How to Clean & Descale your Keurig Coffee Brewer

How to Clean and Descale Your Keurig Coffee Brewer [9 Step Guide]

Hey, is your Keurig brewer taking ages to heat up? Has it stopped brewing that delicious joe that makes your heart skip a beat every morning? Then chances are it needs a good clean!

See, over time, your cherished brewer picks up all manner of grime and mineral deposits as it slaves to support your caffeine habit. If this isn’t checked, the quality of your brew can plummet drastically. That’s why it’s in the best interest of your taste buds to thoroughly clean and descale Keurig every 3 months or so. Wondering how? Well, we’ve laid it out perfectly for you so that you won’t have to spend ages scouring looking for answers.

What You’ll Need

  • Undiluted white vinegar.
  • Ceramic cup.
  • Paper clip.
  • Distilled water.
  • Soft non-abrasive cloth.


Step 1

Disassembly - Begin by opening the top of the brewer and removing the K-Cup holder. The first thing you’ll notice when you pop the top, is a caution in caps reminding you that there are sharp needles inside. Don’t ignore this! Those little guys can hurt!

To remove the holder, simply push it from below and the whole assembly will easily come apart.

Next, detach the funnel from the K-Cup holder and slide out the drip plate and tray.

Step 2

Cleaning Time - If you have a dishwasher, you can save quite a bit of time by throwing the holder, funnel, drip tray and plate in the top rack, and then take some time to thank the Lord for technology.

But if washing by hand is your thing, then use warm, soapy water to clean the parts, followed by a thorough rinse.

Remember, there is a needle inside the K-Cup holder. So exercise plenty of caution when washing it by hand.

Ensure that all the components are thoroughly dry by leaving them out in the open or using a paper towel to dab away any trace of moisture.

Step 3

Work the Needles - The needles in the upper and bottom portion of the K-Cup chamber sport holes that are usually clogged by coffee grinds.

But that’s nothing a good ol’ paper clip can’t fix! Simply straighten one and wiggle it in every one of the holes to remove whatever gunk might be stuck in there.

Step 4

Wiping Down - Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to gently wipe around the K-Cup chamber and the exterior of the machine. You can use a bit of soap if you wish, but remember to remove every trace of it once you’re done.

Step 5

Reassembly - Reattach the funnel into the K-Cup chamber followed by the holder. There are arrows on the holder that match with some on the machine, which makes snapping things back on a total breeze.

Slide the drip tray and plate back on the brewer.

Step 6

Decalcification Time - Detach the water tank from the machine and dump out any remaining water into the sink.

Fill it with 10oz of undiluted white vinegar if using the mini model, and 48oz if using the standard-sized model.

Fix the tank back on the brewer.

Step 7

First Vinegar Rinse - Place a large ceramic mug on the drip tray to hold your soon-to-be hot cuppa vinegar, which ought to be a delicacy some place in the world. Don’t use a paper cup.

If using a standard model, simply press the 'Brew’ button and wait for the contents to be dispensed into the mug. Just remember not to use a K-Cup!

If you’re rocking the mini model, lift the brew handle and lower it after 5 seconds, after which you should press the 'Brew’ button. Again, remember not to use a K-Cup.

Discard the dispensed vinegar into the sink. If you’re feeling like a clean freak, feel free to sprinkle some baking soda into the drain before pouring out the warm vinegar in order to give your pipes a good clean.

Step 8

Second Vinegar Rinse - Repeat the rinse with vinegar just like before, only this time you’ll give it a bit of time to soak in the coffee maker and really dissolve out all that grime.

For the standard-sized model, hit the 'Brew’ button until Add Water’ is indicated on the machine. Now pause the process and let the vinegar sit in the machine for about 4 hours while the brewer is on. Discard any remaining vinegar during this time.

For the mini model, first refill the water tank with 10oz of undiluted vinegar. Repeat the rinse just like before, but power down the machine once it starts to dispense into the mug. Leave the machine undisturbed for 30 minutes, turn it back on, and complete the brew cycle. Dump the collected vinegar into the sink.

Step 9

Fresh Water Rinse - Remove the water tank and give it a thorough rinse. Don't use any soap, lest your future cups of joe taste like that Dawn dish-washing liquid you love so much.

Fill the tank with water, preferably distilled, and replace it on the Brewer.

Perform a couple of brew cycles to remove any traces of vinegar. 2-3 ought to get the job done perfectly.

And voila! That’s how to clean Keurig, inside and out, and keep it churning out those sensory serenading cups of Java.

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