How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Maker with Vinegar

Owning a Keurig means you don’t have to think about filters and ground coffee beans every morning. But many of us are probably guilty of not thinking about cleaning neither does she – and this thing can get dirty. Like all coffee makers and pod coffee systems, Keurigs can serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold if not cleaned regularly. Extrapolated? U.S. too.

We asked Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, for advice on how to maintain your morning machine. Start by purchasing the following essential cleaning products, then follow the timeline below to find out how often you should clean each part of your brewer.

What you will need:

How to clean a Keurig coffee maker the right way

Every week:

Ideally you will want wash the removable parts of your machine on a weekly basis.

  1. Unplug the machine.
  2. Disassemble the water tank, lid, cup tray, and K cup holder.
  3. Clean the cup tray and the K cup holder in hot soapy water.
  4. For the water tank and cover, remove the water filter, then wipe the surfaces with a damp, soapy cloth.
  5. Rinse the reservoir and cover with water and allow it to air dry – you don’t want to dry it with a rag as that might leave lint.
  6. Wipe the exterior surface with a damp sponge.
  7. Replace all removable parts and reconnect the machine.
    1. Every two months:

      Replace the water filter cartridge to keep your coffee fresh every two months.

      1. First, soak a new cartridge in cool water for five minutes, then rinse it for 60 seconds.
      2. Wash the mesh of the lower filter holder.
      3. Insert the cartridge into the upper filter holder and snap the cover on.
      4. Finally, put it back in your tank and lock it in place.
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          Every three to six months:

          Descale your machine to remove minerals from hard water that can build up over time, which could affect its proper functioning.

          1. Begin the descaling process by filling the reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar or Keurig descaling solution.
          2. Start the K cupless brew cycle and let the machine run as usual, using a cup to collect the liquid.
          3. Repeat this process a second time.
          4. Then repeat the process one last time, but with 10 ounces of cool water to remove any vinegar taste.
          5. Prepare the coffee as usual.
            1. As required:

              When you see patterns in your K cup holder, remove them with a sponge to prevent them from ending up in your drink tomorrow morning. If you are having trouble brewing, there may also be coffee grounds stuck in the needles, which puncture the entry and exit points through which water flows.

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              To clean Keurig needles, unplug the machine first. Next, Keurig recommends using a paper clip carefully to remove any clogging debris lodged in the needles before rinsing. (See where to find them in this video.) For a Keurig 2.0, you can use the Keurig Brewer Service Attachment instead.

              As long as you follow these steps you won’t have to worry about anything other than coffee in your morning brew (well, unless you like yours with milk and sugar, that is- to say).

              WATCH: This machine is like a Keurig for cocktails

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