Keurig descale light stays on | (Fixing Guide!)

Those who own a Keurig coffee maker should know that descaling the machine is recommended every 3 to 6 months to ensure proper performance.   

But sometimes Keurig’s descaling light stays on and won’t go off no matter how hard you try. This is more frustrating if the descaling light stays on even after descaling the machine.

In this article, I will thoroughly discuss how to fix Keurig descale light stays on and some tricks if it remains ON even after descaling. Keep reading to learn how!

What causes descale light to appear?

The sole purpose of descaling light features in most coffee makers is to inform or indicate that your coffee machine is filthy and requires thorough cleaning/descaling.

When the sensors inside the Keurig machine detect a blockage in water flow across the pipe, the descale light starts flashing.  

Hard water (containing a high concentration of calcium and magnesium) is considered to be the prominent culprit of clogging but some other factors such as air bubbles, the residue of coffee grounds, dirt, or other tiny particles also contribute to clogging.

So the Keurig’s descaling indicator stays on when the machine requires cleaning. If the machine becomes extremely dirty, it will stop operating.

Here’s a guide on What is the best water for Keurig

how to turn off descale light on Keurig?

Descaling your Keurig machine must be the first thing you do as soon as you notice the descaling indicator. If you haven’t done descaling for a very long period then you might have to do it two to three times to get rid of scaling inside your machine.

I recommend you to go with Keurig’s recommended descaling solution, or you can also go with citric acid and Vinegar solution.

First Propely Descale your Keurig

To get Keurig to descale light off, you need to put Keurig in descaling mode. Keurig supreme series and Keurig slim series are models which come with descale mode.

Follow these steps to turn off the descaling light on Keurig.

1) Unplug the machine, and drain any water left in the reservoir.

2) Take the water filter and coffee pods out of the machine.

3) Place a coffee mug underneath the coffee outlet.

4) Pour the Keurig descaling solution and filtered water into the water reservoir. Use a 1:1 ratio of Keurig descaling solution and water.

5) Press the 8-ounce & 12-ounce buttons on the Keurig machine for almost three seconds to activate the Descale Mode.

5*). If your Keurig doesn’t have a descaling mode just press the largest coffee button on your machine.

6) The Keurig brew button will start to flash.

7) Continue to run brews until the light indicator blinks, indicating that the machine requires water. Fill the reservoir again, and then repeat the previous steps until the ‘ADD WATER‘ light illuminates for the second time.

7*) If your Keurig doesn’t have a descaling mode just keep pressing the largest brew button until the water tank becomes empty.

8) The descaling is completed. Now rinse the water tank properly and fill it with drinking water.

9) Repeat the same procedure with only water so that there is no vinegar taste the next time you brew coffee.

Here are descaling instructions for all Keurig models

What to do if the Keurig descale light Won’t Turn off even after descaling

Gunk buildup inside the Keurig is not only the reason behind the descaling light staying on, there are many other reasons behind the blinking Keurig descaling light.

1) Clogged needle

Sometimes clogged Keurig needles might also cause the descaling light to stay on.

There are two needles inside the Keurig machine.

The entrance needle (present under the brewer’s head).

Exit needle (present in the bottom of the pod holder).

These needles make holes in the top and the bottom of the k-cup to allow easy flow of water through K-cup pods and make their way to a cup of coffee.

These needles might get clogged because of the residue of used coffee grounds. If they get clogged then you need to clean the clogged needle.

These residue coffee grounds not only disrupt the working of your Keurig machine but also ruin the taste of your coffee. So, make sure to clean them regularly.

Cleaning entrance needle

Be careful while cleaning the needles as they are very sharp.

  • Unplug the machine
  • Open the brewer handle, you can see the entrance needle under the brewer’s head.
  • It has two small holes. Make sure to unclog both of them. You can use a safety pin, a needle, or a straightened paper clip.

Cleaning Keurig existing needle

Follow this procedure to clean the exit needle.

  • Remove the pod holder and separate the funnel from the bottom
  • A tube is the present underside of the pod holder.
  • Clear off any clogs in the tube with a paper clip, safety pin, or needle.
  • Rinse the pod holder and funnel with tap water to remove any loose particles.

2)Tightly packed pods

You may encounter this problem while using refillable coffee pods, obliviously buying new k-cup pods cost me much (recommended to buy budget-friendly k-cup pods). Packing too much coffee grounds in my K cup makes it difficult for water to pass through.

And when the water faces heavy resistance the descale light might get triggered.

So, it is recommended to fill the pods loosely (Never go beyond the max fill line!)

You can easily verify that the descale light is blinking because of too tightly packed coffee grounds. Simply take out the pod and check if your machine lets you run a pod-less brew cycle.

3)Plugged tubes

If you have already applied to above two methods and still the descale light is ON, then you might have some stubborn air bubbles or dirt particles caught inside the piping of your Keurig.

You may push them out by gently slapping your machine. This actually a quick hack and works well for some users.

If you encounter this problem, follow this procedure

  • Remove the reservoir, drip tray, filter, and any coffee pods from the machine.
  • Hold your Keurig over your kitchen sink and smash it on the side and base a few times.
  • This little Keurig hack will release anything that has become lodged in the tubes.
  • Finally, perform a brew cycle with clean water to clear up whatever was clogging your water flow.

Note: Don’t slap too hardly. As it can damage the inside machinery of your machine and also voids the warranty if your machine is new.

Resetting Keurig descaling light?

Another solution to fix the descaling light stays on issue is to reset the Keurig descaling light. So, follow this procedure for resetting the Keurig descale light.

  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it.
  2. Remove the Keurig coffee maker top section followed by removing the bottom tray after removing the lid.
  3. Now, with the help of a screwdriver, remove the screw that secures the Descaler assembly. Carefully remove the Descaler assembly.
  4. Now, thoroughly wash Descaler with warm, soapy water.
  5. Assemble everything back together. Reassemble the Descaler assembly on the Keurig coffee machine. Reconnect the device.

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Final thoughts on Keurig Descale alert

Descaling alert is an important feature that reminds you to keep your machine clean and safe to use. But if descaling still didn’t turn off the light even after descaling then there might be some other problem.

Make sure to descale the machine on time, clean the entrance and existing needles to unclog them, and don’t pack coffee pods too tightly.

frequently asked question


If you are using tap water for brewing coffee, then it is normal for lime scale and other particles to slowly build up inside the Keurig leading to scaling.
So in order to avoid it, I recommend you to use gentler water for Keurig or use a water filtration unit on your tap, but you need to descale your machine after 3-6 months.

How often should you descale Keurig?

You must descale Keurig once every 3-6 months or after brewing 300 cups of coffee.