How To Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker With And Without Vinegar


I’ll be honest, I haven’t properly cleaned my Keurig coffee
maker since I first received it as a birthday gift from my
siblings five years ago. I’d estimate that I’ve used my
Keurig every Saturday and Sunday since then for at least two
cups of coffee each of those days. I’m not good at math, but
that’s a lot of dirty cups of coffee!

Sure, I’ve scrubbed out my Keurig water filter and washed the
K-cup holder, but I’ve never used Keurig’s descaling solution
or cleaned out the whole coffee machine using vinegar.

In May 2015, KDKA-TV conducted a study by swabbing 29
Keurig coffee machines and sending them to a lab. The
machines came back with millions of colonies of mold and
bacteria, including E. coli. Scary!

Well, I don’t want to drink my coffee with a splash of E.
coli, so I finally decided to learn how to clean my Keurig
coffee machine. Part of the reason I hadn’t thoroughly
cleaned my Keurig machine in the past was that I didn’t want
to spend the money to buy the Keurig descaling solution. I
also really don’t like the smell of vinegar and had never
really understood how vinegar cleans since it’s so
smelly.

Keurig recommends descaling, or removing calcium buildups, in
their machines every three to six months. So I decided to
clean my Keurig with and without vinegar to see which one
worked best. If you don’t buy the descaling solution Keurig
sells, you can either use a homemade vinegar solution or
lemon solution to descale your Keurig coffee maker.
These methods for how to clean a Keurig works on all
models.


First Steps To Clean A Keurig

How to clean a Keurig's removable parts

Janine Ngai for
LittleThings

Before using vinegar or lemon on the Keurig coffee maker,
there are a few removable parts on your Keurig that you
need to disassemble first and learn how to clean
separately. These items can be washed by hand in your
sink using soap and water, and then dried with a cloth.

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need:

  1. White Vinegar
  2. Water
  3. Large ceramic mug

Step-By-Step Keurig Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Add descaling solution. Fill the water reservoir
    with undiluted white vinegar.
  2. Prepare a mug. Place an empty mug on the mug
    stand.
  3. Start the machine. Without placing a K-cup in
    the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug and
    repeat until the water reservoir is empty.
  4. Add more vinegar. Fill the water reservoir again
    with undiluted white vinegar.
  5. Start the machine again. Without placing a K-cup
    in the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug
    and repeat until the Keurig is empty.
  6. Add water. Fill the Keurig again, but only with
    water this time.
  7. Start the machine again. Without placing a K-cup
    in the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug
    and repeat until the Keurig is empty and you can’t
    taste any vinegar in the water.

How To Clean A Keurig With Vinegar

How to clean a Keurig with vinegar

Janine Ngai for
LittleThings

Vinegar is a good Keurig coffee maker cleaning product
because it consists of roughly 10 percent acetic acid,
making it a tough cleaner to break down buildups. Acetic
acid is used in descaling agents to remove hard deposits
by chemicals in water.

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need:

  1. White Vinegar
  2. Water
  3. Large ceramic mug

Step-By-Step Keurig Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Add descaling solution. Fill the water reservoir
    with undiluted white vinegar.
  2. Prepare a mug. Place an empty mug on the mug
    stand.
  3. Start the machine. Without placing a K-cup in
    the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug and
    repeat until the water reservoir is empty.
  4. Add more vinegar. Fill the water reservoir again
    with undiluted white vinegar.
  5. Start the machine again. Without placing a K-cup
    in the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug
    and repeat until the Keurig is empty.
  6. Add water. Fill the Keurig again, but only with
    water this time.
  7. Start the machine again. Without placing a K-cup
    in the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug
    and repeat until the Keurig is empty and you can’t
    taste any vinegar in the water.

How to Clean a Keurig With Diluted Vinegar

How to clean a Keurig with diluted vinegar

Janine Ngai for
LittleThings

If you really don’t care for the smell of vinegar, you
can also learn how to clean your Keurig coffee maker
using diluted vinegar with water.

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need:

  1. White Vinegar
  2. Water
  3. Large ceramic mug

Step-By-Step Keurig Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Add descaling solution. Fill the water reservoir
    with half white vinegar and half water.
  2. Prepare a mug. Place an empty mug on the mug
    stand.
  3. Start the machine. Without placing a K-cup in
    the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug and
    repeat until the water reservoir is empty.
  4. Add water. Fill the Keurig again, but only with
    water this time.
  5. Start the machine again. Without placing a K-cup
    in the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug
    and repeat until the Keurig is empty and you can’t
    taste any vinegar in the water.

How To Clean A Keurig Without Vinegar

How to clean a Keurig with lemon juice

Janine Ngai for
LittleThings

The best way to clean a Keurig coffee maker without
vinegar is by using lemons. Lemon juice is about 6
percent citric acid. Acids, as we learned about vinegar,
are a good cleaning agent.

The method for descaling a Keurig with lemon juice
is the same as using diluted vinegar, but a little more
difficult. The problem with using lemons is that you’ll
need a lot of lemon juice to get the job done. Either you
can take the time to squeeze a bunch of lemons (it took
me 12 lemons to fill about half my 72-ounce water
reservoir with lemon juice), or you can spend a bit more
money and buy prepared lemon juice.

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need:

  1. Lemon juice
  2. Large ceramic mug
  3. Water

Step-By-Step Keurig Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Add descaling solution. Fill the water reservoir
    with half lemon juice and half water.
  2. Prepare a mug. Place an empty mug on the mug
    stand.
  3. Start the machine. Without placing a K-cup in
    the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug and
    repeat until the water reservoir is empty.
  4. Add water. Fill the Keurig again, but only with
    water this time.
  5. Start the machine again. Without placing a K-cup
    in the machine, run the brew cycle. Empty the full mug
    in the sink and repeat the process until the Keurig is
    empty and you can’t taste any lemon in the water.

Which Keurig Cleaning Method Is Best?

How to clean a Keurig best method

Janine Ngai for
LittleThings

The vinegar method cleaned my Keurig coffee maker better
than lemon juice, but I had to run water through the
machine five times until there was no smell or vinegar
taste. Even after that, I swear I could still taste a
little in my coffee for the next few cups.

The lemon-juice method admittedly didn’t seem to clean my
Keurig coffee maker as thoroughly, but it was a much more
pleasant aroma and it took less water to remove the taste
of lemon from my Keurig.

The happy medium for me is the diluted vinegar method. My
Keurig machine seems to get just as clean as using full
vinegar, but I don’t have to run water through the
machine as much to get rid of the vinegar taste. I also
don’t have to spend a ton of time squeezing lemons, even
though it makes my kitchen smell super fresh!

How to Clean And Care For Your Keurig Regularly

How to regularly clean and care for Keurig

Janine Ngai for
LittleThings

To properly clean and care for your Keurig coffee maker,
you should try and do the following every week in order
to make your machine last longer:

  1. Clean the removable parts (K-cup holder, mug tray,
    funnel, water reservoir, and lid) with soap and water.
  2. Check the exit needle for clogs and remove using a
    paper clip.
  3. Wipe down your machine with a wet cloth.
  4. Empty the water reservoir when not in use.

If you know a friend who owns a Keurig coffee maker,
please SHARE these tips for how to clean a Keurig!



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How To Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker With And Without Vinegar

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