How to clean and descale your Keurig coffee maker

Keurig coffee makers can make you a fresh cup of coffee instantly. But when they start to show symptoms of pouring slow or fill half of the cup, then it indicates that the coffee maker must be cleaned. 

Although Keurig coffee maker is low maintenance, we have to ensure that it is cleaned at least once in a month or once in two weeks. 

Let us look into the process of cleaning a Keurig coffee maker


• Before you proceed to any cleaning process, one must always remember to unplug the machine. It is an essential step. The machine should not have any access to power.


• The removable parts must be disassembled and thoroughly washed. The water lid and reservoir, K-cup holder and the mug stand must be removed for washing. Wash these pieces in warm,
soapy water.

It prevents any dirt from being accumulated. After cleaning, place them back into their respective positions. 


• Using a clean, damp, or dry cloth wipe the outer and inner surface of the apparatus carefully. The coffee and tea granules may get accumulated around the coffee pod holder. Hence, it is necessary to clean this area with a thorough inspection.

 Place back all the removable parts and switch on the machine. 


• White distilled vinegar has shown promising effects in keeping the coffee maker clean and run it efficiently. One can even prefer other descaling solutions over vinegar for effective results.

The water reservoir must be filled halfway with white distilled vinegar. 


• The rest of the reservoir must be filled with water.


• Without inserting K-cup, run the machine. The brew cycle must run until the components inside the reservoir are empty. The mug contents must be discarded after every brew cycle.

By following this process regularly, one can get rid of lime and the scale build-up. For specific coffee makers like Keurig, it is essential to descale the brewer for a minimum of every 2 to 6 months based on the water source.


• Repeat this process until any lingering vinegar taste prevails. Make use of plain water for rinsing the coffee maker.


• For effective results, clean the removable parts every week, water filter cartridge every two months, the mineral build-up for every 3 to 6 months and the needle as needed. Follow the above cleaning process regularly and make a cup of perfect brew coffee whenever you need.


Additional tips


The Keurig website suggests making use of spring or bottled water instead of distilled and softened water while brewing. If the Keurig machine isn’t working correctly, make sure to clean the exit and entry needles. 

To dislodge the debris, one can force air by taking help of a straw through the water line.

De-scaling the Keurig coffee maker:


Scaling occurs when the minerals in the water get deposited on the surface of the machine. It clogs up the tubes and thus making it difficult for the proper functioning of the Keurig coffee maker. Scales are easily formed by tap water. 

These simple steps can help you to descale your Keurig coffee maker.


Step 1: Prepare the Keurig Empty all the contents inside the Keurig and make space for the process. Drain the water reservoir empty. There shouldn’t be any K-cups inside the brewer. Drain the contents into a large mug
and throw them out. Make sure that no one uses the machine for a couple of hours.


Step 2: Preparation of the descaling agent: To break the calcium deposits, we need a strong acidic de-scaler that runs through the brewer. The different descaling options available for your Keurig maker are:


Keurig De-scaling solution: Keurig owns a descaling solution that costs about $7 to $15. They have a single use lifetime. It is a simple and efficient option for descaling.

The only downfall of this de-scaler is its citrusy odor that is difficult to get rid of. It can further have an effect on the taste of the coffee for a few days. 


White vinegar: It is a very cheap alternative for Keurig descaling solution. It is readily available in the market and has got positive reviews from the customers. For the right cleansing action, a few extra cups of white vinegar are required. Due to its chemical properties, the kitchen might stink of the vinegar smell for quite some time. 

While using the Keurig descaling solution, the entire bottle must be emptied into the reservoir. The rest of the reservoir is filled with clean water. 

On the contrary, while using white vinegar, the reservoir must be half filled with vinegar and the other half with water. If the scales are hard and sticky, prefer more vinegar over water. 


Step 3: Carefully run your de-scaler: With the help of a mug, set the Keurig to a standard, a full cup of coffee. You can prefer a larger cup if you have a thermos in the vicinity. This process has to occur, ensuring that there is no K-cup inside the chamber.

Run the descaling liquid through. Patiently wait for the cup to get filled. If the Keurig contain a bad scale crisis, the cup might not get filled even with the right settings.

The solution requires some time to start its descaling action hence continuously fill the cup and pour them into the drain. Upon reaching the end, one can observe that the water is pouring over more smoothly and the cups are filled with more ease.

If you do not notice the changes, fill the reservoir with some more solution, and repeat the process until you achieve the final goal.


Step 4: Flush over the Keurig with clean water:  Leave the Keurig to settle down for about 30 minutes. During this time, the acid breaks down the remaining scale present inside the brewer. Now, clean the reservoir carefully and wipe the surface to get rid of any traces of vinegar or the descaling solution used.

After the whole process, fill the reservoir with fresh, clean water. The water will flush out the descaling liquid from the entire system. Continue filling the reservoir with water, and fill the cups with water.

Run the Keurig machine dumping each cup after it gets full. It takes around two reservoirs of water to thoroughly cleanse the system.

You can take a taste test to check for any traces of de-scaler in the water. Continuously flush out the water until your Keurig coffee maker is free of descaling.

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