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How to Clean your Keurig Coffee Maker

How to Clean your Keurig

How to clean your Keurig is as simple as pouring vinegar into the water compartment and running it through. Yes, it is that simple! You should clean your keurig every 2-3 months to help descale it (remove any calcium deposits and hard water residue). If you are a coffee lover like me and are using your keurig everyday then you want to make sure to be cleaning it more often.  One morning I woke up and my coffee was not ready because it needed to be cleaned.  So to avoid this happening to you be sure to follow these easy tips to a clean keurig!  Also according to the manufacturer you should be using filtered water.  I use filtered water from my fridge.

How to Clean your Keurig

How to clean your Keurig:

Start by pouring white vinegar into the water reservoir (tank) and fill it up to the top. Next, keep brewing cups (running the water through) until the vinegar has run throughout the machine and until the “add water” indicator comes on.  The keurig should be left on and heating for 4-6 hours. During this time the vinegar is now in the internal tank and will be heated by the brewer; the combination of the heat and the vinegar will “descale” or dissolve deposits inside the internal tank.  After the 4 to 6 hour period has passed you will proceed with the next step.

Next, fill the water compartment with water to the top and run it through. I repeated this three more times for a total of 4 times to make sure all the vinegar had run through. I didn’t want to have any funny tasting coffee.

Finally, I took the little black holder that holds the k-cups out and took the two parts apart. They are dishwasher safe, so they are easy to clean. That keeps the bottom piercing needle clean. I also poked a straight pin in the top needle that comes down to pierce the k-cup to unclog it from any grounds.

So the next time your machine is running a bit slow, only filling cups halfway then be sure to clean it! You will be a happy coffee lover just like me! Regardless of what type of water you use this is a step that you can take to extend the life of your keurig.

Be sure to check out these coffee posts:

Coffee Recipes Roundup

DIY Containers – How to reuse your Coffee Mate Containers

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Creamer Recipe

Miss Debbie’s Coffee Bread Recipe

Homemade Tiramisu Recipe



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  1. Not only do I do the water and vinegar thing, I take the little black holder that holds the k-cups out, and take the two parts apart. They’re dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean. That keeps the bottom piercing needle clean. I also poke a pin in the top needle that comes down to pierce the k-cup. I swirl it around a bit to unclog it from any grounds. I’ve had my Keurig since August and have had to do this quite often to keep it running well and to avoid partial cups of coffee when I’m expecting a full mug.

    1. Cool, never thought of that coming apart. I just cleaned my Keurig with that expensive descaling stuff… if I had only known. I’ll clean the holder when I run my dishwasher today! Thank you

  2. it takes me almost an hour to clean mine…I run the straight water through about 6-7 times. I have an older model…it will be 4 years old in December. Maybe that’s why?

  3. Are you supposed to fill the whole compartment with vinegar? If not, how much vinegar vs water am I supposed to put in there? Thanks!

  4. So what do I do if it won’t run? I’ve owned my Keurig for ~4yrs but only used it a few times a month and then it stopped working almost a year ago. I’m close to getting rid of it but there must be some way to save it. Please help!

    1. Go to Keurig’s official website, and check their instruction book. Several places they give instructions for trying to resolve a problem, and if that doesn’t work, offers a phone number to contact. We encountered a problem with our Keurig, contacted them and they sent a replacement part FREE. I’ve heard of others who had an entire replacement for a non-functioning coffee maker. It’s worth a try to contact them.

      1. I’ve had my unit replaced. Keurig has the BEST customer service of any company I’ve done business with.
        Good Luck!

  5. Thanks for reminder! I use Brita filtered water for brewing coffee – I think it helps lengthen time between cleanings. Have not had to clean it as often and have had my kuerig for couple years. Love it !!

  6. Hello Melissa – the coffee maker rumbles a little but doesn’t go thru a cycle. That’s why I can’t clean it with the method you gave. It must be really clogged up. Maybe it’s time for a new one. 🙁

    1. My friends was making horrid noises as well. I let the vinegar run a couple of cups of “vinegar coffee” and then let it sit for about 30 minutes. I then started running it steady with vinegar and it was working like new when it was done.

      Perhaps if you got some vinegar into the “hot water” area, let it sit for a while a few times, it will dissolve enough to let it run a whole cycle. Much cheaper than buying a new one.

  7. Use this same method for cleaning your kettle, any coffee maker, washing machine, dishwasher, iron, and anything else that “holds” water

  8. I have had mine for 3 years now, and it works as if it was brand new. One thing I do is to use bottled water in the resevoir instead of the filtered water from the fridge because is has to much calcium in it, and it builds up in the Keurig.

  9. Mine is brewing smaller cups, but it also shutting off. So the next morning I have to turn it back on to brew. Why do you think this is happening? Anyone know? Thank you

  10. My problem is that the cup runs over most times, I never know what I’m getting with each brew cycle. Does anyone else have this problem?

  11. You can take your Keurig to any Bed Bath and Beyond store ( even if you did not buy it there) and they will replace it, no questions asked.

  12. Don’t use tap water in your Keurig! It contains too many minerals which clog the system and the chlorine in the water “bleaches” away some of the coffees flavor.

  13. Started the vinegar process. Three cups came through the machine then no more water came through. Large light cup came on but no water just a humming noise. Anyone know the problem.

  14. The instructions suggest that you use distilled water also. I don’t use distilled water but I do have a filter on my water dispenser on my refrigerator. I use the water from that to fill the reservoir, while my coffee is brewing. I change the water filter on the refrigerator on a regular basis and I have not had to clean the Keurig as often. When I was on vacation, I stayed with some friends that had a Keurig. It was not operating very well and was heavily used. I bought some vinegar and cleaned it for them. Shared the filtered water idea from the fridge and they were more than impressed! Their pot was working like new after cleaned with vinegar.

  15. HEATHER, Check to see if your timer somehow got messed up and the on/off time has been changed or the actual time of day has been messed up (perhaps the power went out, causing a delay) or is PM instead of AM. That happened to mine recently during the summer months, when we weren’t using it as much, and I didn’t notice until I went to clean it for fall/winter use. I hope this helps.

  16. Just wanted to say….”Yay for Keurig!!!” Best coffee invention ever!!!!! Great for getting a fresh cup every time…. all day long! I can’t imagine going back to an old fashioned pot that stays heated for hours and getting that bitter taste! From a Happy Senior….thank you!

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