How To Clean a Keurig Coffee Machine

Plus, a step-by-step guide to descaling your Keurig coffeemaker and keeping it clean.

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January 30, 2023

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Photo by: Photo courtesy of Keurig

Photo courtesy of Keurig

If your Keurig has become something of a workhorse for your daily coffee and tea, chances are it’s getting a little bit grimy. So, what’s the best way to clean this single-serve coffee-making appliance? We asked the Keurig team for some tips. Here’s everything you need to know on daily and weekly maintenance, in-depth quarterly cleaning (like descaling) and some product picks you should have on-hand to keep your Keurig clean and ensure your machine lasts long enough for many delicious cups of coffee.

It’s important to note that before you do any cleaning, always make sure the brewer is unplugged and cooled down.

Daily Maintenance

To keep this appliance in its best shape, regularly rinse the machine’s external components, such as the drip tray, water reservoir and lid.

To run a cleansing brew (basically a brew without a pod), first make sure you've removed any used pods from the holder and discard. Next, you'll run a normal brewing cycle without any pod in the holder. If you have a brewer with a carafe, the cleansing brew is done by brewing a full carafe of water with no coffee grounds in the drip drawer.

You can absolutely use Keurig Rinse pods (above) in place of a cleaning brew to enhance the effectiveness of your cleaning job. You’ll want to use these especially if you use hot cocoa pods or pods with milk ingredients to avoid the possibility of clogs (or a merging of tastes between pods).

Weekly Maintenance

In addition to daily cleaning, be sure to detach and rinse all of the machine’s removable parts, including the pod holder assembly (PHA), every week. The PHA can be pulled out by the rim (or finger-push from the spout end). Note: The PHA has an exit needle inside so watch your fingers. Use warm, soapy water to wash all parts.


Descaling is an important part of cleaning your Keurig brewer. This 45-minute process removes calcium deposits (or scale) that can build up inside a coffee maker over time. Calcium and scale are non-toxic, but left unattended, they can hinder your machine’s performance.

While you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular brewer, here are tips for descaling a traditional brewer, such as a K-Classic, K-Café and several others.

Step 1: Cleansing Rinse

After emptying the water reservoir and turning off your brewer, pour an entire bottle of descaler and water into your water reservoir and run a rinsing brew. Select the largest brew size (make sure you have a mug on the drip tray) and discard the contents in the mug after.

Step 2: Internal Tank Soak

Repeat the rinsing brew process until the "add water" light illuminates. Once you reach that point, let the brewer stand for 30 minutes while still on. After 30 minutes, discard any residual solution and rinse the water reservoir thoroughly.

Step 3: Fresh Water Rinse

After rinsing the reservoir throughly, fill the reservoir with fresh water to the max fill line. Place the large ceramic mug on the drip tray and run a rinsing brew using the largest brew size. Do not use a K-Cup pod. Pour the contents of the mug into the sink. Using the largest brew size, run at least 12 rinsing brews. You may need to refill the water reservoir.

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