How to Clean a Keurig

Keurigs are great for making single cups of coffee, but over time, they can get dirty and buildup can form inside the machine. Every now and then, you need to clean your Keurig so it keeps making full cups of flavorful coffee. Every week you should clean the removable parts, and you should change the filter and descale the machine every few months. When your Keurig is clogged, you can manually clean out the pod holder and needle. Once the machine is clean, your coffee will taste fresh with each brew!


[Edit]Performing Weekly Maintenance

  1. Wipe the entire machine with soapy water. Mix liquid dish soap in a sink full of warm water. Wet a cleaning cloth in the soapy water and wring it out so its not dripping. Wipe all of the exterior surfaces on your Keurig to clean off any dust or dried-on coffee. Focus on areas like the mug tray and pod holder since they get the dirtiest.[1]

    Clean a Keurig Step 1 Version 7.jpg
    • Make sure there isnt a K-cup or coffee pod in the holder when you start cleaning.
    • If your Keurig has a touchscreen display, wipe it dry with a paper towel when youre finished cleaning it so it doesnt get damaged.
  2. Remove and wash the bottom reservoir. The bottom reservoir is underneath the mug tray and is used to catch any accidental spills. Pull out the bottom reservoir and soak it in your sink filled with soapy water. Scrub any stuck-on residue with your cleaning cloth before rinsing it off.[2]

    • The mug tray usually rests on top of the bottom reservoir. You can either wipe the mug tray with a cloth or soak it in your sink.
  3. Soak the water tank in soapy water. Pull the tank off of the Keurig and empty the water into your sink. Rinse out the tank with warm water before soaking it. Scrub the inside of the tank with your cleaning cloth before rinsing it clean again.[3]

    • If you have a Keurig filter in the water tank, pull it out before washing out the tank.
  4. Let the bottom reservoir and tank air dry. Put the tank and reservoir upside down on a drying rack so they can air dry. Leave them to dry completely before putting them back on your Keurig. Dont use a towel to dry them since it could leave lint inside the tank.[4]
    Clean a Keurig Step 4 Version 7.jpg

[Edit]Unclogging the Needle and Pod Holder

  1. Pull out the pod holder from the top. Lift the handle on top of your Keurig to access the pod holder. Grab the edges of the pod holder and pull up carefully to remove it from the machine. The pod holder cartridge will easily come out so you can clean it.[5]

    • Be careful of the needle above the pod holder since its sharp.
  2. Separate the funnel from the pod holder. The pod holder is made with 2 pieces that are held together in the middle. Gently pull the pod holder apart to remove the bottom funnel from the pod compartment. You may need to twist the funnel to help loosen it.[6]

    • Take apart the pod holder over your sink or a paper towel in case leftover coffee grounds fall out
  3. Poke a paper clip through the tube on the pod holder. Unbend a paper by hand until its straight. Stick the end of the unbent paper clip into the small tube at the bottom the Keurigs pod holder to break apart any clogs. Take the paper clip out of the pod holder so any residue you broke apart can fall out through the hole. Keep poking into the pod holder until you dont see anymore residue.[7]

    • You can also use a toothpick if you dont have a paper clip.
  4. Rinse the pod holder and funnel under warm water. Turn on your sink so its running warm water. Hold the pod holder and funnel upside down underneath the water to rinse any residue out. Rotate the pod holder and funnel under the water until its completely rinsed.[8]

    • Avoid using any soap while cleaning out your pod holder since it could affect the flavor of your coffee if its not completely rinsed out.
  5. Clean the inside of the needle with your paper clip. The needle is located inside your Keurig above the pod holder. Use the same paper clip you used to clean the tube on the pod holder and poke it inside the hole in the center of the needle. Work the paper clip back and forth to loosen any coffee grounds or scale that may have gotten stuck inside.[9]

    • Be careful while cleaning the needle since it is sharp and could hurt you.
  6. Put the pod holder back in your machine. Reattach the funnel and the pod compartment by pressing them together. Set the entire pod holder into the space where you pulled it out and gently push it back into place. The pod holder will click once its secured again.[10]

    • There is usually an arrow on the pod holder and the Keurig to show which way to insert it. Make sure the pod holder is lined up correctly.
  7. Run 2 water-only cycles through your machine. Place an empty mug on the mug tray underneath the dispenser. Fill the water tank up to the max fill line and start a water-only cycle on your machine. Let the water fill the mug until the first cycle is finished. Empty the mug and run the machine one more time without a K-cup so it can clean out any residue.[11]

    • Some Keurig machines will make you press a button on a touchscreen to confirm that you want to run the cycle without a K-cup. Other machines may make you lift the handle and close it again before starting another cycle.

[Edit]Descaling the Tank

  1. Empty the water tank and remove the filter. Take the reservoir off of your Keurig machine and dump out any water thats inside it. If your Keurig has a water filter, pull it out of the tank and set it aside while you descale the machine. Put the water tank back onto your Keurig once its empty.[12]

  2. Mix equal parts descaling solution and water in the tank. Pour a full bottle of Keurig descaling solution into the water tank, which is usually around . Fill the bottle again with water from your sink and add it to your tank to dilute the solution.[13]

    • You can buy Keurig descaling solution online or in the kitchen section of big box stores.
  3. Run the Keurig until the Add Water light blinks. Place a mug underneath the dispenser so the solution doesnt spill when you run it. Make sure there isnt a K-cup inside the machine before you start running a regular brew cycle. Start the machine and let the first cycle fill the mug. Once the first cycle is over, empty the mug and start another cycle immediately. Keep running cycles until the tank is empty and the Add Water light starts blinking.[14]

    • If your Keurig has a touchscreen, the screen will display when it needs more water in order to run.
  4. Let your Keurig sit for at least 30 minutes. Your Keurig stores some of the solution inside an internal reservoir after you run the cycles. Leave your Keurig alone for at least 30 minutes so the descaler can break apart any residue or buildup inside the reservoir.[15]

    Clean a Keurig Step 15.jpg
    • If youre using vinegar to descale your Keurig, leave it alone for about 4 hours so it has time to break down the buildup inside.
  5. Fill the tank with clean water. Pour out any leftover solution or liquid into your sink and rinse it underneath warm water. Make sure you rinse the tank thoroughly so theres no solution left inside. Fill the tank to the max fill line with clean water and put it back on your machine.[16]

  6. Run through water-only cycles on your Keurig at least 12 times. Set a mug on the mug tray and run a hot water-only cycle through your machine. Once the first cycle is complete, empty the mug and run another cycle immediately after. Keep running cycles until youve done it 12 times to clean out all of the descaler solution.[17]

    • You may have to fill the water tank at least once to run all of the cycles.
    • Descale your Keurig every 6 months.

[Edit]Replacing the Water Filter

  1. Soak a new filter in water for 5 minutes. Keurig filters should be replaced every 3 months or every 60 times you fill the tank. Take the replacement filter and put it in a bowl of cold water. Let the filter soak for at least 5 minutes before putting it in your Keurig. This helps the filter work better once its inside your tank.[18]

    Clean a Keurig Step 18.jpg
    • You can buy new Keurig filters online or in the kitchen section of big box stores.
  2. Pull out the filter tube from your water tank. The filter tube is usually found in the middle or near the back of your Keurigs water tank. Simply pull the tube out from the Keurig and set it on a piece of paper towel so it doesnt get your counter wet.[19]
    Clean a Keurig Step 19.jpg
    • Not every Keurig will have a filter.
  3. Take apart the bottom of the tube to remove the old filter. Keurig filters consist of a long tube and a mesh piece on the bottom to hold the filter in place. Grab the mesh piece on the bottom and pull it loose to take out the filter. Once you remove the old filter, throw it away.[20]

    • Take out the old filter while the new one is soaking. That way, once the new filter is done soaking, you can immediately put it in.
  4. Rinse the new filter in water for 1 minute. Take the new filter out from the bowl of water and rinse it underneath cool water. Rotate the filter in your hands to rinse it completely. Keep the filter underneath the stream of water for at least 1 minute before you put it in the tube.[21]

  5. Place the new filter in the tube and put it back in the tank. Hold the filter tube upside down and set your filter inside of it. Replace the mesh bottom to secure the filter in place before putting the filter back into your Keurig. Once the filter is replaced, you can immediately use the Keurig again.[22]



  • Wipe your Keurig off every time you use it to keep it clean and prevent any residue from forming.


  • Be careful while unclogging the needle since its sharp.

[Edit]Things Youll Need

[Edit]Performing Weekly Maintenance

  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning cloth

[Edit]Unclogging the Needle and Pod Holder

  • Paper clip
  • Mug

[Edit]Descaling the Tank

  • Descaling solution or white vinegar
  • Mug

[Edit]Replacing the Water Filter

  • Keurig water filter
  • Bowl


[Edit]Quick Summary


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