How to Descale a Keurig Coffee Maker? (2 Most Effective Methods)
It’s about time you knew how to descale a Keurig coffee maker without any help. Not descaling your Keurig coffee maker is not an option and might give rise to a real problem. When the water running through the machine is hard water, know that it contains minerals. These minerals are calcium and magnesium and they can harm your Keurig coffee maker.
Once the brewing process is complete, the residue is hard to clean. As the minerals tend to evaporate and stick to the surface, including the heating element. You can’t let this remain as it can alter the taste of your coffee.
So what can you do?
What Happens When You Don’t Descale a Keurig Coffee Maker?
Anything, even mineral deposits, can ruin a perfectly good Keurig coffee maker. So if you want your Keurig K Cups to brew perfectly well. You need to know the repercussions of not knowing how to descale a Keurig coffee maker.
The scaling in the coffee maker can reduce the temperature of the coffee. So the cup of coffee is not steaming hot to extract maximum flavor and aroma (1). This is because it affects the heating element of the machine.
The scaling can limit the capacity of a Keurig coffee maker. As a result, you receive less coffee for a single cup.
Mineral deposits do not have any flavor. But they reduce the temperature needed for full extraction. This can have a direct impact on taste.
If you’re troubleshooting your Keurig coffee maker a lot, it could mean there’s unwanted scale buildup inside the machine. With time, your machine will stop working completely.
How to Descale a Keurig Coffee Maker
There are two ways to descale a Keurig coffee maker. One is with Keurig’s own cleaning solution and the second with white vinegar. You’re going to learn both ways in this informative guide.
#1 Descaling with Keurig’s Descaling Solution
You can descale all Keurig 2.0 machines with this. It takes a few hours and once done regularly it can reduce hard water damage. Including limescale buildup and other common issues.
Did you know your Keurig coffee maker notifies you when it needs descaling? The ideal time to descale any Keurig coffee maker is between 3 to 6 months. To start this is what you need to do.
What’s in Keurig’s descaling solution?
When you buy Keurig for the first time, it will recommend you to use its descaling solution. It’s strong, effective, and expensive than others. A bottle of Keurig’s descaling solution contains traces of citric acid.
Like vinegar, even this can have an after-taste and after-smell. So it’s necessary to clean the Keurig coffee maker properly after descaling. Other coffee brands also offer acid-based solutions to descale Keurig coffee makers. But they’re often temporary and ineffective.
What You Need:
- Keurig descaling solution
- A big-sized mug
- Access to tap water
- Empty the water reservoir and shut off the power to the coffee maker. Also remove the water filter, if your coffee maker has one.
- Some Keurig coffee makers give you automatic features. Make sure they’re all disabled before you start the descaling process.
- Empty out the descaling solution bottle into the water reservoir. Once the bottle is empty, fill it with tap water and add it to the reservoir.
- The next step is to switch the coffee maker on. Put the large mug under the dripper and on the drip tray.
- Make sure there’s nothing inside the K cup holder.
- Press the brew button on the display screen or control panel. But instead of letting it go, keep holding down on it. This should dispense a few ounces of hot water through the dripper.
- Empty the mug in the sink. Keep dispensing water until the water reservoir is almost empty. And the coffee maker notifies you to add more water.
- Let the machine sit for half an hour to 60 minutes. Then wash the water reservoir clean to add a fresh batch of water to it.
- Repeat the brewing/cleansing process one more time. This is to make sure no residue of the descaling solution remains.
#2 Descaling with Vinegar
A home remedy can be a fantastic idea for quick descaling. White vinegar (2) is cheaper to buy than Keurig’s descaling solution. Having said that, most homes already have vinegar to cook.
Using vinegar may be a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Unlike with the descaling solution, the ideal time to descale a Keurig coffee maker is every 2 months.
What You Need:
- Dishwashing soap
- White vinegar
- Access to tap water
- Dry towel or wiping cloth
- Drain the water in the water reservoir. And shut the power off to the coffee maker.
- Detach all parts of the coffee maker. Such as the drip tray, K-cup holder, and mug stand.
- Clean all parts of the coffee maker with dish soap. Dry them using a wiping cloth.
- Wipe down the coffee maker using a dry, clean towel. And put the parts back into their respective places on the machine.
- Fill the water reservoir half with water and half with white vinegar.
- Making sure there’s nothing inside the K-cup holder. Start the brewing process by placing a mug on the drip tray.
- Keep dispensing the water in the mug after each cycle. Until the reservoir is almost empty.
- Throw away the rest of the water in the reservoir. And fill it up with clean water. Repeat the cleansing process to get rid of vinegar residue. This step is very important as you don’t want the vinegar smell to stay behind.
How to Keep Keurig Coffee Maker Clean?
Did you think knowing how to descale a Keurig coffee maker is enough? The answer is no! You also need to know what to do in between descaling cycles.
- Keep the reservoir clean
Do not keep water in for more than a few days. Keep replacing the water in the reservoir. This reduces the chances of mold growing at the corners of the reservoir. And with clean water, you’re less likely to fall sick.
- Use distilled water, if you can
This is the best tip for Keurig coffee maker owners. Distilled water contains no harmful minerals. And so there’s less chance of limescale buildup and mold.
If you want to get healthier, you can use filtered water. Some machines allow you to connect directly to the water reservoir. So there’s a constant supply of clean, filtered water.
- Clean after brewing specialty drinks
Are you fond of making specialty coffee? Something sweet, savory, and sticky. Keurig 2.0 coffee makers allow you to add cinnamon, caramel, and hot chocolate.
Run the coffee maker through with clean water after making such sticky drinks. This also applies to sugary drinks. As sugar leaves behind deposits that can crystallize and clog up the coffee maker.
- Buy a replaceable water filter
The ideal time to replace the water filter is every 2 months. If you use the machine often, then once every 60 tank refills. Keurig 2.0 coffee makers notify you to replace the filter. It’s either automated or you can set a reminder yourself.
So you think you’ve hit the jackpot by buying from the top 10 choices? It doesn’t end there. A good Keurig coffee maker needs proper maintenance and care. Unless you clean every part of your brewer, it will keep collecting bacteria, mold, and limescale.
This could easily get transferred to your cup of Joe. Harboring E. coli, Staphylococcus, and other bacteria. So if you’ve forgotten to clean your machine in the past. You better start doing so now that you’ve read this article.