When it comes to your home or office Keurig brewer, proper maintenance is essential if you want to keep your machine running in perfect working order. Thankfully, the use of a pod system helps minimize the day-to-day cleaning tasks required, but a failure to perform the required descaling procedures can cause your brewer to stop functioning.
Since it’s a necessary part of the process, you may void your warranty if you’re not keeping up with these things. We’ve put together a handy list to help make sure your brewer stays in its best shape and can continue to give you a great cup of coffee every morning, or all day long.
Make sure to clean your Keurig to prevent voiding your warranty
As we’ve already mentioned, the day-to-day cleaning of a Keurig brewer is very simple and straight-forward. You should wipe down the outside of your machine with a clean, dry cloth, and check to be sure that there are no coffee grounds stuck inside the needle of your brewer. This can be done before or after you’ve brewed your cup of coffee, but should be checked every day. If you won’t be using your machine the next day, it’s a good idea to drain the water, as Keurig brewers have been known to develop issues when stored full of water, and it’s easier to empty your water more frequently than it is to deal with a mold problem. You should also empty your water periodically and refill with clean, fresh water – preferably distilled or filtered.
- Wipe down the outside
- Check for stuck coffee grounds
- Drain unused water
Descaling a Keurig brewer isn’t much different than descaling any other home coffee maker: Simply mix white vinegar and water in equal parts, cycle this through, and then run a clean water cycle after to ensure that your coffee doesn’t taste vinegary. However, the specifics may vary depending on which model you have. We’ve avoided using any specific measurements here, so you will need to find what works with your brewer.
1. Turn off and unplug your machine. It seems simple, but forgetting this important step can cause severe injury.
2. Remove the water reservoir (including the lid), the mug stand, and the K-Cup holder. Wash these in warm, soapy water, and allow them to dry.
3. Use a damp cloth to gently scrub the outer surface. If you’ve been keeping up on your daily wipe-downs, this step shouldn’t take long. Pay careful attention to the area around the K-Cup holder, as loose coffee grounds may have made their way into this area.
4. Replace all the removable parts, once they’re fully dried. You may wipe them with a soft, dry cloth if necessary.
5. Mix equal parts white vinegar and clean water in the water reservoir so that it’s filled to the “max” line. Without inserting a K-Cup, run a normal brew cycle, and discard everything that comes out. Repeat this process until your water reservoir is empty, and then dump any descaling solution that the machine wasn’t able to cycle. If your machine is already running slowly, or if you think there may be mold build-up, you can use the vinegar full-strength, and perform a second rinse cycle.
6. Fill the water reservoir with clean water, and empty it the same way you emptied the vinegar mixture. This will help remove any vinegar tastes and smells.
7. If you are seeing any solids or discoloration at the end of your rinse process, repeat steps 5 and 6 a second time. Under normal circumstances, this won’t be necessary.
8. Mark the date you cleaned it on your calendar – your machine will need this process done every 3-6 months, if you’re using filtered or distilled water, or monthly if you’re using tap water. If your machine starts to slow down, at any point, consider a descale to be your first troubleshooting step – in most cases, slow brewing is a sign of mineral build-up. There is no harm in deep-cleaning your machine “too often”, and it’s much easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix one.
What about commercial descaling solutions?
If you don’t like the idea of using vinegar and water to descale your machine, Keurig also offers a commercially-prepared descaling solution
This solution can easily be used in place of the vinegar-water mixture, although many users have reported that the vinegar-water mixture is more effective at removing build-up. When using commercial descaling solutions, only use the one that is recommended with your brewer, just in case there are chemical sensitivities within the machine.