How to Clean a Keurig Machine

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How to Clean a Keurig Machine

Unless you’re brewing with distilled water, your Keurig machine will develop lime scale and calcium deposits over time. These deposits are non-toxic, but they can impact machine performance and the taste of your coffee.

The only true way to break up these deposits is with an acidic substance. The method for cleaning is similar in all cases so we’ll start with a brief discussion of the possibilities:

Cleaning Agent Why it works Pros Cons Price
Lemon Juice  Contains 6% citric acid No foul smell, easier to flush out, relatively inexpensive Less cleaning power, squeezing all those lemons is annoying $
Diluted White Vinegar  Contains 5% Acetic Acid Ultra-Cheap, effective The smell, takes 4 or 5 fresh water cycles to flush out $
Ready-to-use cleaning solution  Contains 10-15% food-safe acids Extremely effective, no smell or taste Slightly more expensive, no sense of DIY satisfaction $$


Whatever your chosen method of cleaning, the process is the same:

  • Fill your reservoir with the appropriate mix of cleaning solution and water
    • Lemons: About 12 freshly squeezed lemons (half lemon juice/half water)
    • Vinegar: Half vinegar/half water
    • Ready-Made Cleaning Solution: Depends on the brand. TriNova is 1 oz to every 16 oz of water
  • Run brew cycles until empty, discarding the liquid
  • Flush the system out by running brew cycles with fresh water (2 cycles for ready-to-use, 3 for lemon juice and 100+ for vinegar…just kidding, more like 5)

A few extra tips:

If you’re going to clean your machine, might as well do the whole thing.

  • Use a paper clip to clean the exit needle of any build-up
  • Clean all the detachable pieces with mild dish soap
  • Wipe down the surface with a disinfectant wipe

Keurig recommends cleaning every 3-6 months depending on your water composition and usage in order to maintain peak performance.

Interested in a ready-to-use solution?

TriNova’s ready-to-use solution is a blend of Citric, Sulfamic, and Glycolic Acids and has one of the highest dilution ratios on the market (meaning a little goes a long way!): you can check it out on Amazon here:

Keurig, of course, makes their own product which uses an entire bottle per cleaning. You can compare to our version here:

Please note: shopping on Amazon using the links from this page may result in TriNova receiving a referral commission.

View our Short Instructional Video

Have any DIY cleaning tips for the Keurig? Tell us in the comments what you use to clean your Keurig!


  • Dwan Buddin

    I use Durgold. It is sold at Bed Bath and Beyond. It is expensive…but, it cleans better than vinegar. Lemons are probably just as expensive as Durgold…that many lemons.

  • Vanessa White

    I the vinegar as well, but I didn’t flush like I should have. My coffee pot looked clean, but OMG! The coffe tasted like every cup I had ever made in this pot, that had been sitting for a couple of year mixed with a litte vinegar. It was horrible! I thought I had poisoned myself?

  • Pat

    Why not use full strength white vinegar

  • Jessica at TriNova

    Krisha – It should work the same. Just make sure you use the correct dilutions. Keurigs hold 32 oz of water – both lemon juice and vinegar are half and half (so, 16 oz). TriNova’s Coffee Maker Cleaner is 1 oz to every 16 oz.

    Hope that helps!

  • Krisha navarrete

    What if you just have a plain old coffee maker? Works the same?

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