The quality of your coffee can be affected by the sanitary levels of the brewer components. As such, your Keurig coffee maker should be cleaned and maintained regularly to maintain normal functioning.
The best way to clean and maintain Keurig
Different parts of your Keurig brewer have different cleaning requirements, as detailed below.
Clean the brewer casing/exterior
When cleaning the exterior of your Keurig brewer, dip a soft, lint-free cloth in soapy water and wring it before wiping the brewer’s casing. Avoid using a rough fabric cloth that might abrade the brewer’s casing. Also, never immerse the coffee maker in water.
Clean the drip tray
You should empty and clean your drip tray once it’s full (a Keurig drip tray holds up to 8-ounces of overflowing liquid). Remove the drip tray by sliding it towards you, while making sure you avoid spilling the water. Finally, clean both the drip tray and the drip tray plate with a lint-free, soft cloth that’s been dipped in soapy water and well-wringed.
Clean the pod holder assembly
Keurig’s K-Cup pod holder assembly comprises the actual K-cup holder, the funnel, and the exit needle. To clean the pod holder assembly, you have to release it from the brewer first by pushing from the bottom with one hand and grasping the top with the other.
Once released, you can clean the pod holder inside the uppermost shelf of a dishwasher, ensuring to use low-temperature cycles.
You should also clean the funnel separately by removing it from the K-cup holder. The funnel is dishwasher safe, easy to pull off, and easy to snap back into place.
Finally, clean the exit needle, which is found at the inner base of the K-cup pod holder assembly. The exit needle can be clogged by coffee grinds, which can be cleaned off using a paper clip. To access the exit needle, you have to remove the funnel, before using the paper clip to push the clogs loose.
Note: You should avoid inserting your hand or fingers inside the K-cup pod holder assembly as there are needles on both the upper and lower side of the pod holder. The function of these needles is to puncture the K-cup pods, but also pose a high injury risk if touched.
Clean the water reservoir
You should also regularly clean the water reservoir and its lid. Remember, though, that both of these components aren’t dishwasher-safe and should be cleaned by hand as per the procedure detailed below:
- Dip a soft, non-abrasive, lint-free cloth in lukewarm, soapy water. Then, wring the cloth to get rid of excess water.
- Next, wipe both the external and internal parts of the water reservoir with the damp cloth. Don’t forget to wipe the lid as well.
- Afterwards, rinse with a clean, damp, non-soapy cloth.
- You may use a dry cloth to dry the outer parts of the water tank, but never the inner parts, unless you fancy lint ending up in your coffee.
Clean the filter screen
The filter screen is located at the bottom of the water tank and also tends to clog up. To clean this part of the water reservoir, you need to direct a strong jet of water towards the filter screen. You can use a water sprayer or high-pressure water from your faucet. Alternatively, you can pour some water into the reservoir and shake it thoroughly to force the clogs and dirt off the filter screen.
Descaling the brewer
It could be that you’ve been using hard water to brew your Keurig coffee. This causes scale/calcium deposits to build up, consequently limiting the brewer’s functionality. For optimal performance of your Keurig coffee maker, it’s crucial to descale the brewer every 3-6 months.
The red ‘descale’ light, which is the second indicator light from the top, automatically lets you know when it’s time to descale. Here’s a short procedure on how to descale your Keurig coffee brewer:
- With the brewer turned off and the water filter removed, pour Keurig descaling solution into the water tank.
- Next, pour an equal amount of water into the reservoir before turning the brewer back on.
- Now, with a large mug placed on the drip tray plate, set the largest brew size and run a cleansing brew.
- After about thirty minutes, turn off the brewer, discard the cup contents, and rinse the water reservoir.
- Finally, fill the water tank with clean, fresh water and run a cleansing brew using the largest brew size for at least 12 brews. Once all the scale has been removed, the brewer should be able to resume normal functionality.
How often should you clean a Keurig?
Each part of your Keurig coffee machine has different cleaning and maintenance requirements, thus the cleaning schedule varies from component to component. For instance, the removable parts should be cleaned at least once every week, while filter holder cleaning and Keurig descaling should be done every 2 months and 3 months, respectively.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the cleaning schedule for different parts of a Keurig coffee maker:
- The casing/exterior- should be cleaned once a week by wiping with a wet cloth.
- The Keurig cold water reservoir/ water tank- should be cleaned once per week using lukewarm, soapy water and a soft cloth if you use the brewer daily.
- The drip tray- should be cleaned once per week using warm soapy water if you use the brewer daily.
- The pod holder- should be cleaned once per week by rinsing with warm water only.
- The exit needle- should be cleaned at least once a month.
Keurig maintenance practices
Apart from cleaning your brewer components the right way and at the recommended times, you should also ensure proper care and maintenance to enhance the lifespan of your coffee maker. Some of these maintenance practices include:
- To avoid frost damage to your Keurig brewer, ensure you empty the water reservoir before storing it.
- For the best-tasting coffee, ensure you replace your water filter after every 60 brew cycles.
- Always store your Keurig in an upright position to prevent water leakage.