Keurig’s company offers some of the best coffee makers which are reliable, smooth and slim, and comes with variant features.
First questions first, when was the last time when you actually checked and cleaned your Keurig coffee maker? If you never did since the date you bought it, then probably you should check it now because perhaps you might find some of the colonies of bacteria resting right under your machine. Sounds ew? Well, probably then it’s the best time that you should descale and clean your coffee machine and should check your keurig maintenance cup by using Keurig maintenance accessories.
11 Most Common Keurig Coffee Maker Problems and Their Fixes
Read the Keurig b60 manual that comes with the machine and read Keurig descaling instructions within your manual. For keeping your machine away from bacteria, you should know a couple of things about it. For example: ‘How to change keurig filter?’ ‘In keurig where to put water?’ and all other such things that can keep your machine running for a longer span of time.
Along with that, you should also have an idea about the Keurig 2.0 parts and make sure that you get yourself familiar with Keurig 2.0 needle maintenance too in order to keep your machine clean and tidy.
We are going to discuss three methods for descaling and cleaning our Keurig 2.0:
- Keurig Descaling Solution
- Lemon Juice
How To Descale Your Keurig
Brewer descaling is a process which removes mineral buildup, typically lime scale. You’ve probably seen it before – a hard, white substance that often builds up in coffee makers.
Keurig recommends that you descale your brewer every 3-6 months.
Tap water that contains high levels of minerals is known as ‘hard water.’ If your household water supply is hard water, mineral buildup can happen quite rapidly.
Over time, this buildup can clog lines or break off in small pieces. This is often the reason why the water reservoir and feeding line fail to operate correctly in a Keurig brewer.
Note: You don’t have to clean your Keurig before descaling. However, it is probably a good idea – it will help the descaling process and remove as much buildup as possible throughout the entire machine.
Keurig Descaling Instructions
You Will Need
- Reassemble your Keurig as if you were ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee. Ensure that all pieces are seated properly. Don’t forget that water reservoir O-ring!
- Fill the water reservoir to about halfway with white vinegar.
- Run a brewing cycle to make “hot vinegar.”
- Dispose of the hot vinegar when the cycle completes.
- Continue brewing and discarding the vinegar until the reservoir is empty.
- Refill the reservoir with water.
- Brew hot water and discard until the reservoir is empty. This is to remove all the vinegar from the system, so you won’t get vinegar-flavored coffee.
- Now you’re ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee in your descaled Keurig!
How To Descale Keurig 2.0
With this machine, you will need the Keurig maintenance accessory to perform a cleansing brew. If you didn’t receive one with your Keurig 2.0, you will have to purchase one separately or contact Keurig to see if they will ship one to you.
Some people have a reusable K-Cup that is dedicated to cleaning.
Vinegar vs Descaling Solution
You can purchase liquid descaling solutions for coffee machines. The main ingredient is usually citric acid, whereas white vinegar is about 3% acetic acid and 97% water.
There are a variety of descaling solutions available on the market. Keurig Descaling Solution is highly recommended, but some other brands can be quite harsh compared to vinegar, and ruin the internal workings of your coffee maker.
If you plan on using a descaling solution, check the box for detailed directions. Make sure that any commercial descaling solution you purchase is safe to use in Keurig machines. The descaling process should be the same, but you would use the solution in place of vinegar.
Keurig Descaling Solution
While we recommend using plain white vinegar, you may be curious about using the descaling solution offered by Keurig.
There are a few things you need to know about it.
- The solution is citric acid based and it may leave a chemical taste in your Keurig – even after multiple cleansing brews.
- It may not be as effective as vinegar.
- It’s expensive compared to vinegar.
If you feel the vinegar treatment isn’t working for you, you may want to give this a shot. Who knows, it just might fix a stubbornly clogged Keurig.
How To Take Apart A Keurig
- Unplug the machine. Never clean or take apart your Keurig while it’s plugged in. Make sure you are working in a well-lit room that is free of clutter. Safety first!
- Remove the lid and water reservoir. You will notice the instructions under the lid as to how to clean the lid with a damp cloth. When removing the water reservoir, make sure you don’t misplace the O-ring, otherwise your Keurig will leak the next time you try to use it.
- Remove the k-cup holder and funnel. Be careful of the sharp needle(s) that puncture the Keurig cups.
- Remove the drip tray and drip tray cover if applicable.
How To Clean A Keurig In 5 Steps
You Will Need
- Paper clip
- Drinking straw
- Kitchen towel or microfiber cloth
- All-purpose cleaner
- Paper towel
Unplug your Keurig before cleaning.
Step 1 – Clean K-Cup Area With Toothbrush
Use a toothbrush or cue-tip to remove any coffee grounds in and around the K-Cup holder space.
Step 2 – Clean K-Cup Area With Paper Clip
Using a paper clip, gently push inside the holes that pierce the K-Cup. These holes get clogged easily with coffee particles and built up minerals. You may have to wiggle the paper clip a little inside the holes. If a paper clip does not fit, search out something a little thinner.
Note: The water line may get clogged at this point during the descaling process, so it’s important to be aware of it. If that happens, simply wiggle the paper clip inside, put the machine back together, and finish the descaling process.
Don’t worry about breaking anything inside the holes, they are simply water lines with no working parts inside.
You can also try turning the Keurig machine upside down and giving it a “gentle tap” on the bottom to help dislodge anything that may be stuck inside.
Step 3 – Clean Water Line With A Straw
Locate the water line spout and connect the straw to it. You may have to use your fingers to help make a seal.
Blow air through the straw to help dislodge any debris inside the water line. You will have to blow extremely hard. If you don’t have the ability to do this, don’t worry about this step – it’s not the most important phase and you can move ahead with step 4.
Step 4 – Clean With All-Purpose Cleaner
Use a microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner to clean the outside of the machine. We recommend spraying cleaner on to the cloth instead of directly onto the Keurig. This will help prevent the cleaner from getting into any unwanted areas.
Alternatively, you can use soapy water to clean, and rinse using a damp cloth. Some areas may need a bit of elbow grease to get the stubborn grime off. Take your time and work on getting things as pristine as possible.
Step 5 – Clean Water Reservoir & Mesh
Remove the water reservoir and empty it. Remove the water filter if your Keurig has one. Turn your tap onto full stream and allow the water to run over the mesh filter inside. This will help dislodge any debris.
White scaling can appear, especially around the reservoir area. This can be cleaned using white vinegar. We recommend using a paper towel that is dampened with vinegar to wipe the area.
You may have to soak the area and let the vinegar penetrate for a minute before wiping with a damp cloth and water. Again, a little elbow grease may be required until it all disappears.
Can I Put My Keurig Parts In The Dishwasher?
Most of these items are dishwasher safe, but we recommend adding the items (not the entire machine) to a sink full of warm soapy water and letting them soak for 10-15 minutes before rinsing and drying with a towel.
Dishwashers can be harsh on plastic items. We get a lot of complaints about the plastic of the water reservoirs turning cloudy or warping. The culprit always seems to be dishwashers and hot water.
You should never scrub the reservoir – a gentle wipe with a soft cloth will do.
SEE ALSO: How To Drain A Keurig
Tips To Keep Your Keurig Clean
Tip #1 – Don’t Leave Water Sitting
Don’t leave water sitting in your water reservoir for more than a week. Mineral deposits will build up as the water evaporates and you will need to spend more time cleaning and descaling next time you want to use it.
Depending on a variety of factors, mold could also start to develop inside your coffee maker, which could make you sick. We wrote about this in our article Mold in Coffee Maker.
Tip #2 – Use Filtered Tap Water
As mentioned above, water straight from the tap can be “hard water,” containing high amounts of natural minerals. Not only can this affect your coffee machine, it can also affect the final taste of your coffee.
Filtered water is purified and lacks minerals, meaning you’ll have to descale and clean much less often.
Keurig recommends using filtered or bottled water to prevent excess mineral buildup and produce a better-quality brew.
Some people argue that using filtered water takes away some of the subtle flavors they enjoy in their coffee – but this is a matter of personal taste.
We recommend that you use a simple water filtration pitcher such as the Brita 10-cup Stream Filter, if your Keurig model doesn’t have one, to help remove unwanted chemicals and tastes from your tap water. This will give you better tasting coffee.
Tip #3 – Clean After Sticky Brews
If you make sticky drinks like hot chocolate, caramel apple cider or sugar cookie coffee, be sure to run a cycle of hot water immediately afterwards. This is known as a ‘cleansing brew.’
The problem with sticky drinks is that sugar crystallizes and clogs the system, much like minerals do. Plus, you might invite unwanted pests if your Keurig is a sweet, sugary mess.
The cleanup is compounded if you are using reusable K-Cups, since you will need to clean that unit as well.
That’s all there is to cleaning your Keurig! After you have cleaned and descaled for the first time, the second time will feel easier and go much more smoothly.
Things That Need To Be Done On Regular Basis
- Remove the water reservoir.
- Remove the K-cup holder and the funnel.
- After that, remove the drip tray along with the drip tray cover.
- Clean all these external parts of the Keurig machine by using a towel, a dishwasher or all-purpose cleaner.
- Clean and remove any of the clogs around needles by using paper clips.
- Keep the reservoir void of water when it’s not being used.
Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar
- Attach the Keurig water reservoir with the machine.
- Fill it up with the vinegar and the water equally.
- Use filtered water instead of tap water. It ensures that there are no bacteria in the water.
- Place a large sized mug on the stand.
- Run the brew cycle without placing any K-cup.
- Empty the mug each time after it gets filled with water.
- Keep repeating the same process until the Keurig water reservoir gets empty.
- Wash the machine thoroughly three to four times until you don’t find any taste of vinegar in the water
Cleaning Keurig with Lemon Juice
This method includes the same steps we discussed above and you can even descale Keurig without vinegar.
You’d need a lot of lemons for extracting lemon juice or else invest some money and buy some lemon juice from your nearest supermarket so you can easily go with cleaning Keurig mini without vinegar by applying this method.
- Firstly, fix the keurig water reservoir with the machine.
- Now, after attaching the water reservoir, fill it up with lemon juice and water by keeping the ration 1:1 in mind.
- Put a large-sized ceramic mug on the drip tray.
- Make sure that there is no K-cup while brewing the cycle.
- After the water is run and the mug gets filled, clear it up.
- Repeat the same process until the entire reservoir becomes void of water.
- Lastly, wash the machine enough times with the water until you get it cleared from the after-taste of the lemon juice.
Cleaning Keurig with Descaling Solution
Before we delve into the directions, the first thing to know is where to buy Keurig descaling solution from? Check out the below products on Amazon:
- First off, attach the water reservoir after washing it off properly.
- Repeat the same process as was done in the previous two methods of filling the reservoir with half the water and the other half with the descaling solution.
- Again, put a large sized mug on the stand or a drip tray.
- While you brew the cycle, make sure that you have detached the K-cup from the Keurig coffee maker.
- Clear the mug up whenever it gets filled till its brim.
- Repeat step 4 and 5 until the water reservoir gets empty.
- Wash the machine externally and internally so that no remnants of the solution are left unwashed.
De-scaling with white vinegar
Let’s look at the “home remedy,” white vinegar option first.
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
- Clean water
- Clean, dry cloths
What to do:
- Turn off the machine. Better still, unplug the machine from the wall socket. (We’re health and safety aware here at Roasty).
- Remove the machine’s water reservoir and lid. Take off the mug stand and the K-cup holder. If your machine has a removable drip tray, remove that too.
- Wash all the pieces you’ve removed in dish soap and warm water. Wipe the pieces dry with clean, dry cloths.
- Wipe over all the machine’s surfaces with a clean, damp cloth. Remember to clean the area around the pod holder; a small amount of gunk and spilled grounds can accumulate here.
- Now, replace all the removable pieces and plug in the machine.
- Fill the reservoir halfway with white vinegar and top it off with to the fill line with clean water.
- Place a mug in position and start the brew cycle, but don’t insert a K-cup. Repeat this process until the reservoir is empty, throwing away the contents after each cycle.
- The process of circulating vinegar through the machine will break down and remove any accumulated limescale and mineral deposits.
- Now, repeat the process using only clean water in the reservoir. That will supposedly get rid of any remaining vinegary taste.
- Your Keurig machine is now ready to brew a cup of coffee.
While this is the cheaper option, it’s also worth bearing in mind that if you find yourself having to call on Keurig’s warranty to fix a problem with your machine, they might not be too happy to find that you’ve been flushing the unit through with vinegar, rather than using their specially formulated de-scaling product.
Bottom line …
In summary …
- White vinegar is very cheap to buy and is easily available in a pinch, but the long term effectiveness isn’t as impressive.
- Keurig de-scaler is more expensive than vinegar, but is formulated by and for Keurig.
- If used at the recommended intervals of two to three months, Keurig de-scaler will keep your machine running reliably.
- The de-scaling process is the same, whether you use white vinegar or Keurig de-scaler.
Overall, we’d recommend using Keurig de-scaler over white vinegar. Keurig de-scaler may be little more expensive to buy, but you’ll enjoy a better coffee flavor. Also, your machine won’t fail due to a “Prime” error, and your warranty will remain valid in the unlikely event of a problem further down the road.
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Empty water from the Water Reservoir
Emptying water from water reservoir in Keurig brewers is different from that in other coffee makers. In a Keurig, water reservoir is the container that keeps water added to the brewer. And the water inside that container is the hot water.
What tools you will need?
The two tools to complete emptying water from water reservoir are a Flat-head screwdriver and a Pitcher.
How to do?
And here are steps to conduct the process:
- Switch the Keurig off and disconnect it from the power outlet. Wait about 30 minutes for the machine to get cool. This is also a chance for the water in the hot water tank to cool, protecting you from unintentional scalding while emptying
- Lift the lid of the water reservoir. Pull the water reservoir straightforward and to the right direction of the brewer. Empty any left water in the tank into the sink
- Use the screw-driver, or use your own fingers to open the small thumb screw at the back of the machine, and then lift the rear access panel. As the access panel is removed, you will see a tube with a plug at the end. So take it from the plastic clip holder
- Put the large pitcher on the back of the brewer. Grasp the end of the tube over the pitcher, and lift the plug from the tube. Let the water flow through the pitcher. If needed, move the unit to the verge of the counter, and grasp the pitcher together with the counter at the top of the counter
- As the water stops draining from the water tank, press the plug back into its end position in the tube. Discard the water in the pitcher into the sink, and drive the tube to its former position in the plastic clip holder. Reinstall the access panel and clock it with the thumb screw knob
Note: If your Keurig is mini model, remember to put the cup in its typical brewing position. Keep pressing “Brew” button til more water stops draining.
Along with emptying the water, remember to clean your machine every so often, too!
6-Pack of Cleaning Cups for Keurig K-Cup Machines – 2.0 Compatible, Stain Remover, Non-Toxic – By Quick & Clean
- IMPROVES TASTE: Over time, Keurig (TM) machines build up old grinds and residues, tainting the flavor of your coffee and espresso. Quick & Clean's proprietary cleaning formula cuts through and eliminates these residues, bringing taste back to normal
- LENGTHENS THE LIFE OF YOUR MACHINE: Residue build ups in the pack holder, funnel & exit needle can eventually cause damage to your machine. Regular cleaning using Quick & Clean's cups restores these elements and enhances the lifespan of your machine
- SAFE & EASY TO USE: Completely safe – non-toxic, biodegradable and gentle on your Keurig (TM) brewer (1.0 & 2.0-compatible). Easy to use – simply brew one large cycle with the pod, then one large cycle with water-only (discard liquid & cleaning pod)
- EXCELLENT VALUE: With 6 cleaning cups per package and incredible cleaning effectiveness, Quick & Clean's cleaning cups provide 3+ months of cleaning power (based on daily usage)
- Please note: This is an aftermarket cleaning product (produced by Quick & Clean). We have no affiliation with or endorsement from any of the manufacturers mentioned
Empty water from the Keurig Coffee Pot
Keurig maker system is a personal single-cup system, so it always includes at least a cup of water inside as a constant source of hot water which is necessary for the machine to brew gourmet coffee in less than one minute. So to make the best condition for your brewer to work fine, it is necessary to empty water out of the interior of the machine, along with emptying water from the water reservoir as I mentioned above.
Related: Keurig troubleshooting
- How to turn on a Keurig
- Keurig not pumping water
- Keurig won’t brew
What tools will you need?
To do the process completely, you need to have three tools ready. They are a coffee cup, a flat-head screwdriver and a pitcher.
How to do?
The process includes the steps as follow:
- Turn the machine off and disconnect it to the power outlet. Wait about 30 minutes for it to cool. (the same as you do with a water reservoir)
- Pull out the water reservoir out of the brewer and put it neatly at once site.
- Turn and adjust the machine so that its back is in front of you. Use the flat-head screw driver to open the screw knob at the top center of the back panel. Take out the back panel and put it neatly at one side.
- Place the brewer so that its rear is nearby the counter’s edge. Remove the plastic tube on the rear panel’s right side from the retaining clip. Remove the plug out of the tube’s top and place the tube’s end over the pitcher at the counter’s edge. Let the water flow completely into the pitcher.
- Reinstall the plug. Reinstall the back panel and close with the holding screw knob.
- Look at the water-fill lid on the brewer’s top to make sure that it is completely shut.
- Insert a coffee cup on the drip plate where you place the cup for brewing coffee.
- Keep pressing the “Brew” button with your finger as long as no water is in the tank.
Here are detailed steps to remove water from your Keurig. They are simple and successfully applied by a lot of Keurig owners. Are you ready to try yourself?
Last update on 2018-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
3 More Things You Should Know!
If you are going away for over a week, don’t leave water in the reservoir. It’ll evaporate and leave mineral deposits behind that will clog the system.
If you brew something sticky like a hot chocolate or iced tea, run a cleansing brew of just water and no K-Cup after you’ve made your drink. This will rinse out any sugar crystals that would otherwise create a blockage.
Use distilled water. They suggest this because regular tap water contains calcium and other minerals that can leave deposits in the reservoir and machine over time. If you don’t use distilled water, you will have to clean it more often to keep it going strong.
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Let us know about your coffee maker cleaning experiences or questions. Thanks for checking this out!
Benefits of Regularly Changing Water Filters
The water filters of any Keurig model do take considerable abuse, especially if the tap water in your area is not that clean or is of hard-quality. But why should you want to know how to change filter on Keurig 2.0?
The answer comes in the form of two important bullet points.
- Maintains a Consistent Taste
Coffee is about 95% water which means that the water component plays a huge part in creating the flavor profile of each cup. One way to ensure that you get the best-tasting coffee in each cup is to regularly clean the water filters and change the water filter cartridge after a couple of months.
Since the Keurig coffee maker models rely on filtered water to run efficiently, it can be assumed that the filtered water also maintains the acidity that runs through the “wet” parts of the coffee maker. Having a regularly cleaned and maintained water filter, therefore, extends the life of the equipment as filtered water prevents rust and other organic material from forming around the valves and tubes of the machine.
While learning how to change water filter in Keurig 2.0 is an important task, it is equally important to know how frequently should you clean the entire Keurig coffee machine which would, of course, lead up to the time when you should change the water filter cartridge.
1. After Every Use
Throw away any leftover coffee from the previous day and never drink it. This coffee is no longer fit for drinking and would most likely have a bitter aftertaste. Once you’ve thrown away the coffee inside the carafe, hand wash the carafe with a mild detergent for about 30 seconds.
Do not use a dishwasher when cleaning the carafe as it would not always get the dirt and any leftovers from the inside. Once you’ve scrubbed the interior with a soft sponge and mild detergent, rinse it thoroughly and check for anything that you might not have caught.
Keeping your carafe clean lets it be germ-free and your coffee would not taste stale and dirty. The aroma and taste of the previous days’ coffee are removed as well, letting you enjoy a fresh brew every time.
2. After a Few Days
Every few days or so, check the K-cup holder for leftover grounds, remove them with a soft sponge to prevent them from mixing with fresh ones. These grounds can also cause a build-up in the needle which can lead to problems brewing as the entry and exit points are clogged.
To clean the ingress and egress points, use a paperclip to clear away any debris and rinse the needle.
3. After Two Weeks
Regularly clean your Keurig 2.0 to prolong its life. Take out the removable piece of the tray and K-cup holder. Using a soft sponge and mild detergent, gently wash these parts and rinse. Let them sit to dry, or wipe them with a soft cloth, then wash the reservoir.
For the water reservoir and the other non-moveable components, remove the water filter cartridge and wipe all surfaces with a cloth soaked in soap and then rinse with water. Let it dry without wiping with a cloth as there would be a possibility of leaving lint which can go to your next batch of coffee. Nobody wants lint in their coffee!
As a finishing touch, wipe everything in the exterior with a wet sponge and dry with a soft cloth.
4. After Two Months
The water filter cartridge of the Keurig 2.0, or any Keurig model for that matter, needs to be replaced after two months to make sure that the filters are still intact and is still able to filter out the sediments and other minerals usually found in water.
5. After Two to Four Months
Minerals do build up on any machine that uses water, regardless if its tap or not, and the process is very much like how caves are formed. These minerals stay inside the machine and can build up after a while. These minerals can affect the taste of coffee, and it can cause rust to occur, thereby damaging your machine.
Descaling is the process of removing these minerals, and it is not as challenging as it sounds. To descale your Keurig machine, fill the water reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar or Keurig’s patented descaling solution. Turn the machine on and start the brewing process without inserting a coffee pod.
Place a mug to catch whatever flows out of the needle and dispose of every single ounce of them. Do this process until the liquid inside the reservoir runs out and repeat everything a second time, this time using fresh water. You may repeat the process a third time especially if you can still smell the sourness of vinegar from the water that came out the second time. Wipe everything down with a soft cloth and refill the tank again.
How to Change Water Filter in Keurig 2.0
The frequency of changing the charcoal water filter is not strictly two months; it can be less than that especially if you’ve already done 60 tank refills. Here is how you can change the filters:
- Unplug the machine and remove the filter holder from the reservoir.
- Take the new charcoal water filter and soak it in water for about five minutes.
- Open the cartridge holder and discard the old filter.
- Rinse the mesh on the lower filter holder.
- Rinse the new water filter in running water for about one minute.
- Place the new water filter in the filter holder.
- Close the lower filter holder.
- Set a date for two months in the future.
- Replace the filter holder in the reservoir and push it down into place.
Keurig 2.0 Coffee Filters
Some Parting Words
Operating a clean coffee maker not only improves the flavor, but it also ensures that nothing harmful would get mixed in with your favorite cup. Knowing how to clean each part and how to replace the water filter go a long way.
Just like any frequently operated machine, maintaining your Keurig machine would result in a consistent flavor profile, and it also prolongs the lifespan of your beloved equipment. As a final word, make sure that the machine is unplugged before doing anything to prevent any possible injuries.
You might also like this: Best Decaf Coffee – The Origin and History
Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: What to Look For
A Brief Guide to The Keurig Coffee Makers
Keurig Says Descale
One morning we woke up to our Keurig machine saying “Descale.” We were of course a little groggy, confused and irritated. So we jumped on the internet to find out descaling actually meant.
According to the Keurig website, descaling is the process of removing calcium buildup from within the coffee maker.
Calcium is a natural mineral that is commonly found in tap water. If your bathroom shower frequently gets hard water stains or the showerhead has white residue, that means you have high levels of calcium in your water. You should descale your coffee maker more frequently.
Keurig recommends descaling your coffee maker every 3 to 6 months for best results.
To do this you’ll need to order a bottle of decaling solution (check price on Amazon).
Then, follow these simple steps:
- Empty the water reservoir
- Disable the Auto-Off feature
- Turn off the coffee maker
- Pour one bottle of Descaling Solution into the reservoir
- Fill bottle with water and add to the reservoir
- Turn coffee maker on
- Put a large mug on the drip tray
- Run a water only brew
- Dump out water in mug
- Repeat process until coffee maker says “More Water Please”
- Do not add more water
- Leave coffee maker on for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, empty and clean reservoir
- Fill reservoir with clean water
- Run a water only brew and empty mug
- Repeat this water only brew 12 times
The descaling solution is designed to breakdown the hard water or calcium deposits that build up within the coffee maker. A similar result can be achieved with white vinegar if you prefer not to use the Keurig branded descaling solution.