How to Clean a Keurig


A lot of people have made the switch from the drip coffee maker to the pod systems like Keurig. Just like any coffeemakers, Keurigs need cleaning every so often so it’s important that you clean a Keurig in order to keep it brewing without any issues. The process will be slightly different from the way you would clean a coffee pot with vinegar but the concept is the same.

A Keurig is a great way for you to enjoy different types of coffee like iced coffee and home espresso. Depending on your brewing habit and how often you brew per week and per day, you need to schedule a regular cleaning so that it would not just suddenly stop working.

Just like any machine, your Keurig could develop clogs that can cause its system to quit. This guide will show you a simple and easy routine to clean a Keurig and keep its machine running well. Alternatively, you can use descaling solutions that are readily available to clean a Keurig. We will feature some of the products that you can use below as well.


Before you proceed to the steps to clean a Keurig, it’s important to make sure that your brewer is off and that it’s ready to be cleaned.

  • Empty the Reservoir

    First, empty the water from the water reservoir. Simply detach the container or the reservoir and empty the contents in the sink. If your Keurig reservoir includes a water filter, remove it as well and set it aside in a safe place. Remember to place it back once you reassemble the machine after you clean a Keurig.

  • Disable Auto-Off

    Make sure that the auto-off feature is disabled. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to turn off this feature as instructions may vary depending on the model.

  • Turn Off

    Finally, turn the brewer off. Unplug it from the source and find a wide space that you can work on to clean a Keurig.

Using a Descaling Solution

Here are the steps to descale and clean a Keurig using a ready-made descaling solution.

  • First Rinse

    For your first descaling rinse, pour an entire bottle of the descaling solution into the water reservoir. Do not throw away the empty bottle. Fill it with water and pour it into the reservoir as well. Turn on the brewer back on by pressing the power button.

    At this point, you will need to run a cleansing brew by brewing with the water and descaling solution. Put a large mug on the drip tray and turn on the brewer. Lift and lower the handle then select a 10oz brew size before pressing the brew button. Do not use a coffee pod because you need to run this brew without coffee. After the first cleansing brew, throw the contents of the mug into the sink.

  • Second Rinse

    On your second descaling rinse, you will need to repeat the above steps until the display on your Keurig says “More Water Please”. Let your Keurig stand for at least 30 minutes without turning it off.

    After 30 minutes, throw any residual solution. Wash the water reservoir with soap and rinse it thoroughly.

  • Fresh Water Rinse

    You will now have to do a final rinse to clean a Keurig. This time, you will use only water. Fill your water reservoir full with water but do not go beyond the max fill line. Put a large mug on the drip tray and run another cleansing brew with only the water. Again, do not use a coffee pod to brew. Brew 6 ounces of hot water at a time. Repeat this step for at least 12 times, refilling the reservoir at least once.

Steps to Clean a Keurig Using Vinegar

If you do not want to use a descaling solution, there are other ways to clean a Keurig and that is with the use of vinegar. Do the same preparations above, making sure the machine is unplugged and washing the water reservoir and removing it from the machine before the doing the steps below.

  • Disassemble

    Once you are sure that your Keurig is off and unplugged, disassemble all the removable parts and wash them. These parts include the water reservoir, lid, mug stand or drip tray, as well as the K-cup holder. Wash each piece with warm soapy water and rinse them thoroughly. Dry them after washing.

  • Wipe the Surface

    Wipe the surface of the machine with a clean dry or slightly damp cloth. Make sure to wipe areas around the coffee pod holder because coffee granules may build up in that area. After wiping, put back the removable parts and plug the machine.

  • Fill with Water and Vinegar

    White distilled vinegar works in descaling your Keurig by removing the lime and scale buildup inside. Fill your water reservoir halfway with vinegar and fill the rest of the container with water. Do not go beyond the max fill line.

  • Brew

    Now, you have to run the machine with the water and vinegar to clean a Keurig. Do not insert a coffee pod. Put a mug on the drip tray then run a brew cycle and keep repeating until the water reservoir is empty. This will remove the lime and mineral buildup in your Keurig. Throw the contents of the mug in the sink.

  • Rinse with Water

    Once the water reservoir is empty of the water and vinegar solution, fill it up again all the way with water. Run another brew cycle with only the water in the reservoir to clean a Keurig. This will remove any residual vinegar in the coffeemaker.

Descaling Solutions

Here are some descaling solutions that you can use to clean a Keurig at home if you do not want to use a vinegar solution.

Essential Values Universal Descaler For Espresso and Keurig Coffee Machines, 2 Packamazon button

Keurig Descaling Solution For All Keurig 2.0 and 1.0 K-Cup Pod Coffee Makersamazon button

Impressa Products Descaler (2 Uses Per Bottle) Universal Descaling Solution for Keurig, Nespresso, Delonghi and All Single Use Coffee and Espresso Machinesamazon button