How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker: All the Essential Tips You Need To Know

As coffee lovers, we wake up to a heartwarming brew every day. One thing we may not do as often, though, is cleaning our coffee makers.

Between the people and activities that we devote ourselves to, there doesn’t seem to be enough time.

Or maybe we do wash them then go on to use them a lot in a short time span. So much so that they’re never entirely clean.

Whatever the case, one thing is certain. Our Keurigs need their fair share of care.

A clean coffee maker delivers great-tasting brew. And, it puts off germs that would put your health at risk.

There’s a misconception that cleaning and descaling are synonymous. However, these are two distinct approaches to resolving two separate issues.

We’ll examine both how to clean a Keurig coffee maker and how to descale one in detail.

Understand The Real Meaning of Cleaning a Coffee Maker and Its Purpose

Cleaning your Keurig is all about removing residue. Coffee is generally oily. Some roasts could be even more oily, particularly those roasted for longer periods. 

This is as a result of a reaction between the internal coffee bean contents and oxygen. 

Every time you use your machine, coffee oils accumulate inside it. Over time, this can easily develop into a rancid residue. 

That’s why you may find that using even the best coffee won’t result in a great tasting brew.

Cleaning your Keurig’s components is the way to resolve this. That way, you can expect to enjoy a brew that tastes as good as it should. 

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Coffee Maker?

So much can go wrong if you don’t clean your machine on a regular basis:

  • As mentioned above, your morning brew tastes bitter. The longer your Keurig goes without cleaning the worse your coffee tastes. 
  • Both your Keurig and your coffee acquire a pungent smell.
  • Your machine could become unusable. This is as a result of internal blockages and clogging.

How To Clean the Keurig 

To clean a Keurig, you’ll need soap (such as dishwashing liquid) and water.

  1. Start by unplugging your machine.
  2. Next, disassemble the lid, water reservoir, K-cup holder, and mug tray. Place the reservoir aside; we’ll get to that a little further on.
  3. Mix the soap and water. Use warm soapy water as it is more effective in breaking down oils than cold water.
  4. Immerse the mug tray and K-cup holder in soapy water and clean using a sponge or scouring pad.
  5. Wipe your Keurig’s exterior using a wet sponge.
  6. Reassemble the removable parts and plug the coffee machine back in.

That’s it! Well, half of it at least. You still have to descale, so keep reading.

How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Maker?

Ideally, you’ll want to clean the removable parts of your machine on a weekly basis.

You can also clean your Keurig when need the arises by:

  • Cleaning the needles. All you need for this is a paper clip. Simply work the clip into the needle to remove

    Use a paperclip to clean your Keurig needles. Unwind the clip if necessary, to avoid your fingers touching the sharp needles
    Source: wikiHow
  • Cleaning the K-Cup holder. Simply remove any coffee grounds in the K-Cup holder using a spoon. This way, old grounds won’t affect how your brew tastes the next time you use your Keurig. 

What It Means To Descale Your Coffee Maker, and How To Go About It

How well a cup of brew turns out largely comes down to the water used. After all, coffee is mostly made up of water (about 99% to be precise). 

Both soft and hard water contain minerals. The difference is that the latter has significantly higher levels of calcium and magnesium. 

Whenever you prepare your brew, these minerals accumulate inside your Keurig. Over time, they form a coating called mineral scale on the water reservoir. 

Descaling is the process of removing mineral buildup from your machine. 

What Happens if You Don’t Descale Your Coffee Maker?

The accumulation of mineral scale impacts your brew in several ways:

  • It prevents your Keurig from extracting the full flavor from your coffee pods.
  • It affects your machine’s ability to deliver coffee hot enough to enjoy. Your brew winds up tepid.
  • The buildup can hinder your machine’s water flow. Left unaddressed, this could render your machine incapable of functioning.

To descale your machine you’ll need:

  • White vinegar 
  • Water
  • A mug

Keurig Descaling Procedure

A mug collects the white vinegar/solution as it drains out of the reservoir during the process
Source: bhg.com
  1. Fill the reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar. If you’d like to descale without using vinegar, you can use Keurig’s Descaling Solution instead.
  2. Place the mug on the mug tray. With the K-Cup holder empty, run a brew cycle as usual.  
  3. Depending on how much buildup has accumulated, you may want to do a second brew cycle.
  4. Ensure all the vinegar/solution has emptied out of the reservoir before the final step.
  5. Lastly, run a brew cycle, using 10 ounces of clean water. This will wash away any trace of vinegar or Keurig’s descaling solution. You can run another water cycle. This can help ensure that the reservoir doesn’t retain the taste of the descaling agent you used.

Simply reassemble all of your machine’s parts and you’re all set to start brewing! Descaling the Keurig range is as simple as that. 

Did you know? Vinegar has quite a number of uses. Here are 10 more things you can do with it:

Descaling a Keurig – How Often Should You Do It?

Make sure you descale your Keurig at least every three months.

Keurig recommends descaling 2 to 4 times a year
Source

However, this also depends on your usage. Perform frequent checks to assess the presence of buildup in the reservoir. By doing this, you’ll be sure to descale your machine when necessary. 

Your Keurig is now in pristine condition. Prepare a cup of your favorite brew and delight yourself in its rich flavor. And while you’re at it, why not keep reading Clearly Coffee for content that’s just as good as your cuppa?

Clearly Coffee provides much more than tips on how to clean Keurig machines. Learn everything you want to know about your favorite morning beverage and the machines that make them.

Photo by: keurig.com

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