How to Descaling a Keurig Coffee Maker: A Step-by-Step Guide

I. Introduction

If you own a Keurig coffee maker, descaling it regularly is important to keep it functioning properly. Over time, mineral deposits and buildup can affect the quality of your coffee and shorten the lifespan of your machine. But descaling is a simple process that you can do at home with a few basic supplies. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to descaling your Keurig, explain its importance, and offer tips for regular maintenance.

II. What is Descaling?

Descaling is the process of removing mineral buildup, or scale, from the interior of your Keurig coffee maker. Over time, water deposits can accumulate in the heating element and other internal components of the machine, affecting its performance and the taste of your coffee. Descaling is typically done with an acidic solution that dissolves the mineral buildup and flushes it out of the system.

III. How to descale a Keurig coffee maker: A step-by-step guide

Before you descale your Keurig, here are some things you’ll need:

  • White vinegar or a Keurig descaling solution
  • A clean, empty container that can hold at least 12 ounces of liquid
  • A mug
  • A fresh water supply, preferably filtered or distilled


Start by turning off your Keurig and unplugging it from the outlet. Remove the water reservoir and any remaining water from the machine. Also, remove the pod holder and mug tray. You want all removable parts of the machine to be cleaned and descaled.

Preparing the solution or mixture

If you’re using a Keurig descaling solution, follow the instructions on the package for the proper mixture and quantity of solution to use. If you’re using white vinegar, mix equal parts of vinegar and water in your container. You’ll want to fill the reservoir with the mixture, so prepare enough for your specific machine.

Descaling the different parts

Pour the solution or mixture into the water reservoir and replace it inside the machine. Turn on your Keurig and lift the handle to open the chamber. Once the machine is heated, place your empty mug on the drip tray and select the largest cup size. You want the descaling solution to run through the entire machine. Repeat this process until the “add water” light appears on your machine. Let the machine sit for 30 minutes to an hour to let the solution work and dissolve the buildup inside.

Flushing the system with clean water

Rinse out the water reservoir and give it a thorough cleaning. Refill the reservoir with clean, filtered water and run the machine without any coffee pods in it. Repeat the process until the reservoir is empty and the water is clear. You may notice some white vinegar odor and/or taste, but it will fade away after a few cycles.

Final cleaning and usage of the machine

Once you’ve flushed your Keurig with clean water, give it a final wipe-down to remove any remaining residue. Place the other parts back in place and plug the machine back in. Now your Keurig is ready to use, and it will brew better-tasting coffee!

IV. The importance of descaling your Keurig and how to do it

Descaling is important for maintaining the quality of your coffee and keeping your Keurig in good working condition. Here are some reasons why you should descale your Keurig regularly:

Lengthening the lifespan of your machine

Descaling helps to remove mineral buildup, which can clog and damage the heating element of your Keurig. Regular descaling can help to prevent costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your machine.

Maintaining the quality of coffee

A clogged or damaged machine can affect the taste and quality of your coffee. Descaling removes buildup that can affect the flavor and appearance of your coffee and improve the performance of your machine.

Health and hygiene

A buildup of mineral deposits can harbor bacteria that can affect the safety and quality of your coffee. Descaling helps to remove bacteria and other impurities from your Keurig, ensuring that your coffee is safe, clean, and healthy to drink.

V. Top tips for keeping your Keurig free of scale buildup

Regular maintenance can help to prevent scale buildup and keep your Keurig in good condition for years to come. Here are some tips:

Regular maintenance

Clean your machine regularly to prevent scale buildup. Wipe down the exterior with a cloth, remove and wash the water reservoir, and clean the pod holder and drip tray after each use.

Use of filtered water

Using filtered water can help to reduce the amount of minerals and impurities that can cause scale buildup. Avoid using hard or well water, which can contain high levels of minerals and other impurities.

Proper storage and usage of the machine

Store your Keurig in a dry, cool place to prevent mold and bacterial growth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for usage and cleaning to avoid damage and ensure optimal performance.

VI. DIY descaling solutions for your Keurig coffee maker

If you prefer to avoid chemical solutions, there are several natural descaling methods you can try:

Vinegar solution

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in the water reservoir and run the machine. Repeat the process several times with clean water to remove any residual odor or taste.

Water and baking soda mixture

Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of water and pour it into the water reservoir. Run the machine and repeat the process with clean water.

Other methods of cleaning without the use of chemicals

Use a mixture of lemon juice and water, or citric acid and water, to dissolve and remove mineral buildup. You can also try a mixture of salt and water or cream of tartar and water to clean your Keurig.

VII. Common mistakes to avoid when descaling your Keurig

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when descaling your Keurig:


Using too much descaling solution or mixture can damage your machine and affect the taste of your coffee. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Skipping steps

Skipping steps in the descaling process can lead to incomplete descaling or damage to your machine. Follow each step carefully to ensure effective results.

Not cleaning appropriately after descaling

Not properly rinsing your machine after descaling can leave residual acidic taste, odor, and buildup that can affect the taste of your coffee. Be sure to rinse your machine several times with clean water.

VIII. Using citric acid to descale your Keurig: A natural and effective method

What is citric acid?

Citric acid is a natural acid found in citrus fruits that can dissolve mineral buildup and other impurities in your Keurig.

How to make a citric acid solution

Mix 1 tablespoon of citric acid with 1 cup of water, and pour it into the water reservoir of your machine. Run the machine and repeat the process with clean water.

Benefits of using citric acid to descale your Keurig

Citric acid is a safe and effective alternative to harsh chemicals. It is also inexpensive and easy to find. Using citric acid for descaling your Keurig can prolong the lifespan of your machine and improve the taste and quality of your coffee.

IX. Conclusion

Descaling your Keurig coffee maker is an essential part of maintaining its performance, lifespan, and the quality of your coffee. By following our step-by-step guide and tips, you can easily descale your machine at home with minimal effort and cost.

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