Best Way to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker – Just Follow These Easy Steps!

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If you’re wondering how to clean a Keurig coffee maker, wonder no more!

woman cleaning a Keurig machine with vinegar

We’re bringing you an easy and simple step-by-step guide on how to clean your Keurig! It’s recommended to clean and descale your Keurig coffee maker every 3-6 months in order to ensure it continues to brew the best cup of coffee possible. If you continue to put it off, calcium deposits and scale starts to build up, making it almost impossible for the machine to work long-term, so let’s discuss how to avoid this!

woman pouring vinegar into coffee maker

The good news is, cleaning and descaling a Keurig is pretty EASY!

One of the most simple ways to clean and descale a Keurig machine is running inexpensive distilled white vinegar through it.

I love using white vinegar around the house for many cleaning tactics. Some other useful tips for cleaning with white vinegar include cleaning your dishwasher; simply pour a cup into an empty dishwasher and let it run. You could also steam your microwaves with some or put some in a baggie and clean your shower head.

This way of cleaning my Keurig is a great use for inexpensive white vinegar. I have descaled my Keurig coffee maker for years using this method and can vouch that it has worked well for me.

My Keurig Elite gets used daily for brewing coffee, and I try to remember to deep clean it at least a couple of times a year.

Keurig coffee maker with vinegar

Important Note: recommends purchasing their Keurig descaling solution as the very BEST method to clean the Keurig. The Keurig solution is odorless, so I can see that being a benefit if you are sensitive to the smell of vinegar.

Follow these simple directions to descale and clean a Keurig using white vinegar:

removing the water filter from the reservoir on keurig machine

Step 1: Prep the Keurig for cleaning.

Make sure the machine is off, no pods are in the chamber, and remove the filter from inside the water reservoir.

pouring vinegar into reservoir

Step 2: Pour in the vinegar.

Pour distilled white vinegar into the reservoir all the way to the top where the max fill line is.

pouring out cup of vinegar from descaling cycle

Step 3: Run the Keurig brewer.

Move the Keurig by the kitchen sink and turn it on. Do a cleansing brew on the largest cup setting using a large coffee mug and pour it out in the sink. Repeat that process until the “add water” light comes on.

Hip Tip: Use that hot white vinegar to clean your sink! Put some baking soda in your sink drain to clean your drain pipes as well.

letting vinegar sit in the lines of keurig brewer

Step 4: Let the remaining vinegar stand for 4 hours.

Let the brewer stand for 4 hours with the Keurig on so the vinegar can do its magic in the lines.

rinsing out keurig reservoir in the sink

Step 5: Remove the Keurig reservoir and rinse.

After the 4 hours are over, remove the water reservoir, and rinse it out completely in the sink with clean water.

pressing a button on the Keurig

Step 6: Run some rinsing cycles.

This step is the MOST important. Fill the reservoir with clean water from the sink, and place it back on the machine. Do the cleansing brew process again for multiple brewing cycles until no vinegar taste is present. You may need to refill the water again and continue.

Step 7: Finish the process by cleaning the rest of the Keurig machine parts.

cleaning the components of a Keurig coffee maker

It’s also a great idea to take apart the removable components of your Keurig every once in a while and clean them with hot, soapy water, such as the water reservoir and its lid, drip tray, and drip tray plate. I usually just let mine air dry using my kitchen sink mat, and then place it back on the machine.

cleaning off a Keurig with a damp rag

Then you’ll want to wash the outside of the machine with a clean damp dishcloth, and you’re all set with a squeaky clean Keurig coffee machine!

Enjoy the freshest cup of coffee with your newly cleaned Keurig machine! ☕️

Keurig Vs. Nespresso? Which makes the better cup of Joe?

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 37

  1. Laurie

    Great post thanks 😊

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh thanks so much Laurie!

    • Monique

      I agree with Laurie thanks for this post…my keurig reminds me to descale I ignored last time need to to it today 🙂

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Oh good thanks Monique!

      • Judy Yorke

        We are trying to descale. I followed the instructions exactly but after I pressed the brew button only a few drops go thru. Not even 1/4 of a cup. Instructions say the brew button should flash but that doesn’t happen so I unplug it and plug back in and start again. At this rate it will take hours to get cleaning solution to go thru. Has anyone else had this problem?

        • Carmen O.

          Most likely that the “needle” that punctures the top of the K-pods is plugged with coffee grounds. I use a bent paper clip to push or poke into the needle and clear the passages. Then run a cup of clear water thru the machine.

      • Norm Lor

        we left it too long and even with vinegar it won’t work and just shuts off??

  2. Jackie

    Yes, I do this once a year… I know, I should do it more often but I always forget. Funny you posted this today because I have a Kroger pick up order right now and I had the vinegar in my order because I was planning on doing the clean up this week😉. Then remember that you can reuse the hot vinegar to clean your sink while you are cleaning the machine. Don’t let that hot vinegar go to waste 😁

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh good thinking! Thanks Jackie!

    • Lin

      Also, run a cup in your microwave, then wipe it down for immaculate microwave !

  3. Emily

    Saw the title and was just going to say that I run vinegar through mine to clean it, but looks like that’s exactly what you do too! It works great. Just make sure to pay attention to step #6 – you do not want vinegar in your coffee. That’s no good.

    I also use vinegar to clean my dishwasher too. Just pour a cup or two in the dishwasher and run it empty. Works like a charm.

  4. MrsGarfield

    I use only distilled water and I don’t have to clean the machine. I have been doing this for years.

    • Jackie

      I also use distilled water but it’s nice to still do the vinegar cleaning because no matter how careful you are bacteria will grow inside the machine 🤢

    • mam

      It specifically says do not use distilled water in Keurig

  5. Jill

    I do this already. Thanks for the tips

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Jill!

  6. Denisse Anguiano-Sayavong

    Great post Thanks!

  7. Janice

    Great. Add some baking soda in sink drain so when you pour your vinegar out it also cleans out your drain pipes

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for adding that tip Janice!

    • Sue

      I was just going to post the same thing. I clean my drains when I descale. Double purpose and less waste. You could also use the vinegar to put in a baggie to descale your shower heads.

  8. Jessica

    I have the mini keurig. I do this once every couple months: run the vinegar through the machine. Then pour new vinegar in and run it again. I usually add vinegar 3 times. Then I run 4-5 times with just water to rinse it out. Works great and I’ve had my keurig about 6 years I think.

  9. Maria

    I thought I read where this would void the warranty. Am I the only one who uses the recommended product?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi Maria, the steps in this post are from the Keurig site which is stated in the post. Hope that helps!

  10. AnneK

    Mine stopped working after the 2nd cup of vinegar – the Keurig keeps making noise but no water comes out – I have tried to turn off/on and also unplugged….I can hear it working but no water is dispensed – HELP!!

    • JanetVB

      Mine stopped running through as well. I just kept trying to run it over and over again, and a little bit would go through each time. Finally, when I emptied the water chamber and ran water through, it started running properly. Mine was old, and had been sitting a while.

    • Megan

      Mine is doing the same thing now. I’ve tried everything but I can’t get it to work! I hope I didn’t ruin it!!!

    • Robin

      I’ve been having issues with my Keurig for awhile now. We found that if it is left on too long, it will run and run but no water will come out. Eventually after turning on and off and unplugging it and leaving it be for an hour or so it will work again (and it may dispense more water on the first attempt so be ready with to quickly switch cups). Once it is working again, we make a point to turn it off immediately once used right after the water cycles through it and that seems to help. I’ve cleaned it in the past, but maybe its due for another cleaning so I will try that – thanks!

      • Megan

        Wow, do I feel like an idiot. In all the attempts I tried yesterday I never thought to actually unplug it until I read your comment. That worked!!! Thank you sooooo much. It was set to be a rough Monday without coffee. You saved me 😁

        • Pam Archie

          We are all Any way does any one know at what step to put the new filter in?

  11. Jan Bishop

    After I take out filter and fill with vinegar I try to start coffee maker and nothing happens light is still on. The descale
    light is also on. Any ideas?

  12. Liberty

    Hi we have the Mini and we cannot put water that is the least bit cool or cold. Or it will start then stop. We just hat the water in microwave for a few seconds then put it in and it works great. Been cleaning it like this since I am got it over a year ago!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      oh awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Monique

    Oh yeah need to do mine today 🙂

  14. Jill

    This is exactly what I do with mine. I do the same thing with my dishwasher. It works so amazingly

  15. catmom

    We use distilled water to brew coffee and there is no lime scale to clean! Also use distilled water on our cat’s water fountains to keep the pumps from scaling up.

    • Barbara Black

      I use distilled water also but my scaler light still comes on so decided to try to vinegar will let know how that goes
      Since I use distilled water does that mean that I dont have to descale my machine

    • Adrian

      You should not drink distilled water since it lacks naturally-occurring minerals, including calcium and magnesium, that are beneficial for health.

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