How to clean and Descale Keurig coffee maker?

If you’re a proud owner of a Keurig coffee maker, you know just how convenient and reliable these machines can be.

But here’s the thing: to keep your Keurig operating at its best and consistently delivering that perfect cup of joe, regular cleaning of your Keurig machine is essential.

In this article, I’ll show you the best way to clean s Keurig and share expert tips along the way to ensure your machine remains in peak condition. So, let’s get started!

How to clean a Keurig

First, How often should you clean your Keurig?

To keep your Keurig coffee maker in pristine condition, regular cleaning is key. Just like you clean your plate after each use, you need to clean your Keurig too.

And for the descaling part, According to Keurig, the frequency of descaling your Keurig depends on the mineral content of your water. To maintain optimal performance, it is recommended to descale your brewer every 3 to 6 months.

This is particularly important if you use water with high mineral content, which can lead to the buildup of calcium deposits or scaling inside the machine.

Using filtered or bottled water in Keurig is recommended to reduce mineral content and descaling frequency.

Some models have light-based alerts for descaling. You’ll get a “Time to descale” prompt initially, and if delayed, it reminds you every 6 weeks.

It’s worth noting that the reminder will continue to appear until the brewer has been descaled.

How Often should you clean Keurig

How to do regular cleaning of Keurig?

You have to clean your Keurig machine regularly and the method is very simple and requires minimal effort.

You must discard the K cup and wipe the pod holder after every brew and clean all the removable parts once a week!

All you need is a large mug, a non-abrasive cloth, dish soap, and access to a sink. This process will only take around 5 minutes:

1- Wipe the machine’s Exterior

Start by using a damp cloth with some soapy water to wipe down the outside of the Keurig. Avoid immersing the brewer in water or any other liquids.

2- Clean the Cup holder

It’s important to remove the used K-Cup from the holder as soon as possible after brewing. This will prevent coffee grounds and residue from building up.

Also, wipe the cup holder with a damp cloth to clean any spills from the K cup.

3- Detach and clean the removable parts

After that clean the drip tray: Gently slide it towards you while keeping it level to prevent any spills. Rinse the drip tray and the plate with warm water.

If your Keurig model has a removable water reservoir, take it out along with the lid. Clean them both using a damp cloth with some soapy water and rinse them thoroughly. Make sure to keep the reservoir’s lid open to allow it to dry completely.

Remove the K-cup holder from the Keurig. It usually comes out easily with a gentle pull. Wash it with warm, soapy water, and use a soft brush or toothbrush to clean the needle area to remove any coffee grounds or clogs.

4- Run a cleansing cycle

After cleaning the reservoir or when you’ve brewed beverages, it’s important to run a cleansing brew. Place a mug on the drip tray and press the largest brew size button on your Keurig without inserting any pod. You can use rinse pods for this. 

It’s a good practice to use Keurig rinse pods at least once a week or if you brew different types of drinks with your Keurig, i-e tea, chocolate, and coffee. These pods contain cleaning agents such as maltodextrin, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and sodium citrate, which help remove grime, mold, and lingering flavors from previous brews.

How to Descale Keurig? 

Descaling your Keurig brewer is a crucial task that should not be ignored. Over time, calcium deposits, also known as scale, can build up and impair the performance of your coffee maker.

You’ll need a bottle of Keurig descaling solution, a large mug, and access to a sink. Make sure that the brewer is powered off and the water reservoir is empty. If your brewer has a Keurig water filter, remove it and set it aside. Also, disable any auto-off features. 

How to descale a Keurig

1- Preapre a descaling solution

First, remove any remaining water from the water reservoir and discard any used K-cups from the machine.

Now add equal parts of clean water and the Keurig descaling solution to the water reservoir.

Here are recommended Keurig descaling solutions:

ImageProductDetails  Price
Descaler (2 Pack, 2 Uses Per Bottle)Highly Effective at an Excellent ValueSuitable for All Types of MachinesCheck Price
Keurig Compatible Descaling Solution & Keurig CleanerPowerful & VersatileCompatible with Any MachineCheck Price

2- Start the Descaling process

Place a large mug or bowl on the drip tray and press the power button to turn the brewer back on.

Lift and lower the brewer handle and press the largest brew size button.

Repeat this process until the water tank is completely empty of the descaling solution. Then, let the brewer sit for 30 minutes while still turned on.

3- Run a cleansing brew

Now detach and clean the water reservoir thoroughly with warm soapy water to remove any residual solution. Return the reservoir to the brewer and fill it with fresh water up to the max fill line.

Perform the cleansing brew process at least 12 times, by pressing the largest brew size button. This will remove any remaining scales and odors of the descaling solution from the brewer.

Here are descaling instructions for every Keurig model

How to clean Keurig with Vinegar?

Cleaning your Keurig with vinegar is a cost-effective alternative to using a Keurig descaling solution. By using vinegar, you can save money on expensive commercial cleaners that require using the whole bottle each time. 

The process is the same as descaling. Create a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar and pour this solution into the water reservoir.

Vinegar is a good natural descaling agent, but it can leave a strong smell that can linger in your Keurig brewer. This can affect the taste of your coffee, so it’s important to run several cleansing cycles after using vinegar to remove the smell. I never like to descale my Keurig with vinegar for this reason.

Clean Keurig with vinegar

How to clean Keurig Needles?

Cleaning Keurig needles is essential to prevent the accumulation of coffee grounds, which can clog the needles and prevent proper coffee extraction.

Clogged Keurig needles can prevent proper water flow, leading to inconsistent brews or even preventing the machine from working altogether.

You’ll need a large mug, a clean metal paper clip, and access to a sink. Follow these simple steps to do it in 10 minutes:

1- Remove the pod holder from the brewer

To remove the pod holder, lift the handle, grasp the top of the pod holder with one hand, and push it up.

2- Take out the funnel

Detach the funnel by pushing the sides of the pod holder

3- Clean the tubes and Pod holder

Straighten one side of the metal paper clip and insert it into the tube. Move it around to loosen any clogs and remove particles. Rinse the pod holder and funnel with water to remove any remaining debris.

4- Clean the entrance needles

Lift the brewer handle and find the entrance needle under the brewer’s head. It has two holes that need cleaning. Carefully insert the paper clip into the holes of the entrance needle and gently move it around to remove any particles.

Once the K-cup holder is clean and dry, place it back into the Keurig machine.

After cleaning the needles fill the water reservoir with fresh water and run a few water-only brew cycles. This will flush out any remaining debris and ensure that the needles are clear.

That’s it! Your Keurig needles are now clean. Remember to be cautious with the sharp exit needle while cleaning.

It’s important to clean Keurig needles if you notice any of the following signs:

How to change Keurig Water Filters?

Replacing the water filter in your Keurig coffee maker is a straightforward process and must be done once every 2 months

Start by determining the model of your Keurig coffee maker. Different models require different water filters, so it’s crucial to use the appropriate one.

Some models have a tall handle water fill kit while others have a small handle water filter kit and some models like K-Mini, K-Mini Plus, and K15 do not have water filters.

Here’s a guide on Keurig water filters

Change Keurig water filters

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace or remove the charcoal water filter of your Keurig machine.

  1. To activate your new charcoal filter soak it in a bowl of fresh water for 5-10 minutes.
  1. Empty the water reservoir completely and locate the filter holder, usually positioned at the base of the water reservoir. Gently lift the filter holder out of its position.
  1. Slide the old filter out of its slot in the filter holder and discard it.
  1. After your new water filter is soaked for 5-10 minutes, rinse it with fresh water to eliminate any excess particles. Also clean and rinse the water filter handle properly.
  1. Now, securely slide the new filter into the designated slot of the filter holder, and ensure it fits properly. Then, place the filter holder back into its original position at the base of the water reservoir and reattach the water reservoir to your Keurig coffee maker.
  1. Plug in your coffee maker, power it on, and run a few cleansing brews without a K-Cup or coffee pod. This process will help flush out any remaining impurities. 

It’s very important to change water filters very regularly especially if you use tap water for brewing coffee in your Keurig.

Final Thoughts

As a Keurig owner, I highly recommend following these cleaning steps to keep your machine running smoothly and enjoy consistently great-tasting coffee every time.

With a little regular maintenance, you can ensure that your Keurig remains in peak condition and provides you with the perfect cup of joe to start your day off right. 

I hope now have a complete understanding of how to clean a Keurig coffee maker yourself. If you have any questions you can ask in the comments!

Cheers to a clean and delicious brew!


Can you use hydrogen peroxide to descale Keurig?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean a Keurig coffee maker as an alternative to vinegar. However, it is important to be cautious as hydrogen peroxide can corrode metal parts.
Follow the same descaling steps and ensure thorough rinsing afterward to prevent any residue from affecting taste or causing damage.

Can you use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar in Keurig?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar as an alternative to white vinegar for cleaning a Keurig. Simply mix water and apple cider vinegar in the same ratio as mentioned in the instructions and run it through your machine to clean it effectively.

Can you use tap water in Keurig?

A: It is possible to use tap water in your Keurig coffee maker, but it is not recommended. Tap water may contain minerals that can lead to mineral deposits and clogging, impacting the machine’s performance. For the best taste and to avoid potential maintenance issues, it is advisable to use filtered or bottled water instead.

What happens if you don’t clean your Keurig?

Not cleaning your Keurig regularly can lead to the growth of bacteria, coffee build-up, and mold, which can result in a bad-tasting cup of coffee that lacks freshness. It can also cause leakages in your Keurig machine.

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.

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