Written by Sofia Moore
Last Updated

Keurig coffee machines work with convenient coffee pods and are used up and down the country every morning to provide that perfect caffeine fix. But it’s important to keep them clean and regularly descaled if you want that perfect coffee every time. 

Coffee machines can get clogged with coffee grounds and residue unless you clean them regularly and if they get too clogged it could stop your machine from working altogether. The good news is that Keurig machines are easy to clean. 

When it comes to descaling your Keurig, you can use vinegar or an approved descaling solution but make sure it has been approved for use with your machine, otherwise, it could all go horribly wrong and that’s the last thing anyone wants.


The most important thing you need to remember when it comes to cleaning your Keurig is that you need to turn it off and disconnect it from the mains supply. This is particularly important to avoid electrocution. 

There are several things you will need before you start cleaning: 

  • Washing up liquid
  • Either vinegar or the approved descaling solution
  • Water
  • Some clean cloths


Once you have disconnected your coffee machine you need to take all the removable features and wash them in the sink with warm water and washing up liquid. You should be able to take out the lid, the stand, and the water holder, and wash them all separately. 

Rinse them well and then dry them, ready to be returned to the machine. Next, you need to wipe over the whole of the machine with a damp cloth, focusing particularly on areas where coffee grounds could collect.

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How to Descale Your Keurig Machine

Next, you can return all the removable features to the machine and make sure everything is fitted back together properly. Now it’s time to look at descaling the whole system to avoid any build-up of limescale or chalk, which could prevent your machine from working well. 

This is where you will need either your vinegar or the descaling solution. If using the solution, follow the instructions which come with it. For vinegar, fill your water holder half with vinegar and half with water until it’s full. 

Don’t put a K-cup into the machine but run it as if you are brewing a coffee and catch the vinegar fluid with a mug. You need to keep repeating this until there is no more vinegar left in the machine and it will help to remove any build-up.


Once the reservoir is empty, fill it up with water and run the cycle again, to make sure there is no vinegar left in the machine after the cleaning process as you don’t want your next coffee to have a vinegar tang to it. 

It is recommended that you clean and descale your Keurig every three months or so, to prevent any significant build-up of residue that could stop it from working properly but if in doubt you should always refer to the instructions and care booklet that came with it. 

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Why is it Important to Keep Your Keurig Clean?

It might seem strange to recommend keeping a machine regularly cleaned when it processes boiling water so surely that would kill off any germs or bacteria inside it? Unfortunately, that’s not the case and mold and other nasties can easily start to develop anywhere in the machine where coffee grounds build up. 

The inside of a coffee maker is wet and hot which is the perfect breeding ground for many types of bacteria, so it’s important to clean it out on a regular basis for your own health.


Why Do I Need to Descale My Keurig Machine?

When it comes to descaling your machine, it’s important to help it keep running effectively. If you didn’t descale regularly, then you would start to notice certain problems with your Keurig over time, which would affect your coffee enjoyment. 

Initially, your Keurig machine would get slower, and it would take a lot longer to make your coffee. The next thing likely to go wrong is that it will stop producing as much coffee as before, so it’s taking longer, and making less. 

If the water pipes start to get clogged, your machine will also get very noisy as the water struggles to get through it, and eventually, the limescale which is causing all these issues, will end up in your coffee in the mornings. 

You will notice your coffee is cloudy and chalky and it won’t taste nice. Unfortunately, if you reach this stage with your Keurig, it’s likely the damage has been done and it won’t be possible to descale it at all. You will have to invest in a whole new coffee maker. 

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So, you can see, that cleaning and descaling your Keurig on a regular basis will save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run. Ideally, you could use the vinegar option to clean your machine on a monthly basis. 

Then invest in the descaling solution and run it through the machine every three to six months to make sure your Keurig is running at its optimum level possible. Some Keurigs have a descale setting on them so make sure you check the best way to clean yours before you begin. 

Cleaning a Keurig needn’t be a chore and can be completed within half an hour, but that time spent every month is well worth it if it means you can keep enjoying your beloved coffee every morning without a hitch and without that dreaded mouthful of chalky water, which is when it’s too late. 

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Looking after your Keurig isn’t time-consuming or costly and it will thank you in the long run by continuing to produce that perfect cup of coffee every morning when you are in dire need of that essential caffeine boost. 

Whether you go down the vinegar route or opt for the Keurig descaling solution, your coffee machine will thank you. 

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