A Guide to Fix Keurig Slow Drip Problem

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Johny Morrisson


Nothing’s worse than waking up late for work and finding your Keurig dripping coffee very slowly into your mug.

In this article, I’ll discuss a few reasons for your Keurig slow drip problem and some easy fixes to get that coffee flowing.

Why is Keurig dripping slowly?

The 2 most common reasons that cause your Keurig to drip slowly are a blockage inside the machine or the clogged water needles. These problems can be easily solved by proper cleaning and descaling of the Keurig machine.

Keurig machines typically take 3-4 minutes to brew a cup of coffee, 60-80 seconds for heating up, and 1-2 minutes for brewing. However, the Keurig can start brewing slowly if you haven’t cleaned and properly maintained your machine.

Let’s discuss the reasons and their possible solution.

1) Blocked water line

The blocked water line can cause your Keurig to brew very slowly.

This happens when the small water line where the hot water passes through gets blocked due to the buildup of minerals and scaling.

This especially happens if you have not descaled the machine in a long time, or if the water you use for brewing has high mineral content.  

2) Clogged needles

Another reason why your Keurig drips slowly is clogged exit needles.

Many users delay cleaning the Keurig needle for a long time. And that causes the used coffee grounds to accumulate around the needles.

When too much coffee grounds get accumulated the needles can’t pierce the K-cups effectively and the Keurig starts brewing slowly.

This situation is most likely to happen if you don’t discard your pods immediately after brewing or you don’t clean your machine regularly.

4 ways to fix Keurig Brewing slowly

1- Clean the needles

There are two needles inside the Keurig, the upper and bottom needles. These needles make holes that allow hot water to pass through and make its way to your cup.

So, the immediate solution is to clean the Keurig needle but be careful as these needles are quite sharp and can get you hurt.

Follow these steps to clean the Keurig needles

For any Keurig model other than Keurig 2.0, the method of cleaning the needle is the same. You can use the paper clip method to clean the clogged needles.

  1. Unplug the Keurig, and turn it off.
  2. Take a paper clip and Straighten its point on one end or you can also use a sewing needle.
  3. Remove the pod holder from the brewer by holding the bottom of the head with one hand and pushing the pod holder with the other hand.
  4. Detach the funnel from the pod holder by pushing it from the bottom.
  5. Next Insert the straight end of the needle inside the hole of the pod holder and move it around several times to remove any accumulated debris.
  6. Rinse the pod holder with warm, soapy water.
  7. After cleaning the bottom exit needles clean the upper entrance needles. The upper entrance needles can be seen under the brewer’s head.
  8. To clean, insert a paper clip in each and move it around.
  9. Brew a pod to check whether your Keurig’s slow drip has been fixed. If not, try one more time to clean the needles or move on to step 2.

Cleaning Keurig 2.0 model needle

Cleaning the Keurig 2.0 needle is quite different from the cleaning needles of other Keurig models.

Follow these steps to clean the Keurig 2.0 needle.

  1. Unplug the machine.
  2. Fill the silicone bulb in the middle of the brewer maintenance accessory with water.
  3. Open the Keurig by lifting the handle. Put the maintenance tool in the pod holder. Make sure that the ring’s arrows should be pointing downward. Firmly press down.
  4. Now open and close the head five times. This up and down motions will remove the coffee grounds.
  5. Take out the maintenance tool for the brewer.
  6. Run a cleaning brew. You can either insert a Keurig cleaning rinse pod or use only water and no pods. Brew a 6-ounce cup using the touchscreen of Keurig 2.0.
  7. Put back the pod holder in the Keurig.
  8. Brew the pod to see if the dripping problem has been resolved.

Also read: Keurig k Slim vs k Mini

Replacement Keurig Needles

If your exit needles are bent or damaged beyond repair, you can buy replacement pod holders.

Fortunately, these replacement parts are cheap and you don’t have to replace your machine if the needles get damaged.

You can find replacement needles for your model here

2- Descale the machine

Another solution to fix alow drip problem is to descale the machine.

The mineral buildup affects the flow of water inside the machine resulting in Keurig dispensing very slowly.

My recommendation is to choose Keurig’s descaling solution as it has no odor and also acts fast to remove mineral buildup. However, you can also use vinegar, citric acid, or baking soda to descale your Keurig.

You should descale your machine once in 3-6 months or after brewing 300 cups of coffee, whatever will come first!

Follow these simple steps to Descale your Keurig

  1. Empty the water reservoir and rinse it with clean water.
  2. Now pour the descaling solution and water into the reservoir. Use a 1:1 ratio of the descaling solution and water (Or 1:1 ratio of White Vinegar to water)
  3. Run the brew cycles until the water tank becomes empty.
  4. Let the machine sit for 10 to 15 minutes after descaling. After that rinse and clean the water tank thoroughly and fill it with clean drinking water.
  5. Run the water-only brew cycle for 5 to 6 minutes to discard the remaining of descaling solution from the machine.

Check out a detailed guide on how to clean and descale Keurig machine

3) Clean the water Valve and the tube at the top

Mostly descaling the machine can solve the problems of a clogged water valve or clogged elbow joint at the top.

But sometimes stubborn calcium deposits in these positions may cause your Keurig to drip slowly.

Remove the water reservoir and you will find the filter screen inside the valve. Put the filter screen in vinegar for 4 to 5 minutes and clean it with a toothbrush or cloth.

A tube is present at the top of the machine that lets water flow through the needles. (that might have accumulated calcium)

To clean that you have to unscrew and remove the top. There are two screws present underneath the top. Unscrew them and gently push the top upwards and it will be removed.

Remove the rubber tube and clean it with a pin or toothpick to clean the accumulated calcium.

4. you might be using faulty K cups

Sometimes a faulty K-cup is the culprit behind a slow drip. A small puncture on your K-cup, coffee grind blockage, or a foil lid that hasn’t been pierced effectively can make the brew time slow.

To avoid this issue, opt for high-quality, branded K-Cups and avoid cheaper ones!

Got your Keurig Slow Drip Problem Fixed? Now Check out my favorite K cups

When it comes to K-cups for Keurig, Black Rifle Coffee is my top favorite. They’ve got such an awesome variety – from light roasts to super dark, plus all sorts of fun flavors like fruity, chocolaty, nutty, you name it. My go-to’s are their Medium Roast “Just Black” rounds with those deep cocoa notes and buttery finish, and the Dark Roast “Freedom Fuel” with that rich dark chocolate and walnut flavor. You can browse their huge selection online and score 25% off with the code PBR25. Totally worth stocking up!

What to do if Keurig still dripping slowly?

If you have cleaned the needle and also descaled your machine, but it still drips slowly, then you need to contact Keurig customer support. If your Keurig is still under warranty then Keurig will repair or replace the machine free of cost.

If your machine is not under warranty you can consult with the local technician to fix your machine. If you are a tech-savvy person you can disassemble the machine by yourself to check the water pipe and the entrance point of Keurig needles.

There are 4 screws present underneath the Keurig head. By unscrewing those you can disassemble the Keurig head and you get access to the water line.

The water pipes usually get unclogged by running the descaling cycle but if there’s some stubborn scaling or mineral buildup you have to discard it manually.

Related Keurig Troubleshooting Guides

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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