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How to Clean Your Keurig

What to do when your Keurig doesn’t make a full cup of coffee? Learn how to clean your keurig brewer in just a few simple steps!

How to Clean your Keurig

I am apparently a bad Keurig owner. In the mornings I get up.  I stumble into the kitchen and pop a Butter Toffee Coffee K-Cup in my Keurig.  My Keurig is about a year old, 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 half of a cup. Hmmm…Ok, so I tried again.  I still got just a half cup.

Keurig dripping

I took the lid off the water tank and saw that the water was dripping back into the reservoir instead of into my cup. UGH! My first thought was my Keurig had died! 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

How to Clean Your Keurig

Keurig with water

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 of hours.

Keurig sharp needle

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 reservoir was empty.  I did this one more time with water to make sure the vinegar was all out of the Keurig.

Cup of coffee

I am ecstatic to say it worked! Now I 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!

How Often to Clean Your Keurig

You should clean your Keurig once every 2-3 months to avoid any issues. This will keep your machine clean and in the best running order. 

More Keurig Tips

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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…

    1. 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.

    2. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

  8. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 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. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I also use a trick for cleaning dishwashers (keep reading ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 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. 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. 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?

  21. I was so hopeless. I can’t live without my coffee in the morning and was so sad when my Keurig stopped working. I am so glad I stumbled across this. I used vinegar like you said and now it works perfectly. Thank you a million!!!

  22. This does work !!! I bought a Keurig at a yard sale for $7.00. I tried to use it & it would not work with the K-cups. I finally used your directions to clean it. I is now great. Thank you so much.

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