How to Clean a Keurig & Why I Love Mine More than Makes Sense

I have a Keurig coffee maker. It’s my favorite thing in my whole kitchen.  Like by far, I’m trying to think of anything that’s even a close second and, no, there is nothing.  Probably because the Keurig is the only thing that dispenses the beautiful coffee joy into my cup every day.  As I am so very fond of my Keurig, of course I want to know how to clean a Keurig.

How To Clean a Keurig & Why I Love Mine More Than Makes Sense

Here’s a list of the things I love about my Keurig coffee maker.

  1.  It makes coffee.  I don’t even really like coffee that much, but it has become part of my cozy ritual.  It’s hot, it makes me feel awake.  Also if I don’t drink coffee, I get a headache, which, you know, might not be the best for me, but, I still love that part of my routine.  I look forward to it every morning.
  2. It is easy.  The Keurig is mistake proof coffee.  You cannot mess it up.  You pop in the K Cup and hit the button.  Well, actually, if you forget to put a mug under the dispenser, you can mess it up.  You can mess your whole kitchen up if you do that.  Ask me how I know.
  3. It’s fast.  I turn the Keurig on and let it heat up and then I make my coffee.  It takes about 4 minutes total.  In the span of that time, I start my cleaning routine  and usually can get the whole dishwasher emptied or filled.
  4. It’s DIY Coffee.  I have Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve at my house.  By the time we’re ready for dessert and coffee, I’m done.  Exhausted.  Don’t want to move.  I love the Keurig because, I can say, “Do you want some coffee?  Help yourself!”.  And point to the machine.
  5. Keurig Customer Service top notch.  I’m actually on my third Keurig machine.  The one I have now I have had for probably 10 years, but the first one I bought malfunctioned.  I called Keurig and talked the problem through with them.  We couldn’t fix it.  They mailed me a brand new one.  I didn’t even have to return the old one.  I upgraded later to one with a larger water holder thingy and that’s the one I still have to this day.

Why Should You Descale Your Keurig?

Because I love the Keurig so very much, I want to take care of it properly.  That means occasionally cleaning it.  The water that you’re using to make the blessed coffee contains minerals.  Those minerals can cause build up (or scale, gross) which can make the Keurig perform at less than optimal levels.

If the scale builds up enough in your machine, it can actually stop working all together.  Which, no one wants that, ok?  Can you even imagine?  So, don’t let this go, ok?  No one wants to have an “I have no coffee!” meltdown simply because they forgot to descale their Keurig.  This is a completely preventable problem.

Set a reminder in your calendar to descale your Keurig every 3-6 months. 

Some models of brewers will also give you a prompt when it’s time to clean it.  But, depending on how hard your water is, you may have to do it more often than is suggested.  3 months is generally a safe bet.

How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Brewer

What You Need:

  • A sponge or damp rag
  • Your favorite gentle soap (like dish soap)
  • A Toothbrush (that you clean with, not that you will brush your teeth with after)
  • White Vinegar or Keurig Descaling Solution
  • Water
  • A mug (DON’T FORGET THE MUG!)

Step 1. Unplug your Keurig.  Just do it.  We don’t want any accidents that involve water and electricity, do we?

Step 2. Before we get to descaling the innards of the brewer, it’s a good idea to take a few minute to clean the outer parts of the brewer.  This stuff should probably happen more often than every 3 months, but let’s be honest, we’re busy people.

  • Clean the water reservoir with soap and water.  Use soft sponge or cloth to clean the reservoir inside and out.  Rinse well.
  • Spot clean the rest of the machine.  A damp sponge will work and a soft toothbrush will help to get into any crevices.  Be gentle around the part of the machine where the K cup goes.  There is a needle there that punctures the cup.  You don’t want to harm it or yourself!

Step 3.  Now we’re moving on to the actual descaling of the innards of the Keurig.  Keurig recommends using their Scaling solution, however, I usually use vinegar.

Get ready to descale:

  • Make sure to place your mug on the drip tray just as you would if you were making a cup of coffee
  • Check the K Cup holder to make sure there is not a K Cup in there

To descale with descaling solution:

  • Empty the entire bottle of the descaling solution into the water reservoir
  • Fill the empty bottle of descaling solution with water and add that to the water reservoir
  • Lift and lower the handle on the Keurig and brew a “cleansing brew”.  I use the medium button on my brewer to do this.  Empty the mug into the sink.
  • Repeat the previous step until the “Add Water” prompt comes on
  • Walk away for thirty minutes and let the machine sit.
  • After thirty minutes, come back and discard the remaining descaling solution that is in the reservoir.  Rinse the reservoir well.
  • Fill the reservoir back up with fresh water.  Side note, Keurig recommends using bottled or spring water whenever you use your machine, not just while cleaning it.
  • Remember to put your mug back on the drip tray!
  • Run through the “cleansing brew” process 12 times. This will probably mean refilling the reservoir once.

To descale with Vinegar

  • Fill the reservoir halfway with vinegar.  Fill it the rest of the way with water.
  • Lift and lower the handle on the Keurig and brew a “cleansing brew”.  I use the medium button on my brewer to do this.  Empty the mug into the sink.
  • Repeat the previous step until the “Add Water” prompt comes on.
  • Walk away for thirty minutes and let the machine sit.
  • After thirty minutes, come back and discard the remaining vinegar/water solution that is in the reservoir.  Rinse the reservoir well.
  • Fill the reservoir back up with fresh water.  Side note, Keurig recommends using bottled or spring water whenever you use your machine, not just while cleaning it.
  • Remember to put your mug back on the drip tray!
  • Run through the “cleansing brew” process 12 times. This will probably mean refilling the reservoir once.

And that’s it! You have a clean and happy Keurig brewer that should serve for years to come!

What’s Next?

Um, coffee, right?  We get to drink the coffee now, don’t we?

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How to Clean Your Keurig for the Perfect Cup Every time

 

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