How Often to Descale a Keurig

If you own a Keurig, you know how convenient it is when it comes to making a fresh cup of coffee at any time of the day. As much as you use it, you also need to clean your Keurig every now and then.

Now, cleaning your Keurig doesn’t just mean washing the drip tray and reservoir. You should also clean the interior of your Keurig.

You don’t have to take apart your machine. All you have to do is descale it. Descaling is one of the most important things you should know when it comes to owning a Keurig. It helps remove calcium build-ups and keep your Keurig performing at its best.

In this article, I will talk about how often you should descale a Keurig. I will also talk about the signs that your Keurig needs to be descaled and more!

In this article:

  • How Often Should You Descale a Keurig?
  • Signs That You Need to Descale a Keurig
  • What Can You Use to Descale a Keurig
  • How to Descale a Keurig
  • Keurig Maintenance Tips and Tricks

How Often Should You Descale a Keurig?

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Keurigs, whether you have one at home or in the office, get used all the time. These single-serve coffee makers are very convenient if you want a fresh cup of coffee at any time.

Some models even have the option to brew over ice or make cappuccinos and lattes.

With all these convenient features, your Keurig takes a lot of beating, especially if you use it daily. With all the water and coffee running through the internal parts of the Keurig, it is bound to get clogged at one point.

Coffee oils, mineral, and calcium deposits can build up over time causing your Keurig to clog up and not function properly. This happens because of regular use and not descaling your Keurig.

Even if your Keurig is not showing any signs of buildup, it is recommended to descale a Keurig once every 3 to 6 months. This way you can prevent the mineral deposits or coffee oils from clogging your machine.

Not descaling your Keurig can affect the brewing time, the quality of your coffee, and even the overall performance of your machine. You wouldn’t want your Keurig to not work one day because of the buildups, do you?

Signs That You Need to Descale a Keurig


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Some Keurig coffee makers have a descale button or indicator that lights up if the Keurig needs a descaling. If you have one of those, it’s a very convenient feature so you won’t forget to descale your machine.

But, if you have a K-Mini or other Keurigs that do not have a descale indicator, you’ll have to watch out for the signs that it needs to be descaled.

Related: Keurig Descale Light Won’t Turn Off After Descaling – Quick Fix

Weak Coffee

If you find your coffee a little bit on the weak side, even brewing with the “Strong” option, it could be a sign that your Keurig needs to be descaled. The buildup in your Keurig is caused by hard water and its high calcium level.

The calcium buildup, along with mineral deposits and coffee oils, can affect the taste of your coffee. They can either make your coffee taste weak or sour so make sure to descale your machine.

Slow Brewing Time

Keurigs typically take less than a minute to brew your coffee and if it takes longer than that, it’s time to descale your machine.

Keurigs take time to brew coffee because the scale buildup is blocking the flow of water. This may be a sign that there are excess calcium and mineral deposits in your Keurig.

If not descaled as soon as possible, not only will it take longer to brew, but it can also make your coffee taste bad.

Unusual Noises

Coffee makers make some sort of noise when in use but if your Keurig is too loud, it can be an indicator that there is something wrong. If you’ve checked that your Keurig is placed on an even surface and it still produces unusual noises, a descaling process might be needed.

The mineral deposits in your Keurig can cause it to make unusual and loud noises. It could be that your machine is also broken. But, if it’s not, it’s better to descale your machine.

Inconsistent Brewing

Owning a Keurig means that you get to have a hot, fresh cup of coffee any time you want. 

If it suddenly comes out cold, it could be a problem with the machine’s water pump, you did not add enough water, or you need to descale your machine. As I mentioned earlier, Keurigs can take a long time to brew if it needs to be descaled.

If you notice that the brewing time takes longer than usual and your coffee comes out cold, your Keurig is most likely clogged.

What Can You Use to Descale a Keurig

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You don’t need a lot of materials to start descaling a Keurig and all you need is a descaling solution. Keurig has a descaling solution that you can buy separately.

This descaling solution is formulated for Keurig coffee makers and is made to remove any calcium or mineral deposits in your machine. If you need to descale your Keurig and can’t buy a descaling solution yet, you can also use white vinegar and water.

White vinegar is a good cleaning tool because of its acidic nature. If using white vinegar, make sure to use equal parts white vinegar and water. Too much acid might damage your coffee maker.

How to Descale a Keurig

Descaling a Keurig only takes less than an hour and it is not a complicated process. You just need to run a brew cycle using the descaling solution or vinegar and water mixture. After that, run a freshwater cycle about 3 times to remove any vinegar residue.

Not all Keurig models have the same descaling process so make sure to check your user manual so you can descale your Keurig effectively.

Related: How to Descale Keurig K Duo in 40 Mins or Less – With Pictures

Keurig Maintenance Tips and Tricks

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Descaling your Keurig once every 3 to 6 months is key to having a Keurig that performs well. But, aside from descaling, there are other things you can do to keep your Keurig nice and clean.

Clean Your Machine Daily

By this, I mean that you clean the removable parts of your Keurig daily. These could be the drip tray and the water reservoir. If your Keurig has a removable water reservoir, it will be easier to clean the tank.

Clean the Pod Holder and the Needles Weekly

Coffee grounds can also build up in the needles and pod holder over time. Cleaning it weekly will ensure that you will have better-tasting coffee and the coffee will be dispensed properly.

If you see your coffee being dispensed all over the place, and not in a straight line as it’s supposed to, it can be a sign that the exit needle is clogged.

Change Your Keurig’s Water Filter

If you are using a water filter in your Keurig, make sure to also change it once every 3 to 6 months. The water filter can also get clogged and have impurities which you definitely don’t want in your coffee.

Give Your Machine a Break

I know this is probably hard to do since Keurigs are very convenient. It’s easy to whip up a cup of coffee no matter the time of day.

But, if you don’t let your coffee maker rest, it can overheat and you’ll end up with a broken Keurig. I’m not saying don’t use it every day or a couple of times a day.

If you drink multiple cups per day, try to give it a couple of minutes before brewing your next cup. This way, your Keurig won’t overheat and you’ll still get your fresh cup of coffee!

Wrapping Up

And that’s it! Now you know how often you need to descale your Keurig, mark your calendar so you won’t forget. Descaling a Keurig is very important so make sure to commit to your descaling schedule.

If you use your Keurig a lot, maybe once every 3 months is the best schedule for you. If not, twice a year could be a better option for you. It will all depend on how much you use your Keurig.


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