Here's the lowdown on using vinegar to keep your Keurig machine clean and odor-free.

The invention of the Keurig coffee machine was a watershed moment for the home barista. Despite the fact that Keurigs have made it almost too easy to prepare beverages like coffee, espresso, lattes, tea, and hot chocolate, they do require a small amount of maintenance. However, it would be incredible if they could clean themselves.

Descaling" is the proper term for cleaning your Keurig. It's not like skinning a fish, " she said. Descaling, on the other hand, is the process of using vinegar to dissolve the calcium deposits that can form inside a coffee maker over time. This method not only results in cleaner, better-tasting coffee, but it also eliminates harmful bacteria and mineral buildup.  

Molds, bacteria, and germs thrive in coffee makers, which you definitely don't want to drink. We asked the pros for their advice on how to clean a Keurig quickly and effectively with inexpensive supplies found around the house.  

  • Descaling with white vinegar or Keurig solution
  • Water
  • The cleaning solution drains into the cup.
  • A dishrag or sponge rinsed in water with a little dish soap on it
  1. The machine's reservoir must be emptied. First, power down your device. Next, take out your Keurig's filters and drain the water reservoir. During cleaning procedures, a K-cup should not be left in the canister.   
  2. Run a cycle with a mixture of water and vinegar. In order to clean the machine, you should run a mixture of water and white vinegar through it. To use, fill the reservoir with the solution, turn on the machine, select the desired cycle, and catch the liquid as it drains into a cup.  

    Depending on how grimy it is, your Keurig may require more than one descale. If your machine is cloudy, try running a mixture of vinegar and water through it.

  3. Tossed in a sea of water Be sure to give the components a good rinse to get rid of any "vinegary" residue. Lisette Gavia Lopez, the coffee roaster behind Don Francisco's Coffee and Café La Llave (both of which produce K-cup versions of their coffees), recommends always finishing with three cycles of plain water to remove any vinegar that may be left in the tank or machine.  
  4. Rinse and dry any detachable components by removing the water tank, lid, coffee pod holder, and drip tray. Soap and warm water should be used to clean all of the detachable components, with special attention paid to the water tank and the drip tray, to remove coffee oils and prevent mold growth.
  5. Clean the outside with a wipe Clean the outside of the machine and the pod holder area (including all reachable surfaces) with mild soap and water using a clean dish sponge or disposable paper towel, avoiding the electrical and mechanical components.  

    Remember to clean the needles that pierce the top and bottom of your coffee pods before each use. It is best to let the water tank air dry to prevent the accumulation of lint.  

Do not put the device under water. After all, it's a digital gadget.

When should I descale my Keurig machine?  

It is recommended by Cafe Last's founder Graham Cooke that descaling take place once per week. However, in practice, descale it only once every two or three weeks. Cooke explains why they recommend weekly descaling: "most people don't descale their coffee makers until they stop working, which has a lasting effect on the machine." If we tell someone to descale their machine once a week, they might do it once every two or three weeks instead, the thinking goes. "

Lopez suggests cleaning the water tank and lid, coffee pod holder, and drip tray monthly in addition to the descaling process.  

Descale your machine at least once a quarter if you don't brew coffee every day, advises Cooke. Why Why? Because hard water deposits and mineral buildup in the reservoir can corrode your coffee machine's internal seals and render your machine inoperable.

Check the tray and outside of the machine for spills after each use to help keep it clean. Repeated daily use necessitates daily adherence to the wipe-down instructions.

Tip: If you're in the market for a new pod coffee maker like a Keurig, you might want to check out our recommendations.

Where I currently reside, the water is quite hard. And how does that affect how often I clean?

It's only natural that machines in areas with hard water will need to be descaled more frequently. Cooke suggests weekly descaling if you live in an area with hard water and make several cups of coffee per day.

What about using water that has been sitting around for a while in my tank?

Lopez recommends using tank water within a week. Do not drink water that has been sitting around for more than a week, as it may have developed mold.  

Shabbir Nooruddin, owner of Coffee Brewster, recommends draining all water from the Keurig before putting it away or leaving on a trip.

Where can I find an alternative to vinegar or descaling solution for cleaning my Keurig?

Abe Navas, the general manager of Emily's Maids in Dallas, Texas, recommends using denture tablets.  

Despite my lack of coffee knowledge, I do consider myself a cleaning guru. Years ago, I perfected a method for sanitizing coffee machines. Navas claims that doing so is simple and will significantly lengthen the life of the machine.

In addition to a microfiber cloth, you'll need a denture tablet. Add the contents of half a denture tablet to the K-cup. This will aid in the removal of any built-up grime. The machine should be put through three to five full cycles. Next, repeat the process using only water.  

Nooruddin suggests substituting citric acid instead. To acidify one gallon of water, add one tablespoon of citric acid crystals. According to Nooruddin, it is preferable to use a mild acid and descale multiple times rather than an extremely strong acid that could corrode the metal parts.  

For best results, cycle your Keurig several times through the citric acid solution, and then through water. However, according to Nooruddin, how badly the scaling is done will determine how many cycles this takes. Citric acid solution can be cycled through twice for very mild scaling. Nooruddin recommends running multiple cycles through a Keurig that has been collecting dust in the attic for a few years.  

"The mug may have some scale in it after the first few cycles, but ideally you'd like to keep going until there's none" "

Citric acid residue can be removed by running the brewer through at least two or three full water cycles, as he recommends.  

"It's better to be safe than sorry, so I recommend running the water through the machine an extra couple of times to make sure all the acid is gone." "

Lesson learned by the insiders

Quickly brewing coffee with a Keurig is convenient, but for consistently excellent results, it's worth taking a few minutes each day to clean the machine. Your favorite coffee maker can last longer and produce better coffee by being periodically descalded with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.

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