Just when you are desperate for a cup of coffee – the descale light on your Keurig® illuminates. Or your brewer starts to do odd things like make a partial cup. Good news, these issues are usually solved by cleaning or descaling your unit. But, who wants one more chore? After all, you bought a Keurig® to make your life easier! Don’t worry, if you follow these simple steps, it will take very little time to clean your Keurig® brewer. Plus, your coffee will taste better, and your machine will last longer.
First, clean the exterior. The outside of your brewer should be kept sanitary. I have this on my chore list to do once a week. However, the frequency is completely based on how much your unit gets used.
If you see grinds in your coffee, you should also clean the brew needle. The brew needle is the part that punctures the K-Cup® pod when you make a cup of coffee. Sometimes, it can become clogged. Clogged brew needles are especially common if you make tea and hot cocoa. Or if you use a My K-Cup® coffee filter.
Hot water will dispense into your mug. In doing so, it will clean the needle and loosen any debris.
According to Google, the definition of descale is, “to remove a coating, layer, or incrustation from: to free from scale.” Water contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, and a variety of other minerals. When you descale a Keurig® you are removing the mineral build-up that has accumulated inside the unit.
There are two different ways to descale a Keurig®. Both need a descaling agent to assist in removing the mineral build-up. In the first method, you can use distilled white vinegar. This process may require extra rinse time to eliminate the taste and smell of the vinegar. As an alternative, you can use the Keurig® descaling solution. Keep reading to learn how to use both.
First and foremost, when we say “vinegar” we are referring to distilled white vinegar – not apple cider vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is a safe, all-natural cleaner that has been used in homes for years. It is extremely effective at removing mineral buildup on most surfaces.
To avoid the taste and smell of vinegar in your coffee, use Keurig® descaling solution instead. Cleaning with descaling solution is similar to the vinegar process with a few minor adjustments.
Watch this video to learn how to descale a Keurig® Mini coffee brewer:
Descale your Keurig® Mini brewer every 3-6 months.
You should clean your coffee maker at least every three months. However, you may need to clean your unit more often if you are in a commercial setting or if you use non-filtered water. You should not use well or hard water in your unit. Anything other than filtered water has too many minerals and other dissolved solids that are certain to cause issues.
The descale light should automatically turn off after you clean your Keurig® brewer. If it remains illuminated, you may need to repeat the cleaning process. This time, allow the vinegar or cleaning solution to sit in the coffee maker for at least 4 hours. If that does not work, try holding down the 8 and 10oz buttons at the same time (if your machine has them).