How to Clean and Descale a Keurig Mini

Front view of a keurig mini

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins - 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5

The Keurig has become a standard appliance in our homes, which is why it's likely that you use the newest version, the Keurig K-Mini, as your go-to coffee maker. With such a great appliance comes a need to keep it clean, and the method for descaling and cleaning the newer Keurig varies slightly from its older counterpart.

Learn how to clean and descale a Keurig Mini.

How Often to Clean and Descale a Keurig Mini

The makers of Keurig know how important a clean appliance can be to great flavor, so the Keurig K-Mini actually reminds you when it is time to descale the brewer. While the Keurig Mini shows an alert on the operation screen that it is time to descale your appliance, 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, promptly wipe away spills or splatters and clean components like the coffee mug tray and K-cup holder at least monthly The water filter cartridge should be changed every three to six months and the coffee maker should be descaled to remove hard water minerals every three to six months.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 6-8 ounce coffee mug
  • 1 sink
  • 1 microfiber cloth
  • 1 sponge

Materials

  • 1 bottle commercial coffee maker descaler or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 bottle dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • 1 paper clip

Instructions

Overhead view of materials used to clean a Keurig mini

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Clean a Keurig Mini

  1. Safety First

    Make sure the appliance is turned off and unplugged. Remove and empty the water reservoir.

    Unplugging the appliance before cleaning

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Disassemble Components

    Remove the drip tray. Hold the sides of the K-cup holder and pull up at an angle. Separate the K-cup holder from its housing by pressing the buttons on both sides of the housing. Remove the diffuser that is under the K-cup holder.

    Removing the drip tray of the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Clean the K-cup Holder Exit Needle

    To access the K-cup holder exit needle, slide the lever on the K-cup holder down to expose the exit needle. Holding down the lever, turn the holder over to see the needle. Caution: the needle is very sharp.

    Straighten a paper clip to clean the brewer needles. With the exit needle on the K-cup holder exposed, slide the paper clip into the opening at the base of the needle to remove clogs. The paper clip will not go all the way through the needle.

    When no more coffee grounds are coming out, rinse the K-cup holder well under warm running water. Reassemble the K-cup holder and the housing and set them aside while you clean the rest of the appliance.

    Using a paper clip to clean out the K-cup dispenser

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Clean the Brewer Needles

    Open the handle, and located the two top brewer needles. Use the paper clip to remove any coffee grounds in the entrance and exit needles located just under the handle. You may need to tilt the appliance back slightly for easy access to the needles.

    Cleaning the brewer needles in the Keurig

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Wash Components

    Wash the tray, diffuser, and water tank in a solution of warm soapy water. Rinse well and dry with a lint-free microfiber cloth. Use a clean, damp microfiber cloth to wipe clean the water tank valve connection on the brewer.

    Washing the Keurig components with soapy water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  6. Wipe Down the Exterior

    Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the exterior of the brewer to remove spills and splatters.

    Wiping down the exterior of the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  7. Reassemble the Keurig Mini

    Reassemble the diffuser, K-cup holder, drip tray, and water reservoir. Fill the reservoir with water.

    Reassembling the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  8. Run a Cleansing Cycle

    Follow the normal steps to run a six to eight-ounce cleansing cycle without a K-cup in place. Dispose of the water that flows into the coffee mug. The brewer is now ready to use.

    Running a cleansing cycle on the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Descale a Keurig Mini

  1. Empty the Water Reservoir and Refill

    Empty the water reservoir into a sink and remove the water filter. Disable any automatic off settings on the brewer.

    Refill the reservoir (without the water filter in place) with a commercial descaling solution following the directions on the bottle. Some descalers are concentrated and should be added to water, others do not need dilution.

    If using distilled white vinegar, fill the reservoir two-thirds full with vinegar and add water to the MAX-fill line.

    Emptying out the water reservoir of the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Run Several Descaling Cycles

    Making sure there is no K-cup in place, run a six to eight-ounce brewing cycle into a coffee cup. Empty the descaling water into the sink.

    Repeat the brew cycles until Keurig Mini shows that additional water must be added to the reservoir.

    Running a descaling cycle with white vinegar

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Wait 30 Minutes

    With the power still on, let the descaling solution sit in the machine for at least 30 minutes to descale the interior systems.

    Waiting 30 minutes for the Keurig mini to descale

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Rinse and Refill Water Reservoir

    After thirty minutes, turn off the brewer and remove and empty the remaining descaling solution from the water reservoir. Rinse and refill the reservoir with fresh water.

    Rinsing and refilling the keurig reservoir

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Repeat Cleansing Brew Cycles

    Repeat the cleansing brew cycle at least 12 times to flush the descaling solution from the brewer. Refill the water reservoir as needed to complete 12 cycles.

    Repeating a cleaning cycle on the Keurig mini

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Tips to Keep Your Keurig Mini Clean Longer

  • 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 you will not be using the machine for several days, empty the reservoir and leave the lid open so that no moisture is trapped in the machine.