DIY: How to clean your Keurig coffee maker!


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m not a coffee drinker.  To be perfectly honest, I’m probably the one person on the planet who doesn’t even like the smell of coffee.   But, my boyfriend is a coffee-holic, and we not only have a regular coffee maker, but we also have a Keurig.  Two things that would not be taking up precious counter space in my kitchen it if were not for him… :)

Now, he may be the one to drink the coffee, but I’m the one who makes it for him.  I use the regular coffee maker to make a 12-pot of coffee to fill his thermos up for work, and I use the Keurig on weekdays for just hot water for his oatmeal, and on the weekends he uses it for his K-cups of coffee.   I also do use it for hot chocolate as well.  Or as Chris would say, “a little hot chocolate to go with my whipped cream”.  Ha.

Well lately I’ve been noticing that it’s taking forever and a day to get water out of the Keurig.  I put his bowl of oatmeal underneath, hit the little button, and walk away.   When I go back to it, there’s no water in it.  Oookayyy.  What’s going on?  I tell Chris and he fiddles with it a bit, and finally comes to the conclusion that his Keurig is “on the way out” and the only way to get it to work is to smack it.  Yes, smack it.    And believe it or not, smacking it makes the water come out.   And he has a way of smacking things to get them to work.   Like the light above our kitchen sink.  Sometimes it just won’t turn on, so he smacks it and voila!  We have light.   I have nicknamed him the fonze.

But, although this method works, I don’t enjoy pretending I am the fonze, and I don’t enjoy smacking things to make them work.  (I’m more likely to throw the darn thing out the window).    But then I remembered my mom’s remedy for all things cleaning.  WHITE VINEGAR.   I swear, she could write a book on all things vinegar. What to mix it with to clean things, what to use it straight with, and even what vinegars to drink to heal your body and keep you healthy.

So I grabbed a gallon container I had of white vinegar and poured it straight into the empty reservoir.  I let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then I started to run cups of hot brewed vinegar through it.  I did this repeatedly, and I filled the reservoir twice with vinegar to be sure to remove all that lime scale buildup.  After about the first 5 cups or so, I noticed it was coming out quicker and quicker each time.


After I went through two reservoirs filled with vinegar, I refilled the reservoir with plain old water, and ran it through cup after cup after cup of hot water.  Again, I did this for two reservoir cycles.    I wanted to make sure I got ALL that vinegar out.   The only thing that smells worse than coffee is the smell of coffee with vinegar.  And I’m pretty sure it probably tastes as bad as it smells.

cleankeurig3 .

Once all the water finally rinsed out any traces of the vinegar, I removed the K-cup filter thingy and cleaned that, and around it.  (It pops right out).  And, did you know that the reservoir, the lid, and the drip tray are all dishwasher safe?  I threw them in the dishwasher for a cleaning as well.

Our Keurig is now as good as new!  And to think we thought we were going to have to buy a new one.  All it really needed was a really good vinegar cleaning!


Oh! And P.S.  You can do this with any single-cup or pot coffee maker!    Just use vinegar in place of water for a few cycles!



  1. THANKS for the very helpful information!! I’m going to try it right know, just hope we have enough vinegar……. Let everybody know if I got the same positive results!! Wish me luck!!!
    THANKS AGAIN, Lea Taylor

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