How to clean and descale your Keurig K-cup brewer with natural ingredients

cleaning a keurig coffee maker

You wake up from a restless night’s sleep. You stumble over to your Keurig to make that much-needed coffee. There is a long work day ahead full of deadlines and meetings. The K-cup is pierced, and you wait for it – that simply delicious smell, that little trickle of coffee goodness. Instead, your cherished machine begins sputtering, almost coughing. What’s happening? Over time your Keurig can accumulate mineral deposits due to the hot water and the concentration of these minerals. A clogged Keurig not running smoothly can pose a major threat to your morning coffee ritual. How do you remove these pesky clogs? Most cleaning solutions that are used for the Keurig contain citric acid and bleaching agents. To avoid these ingredients and take the natural route you can use vinegar. White vinegar is a great alternative to the toxic cleaning solutions sold in stores. With one part vinegar and one part water you can make sure your Keurig becomes squeaky clean once again. The process is quite simple and only takes a short while. Take a look at how to clean a Keurig naturally, and get ready to get your coffee back!

Clean the External Pieces of Your Keurig

First, completely disassemble the Keurig by removing the water reservoir and the drip tray. Wash the reservoir, reservoir lid, the drip tray, the mug stand, and the K-cup holder with warm, soapy water. Make sure to rinse the soap off of these pieces thoroughly. You can dry them with a paper towel before moving on to the next step. Sometimes the outer portion of the Keurig can get dirty, so it’s a good idea to give it a wipe-down with a damp microfiber cloth. Wipe down the inside of the K-cup holder where coffee grounds tend to get left behind. Reassemble the unit.

Clean the Internal System of Your Keurig with Vinegar

Now is when you’ll want to fill up the water reservoir with your natural cleaning solution. It is safer for the machine if you use equal amounts of water and vinegar instead of using just vinegar. Using only vinegar can wear down the Keurig’s internal system. Since the ratio is one to one, you can fill the reservoir halfway with distilled white vinegar. Fill the rest of the reservoir with water, making sure not to pass the fill line. Place a large mug on the drip tray and brew away! The acidic vinegar will irritate those mineral deposits and dissolve them. A few cycles will be necessary to completely empty the reservoir of the vinegar-water solution. You’re almost finished! It would be a huge mistake to make a cup of Joe right now. Unless you prefer your coffee sour and stinky, you’ll want to rinse out that vinegar residue.

Rinse out the Vinegar from Your Keurig

Now that the reservoir is empty of the vinegar and water, fill the reservoir with just fresh water and continue to brew several more mugfuls of hot water. Each time you brew a cup of water, you’ll smell the vinegar less and less. The number of times you run water through your Keurig might just depend on your sense of smell! Do not worry if you don’t have a good sense of smell. Vinegar is non-toxic. We even use it in salad dressings. Leaving a little vinegar behind will not pollute your coffee nor poison you. Typically, a small Keurig model will need three to four brews of only water to clean out the remaining vinegar. A larger model will need between ten and twelve brews. As soon as the vinegar smell disappears you’re ready for that long-awaited hot beverage!

Clean Your Keurig with Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice

If you have a strong aversion to the smell of distilled white vinegar, try using apple cider vinegar. It will work just as well and have a sweet apple scent. If you choose to use apple cider vinegar, you will need more brews to flush out the smell of it. Lemon juice is another wonderful natural cleaner for your Keurig. Lemon juice is an excellent acid that works just as effectively as vinegar. Use the same ratio of lemon juice to water as you would if using vinegar and water. These three options are great alternatives to the toxic cleaners that are available to you on the market.

Practice These Tips to Keep Your Keurig Clean

Follow this cleaning process every three to six months to keep your Keurig in tip top shape. Practice preventative care by making sure to use filtered or distilled water to fill the reservoir every time you brew a hot drink. This will help prevent the quick building up of mineral deposits in the Keurig’s internal system. It will also benefit you and give you many more pleasant morning experiences brewing your favorite drink.

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