The Keurig has become a common device in homes and offices because of its convenience: There's nothing like banging a K-Cup and getting an instant cup of hot, fresh coffee. The invention of the machine has even sparked similar products for various foods and drinks. However, there are times when a Keurig is not so comfortable – especially when it starts to clog up with dirt and lime, then it refuses to work properly.
In particular, the scale can be frustrating: water, mainly hard water, has traces of minerals floating in it. These mineral particles tend to react to high temperatures that push them out of their innocuous state and bind them to nearby surfaces. As this happens over and over again, a limestone-like layer, called the scale, builds up. It causes trouble for your Keurig because it reduces the flow of water, makes it impossible to properly measure a cup, and eventually blocks your Keurig completely.
To prevent accumulation of debris, avoid unpleasant odors and mold, make sure that your Keurig works as flawlessly as possible, it is important to clean it. That's why we've created a quick guide to guide you through cleaning your Keurig. We'll show you how to best clean this coffee maker, where to start, and what materials you use. You can also read our Lime Removal Guide.
Wash and wipe the container and other removable parts
First, remove the Keurig; You do not want to damage the electronics and risk electrocution. Then remove all the components you can, including the water tank, cup holder / drip tray and K-cup holder in the coffee maker. Take them to the sink and wash them thoroughly with soapy water as they used to. Set aside to dry while working on other components.
This is also a good time to take a washcloth or a wet paper towel and wipe the whole Keurig well. The coffee machine, especially in busy environments, can collect a lot of dust over time. You do not want dust mixed with your fresh water or coffee when you're done, so it's a good idea to thoroughly clean the surface.
. 2 Clean all columns
Get a small cleaning brush (a toothbrush works well here) and a needle or paper clip. It's time to give your Keurig more thorough cleaning for the remaining components. 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 appliance. Over time, the Keurig's fissures can collect sand and dirt, causing blockages and impaired taste. Eliminate this detritus to improve durability and performance.
Begin cleaning around K-Cup Square, where the K-Cup holder is located. Different Keurig models have slightly different insertion methods, but the basics are the same. Use the brush to clean the pod holder and the deep corners in this part of the Keurig. Grit and lost coffee grounds tend to accumulate here. A flashlight or good ceiling lighting is helpful here. A nearby bowl of water or rags can help, but try to avoid soapy water at this stage – this soap may prove difficult and you do not want it to pollute your coffee.
When this is done, get your needle / paperclip out and examine those toothy components that are in the K-Cups. There should be a small hole in each "tooth" for the hot water / coffee to go through. Insert your pin through this hole and wiggle it around to loosen encrusted debris and remove blockages. If your Keurig is running slowly, it can cause blockages in one of these holes. Yes, there are special Keurig needle cleaning tools, but you probably only want one to dispose of a Keurig in a busy office or similar situation.
. 3 Go through with vinegar
Many Keurig components are in the coffee machine, which is beyond your reach. Fortunately, there is a simpler way to perform an internal cleanse than to disassemble the entire machine: the ordinary kitchen vinegar is sour enough to remove limescale, but harmless to the rest of the Keurig. Take the water container and fill it with half white vinegar and half fresh water. Put it back in the Keurig socket, put all the other pieces back in its place, and take a cup with it. It's time to make some hot vinegar.
Run the Keurig at normal settings and refill the cups with the vinegar mixture until it is completely gone. This will stink a little, but as I said, it is not harmful to your Keurig and it will help to remove this scale. It is possible that a blockage will form during this descaling process. If this is the case, open the top and use your pen again to poke the holes and see if you can remove any trapped particles.
For a full clean, it's a good idea to run two full containers of half vinegar, half water. If your Keurig is still in good shape or you do not have much time, a single full container can work well.
Note: Keurig sells its own descaling solution if you really want a branded product to work with. White vinegar, however, is cheaper and easier to find. Also, the Keurig solution uses citric acid as the active ingredient and there are some complaints that the smell and taste linger over their welcome. There are also a number of other Keurig cleaning products on the market, such as "cleaning cups" and "rinse aid containers". We do not recommend any of them because vinegar can make the job much cheaper.
. 4 Rinse the vinegar with water
You do not want the vinegar to stay in Keurig, so refill the tank with fresh water and run through a full container again to rinse everything. Make sure it passes the smell test when it's done. Once completed, your Keurig performance should be improved, and scale problems should literally have disappeared.
It's a good idea to repeat this type of cleaning on a consistent basis, especially if your Keurig sees a lot of action. Depending on the source of water, Keurig recommends descale the device at least every three to six months. Remember that hard water causes more problems than soft water. If you are having problems with scaling, you should stay away from tap water and use filtered water or mineral water instead.
Bonus tip: Replace your filter cartridge
Some Keurig models are equipped with water filters that are part of the water reservoir. If your Keurig has one of these filters, you will occasionally need to replace the cartridge, such as all 60 tanks. These filters can improve the taste, but they can also help make blockages and other problems less likely.
You can make an even bigger difference by switching to bottled or fully filtered water rather than filling the container with tap water idea if your device does not have a filter). However, this could be a more expensive option.