What Do You Use to Descale Your Keurig Coffee Maker?


How often do you go to use your Keurig coffee maker to brew a delicious cup of coffee, and the water doesn’t come out? The issue is caused by a buildup of mineral deposits called calcium carbonate inside the coffee maker. It’s also known as scaling or limescale. This article will guide you on how to descale your Keurig coffee machine to restart its functioning. 

Limescale buildup is a common problem with many household items, and Keurig coffee makers are not an exception. It’s a problem that has plagued Keurig for a long time, and it’s one of the most common problems that users have to deal with when they use their coffee brewer. There are several treatment options available for Keurig, like white vinegar or descaling tablets. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get rid of the accumulation of mineral deposits on the brewer.

What Is Calcium Carbonate? What Does It Do?

Calcium carbonate is made up of calcium and carbon. It’s found naturally in water and can also be made when water combines with carbon dioxide in the air. The deposit inside the Keurig coffee pot is called limescale, and it’s formed when the tap water dries on the coffee brewers. 

Limescale, a type of calcium carbonate, builds up and sticks to the brewer’s inner lining, impeding the water flow through the machine. If some housing constructions have hard water in their pipelines, they may have detectable levels of limescale buildup in their appliances also. This includes the Keurig machine.

The limestone buildup occurs within weeks or months after installing the coffee maker. However, some people notice the buildup later when they use soft water over a certain period. Limescale is a massive issue because it can affect the operation of the machine and cause interruptions or even malfunction. If the descaling treatment isn’t done regularly, the machine will become non-functional and you will have to purchase a new one. 

Ways to Clean a Keurig to Prevent Limescale Buildup

The best way to prevent limescale buildup in the Keurig coffee brewer is to provide good plain water with appropriate temperature to the machine. Using freshwater with a temperature that is not too hot will help to prevent buildup from occurring.

White vinegar is also used for descaling tablets. These products are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. However, read instructions carefully before using these products on the unit as they have serious side effects. Here are the steps to clean the Keurig machine: 

Step 1: Remove The Reservoir

After filling the water tank with fresh water, remove the reservoir and clean it. It’s equipped with a handy mark that shows a sign when the internal tank needs to be cleaned. Once the tank is full, use vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:4. To remove mineral deposits, pour vinegar or descaling tablets into the reservoir and fill it with water. 

Remember not to put the reservoir or its lid in a dishwasher. Instead, clean it with a soapy cloth and then rinse it thoroughly. 

Step 2: Clean The K-cup Holder 

Keurig K-cup holders can get a bit messy. Clean the holder by using a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water. Once the holder is clean, rinse it with clean water and wipe it dry with a cloth. After cleaning, put new coffee filters in the holder. 

Step 3: Clean The Outside Of Your Keurig Brewer

Use hot water to clean all parts of the Keurig brewer that can be reached easily. This process includes a drip tray, handle, control panel and all significant buttons. If you find that these parts are filthy, use vinegar and water solution.

Step 4: Clean The Water Filter

Make sure to clean the water filter every time you wash your Keurig brewer. There is a small screen on the inside of the device called a K-cup sensor. Water will not be able to pass through this screen unless it’s clear. Usually, gentle scrubbing with hot water is all that’s needed to keep the sensor clear.

Step 5: Descale With Vinegar

This step is optional. Descaling is a common way to remove calcium from the appliance, and vinegar is used for it. A few cups, mixed with water, can be added to the water reservoir near the brewer’s heating element. The vinegar should begin to dissolve the calcium buildup. Leave the solution to soak overnight. 

Step 6: Reassemble The Parts

Put it all back together, piece by piece, and test it out. If you don’t see any limescale buildup or coloration, the Keurig coffee maker is successfully treated. If it doesn’t work, see if there is any missing link in the connection. You can also take it apart again and fix it accordingly. 

Step 7: Keep The Brewer Clean

You should do a few things to ensure that the Keurig brewer remains clean and is in working condition.

  • Use a cleaning solution at least once a month.
  • Wait a few minutes after each use for the residue to cool down. This step will help prevent clogging and scaling as it cools down.
  • Try not to overfill the Keurig with water and coffee grounds. Overfilling can cause a buildup of limescale, which can lead to clogs and other problems.
  • Avoid brewing coffee grounds in the Keurig when you run out of water. 


The best way to keep the Keurig brewer clean and run smoothly is to use tablets and vinegar mixed with water. Vinegar and water solution will help dissolve the limescale buildup that can cause problems throughout the Keurig brewer. It is recommended to do deep cleaning once a month and regular cleaning once a week. Using a soft, filtered water source can prevent the buildup of limescale.

Coffee making is an essential part of everyday activities, and people have the right to enjoy a mug of delicious coffee without a potential malfunction. Hope this article was a good read for you!


Q: Does vinegar work for descaling? 

A: Vinegar effectively removes mineral deposits that form on the internal surfaces of your Keurig machine. It must be used in combination with water. For a complete descaling job, use a homemade descaler solution or a Keurig descaling tablet.

Q: What happens if I don’t clean the water reservoir every time I clean my Keurig?

A: The buildup of limescale can eventually cause problems with your brewer. If the water tank is not cleaned regularly, it will damage the machine’s internal components. Over time, this buildup will begin to prevent water from flowing properly through your Keurig and can cause more serious problems throughout your appliance.

Q. I have already cleaned the water tank reservoir. Can I use it to brew coffee again?

A: Don’t use tap water again for brewing coffee until you are sure that your machine has been successfully cleaned. If you do, your Keurig brewer will begin to malfunction. Some of Keurig’s parts may even get decimated if it is not working well.