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House Cleaning Blog

How to Clean a Keurig

  Jonathan Teall  |    05 April 2019  |    Kitchen

What does descaling mean?

You've probably heard that you need to regularly descale, and clean your Keurig or pod-based coffeemaker. Descaling sounds like a weird thing to have to do to your coffeemaker, doesn't it? Where are the scales, and why does every guide tell me that my coffeemaker has a characteristic in common with crocodiles and turtles?

Water makes up nearly 99% of your average cup of coffee. No matter where you get your water from, it will contain very small quantities of different minerals. Calcium is one of the biggest offenders in city provided tap water. When calcium builds up over time throughout the coffee making process, limescale will develop on the inside of your coffeemaker. When you're descaling your coffeemaker, you're getting rid of that limescale that has developed over the longterm usage of your machine.


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This method will work with any sort of pod based coffee making system. If you have a machine that has a specific brewing method, such as those that are commonly made to use espresso, you will have to take additional steps to make sure that every facet is properly cleaned and decalcified. The basic idea will remain the same, but this is specifically tailored towards a Keurig product. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Naturally Cleaning Your Kitchen if you want to learn more methods that'll leave your kitchen naturally sparkling.

The Process:

  1. Unplug the machine before you attempt any of the following steps.
  2. Take apart everything that is removable, pull the pieces out and wash them with warm water and dish soap. These pieces can include any combination of the following depending on your specific model: drip tray, lid, water reservoir, and the area that holds the coffee pod is usually removable as well. Set them aside on a dish towel to dry, and wipe them inside and out.
  3. Replace the parts you just washed into their original places after they've dried out. Fill the reservoir halfway with water, and halfway with white vinegar.
  4. Place a mug directly under the spout and run it on the cycle you would use to normally brew a cup of coffee in a mug of that size. Dump the vinegar mixture into the sink, and repeat this process until the reservoir is completely empty. 
  5. Dampen a sponge and wipe down the interior of the water reservoir, and then run hot water over it until you've sufficiently gotten the vinegar smell out of it.
  6. Fill the reservoir back up with water as you usually would, and run it through a few brew cycle without using a coffee pod. This will ensure that there is absolutely no residual vinegar by flushing out all traces.
  7. Make a cup of coffee and enjoy your effort! Your coffee will have a noticeably different great taste if it's been a while since the last time you cleaned it out.


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