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Descaling Your Keurig Coffee Brewer

Updated on April 10, 2017

When you descale your Keurig brewer every 3-6 months as recommended, it'll be just like new again and the coffee will taste better too.

If you're looking for how to descale your Keurig coffee brewer, then chances are your indicator light went on or you may be experiencing an issue with the water intake and it's ability to brew a full cup of coffee. When I first noticed my Platinum brewer was making the sounds of drawing in water but little or nothing was being taken in and only partially coming out, I got nervous. I was afraid that this was a sign that my beloved coffee maker was wearing down. I unplugged it and turned it back on and that seemed to work for a while but I came to find out there is more maintenance to be done. So far, with regular descaling & cleaning, I've had my platinum brewer going strong for over 6 years now.

As with most coffee brewers, in order to protect the heating element and other parts of the machine that come into contact with water, Keurig recommends that you descale once every six months. It may be necessary to do it once every three months if have hard water in your area. Thankfully, to eliminate the guesswork, many Keurig coffee brewers will flash a warning light to let you know when to descale. This lens will offer you some tips on which products to use and how to do it properly so you can continue enjoying your machine for many years to come.

Watch Video On How To Clean Your Keurig Coffee Brewer

Important Reminders...

1. Be sure to use a large (12 oz) ceramic mug, (not glass - too hot to touch) or paper cup

2. After you run the solution through several cycles, LEAVE THE BREWER ON & let sit for 30 minutes (up to 4 hrs for larger models)

3. Make sure to flush through multiple times with fresh water and discard in sink

4. Now you are ready to resume regular coffee brewer with improved performance and taste

Official Keurig Descaling Solution Liquid - You can order it online, but if it's out of stock you can try the other alternatives below & follow instructions

Taken from

"Keurig Descaling Solution is the only solution approved for Keurig® brewers aside from white vinegar and it's completely odorless and descales faster than white vinegar. Brewer performance matters. That is why the descaling process is important - to remove mineral build-up that can happen over time. Depending on the mineral content of the water in an area, calcium deposits or scale may build up inside a brewer. Descaling every 3 to 6 months helps to preserve the heating element and other internal parts of the brewer that come into contact with water - by removing the calcium and scale build-up. Calcium and scale is non-toxic but left unattended, it can hinder your brewer's performance."

Don't Forget...

The drip tray with metal screen and removable plastic K-cup holder insert are dishwasher safe. The removable water reservoir and lid MUST be cleaned by hand.

Go natural, use white vinegar for descaling.

If you're descaling your Keurig brewer with vinegar, make sure to use "distilled white vinegar" so you don't leave behind any unwanted residue.


Step 1: Turn on your brewer to warm it up, empty the water reservoir & disable "Auto Off" feature

Step 2: You will need to fill your reservoir with pure vinegar (about 48oz, 10 oz for MiniPlus)

Step 3: Lift the handle and make sure there is NOT a K-cup inside and close

Step 4: Place a large ceramic mug on tray to catch liquid

Step 5: Brew at the highest water setting until all vinegar flushes through machine & "add water" light comes on

Step 6: Discard mug contents into sink after each brew except MiniPlus, pour contents back in for 2nd rinse

Step 7: LEAVE BREWER ON unused for 30 minutes for MiniPlus and 4 hrs for larger models


Step 8: Rinse your reservoir well and then fill with fresh water (filtered if possible) and repeat Steps 4-6 above discarding all contents into sink

Step 9: Vinegar can leave a bad aftertaste so it's VERY important to rinse thoroughly. If required, repeat Step 8 again.

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More Maintenance Tips For Your Keurig

The Bent Paperclip Fix

As I went searching the internet for more maintenance tips that people have shared and I found one posted on Keurig's Facebook page. This customer received a tip from the Keurig help line (it's also in the owner's manual) which involves using a bent paperclip to unclog the water stream near the piercing needle in the top of the machine & the base of the K-cup holder.

Step One: Bend the clip so that you can use the straight end for poking

Step Two: Open the top as if you were placing a K-cup inside

Step Three: Carefully look for the sharp metal needle that pierces the K-cup on top

Step Four: Find the 3 holes around the needle (in a triangle pattern)

Step Five: Gently poke the straight end of the paperclip in each of the 3 holes to remove any buildup that may restrict water flow

Step Six: Also, gently clean the "exit needle" on the bottom of the K-cup holder in and around the pin to loosen any debris

Step Seven: Run a small, water only brew (without K-cup) to flush any debris (ie: coffee grounds or cocoa powder) and you're ready to brew as normal.

Call Keurig

If your Keurig machine requires servicing and you need assistance 1-(866) 901-BREW.

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    • sandybid profile image

      sandybid 5 years ago

      @othellos: That's great to glad it was helpful! and many thanks for the kind compliment.

    • profile image

      othellos 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. Helpful and informative. I think is the only one that I came across that shows the cleaning of Keuring machine in such a detail. You are a professional:=)

    • sandybid profile image

      sandybid 6 years ago

      I also wanted to say that I've been an official Keurig Brewer demonstrator for over 2 years. I've spent over 60 hours demonstrating the Platinum and now the new Vue brewer to hundreds of shoppers. I've never heard such across the board praise for one company from their happy customers. People continuously tell me that they've had wonderful customer service experiences when calling Keurig. Actually, more than a dozen people reported receiving replacement brewers when they've had an issue. How does it get any better than that?


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