How To Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker


One of the major factors that puts people off buying coffee machines is the thought they are a nuisance to clean.

This is often the case with clean-up becoming so tiresome you avoid making your favorite espresso.

I. What’s The Deal With Keurig Coffee Makers?

Keurig has an impressive range of single-serve coffee makers suitable for just about any taste and today we’ll look into how easy it is to keep these machines spotless and running like a dream.

The company was the pioneer of the single serve coffee movement with its debut machine coming out back in 1998.

Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength and you can use over 400 different K-Cup pods from 60 major brands if you invest in one of these nifty single serve machines.

Check out Fourth Estate Coffee comprehensive Keurigs article for a comprehensive look at the whole range if you’re tempted by the absolute convenience these machines bring to the coffee game.

While you’ll still need to occasionally put in a little effort, the dishwasher is your best friend and Keurig’s are designed to be extremely easy to keep on top of.

Once you’ve got the outside buffed up, the process of cleaning your Keurig coffee maker is called descaling.

Read More: Best Single Serve Coffee Makers


If you use your Keurig on a regular basis, it’s amazing how quickly it can become clogged up if you’re slack with maintenance. Lime and bacteria can start to proliferate alarmingly quickly. Minerals from the water you use build up over time in the brewing system. At first, you might notice a drop in efficiency but, if left untreated, the sediment accumulating can eventually wreck your machine.

The quick and easy way to sidestep this issue completely is to descale your Keurig 3 or 4 times a year.

Luckily, descaling is super-simple if you follow the advice below…

II. Cleaning Your Keurig Coffee Maker: The Basics

Take a few minutes before you get started preparing your Keurig for a more thorough clean.

1. Preparation for Cleaning

Empty the contents of the water reservoir.

Remove the water filter if your Keurig model comes with this included.

2. How to Clean the Water Tank

It’s sound practice to clean the water reservoir on a weekly basis, especially if you put your coffee maker through its paces every day.

Fortunately, cleaning this tank is a cinch…

  • Remove the reservoir from your Keurig and take off the lid
  • Wipe around the inside of the tank with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Take the time to remove any stubborn debris that might be lodged on
  • Rinse away all the soapy water but don’t try drying the inside of the tank by hand. You might very well make matters worse by leaving a trail of miniature particles behind. This debris can easily work its way into the brewing system making for a very expensive case of neglect
  • After your reservoir has air dried, top it back up with some water and slot it back onto the machine
  • Start up your Keurig on the cleansing brew with hot water
  • Once this has run through, refill the tank and fire up a second cleansing brew
  • With these simple steps nailed, your Keurig water reservoir is cleaned for the week and you’re good to hit some coffee!

3. How About Cleaning The Other Components?

Just like the water reservoir, you should keep on top of cleaning the pod holder and drip tray once a week for best results.

Although it might not seem like there’s much to clean, that’s the point…

Stay on top of this regular maintenance and you’ll never have much work to do.

3.1 Pod Holder

First thing’s first you need to remove the pod holder from the brewer.

As you know, there are a couple of sharp needles here so be extremely careful when you’re taking it out.

Rinse the pod holder out using only hot water with no soap or solution at all. Again, let the component air dry rather than using a cloth. Pop it back into the brewer making absolutely sure you align the arrows properly when you reinsert it.

Run at least 1 cleansing brew using hot water before jumping in for another coffee.

Think about cleaning the reservoir and pod holder together so you can cut down on time and cleansing brews.


3.2 Drip Tray

Luckily, cleaning the drip tray couldn’t be easier…

Remove the tray from your Keurig and empty out any water and debris.

Wash the drip tray down with warm, soapy water. With the tray, using a cloth to dry it is no problem at all as any lingering lint will not work its way inside the machine from this point.

You should clean the drip tray weekly or sooner if you notice any build-up.

3.3 Water Cartridge

This is a case of replacement rather than cleaning every couple months or so.

When you get a new cartridge, leave it soaking for 5 minutes first in some cold water then rinse off thoroughly.

Wash the mesh of the lower filter, pop the new cartridge in and you’re ready to roll.

3.4 Outside of Machine

Every few days or as soon as it starts looking grimy, wipe down the outside of your coffee machine to keep things spotless.

Not only can stray particles end up back in the innards of the machine, they can also end up falling into your drink as a nasty surprise.

III. Descaling Your Keurig Coffee Maker

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

Part and parcel of cleaning comes with the full descaling necessary to keep your machine in peak operating condition.

Before you get going, you need to deactivate the Auto-Off feature so the descaling can take full effect.

You should also switch off your machine.

1. Rinse to Descale

You can either use Keurig’s proprietary Descaling Solution or you can opt for 10oz of white vinegar instead.

The vinegar works extremely effectively so don’t feel compelled to buy the solution unless you really want it.

  • Fill the water reservoir with the descaling solution or vinegar as you see prefer. Top up the tank with a container full of cold water and replace the reservoir
  • Switch your Keurig on ready to blast away that icky accumulated sediment
  • Put a large mug on the drip tray. Shoot for a minimum of 10oz
  • Lift the handle but make sure you don’t insert a pod into the pod holder. You’ll have to hold fire for your coffee!
  • Lower the handle to its starting position
  • Select a 10-oz brew on the screen and let the cleaning begin
  • Once this initial cleansing brew is done, empty the mug of liquid onto the sink ready for round 2
  • Replace your mug on the drip tray and repeat the above steps. When your Keurig is fully descale, you’ll see a More Water Please message to alert you
  • With the machine still switched on, take a break and leave it to sit for a half-hour
  • Ditch any solution that remains after 30 minutes and thoroughly clean your water reservoir as we outlined above

2. The Finishing Touches

With descaling complete, it’s essential to drive away the very last of the cleanser from your Keurig before you impatiently reach for a coffee.

Fortunately, this is super-simple and you can grab your drink soon.

All you need to do is fill the water reservoir right up to the Max line and then pop a large 10-oz mug on the drip tray as before.

Lift the handle, remember not to insert a pod and then push the handle back down again.

Opt for a 6-oz brew and let your Keurig run through the cleansing brew as before.

Ditch the contents of your mug then go through these same steps 10 to 12 times, refilling the water tank as needed.

IV. Final Words

We very much hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown on how to clean a Keurig coffee maker the easy way.

With very little effort or equipment, you can keep on top of your machine so it will give you better tasting coffee while also lasting longer.

Although using bottled water can sometimes alleviate the build-up of debris, there’s no excuse for not descaling your Keurig every 3 to 6 months.

Get in touch any time if you have any queries or feedback and come back soon!

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