Making the jump to a Keurig coffee maker was a pretty big investment for me (I can be a bit frugal!) Once we made the switch to a Keurig I wanted to make sure I maintained it so I researched how to clean a Keurig and thought I would share that with y'all today.
It's important to regularly clean and descale a Keurig machine in order to have the best-tasting coffee. Over time mineral depoits and limescale buildup can affect your machine, especially if you have hard water. Bacteria and mold can also build up in the machine over time if it is not cleaned properly.
You can clean your machine with Keurig's Descaling Solution or simply use standard white vinegar.
Luckily cleaning and descaling a Keurig coffee machine with vinegar is not hard at all! Here is the step by step tutorial to keep your Keurig sparkling and your coffee tasting great.
Descaling step by step
Time needed: 1 hour
Step by step tutorial for how to clean a Keurig with vinegar.
- Remove reservoir
Remove the water reservoir and reservoir lid. These should NOT be put in the dishwasher. Instead, clean them with a wet soapy cloth and then rinse thoroughly.
To clean the filter screen at the bottom of the reservoir simply run it under a strong stream of water or fill your reservoir with water and agitate it. Don't dry the reservoir or lid with a towel, let them air dry to avoid getting lint in your reservoir (and therefore your coffee!)
- Clean the K-cup holder
Remove the K-cup pod holder. BE CAREFUL! There are needles inside there y'all...let's not bloody up the Keurig, okay?
To remove the K-cup holder hold it firmly on either side of the top and push up from the bottom with your other hand. It is clearly impossible for me to get a picture of myself doing this since I need one hand for the camera but I've shown the hand positions below-just do both together! You may need to very gently wiggle but don't force it or you will risk breaking it.
Once you get your holder off you can pop it in the dishwasher on a LOW-TEMPERATURE cycle. (Did you grasp the importance of the low temp there?) If you need to clear the exit needle at the bottom of the K-cup holder you can do so with a paper clip pushed up from the bottom.
- Clean the Keurig machine
Use an old toothbrush or other small cleaning brush to clean around the needle at the top of the K-cup holder assembly and around the interior if necessary. Wipe the exterior of the Keurig with a damp non-abrasive cloth dipped in soapy water.
- Clean the Drip Tray
Remove the Drip Tray and clean with a-you guessed it-soapy, damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Reassemble your Keurig after all the parts are clean. Get ready to descale that bad boy if your Descale light is lit or it has been more than 3-6 months since your last descaling.
- Descale Keurig with Vinegar
To descale the Keurig, you will need 24 oz of undiluted white vinegar, 24 ounces of fresh water and a ceramic mug.
First, turn off the Auto Off Function if it is on. Empty your water reservoir and if you have a water filter in the reservoir remove that as well. Pour the vinegar and water into the reservoir and place a large mug as usual. Do not use a K-cup pack, just close the brewer and push the largest cup brew cycle button. The Keurig will brew a hot cup of vinegar water.
When it is finished dump the vinegar into a sink and continue repeating the process until your Add Water light turns on. Let the Keurig sit (still on) for 1 hour. After the 1 hour dump any remaining vinegar in the reservoir down the sink and rinse it thoroughly.
Congratulations. You have been descaled. But now your coffee/tea/cocoa will taste like vinegar so let's rinse it out and finish the job! Fill your reservoir to the max fill line with fresh water and run your cleansing brew (no K-cup) just like we did with the vinegar. Repeat until the Add Water light turns on.
- Reset descale light
Once the descaling is complete you can reset the descale button (if it was lit up) by pressing the 8 oz and 10 oz buttons together for 3 seconds.
If you thoroughly rinse the machine there should be no lingering vinegar taste. If you still feel like you taste vinegar, simply repeat the fresh water cycle again.
Vinegar is acidic and could possibly corrode your machine if left too long. I do not recommend leaving it overnight.
Both methods are equally effective at removing calcium deposits and mineral buildup in the coffee maker.
You're all done!
By making sure you clean and descale your Keurig regularly you can make sure you protect your investment and continue to enjoy a good tasting cup of coffee for a long, long time!
When was the last time you cleaned your Keurig?
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