How To Descale Keurig – How Do You Descale A Keurig In 2024

Every beautiful morning starts with a good cup of coffee. Its warmth and aroma filling the kitchen instantly lift the mood and get everyone ready for a productive day ahead. Since we are living in a fast-paced world, coffee maker machines are really helpful innovations that we can use to make a great cup of joe. 

However, germs and bacteria love moisture – something that coffee makers produce every single morning while brewing the daily cup. In addition, hard water minerals such as calcium can build up in a coffee machine that may cause it to serve an off-tasting, and tepid cup that will take a longer-than-usual time to brew. 

If that is the case, it may need to be descaled to get things back in tip-top shape and peak performance. According to Keurig, descaling should take place every 3 to 6 months to preserve the long-term health of the brewer. Below will be two easy methods that we can use to descale our Keurig coffee machine. 

descaling solution

Method 1: Using a Keurig descaling solution – How To use Keurig Descaling Solution

For the preparation, we need to have the following: a large ceramic mug, Keurig descaling solution, and lastly, access to a sink. We need a large ceramic mug since we will get rid of the sediments from the insides of our machine. 

It is also practical to use a large mug so we do not have to pour the water out from time to time. Keurig Descaling Solution is an effective, and odorless solution which helps clean and removes calcium and other deposits to keep the coffee maker in tip-top shape. This is available in grocery stores or can be ordered online. This is one method that Keurig recommends. Steps on cleaning the machine using this solution are listed below:

1. Empty the coffee maker:

Make sure that the Keurig water tank is empty and coffee ground-free. We also have to get rid of any Keurig k-cup that is still in the brewer. During this step, we can leave the cup holder and the funnel inside. These parts are made to lead the solution into the spout for the process to be spill-free.

Here is a guide on how to drain a Keurig!

2. Turn off the automatic shut-off feature:

The cleaning solution needs to stay inside the machine for a bit of time. Remember to still keep the brewer on during the process.

3. Fill the coffee machine reservoir with the cleaning solution and water with a 1:1 ratio:

Filling the machine halfway with the solution and diluting with one part of water is the recommended mixture by Keurig to be used on cleaning its machines.

4. Set the machine:

Now that we have filled the reservoir with the cleaning mixture, we need to click the large cup setting which can commonly be found on the button section of the machine. 

5. Run the cycle by starting to brew then getting rid of the sediments by pouring the water:

The solution will enter and work throughout the machine which will and will break down any scale formation caused by mineral deposits. At this point, we will see sediments in our cup which means that we are getting rid of the dirt inside our coffee maker.

6. Keep on doing this step until the water tank is slightly out of the solution: Most Keurig machines will notify “Add Water” or turn on the light indicating that the tank is almost running out of water. 

Let the remaining solution stay in the water tank for 30 minutes: When the machine notifies to “Add Water” or flashes a light, turn down the Auto-off feature and allow the machine to sit. This step is done so the solution can finally work its magic through the inner working of our machine!

how do you descale a keurig coffeemaker

According to Keurig, the machine should be kept on while doing this. In cases that the machine’s “Auto Off” feature happens to be turned on, we can access it by pressing the Menu button twice, then pressing the button on the left until the machine says “Off.”

Pour the remaining solution out and wash the reservoir well with clean water. After letting the descaling solution sit for 30 minutes, we want to make sure to get rid of the solution inside our machine before filling it again with clean water this time.

Fill the tank with clean water this time. After letting the solution sit, our coffee machine may have some of it inside, so it will be best to wash it all off using freshwater. This is an important step unless we want an off-tasting coffee next time we brew- of course, we don’t!

Keep it brewing, then pour it out. We need to repeat this process until the Keurig is free from the cleaning solution that were used. Once it’s done, voilà! We now have a clean Keurig that will make us an even better cup of joe!

Method 2: Using water and vinegar – How To Descale Keurig With Vinegar

There are times that it is hard to get a cleaning solution due to our busy schedule. Going in and out of the house is already a stretch especially for young professionals that need to always be on the go. 

Despite this, nothing should hinder us from getting the great cup of joe that we all deserve. With that, the good news is we do not have to buy or order a Keurig cleaning solution since we can just clean our Keurig coffee makers using household ingredients that are within our reach.  

For this method, we will need the same materials except for the cleaning solution which we will replace with simply, water and vinegar! White distilled vinegar is considered one of the most magical household ingredients because of its many uses – be it in cooking, baking, and even cleaning! This method stars white distilled vinegar to be used as the cleaning solution for our Keurig coffee machine. Steps are listed below:

1. Empty the coffee maker:

Getting rid of the grime in the machine is simple! Start by dumping any water from the reservoir and removing any K-cups or coffee pods that may be left behind. Using a slightly damp washcloth will be helpful to wipe any residue before descaling.

descaling solution vs vinegar

2. Fill the water reservoir with vinegar and water using a 1:1 ratio:

When doing this method, always remember that it is important to dilute the vinegar. Cleaning the Keurig machine using pure or undiluted white vinegar might damage the inner workings of our machine.

We can also resort to apple cider vinegar in cleaning the machine, however, it will need a few extra rinses to get rid of the smell and flavor out.

Another household ingredient that can be used in descaling is citric acid. They are commonly seen in grocery stores and used as flavoring agents in food and drinks. To clean using this method, one part of white vinegar can be replaced with 1 to 2 tablespoons of citric acid per 4 cups or a liter of water. After this, the steps will just be the same! 

3. Place a ceramic mug on the tray:

It is practical to use a big mug to prevent spills or overflows. We are aiming for something that can hold about 10 ounces of water. Don’t forget to also click the large cup setting when doing this!

4. Run the cycle by starting to brew then getting rid of the sediments by pouring the water out:

White distilled vinegar contains acetic acid, that makes it useful and efficient at dissolving scales in the Keurig coffee machine. Most of the scale is made up of deposits that are found in the water. During this step, the solution will flow through the machine which will cause sediments to be seen in the cup which means that we are getting rid of the grime inside our coffee maker.

5. Keep doing the previous step until the water tank is almost out:

Most Keurig machines will say “Add Water” or flash a light indicating that the tank is almost running out of water. When this happens, stop the brewing let the solution sit for a few hours.

6. Let the remaining vinegar solution sit in the water tank for four hours:

Unlike the previous method, the solution is recommended to sit for a longer period. This step will let the solution do its work on the insides of our coffee maker and dissolve any scale formation.

7. Pour the remaining vinegar solution out and wash off the machine reservoir well:

After letting it sit in the machine for four hours, we want to remove the solution before filling it again with clean water.

8. Put clean water in the water tank this time:

This is a really important step so we will not have an off-tasting coffee next time we use our Keurig coffee machine! We do not want a sour-tasting coffee so it is best to not skip this step! 

If using apple cider vinegar, the machine more cycles of rinsing to get rid of the extra flavor. There is nothing to worry about since this will still effectively clean the coffee maker.

If there is no available white distilled vinegar in the household, we can also use lemon as an alternative. To do this, simply fill the water tank with one part of lemon juice then one part of water, then follow the steps below.

what is keurig descaling solution made of

9. Repeat this process until such time that there is no more vinegar solution and smell inside the coffee machine:

After that, we can now enjoy freshly brewed coffee made using a newly-descale Keurig machine. Yay!

According to Keurig’s descaling instructions, the number of brews will depend on the model of the brewer.

For small series such as the K130 Brewer and K10 Mini +, three brews are already enough. For the rest of the series of K-Cup Home, including K155, K145, Vue, and Rivo line brewers, brewing cycles might take up to 12 cycles.


These are the two simple methods that we can use to clean and descale our Keurig coffee machine! It is always important to maintain our appliances so they can perform well and be in their tip-top shape. Cleaning the Keurig coffee machine can already be considered an accomplishment since it just needs to be done every 3 to 6 months – no need for a daily hassle!

There are also no excuses this time because even though a descaling solution is unavailable, we can always use home remedies that are equally effective in cleaning. We can just grab our vinegar and water we feel that our coffee brewers need some pampering – how easy right?

We all know that everybody deserves a great cup of coffee, be it at work or home. This all starts with a nice coffee maker and, of course how we take care of them. So the next time we notice that the brewer is taking a long time to make a cup of coffee, we must already know the solution to how to descale our Keurig coffee machine.

Having a good cup of coffee and a clean coffee make has never been this easy. Enjoy!

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About David Dewitt

Hi, my name is David and I come from Columbus, Ohio. I am a amateur photographer, and a coffee lover. I love to write, and don't mind me a cup of joe!