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Everyday Cheapskate: How To Clean Your Keurig Machine and How Often You Should

Mary Hunt on

While drinking coffee has health benefits, using your Keurig machine daily without routine cleaning and maintenance can lead to awful consequences.

It's essential to clean a Keurig because it can be a health hazard if not cleaned properly. Like any coffee maker (or espresso machine), Keurigs can grow mold if not properly drained, descaled and cleaned. Cleaning keeps mold and bacteria at bay but also removes the mineral buildup in the machine that affects the coffee taste and quality. A clean Keurig makes better-tasting coffee. These are the steps to clean the machine:

STEP NO. 1: Unplug the machine. Next, disassemble your Keurig, taking note of where things go. You should be able to remove the water reservoir and lid, the drip tray and the pod holder. Careful! You'll see a pointy needle-like spike in the top assembly, which does not come off, so don't try to remove it. In fact, be careful to avoid poking yourself.

STEP NO. 2: Thoroughly wash and dry the removable parts using hot, soapy water. Alternatively, you can run these parts through the dishwasher, a good idea if they are particularly skanky. In the meantime, using a damp, soapy microfiber or other dish cloth, clean and wipe down the machine's exterior. Rinse and then buff dry using a microfiber or other towel.

STEP NO. 3: Reassemble the machine, making sure you get everything back into its proper place.

Next, it's time to descale your Keurig. When you fill a Keurig reservoir with water with a high mineral content level, over time, this will result in a buildup of hardened calcium and mineral deposits, known as scale. That impacts the taste of your coffee but also prevents the machine from working properly. If it is not cleaned and descaled regularly, you should expect your Keurig to face a slow, painful death. But don't worry, you can descale a Keurig using a few different methods.


It should be noted that the manufacturer recommends only one method to descale your machine: its proprietary Keurig Descaling Solution. You can purchase this online or possibly at the store where you purchased your machine.

Interestingly, the Keurig Descaling Solution is mostly citric acid, water and inert items like silica and bleaching agents. Hmmm ...

There are two homemade options to effectively descale a Keurig machine that are definitely cheaper than the pricey stuff from the manufacturer, and possibly better and faster:



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