Keurig not brewing a full cup? (3 simple tips to fix it!)

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Johny Morrisson

Do you notice your Keurig failing to brew a complete cup lately? Nothing’s more frustrating than getting less coffee than expected from your K-Cup machine.

The good news is this problem can often be easily fixed on your own without an expensive repair call. In this guide, I’ll cover three straightforward troubleshooting tips to resolve a Keurig not brewing full cups of coffee.

Why is Keurig not Brewing a Full Cup

why is Keurig not brewing a full cup?

These are the five most common reasons for Keurig not making a full cup of coffee.

  • Clogged needles (exit needles may be clogged by coffee grounds, tea, or cocoa mix).
  • Keurig machine need to be descaled.
  • Buildup around the water tank valve
  • Electrical fault
  • Faulty brew Basket

Before going into details you must make sure that you didn’t set up the auto shut-off feature, as it might turn the machine off while brewing. And also check whether the water reservoir is correctly installed or not!

3 tips to fix Keurig not making a full cup

1. Unclogg the Needles

If your Keurig is not brewing a full cup of coffee then first thing you need to do is to clean the needles of your coffee maker.

Over time, coffee grounds, tea, or cocoa mix can accumulate around the needles, causing a clog that hinders the flow of water and results in blockages.

This issue is more likely to occur if you leave used pods in the machine after brewing.

This Clogging also causes the Keurig machine to shut off while brewing.

Follow these simple steps to clean the clogged Keurig needles

  1. Turn the machine off, and remove the water reservoir
  2. Tightly grab the edges of the pod holder and take it away from the machine.
  3. Now, remove the funnel from the pod holder
  4. Take a paper clip or sewing needle and move it around in a circle a few times inside the hole of the pod holder.
  5. Rinse the pod holder and funnel with water and let them dry
  6. Now for the top entrance needles, open the head and look beneath. You will observe two holes for the needles that need to be cleaned
  7. Insert the paper clip or sewing needle in the hole and gently move it around to remove any clogged particles.

2. Keurig machine need to be descaled

Scaling inside the Keurig machine can also be the reason why Keurig is not filling a full cup of coffee. If you won’t descale your machine on time, this buildup eventually results in a blockage that potentially does not let the machine brew properly.

This can also cause Keurig to dispense slowly.

As per Keurig reccomendations, you should descale your machine once in 3-6 months or after 300 cups of coffee, whatever will come first.

You can use Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar for descaling.

Here’s how you can easily descale your Keurig

1- Start by emptying the water reservoir completely. Then pour equal parts vinegar and water (or follow the instructions if you are using a descaling solution on the package) into the water reservoir and place your mug under the dispenser like normal.

2- Now turn on your Keurig and press the largest brew size button to start the descaling process. Keep repeating the process until the tank is fully drained. (Or you might have to enter the descaling mode depending on your model)

3- When it finishes, refill the reservoir with fresh water and run 2-3 clean cycles to rinse out any leftover vinegar taste.

Here are the descaling instructions for all the Keurig Models

If you haven’t descaled your Keurig for more than six months or you are using hard water, then you might need two descaling cycles.

3. Buildup around the water tank valve

If there’s some problem or blockage at the valve, then the machine cannot pull the required amount of water for a K-cup, eventually resulting in Keurig not being able to pump water or brew a full cup.

Descaling often solves this problem but if you have already descaled the machine and still facing this problem then follow these steps to clean the exit valve of the tank.

  1. Remove the water tank and empty it. Also, clean the area where the water tank connects to a machine with a towel or soft cloth.
  2. You can find the valve at the bottom of the water tank. This valve is held by three screws. Take a screwdriver and unscrew the valve.
  3. There is a screen inside the valve which might be clogged by water minerals.
  4. Now take a cup of vinegar and place the valve in it for 1 to 2 hours. Vinegar will remove all the buildup material
  5. Rinse the valve with water properly before putting it back into the machine.
  6. Hopefully, it will solve your problem.

Additional Tip: If you have a turkey baster. Use it to suck air from piping and water reservoirs. Sometimes stuck air bubbles inside the machine can cause this problem.

A Weird but working Solution

Remove the water reservoir and turn the Keurig upside down. Shake the machine and Hit the bottom two to three times gently. And you will be amazed because it works!

It works because it helps to remove trapped air bubbles inside the machine.

Keurig not brewing full cup after descaling or cleaning

If all the above-mentioned hacks didn’t work and the problem is still there, then the only solution before calling a professional technician is to reset your machine.

Reset the machine

Most of the Keurig model doesn’t have a proper reset button available, so in order to reset them, you need to follow these steps.

  • Turn off and unplug the machine and wait for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Empty and remove the water reservoir.
  • Keep it disconnected for one to two hours.
  • Reconnect the machine and place the water tank back. Open and close the head of the machine.
  • Now your machine is restored to factory settings.

Here’s a detailed guide on Resetting Keurig machines

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

When it comes to my Keurig, Black Rifle Coffee’s K-cups are my absolute 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!

Contact Keurig support

If your Keurig is clean and nothing is stuck inside the machine, and you have already restored the machine to factory settings. Then there might be a technical electrical fault that is not letting the Keurig fill a full cup of coffee.

In that case, you can call a technician to seek help. Or if your machine is still in the warranty period then call Keurig customer support. They will repair or replace the machine free of any cost if the warranty is valid.

Keurig Model reviews

Final Thoughts

And that’s a wrap on fixing your Keurig from brewing pathetic partial cups! Now that you’ve mastered fixes like cleaning needles, descaling buildup, and resetting the machine.

I hope these simple tricks get your coffee capacity back up to par so you can get your morning jolt without having to double up on pods.

Did these tips work like magic for your Keurig? Share your triumphs below in the comments!


Is it worth repairing a Keurig?

The typical lifespan of a Keurig machine is 3 to 5 years. If your machine is under that period then I think it will be more feasible to repair your Keurig instead of purchasing a new one.


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.

1 thought on “Keurig not brewing a full cup? (3 simple tips to fix it!)”

  1. 5 stars
    This was such a useful article. I was having issues with my Keurig Classic not brewing properly but couldn’t figure out why. After deep cleaning the needles like the article suggested, it’s working like new again!


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