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How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker and Keep It Free From Clogging

Updated on November 5, 2017

Maintaining Your Keurig Coffee Maker

First of all, the Keurig makes the best tasting coffee, tea, and hot chocolate that I have ever tasted.  But especially the coffee!

However, many people complain of their Keurig coffee maker getting clogged too easily. 

One thing to realize is that the Keurig is not maintainence-free.  You do need to keep it clean.

So Let's Get Started!

Handy Tip!

If you are using the MY K-CUP Reusable Coffee Filter, make sure that you are using a course-drip.  There should not be any grounds coming out of the filter.

First Time Use of Your Keurig

Before using your Keurig coffee maker for the first time, make sure to perform at least eight cleansing brews.

This consists of filling the machine with clean water and running the brew process eight times to flush out any contaminants from the manufacturing process.

Please refer to your models Care & Use Guide for detailed instructions.

Cleaning the Outside

Clean the outside of your coffee maker is easy!

Simply wipe the surface with a damp, nonabrasive cloth.  Use a mild soap.

On many Keurig models, the water reservoir container is detachable and can easily be washed in the sink with warm, soapy water.

LCD Control, K-Cup Portion Housing, and Water Reservoir
LCD Control, K-Cup Portion Housing, and Water Reservoir

Handy Tip!

Keep a paper-clip nearby in case you need to unplug any debris from the water spout, as it goes into your coffee cup.

Step by Step Descaling Process of Your Keurig Coffee Maker

In order to protect the heating element and other parts of the machine that come into contact with water, its recommended that you de-scale once every six months (or one every three months if you use hard water).

Scale is harmless, but if left to build up, it can hinder optimal coffee brewer performance.

*To eliminate any guesswork, many Keurig coffee brewers flash a warning light to let you know de-scaling is needed.

The descaling process can take up to five hours. To provide you with a helpful overview of what is involved, the process is broken down into five easy steps.

Step One: Draining

  1. Drain your Keurig coffee machine over a sink.
  2. When complete, go to step two.

Step Two: White Vinegar

  1. Fill the empty water reservoir with 48 ounces of undiluted white vinegar.
  2. When complete, go to step three.

Step Three: Run the Brew Process

  1. Run the brew process at least four times, pouring the cups of vinegar back into the Keurig coffee maker water reservoir.
  2. When complete, continue to step four.

Handy Tip!

Make sure to register your Keurig home brewer, which will qualify you to receive their Limited One Year Warranty.

Step Four:

  1. Allow your Keurig coffee maker to sit for about four hours.
  2. Run the brew cycles again (see Step three).
  3. Pour the vinegar into the sink and drain any remaining vinegar.

Step Five:

  1. Fill your coffee maker water reservoir with clean water.
  2. Run multiple brew cycles (without the vinegar) to rinse out the machine before returning to normal use.
  3. You are done!

Handy Tip!

Use filtered or distilled water to lessen the amount of scale buildup.

© 2011 And Drewson


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    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 2 months ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent article. I really enjoy coffee and this is a useful guide on keeping my machine clean. Thanks.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 6 years ago

      I just want to thank you. I've owned a Keurig coffee maker for about 1-1/2 years now. a few months ago I felt the need to clean it and found myself wondering how. With a regular coffee maker or coffee pot I would use vinegar so I thought why not. I did and it was wounderful but I did begin to wonder if I'd done the right things since it is a different sort of coffer/tea/hot cholalate maker. I only ran the vinegar through once and it was fine, but next time I will try your idea. I don't have hard water so maybe the once was enough. I love my Keurig...

      Great information...Thank you. Voted up and useful.