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

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

descaling keurig

Time to clean your Keurig?

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! We’re discussing the best way to descale your Keurig.

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 here is how to clean Keurig with vinegar:

removing the water filter from the reservoir on keurig machine

Step 1: Prep the Keurig for cleaning.

Make sure the machine is off, and no pods are in the chamber. 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.

rinsing out the top of a keurig maker to clean out coffee machine

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 8

  1. nmcdermott

    Thank you! Just did mine, now to let it sit. I also just ordered some water filter pods on Amazon. Never knew I was suppose to be changing those either. Lol.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh nice! Glad this is helpful!

  2. Christine J.

    Thanks Lina! I’ll do it tomorrow after my morning cup of coffee. I love your tips and recipes. Chubb Rub is still my favorite tip…..LOL

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      LOL that made me laugh. And I am so glad! Thanks Christine!

  3. Rose Anne

    Confused by step 4. You say: Let the brewer stand for 4 hours with the Keurig on so the vinegar can do its magic in the lines. What do you mean by saying let it stand with a Keurig on??. Only time the Keurig is on is when the light is on and it goes off if it sits and stands for four hours? So I don’t know what you mean?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey there! Thanks for asking! I’ll check on this for you! 💖

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Mine has a green power button and I can leave it “on”. If not, really just the main steps of descaling with vinegar cycles, and then running cycles with water to rinse are the main two things to do. Hope that helps!

  4. Rick Miller

    My Keurig , a newer model, automatically turns off after a few minutes, and there is no way to keep it continuously on four hours. What do I do to clean it? have tried cleaning every couple of month and the descale light stays on, weeks at a time. I have had 3 of the same machines, and keurig has been great about replacing when the machine stops working because of the blockage. But this appears to be a design problem, but they have not corrected it.

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