To be honest, nobody cleans their Keurig coffee maker since they’ve first received it. Like obviously, they have scrubbed out their Keurig water filter and have washed their K cup holder but they haven’t ever used Keurig’s de-scaling solution or cleaned out the whole coffee machine with or without vinegar.

Keurig does recommend the de-scaling and removing the calcium buildups, in their machines every 3-6 months. And today, we’ll be looking into washing it without vinegar.

  1. Why does it Need a Deep Clean?

When stopping by your usual coffee shop, the thought runs our mind several times that how does the coffee they serve always taste so good and fresh. Well, it does and that is not only because of good coffee beans or the way they make it but also because the clean it really well, regularly and maintain in pretty nicely.

  • Cleaning is the most important step to achieve a great and tasty coffee.
  • Over time several minerals like calcium and bacteria or other several impurities can keep building upon the coffee machine, including the Keurig.
  • If you’ve started noticing a change in the way your coffee tastes, it’s time for that cleaning.
  1. Performance Disturbance

None of us want any of our money to get wasted and in order to ensure that we waste as little as possible; we make sure that our appliances are in good condition and working perfectly. Be it small or large, they work effectively and efficiently. And this definitely includes our Keurig coffee maker.

  • To keep the Keurig working effectively, timely cleaning and de-scaling are required.
  • Water may lead to debris a deposit which makes the Keurig, brew much slower.
  • Therefore, it is vital to keep your Keurig and all its inner parts of the machine clean and working.
  1. Health Issues

In addition to affecting the performance and taste of your coffee, a dirty Keurig also affects health. Dirty Keurig’s machine had yeast and mold growing inside of their reservoirs and they were also harboring coliform bacteria, and these can be extremely dangerous to our health.

  • A survey mentioned, that a dirty Keurig has more germs than a bathroom doorknob and toilet seats together, which is very hindering.
  • Warmth, darkness, water and organic materials make it easy for the germs to grow up.
  1. Cleaning with Citric Acid

In our first cleaning method, we need citric acid, which despite its technical name can be purchased from any market near you in small quantities. Apart from that, we need water and major jars and measuring cups and spoons and a small coffee mug.

  • Firstly, we need to put citric acid in the bottom of the major jar, pour water on it and mix it completely.
  • Then, it is required to be poured on the Keurig and then the machine should be run like you’re making a coffee.
  • After this is complete, then you need to run plain water just the way you did with the citric acid solution.
  • Repeat the plain water cleaning three to four times, so that no citric acid is left on the Keurig.
  1. Cleaning with Lemons

Lemons contain about six percent of citric acid in them which means it is more of a natural solution for cleaning than any other option available for cleaning the Keurig. And this method is a bit safer than others as it is much less acidic than the others.

  • This can be a little time-consuming method. The reservoirs must be filled with half equal portions of lemon and water and the ceramic cup must be placed underneath.
  • Without putting k cup run your Keurig and collect the dirt in the mug, keep repeating it unless the water comes out to be clear.
  1. Cleaning with Baking Soda

The whole process of cleaning with baking soda is the same as the process with citric acid, but baking soda works better than citric acid. And when it is combined with lemon it works wonder for the Keurig.

  • Firstly, mix baking soda and lemon till it makes a thick paste.
  • Mix it with only as much water required for the Keurig to run and turn it on.
  • Once it is all clean, rinse with water nicely with no traces of baking soda left.
  1. K Cup Packs Must be Removed

K cups are the filters for the Keurig coffee machines. When making coffee, they help to remain all the residual in its place and provide a fluid and smooth coffee. This is why they must not be left in the coffee machine while you’re trying to clean it:

  • It might deposit hard chunks of baking soda or citric acid left in it while going through the cleaning process.
  • This may lead to distorted taste in the coffee when you prepare it the next time.
  1. Keep it Turned off

The automatic functions of the Keurig coffee machine must be turned off, as possible as it can be dangerous for the one cleaning it, it can also result in fluids reaching the machinery part of the coffee machine.

  • The automatic serving functions must be turned off.
  • Cleaning won’t result if the machine’s automated functions are still turned on.
  1. Keurig Cleaning Solution

A different type of cleaning solution can also be used and make sure to follow the safety instructions carefully, before using any products. Read the terms and conditions and the harms it may pertain to the machinery or to yourself.

  • For K10 mini plus and K130 brewer, only half a cup of cleaning solution must be used mixed with water and lemon.
  • For all the K cup using coffee machines, the entire bottle of cleaning solution must be used.
  • With the cleaning solutions method, a large cup must be placed beneath the knob so as to collect all the dirt present in the Keurig.
  1. Clogged Brewer

Sometimes the reason for Keurig being dirty is the basic clogging of the brewer. And it might not be easily noticed; only when your coffee starts pouring tasteless and with particles unfiltered, then you’d find out about the fact that the brewer of your Keurig is blocked.

  • You should turn off the machine and unplug the machine first.
  • Remove the K cup holding an assembly and remove the funnel, revealing the exit needle.
  • Insert a sharp pin in the exit needle in order to remove the coffee grounds that have been clogging your brewer.
  1. De-Scaling

De-scaling for a Keurig must always be done with the help of filtered water and not distilled or normal water as it will fog up the Keurig’s K cup assembly even more. And the regular use of filtered water for making your coffee will eventually decrease the need to de-scale your Keurig.

  • A water softener goes way too far in the opposite direction and causes clogs or over-extracted coffee.
  • And if using distilled water, make sure you check the manuals first, since not all models are workable with the distilled water.
  1. Reservoir

For cleaning the reservoir, turn off your Keurig and fill it up with either lemon or water mixed with citric acid. Lemons with baking soda can also be used mixed with filtered water.

  • Then you have to run the coffee maker until and unless the reservoir is completely empty and dry.
  • A mug should be placed on the drip tray and then turn the Keurig on and keep the handle lifted so that no pod is present inside.
  • Keep repeating the process with hot water, till the make water signal lights up.
  1. Cleaning with Just Water

If you plan on using just the water to clean the Keurig, you first need to empty all the contents from the K cup and the reservoir, and then put in filtered water and run the coffee machine.

  • Since what is being used is only water, you need to make sure that you have time for this method as it will take longer than other methods.
  • Repeat this process at least 3-4 times and gradually keep increasing the temperature of the water when you do this.
  1. De-Scaling Solution

A de-scaling solution in itself is enough to serve the purpose of de-scaling your Keurig and make it as good as new. De-scaling solutions are easily aware of your nearest supermarts or even online. While using a de-scaling solution, make sure to keep yourself covered.

  • The reservoir must be washed with water first and then attached to the Keurig properly.
  • Now fill the reservoir with half water and half de-scaling solution and run the coffee machine.
  • Make sure to keep the K cup detached during this process.
  • Repeat the steps 3-4 times, until the reservoir gets empty.
  1. How Often?

One of the things that we coffee lovers neglect the most about our Keurig’s is the cleaning sessions for the same. The less we keep tabs on we are cleaning it or not, the more it gets dirtier and it keeps getting difficult to clean it after such a long time.

  • Make sure to clean your Keurig after every 5 uses for making the coffee.
  • The coffee bean’s debris and hard water remain inside of the K cup after each brewing.
  • For cleaning that debris and detritus out, you must clean the K cup weekly.
  1. Alum Powder with Lemon

Mixing alum powder with lemon serves as the next best option to clean the Keurig after baking soda. Alum powder works as a frothing agent over those pesky deposits. Alum powder is easily available everywhere and comes in a handy size.

  • Firstly, break your alum candy into powder and mix it with lemon and hot water.
  • Fill the reservoir with the solution, and run the machine so as to make the coffee.
  • Repeat this method just two times and then repeat it last time with spring water and leave it completely clean and dry.
  1. K Cup Filter

K cup filters should be cleaned after every use as they are the place where all the deposits are made while your coffee is being produced. Filters are relatively easy to clean and therefore cleaning it regularly after use doesn’t seem to be that big a deal.

  • The filter firstly must be detached from the K cup filter.
  • Then it can be washed in the dishwasher, just keep some baking soda in a different bowl with the filter.
  • You can also the wash filter with warm and soapy water if you don’t want to use the dishwasher.
  1. Bleaching Powder

Bleaching powder can be used to clean your coffee maker as well. It is a cheap way to clean your Keurig’s system. It is a good method of cleaning as being easy to use and effective.

  • First, take one cup of bleach and 3-4 cups of water.
  • Make the solution and use filter paper and place it in the coffee maker.
  • Use the mixed solution of bleach and water in the coffee maker and keep adding water into it.
  • Switch on the coffee maker for and switch it off after a few minutes.
  1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is known as a natural cleaning agent that is non-toxic as well.

  • First, you should detach the filter from the coffee maker.
  • Fill the coffee pot with 1-2 cups of water of lukewarm and add baking soda in the pot.
  • Stir it to mix the baking soda and then transfer the baking soda mixture to some water reservoir and replace the coffee carafe.
  • Switch on the coffee maker and make a few brew cycles. So, the baking soda solution will be returned in the coffee pot with all dirt.
  • Take out the dirty water from the pot and fill the water again then run a few more cycles until the water does not come back clean.
  1. CLR

CLR stands for “Calcium”, “Lime” and “Rust Remover”. It is the solution can be used to de-scale the coffee maker when lemon, citric solutions fail. It should help you with the removal of a build-up of calcium and rust from the hard water.

  • Run a few cycles of clean water through the coffee maker to remove any last residues of brewing coffee.
  • Make the solution of CLR and water with a ratio of 1:8 parts of water. Transfer the mixture of CLR and water to the water reservoir of the coffee maker.
  • Make a run of few full brew cycles.
  • Run the coffee maker cycles by adding more and more water to remove the smell of CLR.


  • If the entry and exit needles of your Keurig’s system are not working properly, try forcing air through the waterline with the help of a straw, it helps in dislodging debris.

The use of water softener or distilled water is not recommended regularly as it will fog up the K cup in a few uses. Bottled or spring or filtered water works best.

How do I clean my Keurig without vinegar or lemon juice?

Using Lemon Juice

The best way of cleaning your Keurig without vinegar is with lemon juice. While it contains the same level of acidity like vinegar, lemon juice doesn’t leave itself behind in your Keurig. You either can use freshly squeezed juice squeezed or the packaged juice from the grocery store.

How do I clean my Keurig naturally?

Fill the water reservoir halfway with vinegar. Add water: Fill the reservoir the rest of the way with water. Run the machine: Start the brew cycle without inserting a K-cup. Repeat until reservoir is empty, discarding the mug contents after each brewing cycle.

Can you use baking soda to clean Keurig?


Dissolve about 1-4 cups of baking soda into your Keurig water reservoir with water. Each option will help you maximize the life of your Keurig by ensuring you clean your coffee machine every 3-6 months.

What can I use if I don’t have Keurig descaling solution?

In place of the Keurig descaling solution, you can use citric acid powder (the primary ingredient in their solution) and water, lemon juice and water, or white vinegar and water. White vinegar and water are by far the least expensive option. Citric acid is often located by Vitamin C tablets in stores.

Is Keurig descaler better than vinegar?

Although Keurig’s de-scaling solution does work out more expensive than white vinegar, Keurig does say that you can use the solution to clean other kitchen items such as kettles and water heaters, as well as their coffee making machines. Using Keurig’s product regularly can also help to extend the life of your unit.

How long do you let vinegar sit in Keurig?

The Keurig will brew a hot cup of vinegar. When it is finished dump the vinegar into a sink and continue repeating the process until your Add Water light turns on. Let the Keurig sit (still on) for 4 hours. After the 4 hours dump any remaining vinegar in the reservoir down the sink and rinse it thoroughly.

How do I clean a clogged Keurig?

Run a descaling cycle.

Pour Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar into the water reservoir, filling it halfway. Then fill the rest of the way with water and push the brew button. Discard the cleaning solution.

How do I empty the internal tank of my Keurig?

Step 1: Brewer must be powered off but plugged in. Step 2: Place a mug on the Drip Tray to catch the water to be drained. Step 3: Check if there is water left in the Cold Water Reservoir. If so, lift the brewer handle to drain the water in the Cold Water Reservoir into the Hot Water Tank.

Does vinegar eliminate bacteria in Keurig?

No, it does not kill all bacteria. But, it does eliminate most bacteria and, is not caustic or harmful to you or your machine. It is not recommended by Keurig, but the acidic content of vinegar is no more harmful than the citric acid that is in the Keurig brand descaler – as you learned in our descaling post.

How long can water sit in Keurig?

The Final Words: How Long Can You Leave Water In A Keurig

In fact, experts warn that you should not drink water that has been left standing for 12 hours or more — and Keurig is no exception since its warm and wet conditions are the perfect breeding ground for contaminants.

Do Keurigs get moldy inside?

Snopes fact checked that article and confirmed yes, Keurig machines get moldy and can make a person sick, if they are not regularly cleaned. But, that is true for most coffee makers, not just Keurigs. Keurigs can be a little trickier to clean, with the hard-to-reach compartments and water reservoir.

Does vinegar eliminate mold in Keurig?

Keurigs and other coffee makers can get clogged with hard water buildup. This accumulation leads to poor performance. The best way to remove buildup is to flush it out with white vinegar or baking soda.

What happens if you don’t clean Keurig?

Just like everything else in the kitchen, coffee makers can be full of bacteria, yeast and mold if they aren’t properly cleaned. Since the hot water isn’t enough to decontaminate the machine, harmful germs can build up to a point that it can actually make you sick.

Does white vinegar eliminate mold?

To clean mold, use regular white distilled vinegar, typically sold with five percent acidity. You can also use “cleaning vinegar” with its six percent acidity. Both are effective at killing mold.

What kills mold instantly?

In such cases, a solution of diluted bleach provides the fastest way to kill mold on walls or flooring. Prepare the solution by adding one cup of bleach into a bucket that contains about a gallon of warm water. Then proceed to scrub the mold vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush you’ve dipped in the bleach solution.

Is alcohol or vinegar better to eliminate mold?

To clean these fragile materials, the Organic Consumers Association suggests using rubbing alcohol or vodka with water. To clean mold with vinegar, just spray it on the moldy surface and leave it.

What mold does vinegar not eliminate?

Vinegar with about 4 percent acetic acid can kill Penicillium chrysogenum but not Aspergillus fumigatus mold. A 2015 study found that vinegar with about 4 percent acetic acid was capable of treating common household molds including Penicillium chrysogenum but not Aspergillus fumigatus.