Its morning, you groggily stumble to the kitchen knowing that your Keurig is there ready and waiting to bring you back to life. You choose your favorite K-cup and pop it in with anticipation and push brew. You expect to have a hot, fresh cup of the one and only thing that can get your day started on the right foot- coffee. But, instead you see a trickle, some odd noises and BAM! Your K-cup explodes, sending hot liquid and grinds everywhere!
This is going to be a bad day.
Unfortunately, we can not go back in time and prevent this extremely messy incident but, we can help you troubleshoot the situation and stop it from happening in the future. There are several reasons that a K-cup pod may explode and luckily easy resolutions for each.
1) There is too much air in the K-cup.
This is the most common cause of an exploding K-cup. For one reason or another when the manufacturer did whatever it is that they do to make a K-cup they added a bit too much air causing an accident waiting to happen. When the brew needle of your Keurig punctures this overfilled K-cup it is like popping a balloon...a balloon filled with hot water and coffee grinds.
To spot an overfilled K-cup simply look for a rounded lid. If the lid of your K-cup is rounded you may want to poke it with a small pin prior to brewing to release some of the tension. Or an even easier way to release the air is to push it down in the brew basket of your Keurig to puncture the cup with the bottom brew needle. No matter how you choose to do it, you need to release some of the air prior to brewing.
2) The K-cup has a weak seal.
There is not much you can do to detect and resolve a weak seal on a K-cup. However, if you do suspect a weak seal caused an explosion, you can and should ask for a refund from the retail establishment or website you purchased the K-cup from. In addition, if you get one weak seal in a box, the chances of others being faulty is greater. If you get two or more, I would suggest not using the rest of the box and returning the unused portion in exchange for a new box.
3) High altitude.
If you are brewing your K-cup pods at or above 6000 feet, altitude can wreak havoc on the pressure built up inside of your K-cups. Just like option #1, it is like sticking a pin in a balloon. You will need to release the pressure in each K-cup before you brew with a small pin or again, push it down on the bottom needle in the brew basket.
4) A clogged needle.
There are two needles in your Keurig brewer. One punctures the top of the K-cup and the other the bottom. From time to time (especially with teas) a grind or tea particle will get stuck in one of the needles causing a clog, then a backup, then an explosion. To clean the needles use a straightened out paperclip. Insert the paperclip into the needles in an attempt to release any stuck debris. Then run a few water only brew cycles to flush it out. While you are at it, it would not be a bad idea to clean your brewer using distilled white vinegar or this descaling solution.
But, how do I know which of these reasons caused my explosion?
Good question. I would recommend starting with the brew needles since that is the easiest fix. If you continue to experience exploding K-cup check out the lids, if they are domed then they are probably overfilled and need the pressure released. If that does not seem to be the issues then move on to the bad seals. If you explore all of these options and still don't resolve the issue, you will then need to contact Keurig for further assistance as your brewer may be faulty (luckily they have great warranties).
Have you ever had an exploding K-cup? What was the reason and how did you resolve it?
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