How to Clean Your Keurig

What to do when your #Keurig doesn't make a full cup of #coffee!

I am apparently a bad Keurig owner. I get up in the morning.  I stumble into the kitchen and pop a Butter Toffee Coffee K-Cup in my Keurig.  I have had it for about a year, and I guess I just never thought about the inside of the machine getting dirty.

So the other day when I went to make my morning cup of coffee I only ended up with a half of a cup. Hmmm…Ok, so I tried again.  I still got just a half cup.

I took the lid off the water tank and saw that the water was dripping back into the tank instead of into my cup. UGH! My first thought was my keurig was done for! So then I posted to A Few Short Cuts facebook to ask you guys what you thought. Let me just say I LOVE YOU GUYS! You told me to clean my keurig. Well, of course I needed to clean it. LOL

I filled the tank with white vinegar and made several cups of just plain hot vinegar and emptied the tank.  My hubby asked me what the pickle smell was. ~giggle~ Then I let it sit for a couple hours.

You also want to check the VERY SHARP needles inside the keurig.  They have holes in them to let the water through. Very carefully make sure they are clear of debris such as coffee grounds. The easiest way it to use a unfolded paper clip, push pin, etc. Then I filled the tank with fresh water and ran it again until the tank was empty.  I did this one more time with water to make sure the vinegar was all out of the keurig. I am very happy to say it worked! I now have a full cup of my Butter Toffee Coffee…with a little bit of my favorite creamer. I am a happy girl, and I am thankful to you guys for helping me solve my problem. You are the best!

P.S. You should clean your Keurig once every 2-3 months to avoid any issues.

Don’t miss the fantastic Keurig Brewers and K-Cup Deals at Cross Country Cafe

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  1. Beth says

    The same thing happened to me and I cleaned mine just like you said. Then I went out and bought a Brita pitcher to filter the water I use in my Keurig to cut down on the need for cleaning it so often. ; )

  2. aprila says

    my Keurig machine has been doing the same thing. Thanks for the post I am going to clean it tomorrow I have only been getting 1/2 cups when I was suppose to get a whole cup

  3. Su says

    Thank you! Who knew? ugh
    I always used to clean my old “regular” coffee maker w/vinegar. It never occurred to me to do the same w/the Keurig.

  4. Donna S says

    This is great. I would only recommend that you unfold a paperclip to clean the needles (rather than use a toothpick). But I’m also the person who would have broke the toothpick in the needle.

  5. says

    My husband and I have a small keurig that only holds one cup of water at a time. It does not have a tank that holds lots of water. I wonder if it works be beneficial to run a few cycles with vinegar…

    • Bettie says

      Yes, I put vinegar in my cup and poured it in the Keurig. Let it set 20 mins and then ran it thru. Poured another cup of vinegar and ran it thru. Cleaned the opening with a paperclip and then ran 5 cups of water thru and mine worked perfectly.

    • Alisa Martin says

      Thats what I’m wondering…. plus I use distilled water in ours. However ive noticed it doesn’t seem to hold the full 10 oz like it used to!
      I guess it couldn’t hurt to try :)

  6. Jen says

    This is great info, I always wondered why mine was doing the same thing! Another part of the machine that should be cleaned is the little hole on the base, where the water is drawn out of the tank and into the machine. I didn’t realize how *yucky* it can become due to water basically sitting there between each brew. I now dry it out frequently and clean the water tank in the dishwasher.

  7. Camille says

    Thank YOU for sharing!!! I had NO idea what was happening to my Keurig!! Can’t wait to try out your tips!!

  8. Olivia says

    I tried this the other day and loved it and felt very accomplished after cleaning it for the first time ever. One thing I will note though is that I failed to get ALL of the vinegar out although I thought I had. When my fiance went to make a cup of coffee the next morning we soon realized what kind of reaction results from vinegar and milk. As he was stirring his coffee little clumps of a brown Play-Doh like substance floated to the top. This event had us questioning the Keurig, coffee and milk. I flushed the system with water several more times and brewed another cup and had not problems since. I did make another cup of coffee the way I normally make it (with cream) and added vinegar to ensure that the vinegar was the culprit and it was. Other than that hilarious mishap I have noticed a difference in the cup sizes and have every intention of going through the process again in the future, just with more extensive rinsing :)

  9. Pat Asher says

    I found that while enjoying that hot cup of yummieness (hot cocoa, flavored coffee, or sweet southern tea – really anything that might have some sugar in it) – running a cup of hot water through the machine (be sure to remove your used k-cup) it will almost always prevent a clog up coffee maker. I have only stopped up my machine once in three years – and that was in the first week!

  10. Shannon says

    I have had my Keurig Elite for 2 years. I use it constantly. I only use Brita filtered water in it. If someone goes to fill from the tap I have a mini-freak out. lol. That helps substantially :) I also use a trick for cleaning dishwashers (keep reading :) on my Keurig. I use the vinegar to clean it. But Every 4 weeks I use a koolaid packet of lemonade (no sugar added) to the water when there is just enough for 1 brew left. In a dishwasher this cleans like nobody’s business if you run a cycle and use that as the detergent (no dishes in it) and it removes scale and leaves your machine smelling all lemony and yummy! If you do this in the Keurig it smells great when brewing. I run I full pitcher of water thru after this and I tell you what-squeaky clean and fabulous.

  11. lizel says

    thank you so much for sharing this im gonna go clean mine now its giving me half cups sometimes and other times less than half and im in love with my keurig but then again so is my hubby!!!

  12. Kate says

    OMG! I thought my beloved Keurig was broken too because it was spitting water back into the reservoir! I feel so silly for thinking it was broken instead of just dirty! Thanks for the cleaning tip!

  13. Anna says

    Thank you for the tip! My Keurig has kind of stopped working/brewing all together & I can’t figure out what the deal is! I’ve checked the needles with the unfolded paperclips – but any other recommendations?

  14. Megan says

    This is fantastic info. My husband and I got a Cuisinart single serve coffee maker off a local website called Freecycle. The woman who gave it to us was claiming all of those same problems you were. I just cleaned it with this same info I got off another website and my husband and I haven’t had a problem. Everyone who has a single serve coffee pot should use this advise.

  15. Evie says

    Anytime I make more than 3 cups of coffee I take out the used K cup and run through a clear cup of water. If there are any grounds in the water, I run another cup again. I still clean it twice a year and use a filter. I never thought of the Brita water pitcher. Thanks for the great idea!

  16. melissa says

    Please don’t forget to replace the filter if you do clean with vinegar. The filter will hold the vinegar flavor even if you do many rinses. I didn’t take my filter out, or have a new one to replace the old. SO, for a quick fix I had to soak the old filter in water for several minutes to get rid of the vinegar taste.

  17. megan says

    PS: put baking soda in your kitchen drain and pour the hot vinegar down the drain! Homemade drain cleaner! More bang for your buck with the double use of their vinegar :)

  18. Sheila K says

    I have a regular Keurig and just recently purchased a mini for another location. While I was reading the booklet that came with the new one, I noticed it said to remove the kcup holder to clean it…hmm I thought, then I removed the kcup holder on my big Keurig and soaked it overnight in a soapy water solution. Surprisingly, my water had 3 streams after I put it back together instead of just 1! Who knew?!?!?

  19. Charity says

    It’s also a good idea to let the vinegar set in the unit for several hours or overnight. It gets much more of the gunk out. The folks at Keurig said not to use filtered water. I don’t remember why. Use tap water and the filters that are supposed to go in them for best results.

  20. Julia says

    I have a 2.0 which has an 80oz reservoir. Obviously I’m not going to completely full that with vinegar. How much do you think I should use?

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