Keurig® Descaling Solution [An Essential Tool for K-Cup® Coffee Brewing]

Posted on Fri, Aug 30, 2019

How to use Keurig® Descaling Solution

Is your Keurig® brewer clogged, not brewing, shutting off or giving you half cups? These are frustrating issues to face in the morning before you have had your first cup of joe! Plus, wasting your precious K-Cup® coffee is the last thing you need. 

Chances are it needs to be descaled. A build-up of calcium and other minerals can cause your coffee maker to do all sorts of odd things. You should perform a deep cleaning every 3-6 months to fix most issues and prevent future hiccups.

In this article, you will learn how to use Keurig® descaling solution. We have included directions for brewers that have a water reservoir and those that do not (K-Mini®). You will avoid downtime by using these instructions regularly. Plus, we have a little known alternative that will save you money!

Why use a descaling solution?

Keurig® descaling solution is fast-acting and odorless. It is a master at extending the life of your Keurig® brewer and will not affect the taste of your K-Cup® coffee. 

How to descale a brewer with a non-removable water reservoir.

Use these instructions for all models of mini Keurig® brewers including K-Mini®, K-Mini Plus®, and K15.

Cleaning kmini with Keurig descaling solution

Photo credit: used with permission

You will need:


(This should take about 45 minutes.)

  1. Turn on the brewer. 

  2. Pour ⅓ of the descaling solution into the reservoir. 

  3. Add a little less than ¾ cup of water. 

  4. Place the mug on the drip tray.

  5. Lift the brew handle (do not add K–Cup® coffee).

  6. Wait five seconds.

  7. Lower the handle and press the brew button. 

  8. When the cycle is complete pour the hot contents into the sink. 

  9. Repeat steps 4-7 but this time when the brew button turns solid red turn the power off. 

  10. Let it sit for 30 minutes or more. 

  11. Turn the coffee maker back  on. 

  12. Lift and lower the handle.

  13. Press the brew button.

  14. When the cycle is complete pour the hot contents into the sink. 

  15. Perform a cleansing brew by repeating steps 4-8 but do not add descaling solution–use freshwater only. 

Descaling Keurig without a reservoir

What about that money-saving alternative?

Here’s the deal, you can use distilled white vinegar instead of Keurig® descaling solution! Granted, white vinegar is much cheaper, but, there are a few catches. It will take longer, and it may affect the taste of your coffee. You can use the same directions listed above but, do not dilute it with water and let it sit for four hours instead of 30 minutes. Also, plan on rinsing several more times to eliminate the smell and taste. 

How to descale a brewer with a removable water reservoir.

Descaling a Keurig® brewer with a removable water reservoir is a slightly different process but even more essential. As the water sits in the removable water reservoir mineral build-up is bound to occur more rapidly. 

Pouring Keurig descaling solution into water reservoir

Photo credit: used with permission

You will need:


(This should take about 45 minutes.)

  1. Turn the brewer off. 
  2. Empty the water reservoir.
  3. If you are using a filter, remove it and set it aside. 
  4. Pour the entire bottle of descaling solution into the water reservoir. 
  5. Fill the empty descaling solution bottle with water and pour into the reservoir. 
  6. Perform a cleansing brew by powering the brewer back on. 
  7. Place the mug on the drip tray.
  8. Lift the handle and make sure that there is no K-Cup® coffee pod in the brew basket and lower the handle. 
  9. Choose the largest cup size and push brew. 
  10. Your coffee maker should dispense the diluted descaling solution into the mug. Once complete empty the hot contents into the sink.
  11. Repeat this process until the reservoir is empty and “add water” is indicated on your brewer.
  12. Let the unit sit for 30 minutes. 
  13. After 30 minutes, remove and rinse the water reservoir thoroughly. 
  14. Refill the reservoir with fresh water. 
  15. Perform at least 12 water only brew cycles to assure that your Keurig® brewer is rinsed well. 
Descaling Keurig without a reservoir-1

The best part? 

You can use white vinegar in these types of brewers too! Follow the same steps listed above but fill the water reservoir with white vinegar (do not dilute). You should let it sit for 4 hours instead of thirty minutes. Also, repeat the water only cleansing rinse until you can no longer taste or smell the vinegar.

I can not stress enough...

Cleaning your Keurig® brewer with a descaling solution is sure to extend its life. But, if you do not use the right water, you will be doing permanent harm. You should use high quality filtered water. Do not use spring water (too many minerals), tap water (too hard), or distilled water (not enough minerals). If you do not have access to filtered water, try using a Keurig® filter.


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