Adding milk to your Keurig coffee maker may seem like a time-saving idea on those lazy days when you’re looking to make a quick latte or cappuccino.
However, milk residue can negatively affect the quality of subsequent brews; while also potentially reducing the efficiency of your machine and limiting its lifespan. Adding milk to your Keurig’s water reservoir is, therefore, not advisable; but if you’ve already gone down this route, cleaning, and descaling the Keurig unit will help.
Can I put Milk in a Keurig?
You should never put milk in your Keurig machine due to the high potential for damage to the internal components of the brewer. Keurig coffee makers are specifically designed to heat only water. If you add milk to the water reservoir, you’re likely to end up with a clogged internal system or clogged needles.
It’s not possible to access the internal heating system of your Keurig and clean the milk residue. As such, this leaves you with unnecessary expenses as you’ll need to replace faulty parts or replace the Keurig unit altogether.
The only time it’s acceptable to put milk in a Keurig is if you’re using a Keurig machine specifically designed to make lattes, such as the Keurig K-Café or the Keurig K-Latte. And even then, you still wouldn’t be pouring the milk directly into the water reservoir and into the internal heating chamber. These Keurig latte makers have special compartments called milk frothers where the milk is meant to be poured and heated.
What Happens if you Put Milk in your Keurig?
Unlike water, milk doesn’t simply boil when it’s heated to high temperatures. It also burns, consequently sticking to the walls of the internal heating chamber and the tubing that sends it to the K-Cup pod. Once milk sticks to the internal machine parts, it’s very difficult to remove and can ruin the brewer or affect the flavor of subsequent drinks.
If you’re really eager to make a milk-based beverage using your Keurig brewer, consider using milk pods instead. These pods work just like your regular K-Cup and are used to make latte-style drinks. A good example is hot cocoa pods from Amazon that contain dried milk.
Note: After using milk-based pods such as cappuccino or chocolate pods inside your K-Cup older, make sure you run a rinse cycle without any pods to get rid of any residual milk inside the brewer.
Another alternative when you’re looking to make milk-based espresso is to heat the milk separately from the coffee. After heating the milk in your microwave or pan, add a bit of it to the Keurig-brewed coffee and enjoy your drink. You can also purchase a standalone Keurig milk frother to froth and heat your milk separately.
Can you clean your Keurig Machine after adding Milk?
While adding milk to Keurig coffee makers can limit the machine’s efficiency, there is still some hope if you’ve already made this mistake. You can get out most, if not all, of the milk crust using the Keurig descaling solution or a homemade descaling solution. Follow the steps below to effectively clean and unclog your Keurig brewer after adding milk to it.
Unplug the Brewer
The first step is to power off and unplug your Keurig unit from the wall. This is an important safety precaution meant to safeguard against electrical shock.
Detach and Clean the Brewer Components
Most of the Keurig components can be detached from the machine and cleaned individually by washing inside a dishwasher. These include the water reservoir, the K-Cup holder, the filter, the drip tray, and the milk steamer.
Empty the water reservoir if it still has some water in it and place it in the dishwasher. Then, clean both its exterior and interior using warm, soapy water before leaving it to dry.
In the same regard, run soapy water through the pod holder and the filter that connects to its base to get rid of milk clogs. Meanwhile, you’ll also have to get rid of milk clogs on the exit needle housed inside the K-Cup holder. To do this, insert a straightened paper clip or safety pin into the tube that houses the needle and remove the milk clogs by moving the paper clip back and forth.
Note: Once you’re done washing the removable components, let them dry before reassembling them.
Reassemble the Brewer
With the removable, external components now clean, it’s time to clean and descale the internal parts of the machine as well. Before descaling the Keurig, you’ll need to reassemble the unit by reattaching the K-Cup holder assembly, the water reservoir, and the drip tray.
Note: The filter attaches to the bottom of the K-Cup holder and is easy to remove and reattach.
Descale the Brewer
Next, fill the water reservoir with one part Keurig descaling solution (or white vinegar) and one parts water. The descaling solution works to remove all types of buildup (such as milk crust) stuck to the internal components of the brewer.
Then, without inserting a K-Cup pod inside the pod holder, run a brew cycle. Ensure there’s a mug on the drip tray to collect the solution plus grime that comes out of the brewer. You can then repeat this process once or twice to ensure you’ve gotten rid of all the milk buildup inside the machine.
Once done, run a rinse cycle with only clean water (minus the descaling solution). This will remove the residual descaling solution still inside the machine, as you don’t want your coffee to end up tasting like vinegar.
Note: Keurig descaling solution is sold either as Keurig descaling bottle or Keurig descaling pouch. Both versions can be found on Keurig’s website and online marketplaces like Amazon.com.
Test the Keurig
With the brewer now clean and descaled, brew an actual cup of coffee. If it lacks a sour milk taste, it means that you’ve gotten rid of the milk curd and crust that was affecting the quality and taste of your brews after you’d poured milk into the brewer’s reservoir earlier on. It also means that your Keurig will be able to serve you for longer, as milk buildup has the potential to damage the coffee machine.
Why you should never ever Put Milk in A Keurig
Milk spoils rather fast at room temperatures. As such, when you put milk in a Keurig, the residual milk inside the water reservoir will spoil and curdle. This results in sour-tasting brews every time you use the Keurig machine thereafter.
Additionally, Keurig machines are fitted with rapid heating systems meant to bring water to a boiling point within a minute or so. Boiling milk at such a rapid rate results in the milk being burnt. Burnt milk not only sticks easily to the internal parts of your Keurig machine but also has a bitter taste and sharp odor.
Finally, as the burnt milk curdles and sticks to the heating elements of your Keurig coffee machine, it has the potential to scorch the metal parts of the machine. This can lower the brewer’s efficiency, while also reducing its lifespan.