Keurig Not Working? Don’t Chuck It — Clean It. (In 8 Easy Steps)

Keurig Not Working? Don’t Chuck It — Clean It. (In 8 Easy Steps)

Keurig Not Working? Don’t Chuck It — Clean It. (In 8 Easy Steps)

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If you’ve ever had a problem with your Keurig and worried it might be finding a new home in the trash, try these 8 easy steps before giving it the toss. I don’t claim to be an expert on fixing things around the home, but if it means saving money, I’m willing to give some DIYs a try.


Let me just start by saying, I love my Keurig and it gets used multiple times a day. Although it has been kicking around for a while now, it has never let me down. So, just a few short days ago, I didn’t think twice when my mug looked like this.

Clean Keurig 8 easy steps


I always tap the large-cup setting, but figured I must have hit the small setting by accident. When the next few coffees looked the same, I knew my Keurig was on its way out (or that I was going crazy, and I’m not ready to accept that just yet).


Just last night, my daughter made a hot chocolate and only a little dribble fell into her cup. When she tried to put a second small cup through, nothing she did would get it to work.


This morning was not a happy moment when I realized school was cancelled due to poor road conditions, and I was going to be without a morning coffee. Figuring it was a long-shot, I googled “Keurig cup size issues.”


To my excitement, I found several sites claiming that my Keurig probably wasn’t broken, and that I should try cleaning it before giving it the ‘ol heave-ho. As any coffee junkie might, I couldn’t get started fast enough. There were a few sites I perused, but the most thorough site included pictures so I went with that one.  Although I didn’t follow the steps exactly, whatever I did worked, and now I’m a happy coffee-drinking mommy again.


8 Easy Steps I Used To Get My Keurig Working Properly Again.

Step 1: Safety first. Unplug your Keurig.


Step 2: Remove any removable pieces. Don’t go unscrewing anything. Just remove the trap below where your mug sits and the water reservoir sections. Also remove any k-cup that may still be inserted.


Give these parts a good cleaning in warm soapy water.


Step 3: This step is important. Check to make sure the filter screen at the bottom of your water reservoir isn’t clogged. Where we live, our water has a lot of iron and the sediment builds up if we don’t clean it regularly. I find it easiest to use a Q-Tip and a hot-water rinse. This is what a dirty screen might look like.

Clean Keurig 8 Easy Steps


If left too long, it will become completely covered to the point it won’t even appear as though it is a screen. If your screen looks that way, this is likely your biggest issue. But, it’s easy to clean.


Step 4: (optional) I read where it said to use a paperclip to clean out the needle that punctures the Keurig Cups. I couldn’t see that mine were clogged or needed cleaning, but this something you may want to consider if you think they are clogged. This is the needle I speak of.

Clean Keurig 8 Easy Steps


Step 5: Tip over your Keurig and tap gently on the bottom. Please note: if you have recently made a coffee, it is highly likely that some water will pour out, so this step should be done over the sink.


Step 6: Take a straw, preferably a bendable one, and place it over the hole that can be found up where the top of the reservoir sits.

Clean Keurig 8 Easy Steps


Blow hard into the other end, and you will see/hear water bubble from an opening in the bottom of where the reservoir sits. If there’s gunk, you’ll see it here. Wipe anything that comes out, clean.


Clean Keurig 8 Easy Steps



*** One set of instructions said to do this while the Keurig was still upside down, but this was much too awkward for me to do by myself, so I opted to do it sitting right side up. 


Step 7: Place your Keurig back together.


Step 8: Fill the water reservoir, half with water and half with vinegar. Grab a mug, and start brewing the water. Be sure to empty after each cup.


If you have a Keurig that requires you to have a k-cup inserted in order to work, simply continue to use the last one for as many times as you need to run it through.


I ran through the vinegar and water mix until the reservoir emptied. Then I filled the container two more times with fresh water, running it each time until completely empty. You want to make sure the vinegar is completely emptied from the reservoir, and although it probably didn’t need to be put through this many times, I wanted to be sure.



Three Things I Found After Cleaning My Keurig

First, within the first two runs through, the cup settings were working properly again. I was super excited about this.


Second, I found that the water was not exactly clear in the beginning of the process. Check it out.


Clean Keurig 8 Easy Steps


And no, I did not have a pod inserted. Needless to say, this kind of grossed me out because running a coffee through each day, this is not something I would have ever noticed. (A good reason to clean your Keurig frequently. Keurig suggests you do this every 3-6 months).


Finally, I found that the mug of water was very hot. As a mom, I find myself constantly heating up my morning coffee, sometimes well into the afternoon, so the hotter the coffee, the happier I am. My husband assured me it was because I ran so many cups through in a short period of time. I’m still hanging on to the idea it’s just running more efficiently now. I guess tomorrow morning will tell.


If you’ve walked through these 8 easy steps I hope they’ve worked for you and that your Keurig has been saved from being sent to the junkyard.


If you’ve found success with simply cleaning your Keurig, or have any suggestions to make this post better, please leave a comment.


Don’t forget to share this page, and possibly save another coffee-lover from chucking their Keurig out.


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Rachel is an optimist at heart, always trying to find a way to inspire happiness in those around her. She is a mom to two wonderful girls. A teacher as well, in her spare time Rachel blogs about life, happiness, family, and more. Join along and subscribe over there in the right sidebar. You don't want to miss out on anything.

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