How to Clean Your Keurig

When you’re tackling floor to ceiling spring-cleaning, it can be easy to forget about your appliances. But those ones you use every day, like your coffee maker, need a scrub down, too. So we turned to the experts for ways to deep clean your Keurig Machine.

In the morning, our routines are centered around getting everything clean, except for one thing—our coffee makers. We shower, we put on fresh clothes, we brush our teeth, but then we often make our coffee in a machine that’s nowhere near as spotless as we are. And that’s probably because, typically, we’re only thinking about it or using it in the morning when we’re rushing to get somewhere else. Dirty dishes and ironing take up any precious extra minutes before we’re out the door, and the last thing we’re thinking about at night is reaching for a K-Cup or washing out the Keurig. But that hero of a morning appliance gets used daily and often for multiple beverages from coffee to tea and even hot chocolate, so it’s bound to build up some residual calcium deposits or scale over time.

Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to wash your Keurig and ways to maintain its freshness throughout the year (you should descale your brewer every three to six months). But no matter your approach, it’s easy and quick. And for anyone who needs a little extra motivation, a clean appliance will undoubtedly give you a better tasting brew. 

1

Wash the Outside of the Machine.

keurig-k250
Photo by keurig.com

If you only have a few minutes to spare each week, devote that time to giving your machine a quick once-over. Start by wiping the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth, then remove the drip tray and clean with soap (despite any temptation, do not place this accessory in the dishwasher). Next, focus on the water filter and lid. Scrub them by hand with a damp, soapy cloth and let both air dry. (If you dry the inside with a towel, lint or fibers could be left behind in your machine.)

2

Do an Interior Rinse.

If you frequently brew different types of beverages, this is an especially important step. After you’ve made something like hot chocolate in your Keurig, you’re going to want to wash it out quickly to keep those flavors from mingling with your next cup of joe. Place a mug on the drip tray and then open and close the lid without a capsule. Press brew for a just-water rinse cycle.

3

Devote Time to a Full Clean and Descale.

The exact game plan will vary depending on what type of machine you own.

For the 2.0 and plus series:

Start by making sure your machine is turned off and the water reservoir is empty. If your machine has a water filter, remove it and set it aside. For brewers with a removable reservoir, pour a full bottle of Keurig’s own specialized cleaning solution ($10, amazon.com) or 14 ounces of white vinegar into the reservoir. Next, pour 14 ounces of water into the reservoir as well. Now for the cleaning cycle: turn the machine on and put a mug on the cup tray. Make sure the pod tray is empty, then select an 8 ounce brew size and press the brew button (if your machine doesn’t have an 8 ounce setting, use the next largest size). When the brew is done, pour the contents of the mug into the sink. Repeat the cycle until your display reads “more water please,” then let the brewer sit for 30 minutes with the power on. After that time is up, remove and empty the water reservoir and clean it well to get rid of any residual solution. Return the reservoir to the brewer and fill with water to the maximum line. Now repeat the cleaning cycle at least twelve times.

For the K10 or K15 mini model:

Pour one third of the Keurig cleaning solution (or approximately 4.6 ounces of vinegar) into the water tank, then fill the reservoir up to the 10 ounce line with fresh water. Lift the handle and wait a few seconds for the water to drain. Press brew to complete the cycle. Next, repeat the cycle (using 1/3rd of the bottle and fresh water), but this time power the brewer off just as it starts to dispense. Wait 30 minutes and then power the brewer on again. Lift the handle and lower it, then press brew to complete one more cleaning brew. Finish by running three cleaning cycles, each with just 10 ounces of fresh water.