December 8, 2023

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How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker, So You Have the Freshest Brew

How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker, So You Have the Freshest Brew

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If you’ve never put too much thought into how to clean a Keurig or any other single-use pod coffee maker, we don’t blame you. After all, they’re popular because they’re seemingly mess-free. Like magic, you can have your morning cup of joe at the push of a button, without the fuss of filters or the pressure of measuring your grounds perfectly.

While it’s true a single-use pod machine is definitely convenient (especially if you’re a coffee addict, like Ree Drummond), that doesn’t mean it never needs maintenance. You should still give your Keurig a good cleaning every few months as you would any other drip coffee maker. And that requires thinking beyond surface level. Though wiping down the exterior and washing the removable parts in soapy water on a weekly basis is great, bacteria can still build up inside the machine. This is not only gross but will clog the system so you can’t go for that second (or third!) cup of the day.

By descaling your machine every so often, you can get rid of the scale, or calcium deposits, that accumulate over time. Read on to learn how to clean your Keurig or pod coffee machine, and how often you should do it. Then reward yourself by setting it back on your coffee bar and brewing another cup!

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How often should I descale my Keurig machine?

You should descale your machine every three months or so, according to Keurig. If you use it more than once a day, you might need to do this every two months or increase it to six months if you use it less often.

How much vinegar and water do I use to clean my Keurig?

Unsurprisingly, Keurig recommends using its branded descaling solution, but if you’d prefer to use a pantry staple, distilled white vinegar works just fine. If you have a small pour-in reservoir, you’ll need ten ounces of descaling solution or vinegar either way. You’ll also need at least 20 ounces of water. For a large, detachable reservoir, double the measurements for the following step-by-step process.

Tip: If you have hard water, consider using bottled distilled water for this process to make sure there is no added build-up.

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How do I clean and descale my Keurig?

  1. Unplug the machine. Remove the filter if your machine has one.

  2. Wipe down the machine thoroughly with warm soapy water, let dry, then plug it back in.

  3. Fill the water reservoir with ten ounces descaling solution or white vinegar and ten ounces of water.

  4. Run a ten-ounce mug cycle without a K-cup. Don’t forget to put the mug under the machine to catch the water!

  5. Dump the mug out and repeat this process to empty the reservoir.

  6. Fill the reservoir again, but this time only with the other ten ounces of water. Run the cycle again.

After the last step, if the tank still smells super vinegary, run the process with another ten ounces of water. If your machine has a water filter cartridge, be sure you’re replacing it regularly—this keeps coffee tasting fresh!

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