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How To Descale Keurig Coffee Maker With Vinegar

Many of us are guilty of not thinking about descaling Keurig. What is the best way to descale your Keurig coffee maker? You can make our DIY descaling solution– but with a Keurig it’s much easier!

You won’t have to worry about managing filters and ground coffee beans every morning if you have a Keurig. But Keurigs, like all coffee machines, may become a breeding place for harmful bacteria and mold if not cleaned regularly. 

It’s essential to clean and descale your Keurig every three to six months if you want it to keep performing at its best.

It is essential to know how to descale it properly. So, if you can’t remember when you last cleaned or descaled your Keurig coffee maker, you should read this!

Why Do Coffee Makers Get Dirty?

Think again if you feel that cleaning the coffee maker isn’t that important! But why do coffee makers get dirty?

Coffee contains oils, which can cause an oily residue to form in coffee pots, brew baskets, and showerheads.

Plus, water contains minerals that attach to the machine’s parts and accumulate water deposits over time. And that calls for descaling!

According to a study of NSF International study of kitchen products in 2011, 50% of the examined reservoirs in coffee machines had mold or yeast. Imagine if you didn’t clean it for a month. Isn’t it gross?

Do You Need To Use Vinegar To Descale?

You can use vinegar for more than just cooking. Because of its acetic acid, it’s also a great cleaner and disinfectant.

Acetic acid is responsible for vinegar’s sour flavor and pungent smell. Some store-bought home cleaners contain it as well.

The acidic nature of vinegar, according to Healthline, is so strong that it can dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and grime. It’s also capable of killing germs.

White distilled vinegar is the best vinegar for cleaning. It does not contain a coloring agent and won’t discolor your surfaces. When cleaning with a darker-colored vinegar, staining can occur. This makes vinegar ideal to descale your Keurig coffee maker

Descaling Keurig Solutions VS Vinegar

Keurig’s brand descaling solution and vinegar are two cleaning products that effectively eliminate mineral and scale accumulation from Keurig coffee makers.

Although Keurig’s descaling solution costs more than white vinegar, the company claims you may use it for more than just descaling.

You may use it to clean other kitchen appliances, such as kettles and water heaters. Plus, it can extend the life of your machine. So it’s probably safe to say that it’s worth a few more dollars.

You can see that we also recommend vinegar to descale Breville Espresso Machines– or even when cleaning your Cuisinart coffee maker. Vinegar really is all that powerful- it’s almost as versatile as Windex!

While vinegar is the less expensive choice, keep that in mind if you ever need to use Keurig’s warranty to solve an issue with your machine. The business may not be pleased that you’ve been using vinegar instead of the brand’s specially developed descaling product to keep it running smoothly.

Can I Use CLR To Clean My Keurig Coffee Maker?

Calcium Lime Rust (CLR) is a compound of numerous acids, including lactic and citric acids. These chemicals remove rust, calcium, and lime deposits on your coffee maker without causing damage to its metal or plastic parts.

The CLR Website warns that their household chemicals are not ideal for coffee makers with a reservoir that holds water permanently. Like espresso machines and specific brands, Keurig, Cuisinart, and Gevalia. If your Keurig machine has a mineral buildup, learn how to descale a Keurig coffee maker correctly.

Read the instructions that came with your machine to determine which cleaning items are safe to use for extra safety. 

When using CLR, ensure you’re in a well-ventilated place because the fumes can irritate your lungs and worsen some medical conditions.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker?

According to a 2011 NSF study, the coffee build-up can make your cup taste bitter or worse. There could be yeast and mold growing in the reservoir.

While yeast and mold don’t impact your health on a small scale, they can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Make sure to clean your coffee maker regularly to avoid the spread of bacteria.

Additionally, the glass of the coffee pot has brown coffee stains on it, and it takes a long time to brew. The water sputters a lot instead of flowing when brewing into the carafe.

Not to mention, it may shorten the life of your coffee maker. It is essential to keep your coffee maker clean.

What You Will Need To Descale Keurig Coffee Maker

  • White vinegar or Keurig descaling solution
  • Ceramic bowl
  • Clean water

5 Easy Steps In How To Descale Keurig Coffee Maker With Solution and Vinegar

Step 1: Unplug the machine

You’ll have to unplug your Keurig and remove the water reservoir first. Remove the water filter after emptying it.

Step 2: Fill The Reservoir With Vinegar Or Descaling Solution

Fill the water reservoir halfway with white vinegar, then fill the rest with water if you’re cleaning your machine with vinegar.

And if you are using descaling solution, pour the entire bottle of descaler into the tank, then fill it up with water the rest of the way.

Step 3: Run The Machine

Turn on your machine. Put the ceramic bowl under the spout and start the brew cycle with the largest setting your cup can fit. The bigger the cup, the faster the process will go. Make sure you don’t put a K-cup in the machine when you do this.

When the brew is done, empty the cup into your sink and run another cycle. Repeat until the water tank runs out.

Step 4: Allow The Machine To Rest

Allow 30 minutes for the inner workings of your machine to soak. For this step, you can leave the power on.

Step 5: Rinse With Clean Water

Remove the reservoir and give it a good rinse. Fill it with clean water and run it through a couple more cycles to get rid of the vinegar taste.

If you’re using a descaling solution, Keurig suggests brewing at least 12 more cleansing brews to ensure all the chemicals are gone. 

Do you know how often you should descale your Keurig? Every three months, according to the manufacturer.

People Also Ask

Is Vinegar better than the Descaling solution?

When it comes to descaling, both descaling solution and vinegar work just as well. Some people say that white vinegar has a taste that stays with you, but many others say it is the best way to get rid of limescale. Many people want a concrete answer but there is none.

What happens if you don’t descale your Keurig?

If you don’t clean your Keurig, the flow of water will be messed up and it won’t work right. It will take longer to brew, and the machine may make more noise. It can also change how your coffee tastes and how hot it is.

How Long Does It Take To Descale A Keurig?

You should properly descale your Keurig, which takes about an hour.


Like your favorite cast iron pans, you need cast iron accessories to keep and care for them. Likewise, your coffee machine should get some attention. It would be best to get a suitable descaler and keep it clean.

There are pros and cons to each brewer’s descaling solution, and it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you.

If you’re looking for something cheap and readily available, white vinegar is your best bet. However, this method’s long-term effectiveness isn’t quite as impressive.

The descaling solution for the Keurig is more expensive than vinegar. However, because Keurig created it, you can be sure that if you use it as directed every two to three months, it will keep your machine working efficiently.

So, what do you think is the best descaling solution? Let me know in the comments!