How To Unclog A Keurig Coffee Maker (Step-By-Step Guide)

how to unclog keurig
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Keurig coffee makers are excellent for getting morning coffee without rushing to a coffee shop. You can choose from various blends and flavors of k-cups to enjoy your cup of joe.

But what if it suddenly starts dispensing half a cup of coffee? Or is it giving you weird-tasting coffee? It’s most likely that your Keurig has a clog.

One of the most common problems with Keurig machines is clogging at a vulnerable point during brewing. Keurig coffee makers need cleaning every three to six months, if not more, to avoid clogging.

Calcium deposits may form inside brewers, depending on the mineral composition of the water source. Although it is not toxic, it can certainly cause problems. Regularly descaling will remove minerals that can negatively affect the taste and quality of your coffee.

Here’s an easy guide to help you unclog your Keurig, no matter the model. Read on to find out how!

Key Takeaways
  • Not cleaning the Keurig brewer frequently causes clogging.
  • Clogging occurs due to the coffee machine’s build-up of coffee grounds or dirt.
  • Clogging of the coffee machine affects the coffee quality and taste.
  •  Descaling every 3 to 6 months can prevent the machine from clogging.
  • You can use white vinegar instead of a descaling agent for your brewer.

How do you know if your Keurig Coffee Maker is clogged?

When your Keurig coffee maker stops dispensing a full cup, it is a sign of clogging. The accumulation of build-up and particles in the internal elements of the coffee machine hinders the brewing process. When the internal parts clog, it affects the mechanism of the coffee machine.

The clogging causes disturbance in the water flow, eventually making it difficult to brew a full cup. Another sign of clogging can be the weird taste of the coffee. Or it may have a nasty aroma.

unclogging keurig

Points to Ponder Before Unclogging Keurig:

You need to consider a few points before starting the unclogging process, which is as follows:

  • Make sure to remove the coffee machine from the power supply.
  • If you are unclogging it after brewing a cup, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before going further with the unclogging process.
  • Detach the removable parts like the water reservoir, drip tray, and k-cup holder.
  • At any point during the cleaning process, do not shake the coffee machine aggressively. Rather, gently tap it if you have to for removing the coffee grounds.
  • After the cleaning, let the removable parts dry completely before assembling the coffee machine.

What will you need to unclog Keurig?

Here’s a list of cleaning supplies you must have for unclogging Keurig:

Unclogging Keurig: A step-by-step Process

The process of unclogging your Keurig will take a few minutes. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Unplug your Keurig Coffee Machine

The first step is to unplug your Keurig from the power source before starting the cleaning process.

Suppose you have recently used it for brewing coffee; it’s probably hot to the touch. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Start the cleaning process only when the machine has completely cooled down.

unplugging keurig coffee maker

The cleaning process will not take much time, so you better not rush into doing things. Once the coffee machine reaches a normal temperature, move it under bright light so you can easily see what you are doing.

Step2: Detach the Removable Parts of your Keurig

Detach all removable parts of the coffee machine. Remove the water reservoir, the drip tray, and the k-cup holder.

Lift the water reservoir, empty it, and wash it thoroughly with warm water. For the drip tray, slide it forward to remove it. Use a microfiber cloth and some dish soap to clean these removable parts and let them air dry.

To remove the k-cup holder, open the head of the machine. Gentle lift the pod holder out of the machine. Press on both sides to detach it from the funnel. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water. It will remove the build-up and coffee grounds.

Step 3: Unclog the Needles

Sometimes, even after rinsing the pod holder, it fails to eliminate the build-up because the needles are clogged.

The clogging of the entrance and exit needles present in the pod holder of the coffee machine can hinder the brewing process if they have a clog.

The entrance needle punctures the K-cup from the top to let the water pass through the coffee grounds, while the exit needle pierces it from the bottom to let the coffee dispense out of the spout.

You can use a paperclip to unclog these needles. Straighten a paperclip, insert it in the needles, and move it around gently so that all the stuck debris and coffee residue loses up. Next, wash it with fresh water, dry it, and reassemble it.

Tip: If you have Keurig 2.0, use the Keurig maintenance tool. It is an easier way of cleaning its needles.

Step 4: Reassemble your Keurig

Once all removable parts have been thoroughly cleaned and air dried, reassemble the coffee machine. Put all parts back into the coffee machine and clean the exterior with a slightly damp cloth.

Make sure you do not use any blunt object or cloth to clean the machine; it might scratch its body.

Step 5: Run a Descaling Cycle

Once you have reassembled your Keurig coffee machine, it’s time to descale it; descaling will remove any particles or scaling from the machine. Following are the steps to descale your Keurig:

  1. Fill the water reservoir with fresh water.
  2. Add Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar.
  3. Place an empty cup on the drip tray.
  4. Without adding a K-Cup, select the largest brew size of your coffee maker and press the brew button. You can use a cleaning pod for better results.
  5. Empty the cup’s contents and repeat the brew cycle till it runs out of water.
  6. Let the machine sit idle for about 30 minutes. It will give time for the build-up to dissolve if any is left.
  7. Fill the water tank and repeat the process without the descaling solution or vinegar.
  8. Run three to five cycles to eliminate the lingering taste of the cleaning solution or vinegar.
  9. Your Keurig machine is now ready to brew!
descaling keurig coffee maker
  •  If you use white vinegar to unclog a Keurig, the ratio of white vinegar to water must be 1:1.
  • Step 6: Brew a Cup!

    Now that you have followed all the cleaning steps, we are sure you have unclogged your Keurig. It is time to pop in your favorite K-Cup, add water to the water reservoir and brew a cup. If the problem persists, contact the Keurig customer service helpline for further assistance.

    How to Prevent a Keurig Machine from Clogging?

    Clogging doesn’t occur at once; it takes a day for the dirt and residue to dry up in the appliance and block its internal parts. Ensure you follow the brand’s maintenance and cleaning instructions to avoid inconvenience.

    A Keurig brewer requires descaling every 3 to 6 months to keep it working effectively. However, the time frame may change depending on the usage of your coffee machine. If you brew several cups a day, we recommend descaling your coffee machine every two months, just in case.

    Additionally, you must clean the drip tray after every use to make it ready for the next brew. Also, it would be best if you did not neglect the pod holder of your Keurig brewer. One of the biggest factors in clogging your brewer is a clogged needle.

    Clean the pod holder and the puncture needles to avoid any residue or coffee grounds from drying up and hindering the water flow of your coffee maker.


    Well-maintained Keurig machines last a long time and make good quality full cups of coffee using a variety of K-cups. If you have a different experience, your coffee maker is not getting the attention it deserves.

    It takes a few minutes to clean or descale a Keurig machine which can save you from a list of troubles. It is better to set a reminder to clean your brewer so you don’t have to wait for a clog to remind you that you haven’t descale your brewer in a long time.

    Hopefully, this article was of some help in unclogging your Keurig. However, we recommend not neglecting the maintenance and cleaning of your Keurig machine.


    Why is the water not coming out of my Keurig?

    The most common reason behind your Keurig not dispensing water is clogging. The internal pipes and tubes that carry the water through the machine have debris and residue build-up. Frequent descaling and cleaning can avoid this inconvenience.

    How do you tell if your Keurig is clogged?

    The first sign of a clogged Keurig is the amount of coffee it is brewing. If your brewer suddenly starts brewing half a cup or no coffee at all, it is clogged. When a coffee machine has clogging, the water flow is disrupted, resulting in less or no coffee dispensing in your cup.

    Can I unclog my Keurig with vinegar?

    Vinegar has acidic properties that can remove the build-up and limescale from the insides of your Keurig coffee maker. To use vinegar for cleaning, mix it with equal parts of water in the water tank and run cleaning cycles. Using the correct ratio of vinegar is crucial because if you overdo it, it may cause damage to the internal parts of the coffee machine.

    How do I unclog my Keurig duo water line?

    You must run a few cleaning cycles to unclog the machine’s interior tubing. Fill the reservoir with water, choose the largest brew size and press the brew button. Keep running cycles till the machine runs out of water. Do not use a K-cup during the cleaning process. However, you can use a cleaning pod for better results. Repeat the process if necessary.

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