How to Clean a Keurig Coffee Machine

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Ahh, coffee is our favorite drink here at the Bushy Beard. There’s nothing quite like a hot cup of coffee in the morning to see you through a busy day. Perhaps that’s why, in order to get the best coffee at home, thousands of coffee lovers have chosen to buy a coffee machine with a grinder. But what about the mess it leaves? In this post, I will take you through the process of how to clean a Keurig coffee machine.

Whether you opt for a Nespresso coffee machine, Jura coffee machine, or Keurig coffee machine, they will only be able to produce the best coffee if they are properly cared for, regularly cleaned, and kept in good condition.

It’s really important that you know how to clean your coffee machine and rid it of any built-up coffee oils, residue, and coffee grounds. If you don’t know how to clean your coffee machine, you’ll find that the taste of your coffee will diminish as your coffee machine gets dirtier and dirtier, and you’ll eventually put your health at risk.

Don’t worry if you have never cleaned a coffee machine before, this blog will walk you through some home remedies that will let you clean a coffee machine step-by-step. This guide is specifically tailored for a Keurig coffee machine, but if you are using a Nespresso, Ninja, or Jura coffee machine, then don’t worry as the process is not that different. For more info, check out our other blog post: How to clean a coffee maker using baking soda.

What is a Keurig coffee machine?

Keurig is a coffee machine brand that manufactures single-serve coffee makers and automatic coffee makers that simplify the coffee brewing process for easy use at home. They are a reputable and well-established brand based in America. Keurig coffee machines have a range of different models that can produce single-serve coffee, filtered coffee, and cold brew coffee.

How to use a Keurig Coffee Machine

Using a Keurig coffee machine for the first time? If you are a bit unsure about how to use it, the good news is this machine is highly automated, and making the best coffee at home couldn’t be simpler. Let’s walk through it.

  1. Select your favorite K-cup pod and place your mug on the coffee machine tray
  2. Lift the handle to insert the K-cup into the coffee machine
  3. Choose your settings and press BREW.

Your coffee machine will do all the brewing for you and pour fresh coffee directly into your coffee cup.

Signs that its time to clean your coffee machine

Here are the telltale signs that your coffee maker is overdue for cleaning:

  • visible mold or a bad smell
  • slow drip
  • calcium buildup on parts
  • poor-tasting coffee

Regularly cleaning your coffee machine will ensure it produces the best coffee possible and increase the longevity of your coffee maker. If your coffee machine goes uncleaned it can harbor mold and other harmful germs.

How to clean a Keurig coffee machine

Here is my quick step by step guide to cleaning your coffee machine

Step 1:

Fill the reservoir of your coffee machine with water and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. If your coffee machine is moldy you may need to put in some elbow grease. Grab an old toothbrush or small brush and scrub the walls and base of the reservoir.

Step 2:

If you have lots of loose dirt in the coffee machine reservoir then empty out your reservoir and add a new mixture of water and vinegar to the reservoir before running this solution through the machine. Make sure there is no K-cup inside your coffee machine when you switch it on. If your Keurig coffee machine has never been cleaned or is badly clogged, you may need to repeat the process more than once.

Step 3:

Once you complete step 2, run clean water through your coffee machine three or four times to ensure all the vinegar solution has been thoroughly rinsed away.

How to clean a coffee machine with baking soda

Baking soda is a great alternative to using white vinegar to clean your kitchen appliances. If you don’t have white vinegar in the house then check to see if you have some baking soda before you rush out to buy harmful chemicals. The method is the same as using vinegar only this time you will add warm water and 1/4 cup of baking soda to your coffee machine reservoir. Leave it to soak in your coffee machine for 30 minutes and give it a scrub if it needs one, before running this baking soda solution through your coffee machine. The machine will need a thorough rinse once this process is completed. We recommend rinsing your machine a few times before drying it and putting it back together.

If you have used the vinegar method but your machine still smells of vinegar you can use the baking soda solution to get rid of the smell.

Cleaning your coffee machine with chemicals

For deep cleaning, you can use a commercial coffee maker cleaner that you can easily find online. These kinds of cleaning agents are specifically made to break down the oils, and remove coffee stains, and coffee residue from your coffee machine. These chemicals will not be environmentally friendly, but they will get the job done. If you run a business with a large commercial coffee machine we recommend you use commercial coffee machine cleaners.

How to care for your Keurig coffee machine

Use clean utensils and equipment to make your coffee

Make sure whatever cups, measuring cups, spoons, and coffee maker equipment you are using is clean, otherwise you will introduce bacteria to your coffee machine and impact the flavor of your delicious brew.

Leave the lid open and dry your machine.

If you are not a daily user of your Keurig single-serving coffee machine, then consider drying your coffee machine after use or at least leaving the lid of your coffee machine open when you are not using it, to allow the reservoir to dry naturally. This will prevent bacterial growth in your machine.

Dry your Keurig coffee machine with a paper towel to prevent mold from building up inside.

Wipe down your coffee machine and its components

Make sure you wipe down the outside of your machine too, including the draining tray and any mugs you have sitting out around the machine. If you use your Keurig coffee machine regularly, then this tray will fill up quickly with sticky coffee residue. This is a playground for bacteria. Use a damp cloth and a small amount of washing-up liquid to wipe away this build-up.

Use a water filter or bottled water

The reason that you get calcium and other minerals built up in your coffee machine over time, is due to the minerals present in the water you’re using to brew your coffee. If you find that this is a persistent problem for your coffee machine then you may want to consider switching to bottled water or investing in a water filter. This will filter out some of the minerals so they won’t build up in your coffee machine over time and clog it.


How often should you clean a commercial coffee machine?

It is recommended that you deep clean your commercial coffee machine every four to six weeks to maximize the quality of the coffee you’re producing. This can vary depending on how often your machine is used, but most commercial coffee machines will detail how often they should be cleaned in their instruction manual. It is usually after a certain number of coffees have been made using the coffee machine so check what it says in the instruction manual for a more precise estimate. You should clean your coffee machines’ group heads, purge the steam arm of residue and wipe the detachable racks and trays every night.

How often should I clean my coffee maker at home?

A deep clean of your coffee machine should be done at least once a month if you use your coffee maker on a daily basis. If you only use your coffee machine occasionally then you won’t need to clean it so often, more like once every 3 months. If you are not using your coffee maker regularly then make sure it is stored safely in a dry cupboard and ensure that all parts of the coffee machine are dry before you store it away as this can cause bacteria to grow.

Can a dirty coffee maker make you sick?

Yes. If you have mold and bad bacteria built up in your coffee machine you can get sick from consuming the mold. You may experience nausea and start vomiting. It is very unpleasant.

Should I clean my coffee machine with bleach?

Bleach is very harmful and should NEVER be used undiluted. While bleach is effective at killing bacteria and mold, it can also corrode the inside of your coffee maker and is extremely bad for your health. Don’t use bleach to clean your kitchen appliances. It should be kept away from consumables and stored high up, or in a locked cupboard away from children.

Is my coffee maker dishwasher safe?

Some detachable elements of your coffee machine may be dishwasher safe. Make sure you check the back of your machine or instruction manual which should tell you which parts are safe to go in the dishwasher.

Cleaning a coffee machine with white vinegar

Keurigs coffee machines can build up bacteria and calcium inside which can clog up and prevent your coffee maker from working correctly. One really easy way to get rid of this residue is by using white vinegar to clean your coffee machine. This method is really useful as you won’t need to buy any expensive cleaning products. This home remedy is also environmentally friendly.

Our Top Keurig Coffee Machines

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Final Words

We hope that you will be able to clean your Keurig coffee machine at home with confidence now that you have the know-how. Make sure you keep it in good condition so you can enjoy fresh coffee every day.

If you still have questions feel free to leave them in the comments and in the meantime check out our other blogs.

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About the author

The more refined, sensible (and slight less hirsute) half of BushyBeard Coffee. Ben loves fine roasts, strong dark coffee and quiet time spent with a good book.

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