How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker

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Ask anyone with a Keurig coffee maker and they’ll tell you that it’s a total game-changer: This clever machine brews an exceptionally tasty cup of coffee in the blink of an eye—and never more than you can reasonably enjoy in one sitting. However, if you want your Keurig to perform at its best, some light maintenance (namely regular cleaning) is in order. Why, you ask? Well, with frequent use, the parts of your Keurig are vulnerable to build-up—be it oily residue from last week’s brew or deposits from the minerals naturally present in water—which will ultimately affect the performance of the appliance and the quality of the hot beverage it produces. Fortunately, de-griming your beloved coffee maker is far easier than, say, cleaning your greasy oven. (Phew.) Here’s exactly how to clean a Keurig, including how often you should be giving it some TLC.

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How to Clean a Keurig: Weekly

Your coffee will taste fresher and future deep cleaning will be a breeze if you maintain your Keurig by washing the removal parts of the machine on a weekly basis. There’s really not much to it: Just locate the water reservoir, mug tray and K-cup holder—three parts you should be pretty familiar with—and you’re ready to get started.

1. Unplug the machine. You know why.

2. Wash the water reservoir and lid. To do this, remove the water reservoir from the machine, empty out its contents and take out the water filter cartridge. Then, work a couple drops of dish soap into a wet cloth and thoroughly wipe the inside of the reservoir and lid. Rinse both parts with warm water to remove any soapy residue and leave to air dry.

3. Wash the mug tray and K-cup holder. Remove the mug tray and K-cup holder, clean them with warm soapy water and let them air dry.

4. Reassemble. Once the washed parts have completely dried, return them to their respective homes in your machine. Finally, give the appliance a once over with a Clorox wipe or damp microfiber cloth so the exterior looks spiffy and voilà, you’re done!

How to Clean a Keurig: Every 2 months

Weekly cleaning of a Keurig machine is a piece of cake, but every couple of months you should show your trusted coffee maker a little extra love by replacing the water filter cartridge and washing the filter holder to ensure a fresh tasting cup of joe every time.

1. Remove the cartridge. Once you’ve hit the two month mark, it’s time to spring for a new water filter cartridge. Start by emptying the water reservoir and removing your old filter cartridge. Next, unwrap a filter refill and soak it in fresh, soap-free water for five minutes before rinsing it under cold running water for one minute.

2. Clean the filter holder. Before you lock the new cartridge into place, be sure to wash the mesh of the bottom filter holder with soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.

3. Replace the cartridge. Now you’re ready to put the new cartridge in place: Insert it into the upper filter holder, close the lid and lock the whole piece back where it belongs in the water reservoir.

How to Clean a Keurig: Every 3 to 6 months

It is important to descale your Keurig machine every three to six months in order to remove the build-up of mineral deposits lest they start to hinder your appliance’s performance and affect the flavor of your beverage. Fortunately, Keurig machines have a built-in reminder system, so you don’t need to add this step to your calendar. Even better news: You don’t need to invest in fancy descaling solutions, since the acetic acid in plan old white vinegar (a natural solvent) does a bang-up job of dissolving mineral deposits—so grab some white vinegar and follow this step-by-step process whenever the descaling indicator on your machine lights up. (Psst: You can also use this Keurig-approved cleaning solution instead of the vinegar.)

1. Empty the water reservoir and remove the water filter cartridge.

2. Fill the water reservoir with distilled white vinegar. Fill her up halfway if you’ve been on top of descaling or all the way if you’ve overlooked this process for a long time.

3. Place a large ceramic mug on the drip tray and running a cleansing brew. Make sure the K-cup holder of your machine is empty before putting down your cup. Continue running the vinegar through your machine, emptying the mug as needed, until the add water light comes on.

4. Dump out any remaining vinegar from the water reservoir. Refill it with clean, fresh water.

5. Repeat the same process described above in step three, but with fresh water instead of vinegar. This will rinse any remaining vinegar from the machine.

6. Replace the water cartridge filler. After the machine has been thoroughly rinsed, replace the water cartridge filter and refill the reservoir with fresh water once again. Rejoice! Your Keurig is no longer disgusting.

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Emma Singer

Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...
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