What Happens if you Don’t Change the Keurig Filter?

What-Happens-if you-Don’t-Change-the-Keurig-Filter
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Undoubtedly Keurig coffee makers are more convenient and durable than an average drip coffee maker. But not most coffee drinkers know that Keurigs are also more sanitary.

Or did it never cross your mind if your Keurig coffee is hygienic?

Well, I like to believe there are coffee lovers out there like me who take their coffee seriously.

So it’s nice to know that my coffee maker purifies the water before brewing it. But how is that possible? To do so, most Keurig coffee makers have a charcoal filter that cleans the water flowing into your cup.

With these charcoal water filters, your favorite caffeinated drinks will taste delicious every time and be free of hazardous chemicals.

If you don’t change the Keurig Charcoal filter, the dirt particles will contaminate it, minimizing its effectiveness. As a result, it will negatively impact the quality of your coffee.

Apart from giving you bad-tasting coffee, your coffee maker will degrade if you don’t pay attention to its cleanliness and maintenance for a prolonged time.

Changing the Keurig water filter is one of the most significant maintenance tasks. You can get these water filters separately for all Keurig brewers except for a K-mini or K-mini Plus.

In this article, you will learn when you should change your Keurig filter and how to replace the filter.

What factors Impact on how often you Should Change Keurig Filter?

Now that you know that changing a water filter regularly is necessary, how can you know it’s time to replace it with a fresh new one?

Here are the factors that will help you to determine the suitable time frame:


Changing the water filter depends on the usage of your coffee machine. The less often your Keurig prepares coffee for you, the less you need to replace its water filter. On the other hand, if you like gulping several cups of coffee a day, you will need to replace the filter more often.

Keurig recommends changing the water filter every two months, but if you don’t drink coffee regularly, please remember to do that after 60 tank refills.

Water type

As water makes up 98% of your brewed coffee, you must use the correct type of water for better quality and taste.

The water filter’s main job is to absorb minerals and chemicals from the water that can corrode your brewer and affect the taste of your coffee. You can prolong the intervals between filter changes if you use filtered water.

Filtered water is ideal for brewing coffee as it contains low mineral content like chlorine, iron, and sulfur. As a result, the water filter will have to eliminate fewer chemicals.

Type of coffee you make

Are you someone who likes sipping on coffee throughout the day or likes to chug on a large coffee mug just once? Because the type of coffee you drink makes a significant difference in changing the water filter.

You must change the filter cartridge after your coffee maker produces 40 gallons of coffee. Depending on your coffee type and the number of cups you prepare daily, the timeframe to change the filter will vary.

For instance, if you prepare 4 cups of 8 to 16 ounces of coffee daily, your brewer will make 40 gallons in two and a half months. Once it reaches the 40-gallon mark, it’s time to change the filter.

How often you descale your keurig?

When you descale your coffee brewer, remove the water filter before starting the cleaning process. If you descale your coffee maker regularly, you must replace the water filter with a new one.

Ideally, you must descale your Keurig coffee maker after brewing 300 k cups, so the duration of descaling and changing the water filter depends on how much you use your brewer.

How do I know if there is a need to change the Keurig water filter?

If you gulp several cups of coffee daily, you will know your coffee better than anyone else. Once it starts tasting different from what your brewer usually prepares for you, take it as a warning sign to change the water filter.

Apart from the taste, Be sure to pay attention to Keurig’s water quality indicator light. You should change the filter when the light starts blinking.

What is the Purpose of Keurig Water Filter?

Using water filters for your coffee can remove chlorine and other contaminants affecting the flavor and coffee quality.

Charcoal water filters are also essential to protect the coffee brewer against buildup and limescale. When the water that flows through the brewer is free of chemicals and minerals, there are fewer chances of mineral buildup in its internal parts.

Automatically, your brewer will be cleaner and coffee quality will be superior.

Is a Keurig Filter Necessary?

Using a water filter is optional as it depends on how you use your brewer and what water you use. Water filters are not a choice but a necessity, as I don’t want my coffee maker to wear down anytime soon.

Your brewer might not need a water filter as much as someone who uses tap water for brewing coffee. Tap water can have chemicals that can corrode your coffee maker, also leaving an unpleasant taste in your coffee.

If you can compromise on coffee quality and are willing to clean your coffee brewer more often, then sure, it can work well without a water filter.

Do all Keurigs have a water filter cartridge?

Keurig coffee makers with removable water reservoirs have a special place to insert water filter cartridges, but you have to buy them separately. However, there are two Keurig models without a water filter: the K-mini and K-mini plus.

K-mini and k-mini plus are compact coffee machines without a water reservoir. Both these brewers contain a water bin, so they directly brew water into coffee without filtering it.

Where is the Water Filter in a Keurig?

The water filter cartridges fit in Keurig’s water reservoir, inside a water filter handle. You can quickly locate the water filter handle on the valve at the bottom of the water reservoir.

If you are new to using water filters, you must know the correct water filter handle for your brewer. Even though the charcoal filters are the same for all Keurig models, the water filter handles are different. Learn more about which one will fit your Keurig Model.

Steps on How To Replace Keurig Water Filter

Changing the water filter cartridge is quick and easy. Follow these simple steps, and you are good to go:

What you will need


  1. Take a fresh charcoal filter cartridge and soak it in a cup containing water for at least five minutes.
  2. Turn off your coffee maker and unplug it.
  3. Remove the water tank and empty it.
  4. Locate the water filter handle at the bottom of your water tank.
  5. Press on the sides of the water filter holder to detach it from the water tank.
  6. Applying some pressure, give it a slight tug to pull it out. It might require extra force if you remove the filter holder for the first time.
  7. Pinch on the sides of the bottom filter handle to separate its parts; the bottom handle, the charcoal cartridge, and the upper filter holder.
  8. Remove the used charcoal filter and discard it.
  9. Rinse the parts of the filter handle with hot water to get rid of any dirt or residue, especially the mesh.
  10. Take the soaked charcoal filter out of the cup and rinse it under running water for 60 seconds.
  11. Place the new filter on the bottom filter handle covering the mesh.
  12. Attach the upper and bottom filter handles.
  13. Place the filter holder back into the water reservoir and press it firmly to lock it in place.
  14. You’re done!

How Often do I Change the Keurig Filter?

The time interval between filter changes depends on several factors I have listed above. 

However, according to the Keurig Website, technically, you must change the filter every 2 to 3 months or after 60 tank refills.

What Happens if You Don’t Change the filter?

Even if you don’t care about your coffee being clean, let me tell you, an old and dirty water filter is going to downgrade your coffee’s quality and taste. If the water filter passes its due date, it gets clogged with coffee oils and residue, dispensing an unpleasant taste into your coffee.

Secondly, a clogged water filter will disrupt the water flow of the brewer. When the water passes slowly through the water filter for purifying, it will automatically affect the brewing speed.

Another aspect is that the filter will only effectively emit minerals from the water if it is clean.

As a result, you may end up with a faulty coffee maker due to corrosion.

How to descale Keurig coffee Maker?

Descaling your Keurig coffee maker increases its lifespan and ensures that you consistently get great-tasting and high-quality coffee.

With these few simple steps, descale your coffee machine every 3 to 6 months to avoid any mishaps with your coffee experience.

What you will need


  1. Turn off the coffee maker and unplug it.
  2. Remove the Keurig reservoir and discard the water.
  3. Attach the water tank back and fill it with a descaling solution.
  4. Fill the rest of the water tank with freshwater.
  5. Turn on the coffee machine.
  6. Place a mug on the drip tray.
  7. Press the 8 oz and 10 oz buttons simultaneously. It will activate the descaling mode. (if it doesn’t work for your model, refer to its user manual)
  8. Press the brew button when you see the descaling lights start flashing.
  9. Your brewer will start descaling.
  10. Repeat the same steps till your Keurig brewer shows the “add more water” message.
  11. When the water tank runs out of water, refill it with fresh water.
  12. Run several brew cycles to thoroughly wash out the descaling solution and any leftover residue.
  13. Exit the descaling mode using the exact steps you used to activate it.
  14. Let the machine sit for 30 minutes.
  15. Your brewer is now clean and ready to use!

Final Thoughts

Only true coffee lovers recognize the importance of Keurig coffee brewers in their lives.

So if Keurig looks after our daily caffeine needs, we should also look after it. Cleaning and maintenance of your Keurig must be a regular practice.

Small maintenance tasks like replacing the water filter will significantly impact your coffee maker’s life.

Enjoy your coffee!


Do all Keurigs use the same filter?

Yes! All Keurig models use the same water filter. They use different water filter handles, either tall or short.

How do I clean the filter on my Keurig?

You can not clean the water filter but replace it because it is impossible to get rid of oils and coffee residue. However, you can clean the water filter holder.

What happens if you don’t clean your Keurig coffee maker?

If you don’t clean your Keurig coffee maker, coffee residue and dirt will accumulate in its internal parts. The buildup will affect the coffee quality and the brewer’s longevity. Using a dirty brewer is also unhealthy because your coffee can be full of bacteria and have an unpleasant taste.

Is it OK to run vinegar through a Keurig?

Yes! If you use white vinegar with equal parts water, it is entirely safe to run it through your brewer to clean it. You can use vinegar in case you run out of a descaling solution.

How Often To Descale Keurig?

A Keurig coffee machine requires descaling every 2 to 3 months. However, if you don’t use your Keurig regularly or use it excessively, remember to descale it after brewing 300 k-cups.

How long are Keurig filters suitable for?

Keurig filters have a lifespan of two months. You must replace it with a new one after they pass the two months due date.

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