How to Descale a Keurig®
One of the key steps you can take to having great tasting coffee is to ensure your Keurig® is descaled on a regular basis. Now we generally try and do this every three months or so and Keurig® themselves recommend at least doing this cleaning process at least every six months. Now, you can do the descaling more often, it certainly won’t harm the brewer, but we have found it doesn’t result in any better tasting coffee and we tend to have better things to do with our time.
If descaling or a good clean of your Keurig® doesn't address a particular problem you might be having you might want to have a look at our article about troubleshooting your Keurig, which has some of the more common problems, and solutions, that people have come across.
So on with the process to descale your Keurig®
Things You Will Need
- White vinegar: and the most important ingredient is of course vinegar, of which you will need about 48 – 90 ounces (depending on the size of your Keurig’s water reservoir). Any household vinegar will do the trick. We like to use the distilled ones and have found Heinz a good brand.
- 12 Oz Clean Mug: of course a clean one should be used and we find the glass ones the best as one can get a better idea of the quality of the rinse through. This helps to gauge how many cycles are going to be required. We like the pyrex range.
- Timer: this will help us keep track of the drying process that takes around four hours. So a timer with an alarm is best and for us the bigger the number in setting it the better.
- Sink: did we mention a sink? Or something you can easily tip the contents from the brewer into from the rinse throughs. So get the kitchen bench clear of those dishes and have plenty of space around.
Three Easy Steps
Now that we have everything together we can start the descaling process. We’ll break this process down into three steps, being:
- Cleaning; and
- Step 1: turn the brewer on, and ensure you disable the auto-off feature. We don’t want it shutting down part way through the process. Consult your owners’ manual for your particular brewer.
- Step 2: empty any water that might be sitting in the reservoir into the sink. If the water reservoir on your Keurig® has an optional water filter in it, take it out for this process and put it to one side. Once everything is cleaned and rinsed thoroughly you can put the filter back in at the end of the descaling process.
- Step 1: fill the water reservoir to the top with white vinegar.
- Step 2: now take the large mug and place it on the drip tray and run a water only cycle, without a K Cup portion pack in the machine. Tip the used vinegar in the mug into the sink and repeat the process until almost all of the vinegar has been used or the “Add Water” message appears on your brewer.
- Step 3: ok, you can put your feet from here for a few hours – well four hours to be precise. We need to let the brewing system stand for at least four hours. So set the timer and ensure the Keurig® remains on for the whole drying process.
- Step 4: back after four hours? Hopefully you heard the timer alarm and we can carry on with the descaling. Tip any remaining water / vinegar from the water reservoir into the sink. Then rinse the water reservoir thoroughly with clean water to ensure any residue is disposed of. This make take a few rinses to make sure all the vinegar is removed from the reservoir.
- Step 1: fill the water reservoir with clean fresh water.
- Step 2: place the large mug, we were using before, back on the drip tray and run another water only cycle (again without a K cup portion pack in the brewer). Pour the contents of the mug into the sink and repeat process until all of the water is used from the reservoir or the Add Water message is displayed on the brewer.
Sometimes this step needs to be repeated – there can be residual odours and/or taste. Remember though, it’s only vinegar and so small traces, if still present, are not harmful but rather just leave a rather bitter taste.
If the descale message is still present after these steps then repeat it. Sometimes, in particular if it’s been a long time since the last clean, a second process is needed. If the message comes up again after the second cycle then it’s probably time to call Keurig® and have a chat. If you would like to get in touch with us then please use the Contact Us page here or from the sidebar menu to the right.
And that is it. Oh of course, we need to put the water filter back into the water reservoir before the first brew.