Descaling (Cleaning) out Your Keurig Coffee Brewer, or Any Coffee Maker
All coffee makers need to be descaled once in awhile. How often depends on the water quality where you live. The harder your water, and if you use your coffee brewer a lot, the more often you will need to do it. With most coffee makers, you will know you need to descale when your coffee seems to be taking a long time to brew and when it just doesn’t taste very good anymore.
I’m going to tell you how to descale a Keurig coffee brewer because we own a Keurig B40 Elite. If you don’t own a Keurig but another brand, I’ll give you basic instructions for descaling that at the end of this article.
Also here’s a Youtube video from Keurig showing the steps:
Descaling a Keurig Coffee Maker
Keurig recommends that you descale every 3-6 months but like I stated earlier, it really depends on water quality and frequency of use. Fortunately, most Keurigs actually have a little light that comes on when you need to descale.
If Your Keurig Does NOT have a Drain on the Bottom:
You will need a large mug, a 48 ounce bottle of white vinegar, and water.
- Disable the Auto Off features.
- Empty out the water in the water reservoir and put the reservoir back on the coffee maker.
- Pour the bottle of vinegar into the reservoir.
- Put the mug where you normally would when making coffee.
- Do NOT put any k cups in the spot for them but raise and lower the bar as if you were going to put a k cup in the machine.
- Press the brew button and brew a nice steaming cup of vinegar (yuch).
- Throw out the vinegar and put the mug back on the drip tray plate.
- Repeat the process of brewing the vinegar until the “add water” light comes on.
- Now leave the brewer on for 4 hours.
- After the time is up, throw out the vinegar left in the reservoir and rinse it out really well.
- Fill up the reservoir with water.
- Go through the brew cycle with the water as you did with the vinegar and repeat the process until the “add water” light comes on.
- Now you can refill the reservoir again with water and it should be ready to make coffee.
- If it tastes funny, repeat steps 11-12 again.
If Your Keurig has a drain on the bottom (on some older models):
You will need a 48 oz. of white vinegar and water and a mug.
- Unplug brewer and put in your empty sink.
- If there is a drain cap on the bottom of your Keurig. Remove it.
- Depending on the model, there may be a charcoal filter from the Water Fill Area. Remove that too.
- Set the brewer so the drain is facing down in the sink so it can drain if your model has a drain (Note) If your model doesn’t have a drain, just pour out the water in your reservoir.
- When it’s finished draining, replace the cap.
- Plug the brewer back in turn the power on.
- Pour all 64 ounces of vinegar into the brewer’s reservoir until filled.
- Lift the lever that the K cup is placed but don’t put a K cup in there.
- When the ready light comes on, push the lever down, put a mug under the spout and push the brew button.
- After the brew cycle is complete, start another brew cycle.
- Repeat the process until the “add water” light comes on.
- Turn off the automatic shut off and leave the machine on for 4 hours with the vinegar still in it.
- Turn off the brewer and let cool.
- Drain as in steps 2-6.
- Fill the brewer with water and turn the power on.
- When the ready light comes on, put a mug under the spout and do steps 8-11 only with water, and pour the water out.
- Drain the water as in steps 2-5.
- Replace the charcoal filter (if applicable).
- If the coffee has a weird taste, you may need to repeat the process.
If you want to see the “official” Keurig user guide, click here: Keurig User Guide. They have the guide for MINI Plus B31, Elite B40, Classic B44, Special Edition B60 and Platinum B70.
Descaling an Ordinary Coffee Maker
To descale an ordinary coffee maker:
- Fill your coffee pot with white vinegar and fill the coffee maker with it.
- Let the vinegar sit inside the coffee maker for about an hour if you can.
- Turn it on and run it through the brew cycle.
- Pour it back into the brewer and repeat the process 4 more times.
- Pour out the vinegar and refill the coffee maker with water.
- Repeat the process 4 more times with water but use fresh water every time. Pour out the water that just went through the brew cycle.
- If your next pot of coffee tastes a little weird, repeat step 6.
That’s all there is to it.
If you want to check out more tips on using your keurig coffee maker, click here: Tips for Using your Keurig Coffee Brewer.