How to clean a keurig

Whether you’re in full-on spring cleaning mode or just wondering why your coffee doesn’t taste as good at it used to, it might be time to learn how to descale Keurig with vinegar. Don’t worry, it’s pretty darn easy. Plus, as a bonus, this article will tell you how to clean a Keurig! 🙂

How to clean a keurig

The Keurig is a pretty convenient invention; it allows you to brew a single cup of coffee in seconds without grinding beans, scooping messy grounds, or even pouring water. Notice I said “convenient,” not magic. Unfortunately, a Keurig, like all household appliances, requires some TLC.

You need to know how to descale Keurig (with vinegar or some other solution), and you need to know how to clean a Keurig. (Yes, those are two separate things.)

When referring to how do you descale a Keurig, I’m talking about flushing the system itself where calcium deposits, bacteria, and other impurities can build up … or even worse, wash through and end up in your next cup of coffee. When referring to how to clean out a Keurig, I’m talking about washing the various pieces, like the k cup holder, the same way you would dishes.

If you’re wondering “do I really need to learn how to descale my Keurig” or “do I really need to learn how to clean my Keurig,” the answer is yes. You really, really do. For one, descaling and cleaning can keep the Keurig functioning properly by preventing blockages. However, more importantly, not descaling and cleaning could make you sick!

A USA Today article cites a study that found that 50% of all coffee water reservoirs checked contained mold or yeast! Totally gross, right?

Ready to learn how to descale your Keurig now? Like right now? 😉

Don’t worry, learning how to descale a Keurig machine and how to clean out a Keurig is not difficult. And if you’re going to focus on how to descale your Keurig with vinegar, you probably have all the materials and ingredients you need in your kitchen right now. (So that means you have no excuse!)

In fact, cleaning and descaling a Keurig is so easy it could probably be assigned to your kids as part of their cores! Go ahead, consider adding it to your chore chart for kids or reward chart for kids printable.

Materials for Cleaning and Descaling My Keurig

How to clean a keurig

  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Cup
  • Vinegar
  • Toothbrush
  • Drinking water (preferably filtered water)
  • Cloth (like a dish rag)

How to Clean a Keurig: Directions

If you’ve been wondering “how to clean my Keurig,” wonder no more! In just 7 simple steps you’ll have a Keurig that is clean enough to eat off of … err, drink out of. 🙂

1. Fill your kitchen sink halfway with hot soapy water.

2. Remove drip tray and put it in the sink to soak.

How to clean a keurig

3. Remove k cup holder and place it in sink.

4. Use a toothbrush to scrub the needle that pierces the cups.

5. Wash, rinse, and dry parts.

How to clean a keurig

6. Return parts to Keurig.

7. Wipe down the outside of your machine with a damp cloth and a gentle cleaner.

How to Clean My Keurig FAQs

Q: How often should I clean a Keurig?
A: You should run through the steps on how to clean a Keurig (wash the reservoir, k cup holder, and drip pan) approximately once a week.

Q: If I clean my Keurig do I still need to descale it?
A: Yes! 🙂

Q: What cleaner should I use on the outside of my Keurig?
A: Any gentle all-purpose cleaner should be fine. If you prefer an all-natural option, consider making your own homemade cleaner.

How to Descale a Keurig with Vinegar: Directions

Now that you know how to clean out a Keurig, it’s time to move on to how do you descale a Keurig. This process is essential to getting a tasty (and hygienic) cup of coffee!

1. Remove any used cups from the holder.

How to clean a keurig

2. Fill water reservoir ¾ of the way full with vinegar.

How to clean a keurig

3. Place a cup underneath the Keurig and run the machine.

Tip: Wondering why descaling my Keurig with vinegar works? Vinegar is made from acetic acid, which is strong enough to dissolve mineral deposit, dirt, and grease. It’s also strong enough to kill bacteria.

4. Repeat step 3 until there is no longer enough vinegar left in the reservoir to fill a cup.

5. Fill the reservoir ¾ full of filtered water and run the machine.

Tip: It may be tempting to skip this step when going through how to descale my Keurig, but don’t, unless you like the taste of vinegar with your coffee! 😉

How to clean a keurig

6. Repeat step 5 until there is no longer enough water left in the reservoir to fill a cup.

7. Dry out the reservoir to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in your freshly descaled Keurig.

Guess what—you just learned how to descale a Keurig machine! Your Keurig is now ready to use … and just in time for your 3 p.m. pick-me-up cup of coffee! 🙂

How Do You Descale A Keurig FAQs

Q: How often should I be descaling my Keurig?
A: You should run through the steps on how to descale a Keurig every 2 months.

Q: How to descale my Keurig without vinegar?
A: Don’t want to use vinegar in your Keurig? Try this Keurig descale solution DIY recipe without vinegar.

Q: If I follow the how to descale a Keurig machine instructions, do I still need to clean my Keurig?
A: Yes!

Now that you know how to descale your Keurig, you can move on to other cleaning tasks. Yay! Use these cleaning printables to get organized and stay on track.

Oh, and don’t forget to take your designated coffee break! 😉

If you can’t remember the last time you descaled yours, read this now.

How to clean a keurig

How to clean a keurig

Owning a Keurig means you no longer have to think about wrangling filters and ground coffee beans every morning. But many of us are probably guilty of not thinking about cleaning it either — and that thing can get dirty. Like all coffee makers and pod coffee systems, Keurigs can serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold if not regularly cleaned. Grossed out? Us too.

We asked Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, for advice on how to maintain your go-to morning machine. Start by buying the following cleaning essentials, then follow the timeline below for how often you should clean every part of your brewer.

What you’ll need:

How to clean a keurig

How to clean a keurig

How to clean a keurig

How to clean a keurig

How to clean a keurig

Every week:

Ideally, you’ll want to wash the removable parts of your machine on a weekly basis.

  1. Unplug the machine.
  2. Disassemble the water reservoir, lid, mug tray, and K-cup holder.
  3. Clean the mug tray and K-cup holder in warm soapy water.
  4. For the water reservoir and lid, remove the water filter, then wipe the surfaces with a damp, soapy cloth.
  5. Rinse the reservoir and lid with water and let air dry — you don’t want to dry it with a cloth since this could leave lint behind.
  6. Wipe down the exterior surface with a wet sponge.
  7. Replace all the removable parts and plug the machine back in.

Every two months:

Replace the water filter cartridge to keep your coffee fresh every other month.

  1. Start by soaking a new cartridge in fresh water for five minutes, then rinse it for 60 seconds.
  2. Wash the mesh of the lower filter holder.
  3. Insert the cartridge into the upper filter holder, and snap on the lid.
  4. Finally, put it back into your reservoir and lock it into place.

Every three to six months:

Descale your machine to remove hard water minerals that can build up over time, which could affect how well it works.

  1. Begin the descaling process by filling the reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar or Keurig’s Descaling Solution.
  2. Start the brew cycle without a K-cup and let the machine run as usual, using a mug to catch the liquid.
  3. Repeat this process a second time.
  4. Then, repeat the process one last time, but with 10 ounces of fresh water to remove any vinegar taste.
  5. Brew coffee as usual.

As needed:

When you see grounds in your K-cup holder, remove them with a sponge to prevent them from ending up in your beverage tomorrow morning. If you’re having trouble brewing, there may also be coffee grounds stuck in the needles, which punch the entrance and exit points the water flows through.

If you haven’t cleaned your Keurig or other pod system coffee maker in a while, it’s probably dirty — like, really dirty.

Just like most things in the kitchen — especially things that are subject to daily use — these coffee makers can be full of bacteria, yeast and mold if they aren’t properly cleaned.

Since the hot water isn’t enough to decontaminate the machine, harmful germs can build up to a point that it can actually make you sick.

Single-serve machines like Keurigs are no exception. So, every few weeks, take some time to keep your Keurig running smoothly and your coffee germ-free. Thankfully, the folks over at ASimplySimpleLife have Kuerig-cleaning down to a science.

How to clean a keurig

How to Clean Your Keurig or Other Pod System Coffee Maker

Cleaning your Keurig is pretty straightforward. In order to do it you will need:

  • Dish soap, such as Dawn
  • A cleaning brush (a toothbrush works great!)
  • Butter knife
  • Paper towels
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Purified water

The steps for cleaning the Keurig machine are as follows:

  1. If there’s a K-Cup in the machine, remove it
  2. Carefully remove the K-Cup holder
  3. Remove the water reservoir and lid
  4. Remove the drip tray and drip tray cover
  5. Clean the K-Cup holder, water reservoir and lid, and drip tray and drip tray cover in the sink with dish soap
  6. Wet your brush with some purified water to remove the old coffee grounds from the area where you removed the K-Cup holder. Wet a paper towel and use it on the end of the butter knife to get to hard-to-reach spots.
  7. Repeat this process in the area where you removed the water reservoir
  8. Replace the water reservoir, fill it halfway with the distilled vinegar and start the brew process (with no K-Cup)
  9. Repeat the process until there is no more vinegar in the reservoir
  10. Fill the reservoir with purified water and run the brew process as many times as necessary to empty the reservoir
  11. Replace the K-Cup holder, drip tray and drip tray cover

Voila! You have a clean Keurig. If you’re a visual learner, check out the ASimplySimpleLife video below for a walk-through of the process.

Do you have tips for cleaning small appliances around the kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!

Just like any appliance that sees a lot of use, your coffee maker also needs a deep cleaning every once in a while.

Chances are, it’s been a while since you last cleaned your coffee maker. If you’re making coffee every single day, you should be performing a deep clean — or a descale — every three to six months to remove buildup of deposits, such as lime or bacteria.

Descaling your coffee maker should only take a few minutes and can improve the performance of your coffee maker, as well as the taste of the coffee it makes.

What you will need

To get started, you will need a large coffee mug, some distilled vinegar and filtered water. Before descaling, however, you should hand wash or wipe down any removable parts, so you will also need a damp wash cloth.

Descaling the coffee maker

Over months of use, lime, bacteria and other unwanted things can begin to build up inside your coffee maker, especially if you’re using a single-cup maker like a Keurig. And it’s easy to forget about, since there’s no way to visually discern if most coffee makers are due for a descaling.

No less, getting rid of that grime is simple:

  • Start by dumping any water from the cold water reservoir and removing any spent pods that may be left behind.
  • Use a dry (or slightly damp) wash cloth to wipe away any residue, such as loose coffee grounds, from the exterior and the pod housing before descaling.
  • Turn the coffee maker on and pour the distilled vinegar into the water reservoir until you reach the Max Fill line.
  • Once the coffee maker is ready to brew, place the coffee mug on the drip tray, lift the handle, select the largest brew cycle and lower the handle without inserting a pod. Start the brewing process.
  • When the mug is full, dump the mixture down the sink and repeat until there is no more solution left in the reservoir.
  • If there is still vinegar in the reservoir, either add enough water to run one more cycle or dump the remaining solution in the sink.
  • Fill the reservoir with filtered water and run multiple cycles to wash away any remaining vinegar from the machine. Thoroughly rinse out the reservoir.

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.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Large ceramic mug
  • Keurig water filter cartridge refill
Dish soap
Microfiber cloth
Distilled white vinegar
Ceramic mug
Keurig water filter cartridge refill

How to Clean a Keurig: Weekly

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

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

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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When was the last time you cleaned your coffeemaker?

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A Keurig can quickly become your best friend. After all, it’s one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get your java fix in the morning. However, if you use it on the daily, your Keurig can lose a little of its luster.

To keep your Keurig looking new and performing at its best, here’s a quick rundown of how to easily clean the machine.

It’s recommended to do this process three to four times a year.

How to clean a keurigAdobe

What You Need

  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • A clean dry or damp cloth


1. Unplug the Keurig machine.

2. Remove the washable parts and wash them in warm water. This includes the water holder and K-Cup holder in the top compartment along with the drip tray at the bottom.

3. Wipe down the rest of the machine with the cloth.

4. Replace the parts you cleaned and plug it in.

5. Fill the water reservoir with vinegar (enough to make at least four cups of coffee). Start the brew cycle without inserting a K-Cup. Discard the hot vinegar that’s dumped in the mug. Repeat this until the reservoir is empty.

6. Leave the Keurig on for four hours. The residual vinegar will break down any remaining gunk in your machine.

7. Repeat Step 5 again now with just water. This will rinse any last bit of vinegar out of your machine’s system.

Congrats! You’re ready to use your spotless Keurig, and now you don’t have to worry about gross gunk diluting the taste of your delicious coffee.

How to clean a keurigAdobe

Where To Find The Most Affordable K-Cups

Once you get your Keurig clean, you’re going to need some coffee to fill it. I’ve found that Amazon always has great deals on K-Cups.

Plus, Amazon allows Keurig customers to use the “Subscribe and Save” option to keep their kitchens stocked with coffee pods. If you opt for that, you can save an additional 5% on each order.

And if you’re worried about what to do with all those used K-Cups, make sure you read this list of 15 great ways to reuse them.

It includes some ingenious ideas, including using them as seed starters, like the ones crafted by the blogger at Fresh Eggs Daily.

You can also create hanging planters or even repurpose them as holiday decorations, like Artsy Momma did when she made cute bunnies out of them.

How to clean a keurig

Seriously, how crafty is that? To think one little K-Cup can bring so many different ideas to life.

*FloorCleaningTools is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission (no added cost for you).

Provided that you’re a coffee addict, you’re properly using your Mr.Coffee Keurig at many times a day. However, do you care about how dirty it is? The cleanliness level of the coffee maker is very important. Why? Because the dirtier the machine is, the more bacteria and mold multiply.

For a Keurig machine, if you think it won’t pick up much dust by dint of its simple structure, you are completely wrong. Let’s discard this thought and wash your coffee maker off immediately.

How To Clean My Mr Coffee Keurig? My article will help you remove germs and mold effectively. This is also a way to improve your health and make your coffee cup more delicious. So let’s scroll down and figure it out!

Table of Contents

What Causes The Keurig Machine To Become Dirty?

The Proliferation of Yeast and Mold

Yeast and mold negatively affect health, especially they can cause an allergic response to those who have sensitive skin and even make infections. And, the number of people who have these symptoms can account for a certain percentage of the population.

According to the 2011 household germ study of NSF International, an independent public health organization, 50% sampled water reservoirs of the coffee makers had yeast and mold. Therefore, it is essential to empty the unused water in your coffee maker reservoirs and dry them out.

The Growth of Bacteria and Germs

Not only the body of the machine, but the surrounding area also contains a wealth of germs if you do regular washing. Especially the coffee pot handle is the place where most bacteria gather.

According to Chuck Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, a great source of germs is coffee cups, notably if they are shared amongst colleagues. He is also supposed that microorganisms appear in coffee break rooms even more than those in restrooms in most office buildings.

The Moist and Quiet Environment

This is also the origin reason for the two above causes. The warm and moist environment is an ideal place for bacteria growth. You should always be sure to empty the coffee jug with any remaining water and dry your Mr.Coffee Keurig as well as the surrounding area after using it.

How To Clean The Keurig Coffee Maker? – Tips For Cleansing

What do You Need to Prepare?


  • White vinegar
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Dishwashing liquid

Essential Tools

  • A cleaning toothbrush
  • A microfiber cloth


#1 Unplug your Keurig Machine

If you don’t want to damage the machine or get any other electrical damage for yourself, make sure you turn off all the power leading to your machine.

#2. Disassemble and Clean Removable Parts

Firstly, you have to take apart the lid, the reservoir, and the mug stand. Then, remove the K-cup holder and the funnel. In this step, you should be careful because the holder has a sharp needle, which can hurt you sometimes. When you’re done, then remove the tray and its cover.

You can follow an instruction printed on the lid using a clamp cloth to clean it. For easy washing, put these parts into the dishwasher. Alternatively, if you do not have a dishwasher, fill the sink with hot water and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, then soak them for 10-15 minutes. Then wash them off and dry them out.

#3. Wipe The Rest of The Machine

By just using a microfiber cloth with all-purpose cleaners, you wipe the surface of the machine. Next, wipe the coffee pod holder with a toothbrush to remove all left coffee and tea granules. Then, assemble removable parts and plug in the machine.

#4. Grab White Vinegar

The great feature of white vinegar is descaling. It can remove lime and residue buildup, thus helping your machine run smoothly. Fill the halfway reservoir with vinegar and the rest with water.

#5. Run the Brew Cycle

Without inserting the K-cup, start the brew cycle and repeat until the water in the reservoir is exhausted. After each brewing cycle, you should dump the mug contents. It is recommended that you should descale your brewer at least every 3 months or a half year depending on your type of water source.

#6. Repeat Rinse with Water

Using only plain water in the reservoir and repeat this cycle until all residual vinegar tastes are discarded. Now, you can make a new coffee as usual again.

Plus, here’s how to know when it’s time to give the appliance a good scrub.

There’s a lot to love about the pod life. It makes getting your daily java fix uber-easy and much cheaper than the coffee shop competition. Plus, by the end of 2020, 100 percent of Keurig K-Cup pods will be recyclable.

But brewing the best cup of Keurig coffee does require a little bit of work: Your machine needs to be cleaned regularly to run at full steam and taste as incredible as the first cup you made in it.

Before we dive into how to clean a Keurig, here’s how to tell that it might be time to give the appliance a good scrub:

  • You notice any “off” smells reminiscent of mildew
  • You spy mineral building up on any parts of the coffee maker
  • Your cup is not full
  • Your coffee takes noticeably longer than before to brew

Most of these issues arise as the result of hard water buildup, which can be less of an issue if you follow Keurig website instructions: “We don’t recommend the use of softened water or distilled water. Bottled or spring water works best when brewing with your Keurig.”

This will likely lengthen the timespan between cleanings. Used as an average coffee fan might, it’s best to clean the exterior of your Keurig once each week (or more if it gets splattered on). “Descale,” or eliminate that mineral build-up on the interior, every 3 months or so. There is an indicator light that should notify you when it’s time to spiff up the inside of your Keurig, but you’ll likely be about to tell based on the steps mentioned above. Replace the filter every 2 months.