How to Clean and Descale a Keurig

Steps to Keeping Your Single Cup Coffee Makers Clean

keurig machine

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Single-serve coffee makers have revolutionized our coffee consumption. Having a fresh cup of coffee in seconds is convenient and delicious. Whether your single-serve coffee maker is a Keurig or another brand, cleaning your coffee maker to remove mineral build-up, bacteria, and mold is a smart move for a great tasting cup of coffee or tea.

How Often To Clean a Keurig

The frequency of cleaning will depend upon the model you own and how often you use your Keurig. If you are using your coffee maker daily, components like the coffee mug tray and K-cup holder should be cleaned weekly. The water filter cartridge should be cleaned every other month and the coffee maker should be descaled to remove hard water minerals at least four times a year.


Click Play to Learn How to Clean and Descale a Keurig

What You Need



items for cleaning a keurig

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Be sure to unplug the Keurig. Always unplug the coffeemaker before removing any parts and for most cleaning processes.

Weekly Keurig Cleaning

  1. Disassemble Components

    After unplugging the coffeemaker, remove the coffee mug tray, coffee pod holder, and, if applicable, the water reservoir.

    disassembling the keurig

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  2. Wash in Warm, Soapy Water

    Wash removable components in warm water and dishwashing liquid to remove bacteria and mold spores. Inspect the needles for loose grounds that can cause clogs. If you use a refillable K-cup, wash it well to remove oils that can cause bitterness.

    cleaning the components with soap and water

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  3. Rinse and Dry

    Rinse in warm water until no suds remain. Dry the components with a microfiber cloth or allow to air-dry. Do not use a paper towel or cotton cloth because they can leave lint behind.

    rinsing and drying components

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  4. Wipe Down the Exterior

    Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the exterior of the Keurig to remove fingerprints, dust, and drips. Microfiber will leave the exterior streak-free.

    wiping down the exterior

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Bi-Monthly Cleaning

In addition to the weekly cleaning routine, if your model has a water filter cartridge, the holder should be cleaned every other month or after 60 reservoir refills and the cartridge replaced.

  1. Remove Old Water Filter

    Empty the water reservoir, remove and discard the old water filter cartridge.

    removing the water filter

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  2. Wash the Filter Holder

    Remove the filter holder and wash it in warm water with dishwashing liquid. Rinse well and set aside.

    washing the filter holder

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  3. Soak New Water Filter Cartridge

    Hydrate the new cartridge by soaking it in clean water for five minutes. Before installing, rinse the cartridge under running water for 60 seconds.

  4. Reassemble the Water Reservoir

    Reassemble the filter holders and insert the new cartridge. Put the reservoir in place and fill it with fresh water.

    reassembling the water reservoir

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Quarterly Cleaning

At least four times a year, descale the machine to remove hard water minerals that affect the taste of the coffee and the operational functions of the machine. If you live in a hard-water area, more frequent descaling may be needed.

  1. Empty the Water Reservoir

    Begin the cleaning process with an empty water reservoir.

    emptying the water reservoir

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  2. Fill Reservoir With Descaling Solution

    Pour 10-ounces of distilled white vinegar or a commercial descaling solution into the water reservoir.


    If using a commercial descaler, follow the product directions—especially the number of required rinse cycles.

    filling the reservoir with a descaling solution

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  3. Start the Brewing Cycle

    Start the brewing cycle as usual but without a K-cup. Let the cycle run as usual and be sure to place a large mug on the pad to catch the solution.

    running the brewing cycle

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  4. Repeat with Clean Descaling Solution

    Repeat the steps with 10 ounces of fresh vinegar or descaling solution.

    repeating the descaling process

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  5. Flush the Machine

    Complete the descaling process by filling the water reservoir with 10 ounces of clean water and run a brew cycle. Toss the rinse water and your machine is ready to make fresh good-tasting coffee.

    filling the reservoir with new water

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Tips to Keep Your Keurig Working Its Best

  • If you live in a hard-water area, use bottled water in the coffee maker. Distilled water or softened water will not give the best flavor to your brew.
  • If the brewing cycle isn't working well, inspect the two needles that punch holes in the K-cups. They can become clogged with coffee grounds. With the machine unplugged, use a paper clip or toothpick to gently remove the grounds and rinse away with fresh water.
  • If you hear sputtering sounds as a cycle begins, there could be debris in the water reservoir line. With the machine unplugged, use a straw to blow air into the line to remove debris.
  • If you will not be using the machine for a week or so, empty the reservoir and leave the lid open so that no moisture is trapped in the machine.