Your Keurig is a magical little machine, brewing up fresh cups of joe with only the touch of a button. But just because these are low maintenance doesn't mean they're no maintenance.
Like any kitchen appliance, Keurig coffee makers can accumulate some pretty disgusting stuff if not cleaned properly (must we remind you of the Instant Pot maggots?). In 2015, swabbed 28 single-serve coffee machines and found "4.6 million colonies of bacteria and mold." Yuck!
The good news: It's actually incredibly easy to clean your Keurig, whether you decide to go with vinegar or the company's descaling solution. Here, we've put together a quick and easy guide based on so that you can keep yours clean and sip your espresso in bacteria-free peace.
Keurig Cleaning Essentials
How often should you clean a Keurig?
The exterior of your Keurig should be cleaned about once a week at the very least, or more frequently if things get dire. Keep in mind that the drip tray can only hold eight ounces, so you'll need to empty it every once in a while.
It's recommended that the water reservoir and pod holder get a weekly cleaning, but "descaling"—or removing mineral buildup—can be done less often, around once every three to six months. The descale light will usually flip on when it's time, but you'll probably be able to tell on your own anyway. Brewing may become slower, and your cup may not fill up all the way.
As for filter replacement, that can be done every two months or so.
How do you clean the outside of a Keurig?
With a wet, soapy, , wipe away dust or splatters. Then, gently slide out the drip tray, empty, wipe, and return to its position. But never, ever submerge the machine in water. It is an electrical appliance, after all.
How do you clean individual parts of a Keurig?
Turn off and unplug the machine and allow it to cool.
Next, lift up the lever to disassemble the K-Cup pod holder and funnel, and wash both parts in the sink or on the top shelf of the dishwasher on a low temperature cycle.
While you're at it, loosen any potential clogs from the "entrance needle" (that thing that pierces the pods) as well as the "exit needle" underneath the pod holder using a clean paperclip . (But be careful—those things are sharp!)
Remove the water reservoir and lid and wash both with soapy water in the sink—not the dishwasher. Rinse thoroughly and spray the filter with a faucet hose, or shake the reservoir to create a more forceful stream of water. But when you're done, don't towel-dry the inside, as you could leave some lint behind.
How do you descale a Keurig using vinegar?
Empty the water reservoir and, if applicable, the filter. Turn off the machine. Fill the reservoir with 10 ounces of .
Next, place a (not paper!) under the spout and (without adding a K-Cup), hit that beloved brew button.
Empty the contents of the mug, then refill the reservoir with 10 ounces of only water and repeat, letting the Keurig sit for 30 minutes when complete.
After that, remove and rinse the reservoir, fill it to the full line with fresh water, and repeat brew cycles until all the water is gone.
Fun Accessories for Keurig Lovers
How do you descale a Keurig using descaling solution?
Perform the functions described above, but instead of using vinegar, fill the reservoir with a bottle of . Before moving on to the next step, fill the now-empty descaling solution bottle with water and pour that into the reservoir as well.
Hit the "brew" button to perform a cleansing brew into a ceramic mug (remember, don't use paper here!). Repeat until "Add Water" is illuminated. At that point, let the Keurig rest for 30 minutes.
After that, remove and rinse the reservoir, fill it to the full line with fresh water, and repeat brew cycles until all of the water is gone (or 12 times, as recommended by the Keurig Descaling Solution manufacturer).