How to Clean Keurig Needle

When your Keurig coffee machine starts to leak or spit out coffee grounds, it could be a pointer towards clogged/dirty needles. The Keurig brand includes a special tool that you can use to clean and unclog the needles as part of the product package. And even if you lose, there are other ways to clean your Keurig needle without this maintenance component.

How to clean Keurig needle without tool?

Keurig brewer units come with a maintenance accessory tool that cleans the needles. However, if you don’t have this tool, for one reason or another, there’s no reason to despair. You can still clean your Keurig needles using alternate methods.

To properly clean a Keurig coffee maker without the included tool you need to clean both the entry and exit needles using a straightened paper clip, a toothpick, a safety pin, or a similar item. The entire process involves several steps, as detailed below.

1. Take safety precautions

Before accessing and cleaning the needles on your Keurig, you must first eliminate the risk of electrical shock. Ensure the brewer is powered off and completely unplugged from the wall unit.

2. Remove the K-Cup holder

To access the bottom needle, detach the pod holder from the Keurig brewer. After lifting the machine’s handle, grab the top of the K-Cup pod holder with one hand. Then, using your other hand, push the pod holder out of its compartment from underneath.

3. Remove the funnel

The next step is to detach the funnel from the K-Cup holder. This is the section that connects to the lower part of the pod holder. If this is your first time cleaning the holder or the needle, it might take some force to free the funnel from the pod holder.

4. Unclog the exit needle

Since we’re assuming you don’t have the Keurig accessory tool used for cleaning the needles, you’ll need a paper clip for this step. Alternatively, you can use a toothpick.

With the base of the K-Cup holder now open, insert a straightened paper clip through the protruding tube that houses the exit needle. Then, move the paper clip back and forth for about a minute to free the bottom needle of the built-up clogs around it.

Note: During this step, you should hold the pod holder in an upside-down position so that the loosened clogs can easily fall off.

5. Rinse the pod holder and funnel

After unclogging the exit needle, rinse the pod holder to remove any clogs still left clinging to the needle’s housing unit. Rinsing also helps to remove grime from the K-Cup holder itself. While at it, ensure you also rinse the funnel.

6. Clean the entry needle

While the K-Cup pod holder dries up, head back to the brewer unit and clean the entry needle. The entry/puncture needle is located beneath the brewer head, where the top of the K-Cup holder locks on to. To access the needle, simply lift the brewer’s handle.

Then, using a paper clip or a toothpick, loosen clogs from the puncture needle just like you did on the exit needle. There are two holes on either side of the entry needle. Insert the paper clip into these holes and unclog them as well.

Note: Keurig needles are very sharp and can cause injury. You should, therefore, be very careful when cleaning/unclogging them.

7. Reassemble the pod holder unit

With both the entry and exit needles now free of dirt and grime, it’s now time to reattach the pod holder to the Keurig brewer. First, reattach the funnel back to the K-Cup holder by pushing them against each other until the funnel snaps into position.

Then, reinsert the K-cup holder into the brewer. To do this, first, make sure the pod holder tabs are aligned with the corresponding slots on the Keurig unit; before pushing it downwards until it snaps into position.

8. Run a cleansing brew

If you suspect that the dirty or clogged needles were causing your Keurig coffee machine to malfunction, test it to ascertain that it has resumed normal functionality. Before doing so, run at least 2 brew cycles without inserting a K-Cup pod inside the pod holder. This will help to remove any residual grime inside the machine.

After running the cleansing cycle, insert a K-Cup pod to test if your Keurig is now functioning normally. If there are no leakages, sputtering, or half-brewed cups, it means that your needles are now clean and you’re good to go.

How to clean the Keurig needle with a tool?

Every new Keurig machine comes with an accessory tool meant for cleaning the needle. If you haven’t misplaced this tool, you can use it instead of having to rely on a paper clip or toothpick. The steps below will guide you on how to effectively use the Keurig cleaning tool.

1. Unplug your unit

As a safety precaution, ensure that you turn off and unplug your Keurig machine first.

Fill the Maintenance Pod with Water

The Keurig maintenance accessory tool includes a pod that’s meant to hold water. As such, you should fill up this pod first before attaching the tool to the pod holder.

2. Insert the tool into the pod holder

Next, insert the Keurig maintenance accessory tool inside the K-Cup holder. To ascertain a snug fit, check to ensure that the power button on the tool is facing right and the arrows on it are pointed in your direction.

3. Undertake an open-close cycle

Next, with the tool snugly inside the pod holder, close the brewer head by pushing the Keurig to handle downwards. Then, open it again after a few seconds. Repeat this cycle at least five times.

4. Remove the accessory tool

After undertaking five open-close cycles, open the brewer’s head and take out the Keurig maintenance accessory tool. If you notice tiny coffee grounds on it, then it has done its job and you now have clean, unclogged needles.

5. Rinse out residual grime

Run at least three brew cycles without a K-Cup coffee pod inside the pod holder. This will help to flush out any residual clogs, grime, and coffee grounds still stuck inside the Keurig unit. When undertaking this step, ensure the water reservoir is full.

Keurig needle maintenance tips

  1. Use Keurig rinse pods– to maintain your Keurig needle and keep it working perfectly for a long, ensure you clean it regularly using Keurig rinse pods.
  2. Clean the K-Cup Holder– regularly rinsing the K-Cup pod holder and funnel helps to keep the exit needle clean and functional.
  3. Regularly inspect the needles– regularly inspecting the needles will help you know whether they’re bent and a replacement is needed. The good news is that needle assembly units cost as low as $20 on Amazon.

Can I replace a needle on a Keurig?

A clogged needle issue can easily be solved by cleaning the needle. However, if you’ve got coffee grounds in your coffee, it could mean that the entry needle is faulty or misaligned, thus creating a larger K-Cup hole than is necessary. In such instances, your best option is to replace the needle.

It’s possible to remove and replace the needles on your Keurig. Take note, though, that replacement parts for the puncture needle are harder to find than those for the exit needle.

Also, replacement entry needle parts don’t come as a standalone unit but include the top assembly tubing plus mounting.

Once you’ve bought the complete needle replacement unit, follow the steps below to replace the needle.

1. Remove the water reservoir

Once you’ve unplugged your Keurig brewer to avoid electrocution, take off the water reservoir as well as the drip tray. Doing so will accord you more working space.

2. Remove the K-cup holder

With the Keurig unit lying on its back, pull the handle and take out the K-Cup Holder

3. Unscrew the entry needle assembly

Next, unfasten the screws that secure the old entry needle assembly to the brewer’s head.

4. Remove the old entry needle tubing

To access the tubing, take out the top assembly cover first. Then, disconnect the tubing at both ends. Use a flathead screwdriver to detach the tubing from the top of the boiler unit and the entry needle.

Finally, detach the tubing from the top assembly by unfastening the screws that secure it in position. With the tubing disconnected, you should now be able to easily remove the entry needle assembly to give space for the new one.

5. Install the replacement needle assembly

Now, following the earlier steps in reverse order, replace the old entry needle assembly with the new one. First, secure the tubing to the top assembly before fastening the entry needle and mounting it into position. Then, reattach the other end of the tube to the boiler connector.

6. Replace the removed parts

With the new entry needle assembly in position, you can now reinstall the top cover, K-Cup holder, water reservoir, and drip tray. Finally, run a test brew cycle to check if the new needle works fine.


  1. Cleaning and Maintenance

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