are other ways it will give you hints. If you have forgotten about cleaning your coffee maker, the coffee will start tasting different from the usual.

The coffee grounds can stick to the insides of the cup holder, which can interrupt the brewing process, and your coffee may take longer than usual to brew. If you use your Keurig quite often and don’t remember when it needs Descaling, it might start dispensing bland coffee.

You can compare how Keurig typically works, and when it starts causing technical issues, it needs your immediate attention to descale it.

What you’ll need before cleaning or Descaling Keurig?

To clean or descale your Keurig coffee maker, you must have a descaling solution. You can use Keurig’s descaling solution straight out of the bottle and into the water tank. But in case you don’t have it, there is a quick fix to make your own.

You can use equal parts of water and white vinegar as a descaling agent for your coffee maker. Be considerate about the vinegar you use because it can be harsh on your coffee maker.

Besides, you will need a soft brush for the cup holder and a damp and clean cloth to clean the machine’s exterior with soapy water.

How to Descale your Keurig Coffee Maker?

Follow this method to descale your Keurig coffee makers the right way and in a few simple steps.

What you will need

  • Keurig Descaling Solution or White Vinegar
  • Fresh Water
  • A Clean Cloth
  • Soapy Water
  • An empty cup

Time Needed

1 hour


  1. Empty the water reservoir.
  2. Eject the used k-cups from the cup holder.
  3. Detach all the removable parts of the coffee machine; the water reservoir, drip tray, k-cup holder, and lid.
  4. Use a soft brush to clean the insides of the k-cup holder carefully.
  5. Take a clean cloth, dip it in soapy water, and squeeze out the access water. Now with this cloth, gently clean all the removable parts of the machine.
  6. Leave the cleaned parts on the counter and let them air dry.
  7. Once the components have dried up, reassemble the coffee maker.
  8. Fill the water tank with 50-50 water and white vinegar.
  9. If using the Keurig descaling solution, read the instructions to prepare the descaling agent.
  10. Press the brew button for a regular coffee without inserting a pod.
  11. The coffee maker will start dispensing the dirty water from the spout and use a large cup to collect the gunk.
  12. Keep collecting and discarding the gunk from the coffee maker till the water tank is empty.
  13. Wait for up to 30 minutes so the residue may settle down in the machine if there is any.
  14. Fill the water tank with fresh water.
  15. Run a brew cycle with plain water to eliminate any leftover descaling solution or residue.
  16. We recommend you run two cycles with fresh water to clean your coffee machine thoroughly.
  17. Your Keurig coffee maker is now ready to brew coffee.

Tip: It might be wise to clean your system’s entry and exit needles if you are experiencing inconsistent brews.

What should you use: Keurig descaling vs vinegar?

You can use white vinegar or a descaling solution for your Keurig coffee maker. Both are equally efficient and safe to use. Just make sure to follow the correct instructions for utilizing either of these.

The Keurig descaling solution retails for $15 and is for one-time use. It is easy to use because you must pour the whole bottle into the tank and fill the remaining with plain water.

The only downside is that it may leave a citrus odour in the coffee maker that is not easy to eliminate. You might get its taste in your coffee.

White vinegar is an everyday kitchen staple, so it is an affordable option. It also works effectively to remove any gunk or limescale from the machine. It could, however, permanently damage internal components if not used in the proper proportions. It also can leave a lingering vinegar taste behind if used in large quantities.

How often do Keurig Coffee Makers require Descaling?

Keurig recommends to descale the coffee made every three to six months, but this is not a definitive deadline.

The urgency to descale your Keurig depends on how frequently you use it. If you use your Keurig daily, often make several cups a day, or share it with family, you might have to describe it within two months.

However, your Keurig will hint that it’s time to describe it. If you experience longer brewing times, more water sputtering, or the machine becoming increasingly loud as water has to work harder, you may consider descaling your Keurig.

Do you have to remove the filter before descaling your Keurig Coffee Maker?

Remove the Keurig machine’s removable filter before Descaling to prevent the solution from saturating the filter and leaving residue behind. Washing it by hand with water is the best way to remove the residue, which may affect the taste of your coffee.

keurig removable water filter


Can I leave the vinegar in my Keurig overnight?

We don’t recommend doing that. Leaving vinegar on your machine for an extended period may cause it to corrode and leave a vinegar taste.

How do I put my Keurig in descale mode?

Descale mode is activated by turning the machine off and pressing the 8-ounce and 12-ounce buttons simultaneously until the Keurig descale light turns solid.

Can you run straight vinegar through a Keurig?

No! Vinegar has acidic properties that can rust the internal parts of your Keurig, diluting it with equal parts of water for Descaling.

How do you reset a Keurig after Descaling?

To reset your Keurig after Descaling, press the 8 ounces and 10 ounces buttons simultaneously. It will exit the descaling mode, reset the machine and turn off the indicator light.

Why won’t my descale light goes off on my Keurig?

The descaling light reminds you that your Keurig needs immediate Descaling and cleaning. However, if you have already descaled your Keurig and the light still doesn’t go off, it means you have not rinsed it with enough water. Fill the water tank with plain water and run a complete cycle. It will clean any residue in the machine, and the light will turn off.

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