Help! My K-Cup® Pod Exploded, Now What?

Posted on Thu, Apr 30, 2015

It's morning, you groggily stumble to the kitchen knowing that your Keurig is 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 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 pod may explode and luckily easy resolutions for each. 

There is too much air in the 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. 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 look for a rounded lid. If the lid of your K-cup is rounded poke it with a small pin prior to brewing to release some of the tension. Or push it down in the brew basket of your Keurig to puncture the cup with the bottom brew needle.

There is 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 should ask for a refund. 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, don't use the rest of the box and return the unused portion.

High altitude.

If you are above 6000 feet, altitude can wreak havoc on the pressure inside your K-cups. You will need to release the pressure in each K-cup before you brew. Use a small pin or push it down on the bottom needle in the brew basket.

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 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.

How do I know which of these reasons caused my explosion?

Start 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 need to contact Keurig for further assistance as your brewer may be faulty (luckily they have great warranties). 


Additional resources:

Topics: Keurig K-cup FAQ's

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