How to descale a Keurig coffee maker

descale Keurig coffee maker
(Image credit: Keurig)

If you own one of the best Keurig coffee makers, you'll need to know how to descale a Keurig.  Not only will this maintain its super freshness and flavor, but will ensure your Keurig coffee maker is in top condition, and lasts longer.

Regardless of your model, it's recommended that you should descale a Keurig every three to six months. Keurig, of course, advises using its descaling solution or liquid for best results, but we reckon that you could go for a more general descaler if you want to save some cash. And for the best clean, be sure to follow the quantities of solution to water as described on your product.

There are different approaches based on the type of coffee maker that you’ve picked for your kitchen. Here, we are going to talk you through how to keep yours brewing coffee that tastes as fresh as the day you bought it.

Descale Keurig coffee maker K-Cafe

(Image credit: Keurig)

Descaling traditional Keurig brewers

Includes K-Classic, K-Café, K-Latte, K-Elite, K-Compact, K-Select

  1. Add your descaling liquid (or powder mixed with water) to the water reservoir.
  2. Place a large mug on the drip tray and make sure that there are no pods in your machine.
  3. To perform the cleansing cycle, lift and lower the handle, making sure to select the biggest brew size. 
  4. Repeat this process until the ADD WATER alert is illuminated.
  5. Leave your machine to rest for 30 minutes. 
  6. After the rest period, rinse out the reservoir and fill to MAX with fresh water.
  7. Repeat the rinse cycle 12 times to ensure all of the descaling solution is removed.

Descale Keurig K-Slim

(Image credit: Keurig)

Descaling Keurig K-Supreme and K-Slim Series

Includes K-Supreme, K-Supreme Plus, K-Slim

  1. Fill your reservoir with the descaling solution and water mix as described on the product.
  2. Place a large mug on the drip tray, making sure there are no pods in the machine. 
  3. To activate descale mode you should power off the brewer and hold down the 8oz and 12oz buttons together for 3 seconds.
  4. The light will flash to indicate that your machine is ready - press the ‘brew’ button at this point to begin the descale. 
  5. Repeat this step until the ADD WATER alert is illuminated.
  6. Rinse out your reservoir thoroughly, fill with fresh water and press brew for the rinse to commence.
  7. Repeat this process until either the DESCALE alert turns off or, with the K-Slim, the ADD WATER light illuminates.

Descale Keurig coffee maker 2021 K-Mini

(Image credit: Keurig)

Descaling Keurig K-Mini Series

Includes K-Mini, K-Mini Plus

  1. Fill your reservoir with the descaling solution and water mix as described on the product.
  2. Place a large mug on the drip tray and check that there are no pods in the machine. 
  3. Perform a cleanse brew by lifting and lowering the handle and pressing the brew button. 
  4. After the cleanse cycle, refill the reservoir with clean water and repeat the cleanse. However, this time you should keep an eye on when the water begins to dispense and quickly power off to stop it.
  5. Let the machine rest for 30 minutes. 
  6. Press and hold the brew button until all the liquid is dispensed. Your dispenser should now be free of limescale.
  7. To rinse, fill the reservoir and brew another two times.

Descale Keurig K-Duo

(Image credit: Keurig)

Descaling Keurig K-Duo Series

Includes K-Duo, K-Duo Plus, K-Duo Essentials

  1. Fill the reservoir with a mix of descaling solution and water, as described on your product.
  2. Place a large mug on the drip tray and ensure that your K-cup pod holder is empty. 
  3. Start your cleansing brew by pressing the OZ/POD button followed by the 12 button and then hitting ‘brew’.
  4. Place your carafe on the heating plate and press the CUPS/CARAFE and perform a carafe cleanse by pressing the 12 button and hitting ‘brew’ again. 
  5. Empty the carafe and turn off the heating plate.
  6. Leave the machine to have a 30-minute rest.
  7. Rinse out the reservoir and refill with fresh water. Perform four cleansing brews with your carafe in place. Turn off the heating plate and put a large mug there instead. 
  8. Hit the OZ/POD button followed by the number 12 button and ‘brew’ for another full rinse.
  9. Repeat this rinse three more times.

Still looking for some extra help? Keurig also has some handy videos to help you through the process, too.


Adam was the Content Director of Subscriptions and Services at Future, meaning that he oversaw many of the articles the publisher produces about antivirus software, VPN, TV streaming, broadband and mobile phone contracts - from buying guides and deals news, to industry interest pieces and reviews. Adam can still be seen dusting his keyboard off to write articles for the likes of TechRadar, T3 and Tom's Guide, having started his career at consumer champions Which?.