How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker

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Keurig Coffee Maker is an essential part of the kitchen for some people. But it’s the lifeline, perhaps as crucial as the gas stove for others. Now, if you are a coffee addict like so many of us, you would want your coffee to be top-notch every time— no compromises on that.

So what happens when your Keurig starts malfunctioning out of nowhere. Has it slowed down considerably all of a sudden? Does it take an eternity to fill up a cup?

Before calling the service center, why not try to recall the last time you cleaned it up? After all, it’s an electric appliance that needs maintenance. If you’re unable to recall, then it’s time you decided to clean your Keurig coffee maker properly.

How To Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker

Cleaning the Outside of Keurig

1. Take a wet, soapy microfiber cloth. Ensure that the fabric is lint-free so that you don’t scratch the Keurig.

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2. Start wiping away the dust and splatters gently. Don’t use excessive force to ensure you don’t ruin the texture.

3. Repeat the step every day or at least once a week, depending upon your usage.

It’s important to keep in mind that you should never submerge the Keurig in water. Understandably, the electric appliance would malfunction or get destroyed if the circuit is exposed to water.

Cleaning the Removable Parts

1. Start the process by unplugging the device. If you have recently used it, don’t start cleaning it immediately. Unplug and let it cool for a while. 

2. Now you have to open up the device and remove its parts. To do this, lift the lever, which disassembles the funnel and K-cup pod holder.

3. Remove all the other detachable components of the coffee maker, including mug stand, drip tray, and water reservoir. 

4. Now take each component to the sink and start washing them separately with soap and water. You don’t need to take precautions in this process. Just wash them thoroughly like regular dishes. 

5. You can also wash the funnel and pod holder in the dishwasher by setting a low-temperature cycle. But don’t put the water reservoir and lid in the dishwasher.

6. While you have taken out the other components, you should look for any potential clogs on the entrance needle that goes through the pods. Clean up this and the needle below the pod holder with a paperclip. Be careful with this as the needles are quite sharp.

7. Rinse the components thoroughly and spray a vigorous stream of water on the filter. You can use a faucet hose for this purpose. Keep each part aside and let them air dry before putting them back in. At this time, you can clean the crevices, as explained below.

Cleaning the Crevices

This step may seem needless, but it will ensure a better quality of the coffee. You need a pin or paperclip along with a small brush (your old toothbrush would do) here. 

As dust and grime build up in your Keurig, the quality of coffee starts deteriorating. Thus, it is essential to give your Keurig a thorough cleaning.

1. Start cleaning areas around the cup holder’s cabinet. Reach out to deep nooks and the other regions around the pod and clean it properly with the brush. You can use a flashlight if the sticky grime isn’t visible. 

2. You can dip the brush in water for cleaning but avoid using soap as it can be challenging to get rid of it.

If your Keurig has slowed down, clogging in the needle might be an issue. Use the paperclip to clean the needle properly. You can also find a dedicated needle cleaning tool online.

Replacing the Water Cartridge

Regular users should change their water cartridge every other month to ensure good quality coffee. A lot depends upon the purity of water in coffee.

1. Buy a new water cartridge and soak it up in the water for 5 minutes. Rinse it properly for around a minute afterward.

2. Now wash the lower filter holder and its mesh properly.

3. Then insert the cartridge properly into the upper filter holder and snap on the lower filter holder.

4. Place the cartridge back into the reservoir and ensure that it’s locked in properly.

After Cleaning, How to Descale Keurig Coffee Maker?

If you clean the exterior and detachable components of your coffee maker regularly, it must be giving you a refreshing and flavorful brew. Or can you sense some inconsistency in its quality? What can be the fault now? Do you need to take it to the service center? Well, there’s something you’re still missing in the cleaning process.

A Keurig has some components that are out of reach of your hands and aren’t detachable. Moreover, the mineral deposits that you find outside the coffee maker can also build up inside. Keurig thus advises its users to descale the coffee maker every three to six months as per usage.

You can use Keurig’s descaling solution to do that. There’s also a cost-effective home remedy to it. You can use white vinegar to clean up the scale buildup, which is also a safe way to do it.

Use Vinegar to Descale

1. Empty the reservoir along with the filter. Turn off the auto-off function if your Keurig has one.

2. Fill about 10 ounces of white vinegar and an equal amount of water in the reservoir. You should fill the reservoir from anywhere between halfway to all the way depending upon how long it’s been since your last descaling. The stronger the mineral buildup, the more vinegar you should fill.

3. Now brew the vinegar and fill it up in a mug. Keep brewing until the ‘Add Water’ light comes on, and vinegar has vanished. 

After descaling, a clog might form near the needle. Use a pin again to remove any obstacles trapped.

Removing the Smell of Vinegar

The vinegar does leave a stinky smell that you don’t want to get into your coffee. Fill the reservoir with fresh water and brew it up. Remove the water and keep brewing until empty. Stop when the smell has completely vanished and you’re ready to brew up your favorite beverage again!

How Often Should You Clean A Keurig?

A lot of germs come with the water and coffee you put in it. It can lead to clogging in the system that slows down the brewing process. The buildup of bacteria can also adversely affect your health. But cleaning up your Keurig regularly can fix all that. 

You should clean from the outside once a week, even if you use it sporadically. Wipe it now and then with a damp microfiber cloth. The drip tray can only hold eight ounces of waste, so you’d need to empty it now and then.

For deep cleaning, you should clean the pod holder, reservoir, and interiors at least once a month.

You also have to remove the mineral buildup in your Keurig every three to six months. The process named descaling can be done using vinegar as well as a descaling solution that Keurig sells. 

The descale light will let you know when it needs descaling. Even without that, it becomes evident as brewing slows down, and it will take an eternity to fill the cup.

Regular users will need to change the filter every two months or less than that.

Tips for Keeping Your Keurig Clean

If you frequently use your Keurig, it’s bound to accumulate grime and dust over time. But a well-maintained Keurig can last much longer than its warranty.

  • To keep your brew rich in quality and Keurig last longer, you should avoid making coffee with hard water.
  • If your Keurig is getting clogged now and then, it is better to use filtered water to brew your coffee. Keurigs that come with water filters need a new cartridge after every 60 tank refills or so. 
  • Preventing bacteria growth in your Keurig has to be your topmost priority as it can affect your health. The company advises not to leave water inside the machine for a long time. Empty the tank when you’re going on vacation.
  • If you love brewing hot melted chocolate, don’t forget to clean up your Keurig afterward. Brew a cycle of freshwater to get rid of sugar left in the tank.

Applying these tips along with regular washing will ensure your coffee remains stronger and your Keurig keeps brewing for longer. And don’t forget the descaling part at least once every six months, it’s just as important.

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