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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to clean a keurig and make your machine make better coffee

How to clean a keurig and make your machine make better coffee


Keurigs has become a regular equipment in homes and offices because of their convenience: There is nothing that pops in a K-Cup and gets a quick cup of hot, fresh coffee. The machine has also inspired similar products for different foods and drinks. However, there are times when Keurig is not so comfortable – especially when it starts to get clogged with dirt and shells, refusing to function properly.

In particular, the scale can be frustrating: Water, mainly hard water, has trace amounts of minerals. These mineral particles react to high temperatures, forcing them out of their harmless state and binding them to adjacent surfaces. When this happens over and over, a limestone layer, called scale, is built up. This poses a problem for your Keurig as it reduces the flow of water, makes it impossible to properly measure a cup and can finally block your Keurig completely.

To prevent scale build-up, avoid nasty odor and mold and make sure your Keurig works as smoothly as possible, it is important to clean it. Therefore, we created a quick guide that goes through how to clean your Keurig. We show you the best way to clean out the coffee maker, where to start and what materials you should use. You can also read our guide on how to eliminate the scale.

Step 1
: Wash and dry the container and other removable parts

Start by disconnecting your Keurig; You do not want to damage the electronics or risk electrocution. Then remove all removable components, including the water tank, mug rack / drip tray and K-Cup holder inside the coffee maker. Carry them all over to the sink and wash them thoroughly with soap water, just as if they were regular dishes. Set them aside to dry while working with other components.

This is also a good time to take a washcloth or a wet paper towel and give the whole Keurig a good drying. The coffee maker, especially in busy settings such as offices, can collect a lot of dust over time. You don't want any of that dust mixture with your fresh water or coffee when you're done here, so it's a good idea to give the surface a general cleaning.

Step 2: Clean all cracks

  Keurig Parts

Take a small cleaning brush (a toothbrush works well here), and a pin or paper slip. It's time to give your Keurig's remaining components a more detailed cleaning. Although this may seem like an unnecessary step, it is very important to ensure the purity of your water and the quality of the coffee you receive from your machine. Over time, gravel and dirt can build up in the grooves of your Keurig, which causes clogs and affects taste. Get rid of detritus to improve durability and performance.

Start by cleaning around the K-Cup holder housing. Different Keurig models have slightly different ways to insert, but the basics are the same. Use the brush to clean around the pod holder and the deep heels in this part of Keurig. Grit and lost coffee grounds tend to gather here. A flashlight or good lighting is helpful here. A nearby bowl of water or fabric can help, but try to avoid using soap water for this step – so soap can be difficult to come out, and you don't want it to melt on your coffee.

When you finish the above steps, take out your pin / paperclip and review the toothy components that point into the K-Cups. There should be a small hole in each "tooth" for hot water / coffee to pass through. Poke your stick through that hole and wrap it around to loosen any debris and remove any blockages. If your Keurig has run slowly, this may be due to a clog in one of these holes. There are also dedicated Keurig needle cleaning tools available.

Step 3: Drive through with vinegar

  Keurig Cleaning

Many Keurig components are located inside the coffee maker, far from you. Fortunately, there is an easier way to carry out an internal cleaning than to dismantle the whole machine: Ordinary kitchen vinegar is hard enough to remove scale construction but harmless to the rest of Keurig. Take the water container and fill it with a solution of half white vinegar and half fresh water. Lock it back to the Keurig base, replace all other components in place and get a mug that is practical. It's time to make some warm vinegar.

Run Keurig at normal settings and continue to fill the mugs with the vinegar mixture until it is completely gone. This will stink a little, but as we said it is not harmful to your Keurig, and it will help to remove that scale. It is possible that a clog is formed during this descaling process. If it does, open the top and use your stick again to point the holes and see if you can loosen any particles that may have become trapped.

For a complete cleaning, it is a good idea to run two full reservoirs of half vinegar, half water. If your Keurig is still in good shape or you do not have much time, a single full reservoir can work well.

Note: Keurig sells a descaling solution by itself, if you really want a brand's product to work with. However, white vinegar is cheaper and easier to find. In addition, the Keurig solution uses citric acid as its active ingredient and there are some complaints that the smell and taste are beyond their welcome. There are also a number of other Keurig cleaning products on the market, such as "cleaning cups" and "rinsing bags". We do not recommend any of them because vinegar can get the job done much cheaper.

Step 4: Wash out the vinegar with water


You do not want the vinegar to remain in Keurig, then fill the container with fresh water and run through a whole container again to flush everything out. Make sure it passes the smell test when it is ready. When this is done, your Keurig performance should be improved and the shell problems should have spread well.

It is a good idea to repeat this type of cleaning in a consistent manner, especially if your Keurig sees a lot of action. Depending on your water source, Keurig recommends descaling your machine at least once every three or six months. Remember that hard water is more likely to cause problems than soft water.

Bonus tips: Replace the filter cartridge

Some Keurig models come with water filters . If you have problems with the scale, you may want to stay away from tap water and use filtered water or bottled water instead. included in the water tank. If your Keurig has one of these filters, you sometimes have to replace the cartridge, about every 60 tanks or so. These filters can improve the taste, but they can also help make clogs and other problems less likely.

You can make even more of a difference by changing to bottle or fully filtered water instead of filling the container with tap water (also a good idea if your device has no filter). However, this can be a more expensive alternative.

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