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 require no maintenance.
It's easy to forget about what's going on inside—especially when you only use it as you're rushing out the door in the morning. 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 incredibly easy to clean your Keurig, whether with vinegar or the company's descaling solution. We put together and quick and easy guide based on as well as some alternative guides, so you can keep your Keurig clean and sip your espresso in peace.
How Often Should You Clean Your Keurig?
The exterior of your Keurig should be cleaned about once a week, or really whenever needed. 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 every three to six months. The descale light will usually flip on, but you'll probably be able to tell when it's time anyway, as brewing may become slower, and your cup may not fill up all the way. Replace your filter every two months or so.
How to Clean the Outside of a Keurig
- With a wet, soapy, , wipe away dust or splatters.
- Gently slide out the drip tray, empty, wipe, and return to its position.
Note: Never, ever submerge the machine in water. It is an electrical appliance, after all.
How to Clean Keurig Parts
- Turn off and unplug the machine and allow to cool.
- 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 . (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. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and spray the filter with a faucet hose, or shake the reservoir to create a more forceful stream of water.
Note: When you're done, don't towel-dry the inside, as you could leave some lint behind.
How to Descale a Keurig
- Empty the water reservoir and, if applicable, the filter.
- Turn off the machine.
- Fill the reservoir with a bottle of water, or 10 ounces of .
- 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.
- Remove and rinse the reservoir, fill to the full line with water, and repeat brew cycles until all of the water is gone.
Note: Any questions? Consult your manual.