If you own a Keurig coffee machine, you know how good they can be, making delicious coffee in a flash while also being incredibly easy to use. However, they are also complex pieces of kit with a lot of moving parts, and they can easily get dirty for a wide variety of reasons – even if you’re extra careful.
You need to keep them clean, so they can continue to perform well, and so your coffee doesn’t get tainted during the making process. But what’s the most effective way to clean your Keurig coffee machine?
We wrote this article to find an answer to that question and had researched some of the most popular and effective ways of cleaning a Keurig. We’ll get to them in a second, but first, we have to cover some basics.
Most people would say that you should clean your Keurig coffee maker at least four to five times a year. While that is true, there is more to it than that and, depending on various factors, you might need to clean it more or less often than that.
If you use it daily, you should probably clean your Keurig at least once a week, and you might want to clean it thoroughly at least once per month. On the other hand, if you only use it occasionally, one or two cleanings every two months or so might be more than enough.
Some parts need to be checked and cleaned more often than others, though. For example, if coffee grounds stay in your Keurig’s K-cup holder, they might end up in the next cup of coffee that you make. So check it daily and clean it out with a sponge. Coffee grinds can also get stuck in the needle which you can clean out using a paperclip or some similar tools, before rinsing it thoroughly.
The removable pieces should probably be cleaned at least weekly – those are the water reservoir, the lid, K-cup holder the tray and so on. Just wash them like regular dishes and let them air dry before putting them back onto the machine.
The cartridge for the water filter should be replaced at least once every couple of months to ensure that the water you use for your coffee is clean. Just remember to soak the new cartridge in water for around five minutes and let it dry before placing it in the machine, then run the machine a couple of times with nothing but water.
Now that we have covered the basics we can move on to some of the most effective cleaning techniques for your Keurig machine.
This method consists of rinsing the entire machine with vinegar to ensure that it is cleaned of any residue and descaled properly. Descaling refers to removing the hard grime that piles up in the machine, mostly from the minerals in the water – the name comes from the similarity between the residue and reptile scales.
Most people use this method because it is relatively inexpensive and the process is quick and easy to perform. It will also be able to clean both the tough, oily residue that coffee leaves in your machine and the scaling caused by the water.
To start with, you will need a few bottles of white vinegar and a dry cloth.
Make sure the machine is turned off, then disassemble it and clean the machine as described previously. Also, use the cloth to wipe the surface of the machine and make sure everything is decently clean.
Take the vinegar and fill the water reservoir with it until it is almost full. Do not dilute the vinegar. Place a mug on the tray to catch the vinegar when it comes out the other end, preferably a mug that you’re not using for drinking. Do not use a K-cup during this process. Once you’re ready, press the “brew” button on the machine and wait until it finishes brewing all of the vinegar.
When the machine is done, throw out the vinegar and place the mug back on the tray. Fill the water reservoir with vinegar again and press the “brew” button again, like last time. However, when the indicator shows “add water,” pause it and let the vinegar sit in the brewer for around four hours while the machine stays turned on. Dump the vinegar after this is done.
Now place a drinking mug on the tray, fill the reservoir with fresh and cold water and press the “brew” button. Once the machine is done brewing, dump the water and repeat this process up to four or five times, until the water loses any vinegar taste it might have remaining.
You’re done! You may now use the machine regularly.
As we mentioned, this process is easy and inexpensive, but it does have its downsides. First off, it might not clean everything and, secondly, some of the residues from descaling might still get stuck in the machine and clog it, which will require more cleaning.
If you’re concerned about damaging your machine, you may also perform this procedure with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar instead of pure white vinegar.
There is one other method we would like to cover in this article though, and that’s…
Yes, Keurig sells its own cleaning and descaling solution that you can use with their machines. Using their solution instead of vinegar or other liquids is more costly, but it is also more reliable and much quicker, so there’s a tradeoff to be made here.
The process here is largely the same, though with a few key differences that you should pay attention to before attempting the process.
For starters, if you have the K10 or the K130 model, you should use on half of the bottle for the process. If you have any other Keurig machine, use the entire bottle during the process. These are just rough guidelines though, and you should check the label of the solution for detailed instructions.
First off, start by performing a regular cleanup of your Keurig machine, making sure all parts are clean enough.
Then, fill the reservoir of the machine to the brim with a 50/50 split of water and the Keurig cleaning solution. Then, place a mug or some other container you won’t drink out of, on the tray of the machine and press the “brew” button. When you brew one cup, pour the water out and place the cup back.
Now, press the “brew” button again and keep brewing until all the water is spent. Once the “add water” indicator pops up, leave the machine on for 30 minutes.
If you have a K130 or a K10 Mini Plus, you should instead brew one cup and then stop the machine while brewing the second cup, wait 30 minutes, then turn it on again and finish brewing the cup.
In case you have a Keurig Rivo brewer, no waiting is necessary, and you can move on to the next part of the instructions.
Once you’re done with that, you should clean the water reservoir again and make sure there’s no more cleaning solution in it. Use soap and water and properly rinse it. Once you’re done, fill it with clean, cold water once again. Now, brew more cups of hot water until the water doesn’t have any cleaner smell on it. If you get a bad taste in your coffee the next time you brew, repeat this process a few more times.
That’s about it. As you can see, the process takes up far less time, but it also uses a lot of cleaning solution. The cleaning solution can also be hazardous to your health if its left inside the machine so make sure you properly flush it out before brewing coffee again.
So, there you have it! These are the two methods we consider to be the best when it comes to cleaning your Keurig machine. Both are almost equally good regarding cleaning the machine but have their upsides and downsides that you need to consider. Think about it carefully, try out both methods, and you’ll probably know which one is the best for you.
We just hope we were able to help you and please share this article if we did.