Will Vinegar Descale My Keurig?

Even though a Keurig brews coffee quickly, it still needs to be frequently cleaned if you want the greatest coffee ever, all the time. Your favorite coffee maker will last longer if you descale it with a simple solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. This will also keep your coffee tasting good.

How long should vinegar be allowed to sit in a Keurig to descale?

eliminate reservoir

The water reservoir and reservoir lid should be removed. DO NOT put these in the dishwasher. Instead, scrub them with a wet, soapy towel before giving them a good rinse.

Simply run a vigorous stream of water over the filter screen at the base of the reservoir to clean it, or fill the reservoir with water and stir it. To avoid getting lint in your reservoir (and consequently your coffee! ), don’t use a towel to dry the reservoir or lid; instead, let them air dry.

sanitize the K-cup holder.

K-cup pod holder should be removed. USE CAUTION! You all need to be careful because there are needles inside; let’s avoid ruining the Keurig.

Holding it firmly on each side of the top, press up from the bottom with your other hand to remove the K-cup holder. Since I require one hand for the camera, it is obviously difficult for me to capture a photo of myself doing this, but I’ve provided the hand positions anyhow. Simply combine the two! You might need to jiggle it very gently, but don’t push too hard or you run the danger of shattering it.

You can put your holder in the dishwasher on a LOW-TEMPERATURE cycle once you’ve removed it. (Have you realized how significant that low temperature is?) You can use a paper clip pushed up from the bottom to clear the exit needle at the base of the K-cup holder if necessary.

sanitize the Keurig device

If necessary, clean inside the K-cup holder assembly and around the needle at the top using an old toothbrush or another small cleaning brush. With a moist, non-abrasive cloth bathed in soapy water, clean the Keurig’s exterior.

Make the drip tray clean.

You guessed it, remove the drip tray and clean it with a damp, soapy cloth. Dry off after a good rinse.


Once all the components are clean, reassemble your Keurig. If your Descale light is on or it has been more than three to six months since your previous descaling, get ready to descale that bad boy.

Keurig scale removal with vinegar

You will need a ceramic mug, 24 ounces of undiluted white vinegar, and 24 ounces of fresh water to descale the Keurig.

If the Auto Off Function is activated, first turn it off. Empty your water tank and, if one is there, remove the water filter as well. Place a sizable mug within the reservoir after adding the vinegar and water. Close the brewer and press the largest cup brew cycle button without using a K-cup pack. A steaming cup of vinegar water will be made by the Keurig.

When it’s done, pour the vinegar into a sink and keep doing it until the Add Water light comes on. Allow the Keurig to sit (on) for one hour. Any vinegar that remains in the reservoir after the hour should be completely rinsed down the sink.


Congratulations. Your scale has been removed. But because your coffee, tea, or chocolate now tastes like vinegar, let’s rinse it out and complete the task! Like we did with the vinegar, fill your reservoir all the way to the top with fresh water, then make your cleansing brew (without a K-cup). Continue until the Add Water light illuminates.

Reset the descaler

When descaling is finished, push the 8 oz and 10 oz buttons simultaneously for three seconds to reset the descale button (if it was lit up).

How do I descale my Keurig quickly?

Solution Pouch for Descale:

  • Fill the water reservoir with the entire package of Keurig descaling solution.
  • 3. Add 3 cups (24oz.)
  • Large cup should be placed on drip tray.
  • Press and hold the 8oz and 12oz buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds to turn on descale mode after turning off the brewer.

Do I need to use much vinegar to descale my Keurig?

  • Fill the reservoir with 16 ounces of white vinegar or Keurig Descaling Solution to start the descaling procedure, then fill it with 16 ounces of water.
  • Without a K-cup, begin the highest brew size cycle, let the machine run as usual, and use a mug to catch the liquid.
  • Until the ADD WATER indication is lit up, keep doing this step.
  • Give the brewer 30 minutes to rest.
  • Completely drain and rinse the reservoir. In order to get rid of any vinegar or descaling solution residue, fill it up to the MAX line with new water and run 12 rinse brews using the maximum brew size.
  • As usual, make some coffee.

Expert Advice: Schedule your water filter cartridge change and descaling for the same day to further streamline the maintenance of your Keurig coffee maker. If you replace the water filter cartridge right away after de-scaling with vinegar, there won’t be any vinegar flavor in your subsequent brew.

Slowly over time…

It will be obvious and audible when it is time to descale. They’ll probably go unnoticed until they’re a major disruption to your morning plan. Undoubtedly, a slowdown in the roasting process will be the first symptom. It will be particularly obvious in single-serve devices.

It won’t produce the same volume of coffee forever. As a result, it is taking longer and giving you less of the desirable caffeine. Water is likely to make some loud chugging noises as it tries to pass through the blocked channels. When you start experiencing these symptoms, it’s probably way past due to descale your computer.


You’ll taste something different, a pretty nasty surprise in the morning. Some people say the flavor is chalky or even disgustingly sweet and acidic. But regardless of how the oddity is perceived by your taste buds, it is not pleasant. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to successfully descale it once you’ve been in this situation for a long enough time.

Coffee makers should be descaled regularly, every 1 to 3 months, depending on usage and manufacturer recommendations, to avoid having to throw them out. This will not only completely avoid the problems associated with a malfunctioning machine, but it will also increase the lifespan of your coffee maker.

Fortunately, despite how convoluted the word “descaling” seems, descaling your machine is not difficult.

What is Descaling?

Descale refers to the process of removing hard deposits produced by chemicals in water from a variety of objects, most commonly a showerhead, pipes, kettle, or coffee machine. Although the phrase “descale” comes from chemistry, you don’t need to be a chemist to accomplish it.

Descaling is very easy and just takes a few minutes. We think it’s worth it to spend just fifteen minutes a month to extend the life of your favourite coffee maker. The main query is, which is better, vinegar or descaling solution?

Vinegar vs. Descaling Solution

Everyone seeks a conclusive response, yet there isn’t one. When it comes to de-scaling, vinegar and descaling treatments are both effective. White vinegar is sometimes criticized for leaving a strong aftertaste, yet many people also praise it as the best way to remove limescale. Some producers, such as Mr. Coffee, only suggest using white vinegar to clean their equipment.

Any machine may be cleaned with white vinegar by following a straightforward “recipe,” regardless of whether you’re looking for instructions on how to descale a Keurig, a regular coffee maker, or even a Keurig 2.0.

You’ll Need:

  • a portion of white vinegar
  • Cup for measuring (s)
  • Water in two portions

Any removable components should be removed and properly cleaned. Wipe down the machine’s outside and any exposed interior components.

Pour two parts water and one part white vinegar into the water reservoir of your machine. Run your machine and remove everything that “brewed. Brew the largest cup you can find when cleaning a single-serve machine up until the machine alerts you that the water supply is low. Throw away anything still in the reservoir.

Once more, just add water to the water reservoir. Run the machine as normal ad discard the “brew. Again, brew the largest cup you can find until it is empty if you are cleaning a single-serve.

Keep in mind..

Some machines contain a button or function for cleaning or descaling. In order to hold the vinegar or descaling liquid inside the machine, the machines frequently halt, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes. In this instance, pay attention to the instructions.

It’s also a choice, albeit a somewhat more expensive one, to use a descaling solution if you’re doubtful, don’t like the scent of vinegar, or simply prefer to. Many are offered in two-use bottles, such as this one from FreshFlow, the Essential Values version, or Impressa Descaler.

What exactly is descaling solution?

The alternatives for descaling solutions include acetic acid, citric acid, glycolic acid, formic acid, phosphoric acid, sulfamic acid, and hydrochloric acid, yet neither the bottles nor the companies’ websites really mention this.

Only one or two of those components will likely be familiar to you, but you’ll notice that they all start with “acid.” You can also find homemade descaling recipes that use citric acid or juices like lemon.

But let’s get back to the ready-made answers. Even though they come in a two-bottle package, keep in mind that some of them call for you to use the descaling solution up to three times every descaling, so you’ll need a bottle and a half for each descaling even if they come in a two-bottle kit. When using the Impressa Descaler, it is advised that you repeat the complete cleaning procedure three times.

How to Descale a Keurig and Keurig 2.0

Both the Keurig 2.0 and the classic Keurig machines follow the identical instructions. Keurig has a specific procedure and suggests using their own descaling solution.

Remove the reservoir from the machine and turn it off. Make sure to thoroughly clean every crevice. For all machines, this course of action is advised.

Keurig Descaling Solution should be poured into the reservoir. Add the water from the empty bottle to the reservoir as well.

If the machine indicates the water is low, turn it back on and brew the biggest cup it can produce. Allow the machine to run for 30 minutes after finishing this.

Clean the reservoir completely before adding water. Then they advise you to make at least 12 “cleaning cups” containing nothing but water.

Only using Keurig’s descaling solution and following these step-by-step instructions is permitted when descaling a machine.

How do I use white vinegar to descale my Keurig?

Your water reservoir should be filled with water after being rinsed of the cleaning solution. To ensure that your subsequent cup of coffee doesn’t taste like vinegar or descaling solution, repeat this process one to three times.

Does de-scaling a Keurig require removing the filter?

These instructions will explain how to descale a Keurig if you believe it has scale buildup:

  • For the internal components, a descaling solution should be used. To get the best results from purchased descaling solutions, adhere to the manufacturer’s usage recommendations on the label. Combine one part white vinegar with one part water to make a homemade descaling solution.
  • Remove the water filter from your Keurig if it has one before descaling.
  • The descaling solution should be poured into the water tank. Brew the full water tank’s worth of coffee, spilling each cup as it passes through the machine.
  • To enable brewing on a Keurig 2.0, a pod must be present. To finish the task, you can utilize a used pod or an empty reusable pod.
  • Rinse the water tank after using the entire solution, then restock with fresh water. Brew the full tank once more, draining the water after each cup has accumulated. At least twice, if you’re using a descaling solution you bought, repeat this step. Depending on how much vinegar you used to make your own descaling solution, you might need to do this step more than twice.

As soon as the last cup of pure water is removed from the brewer, test it by adding a half teaspoon of baking soda to the cup. There are still little amounts of vinegar in the water if the baking soda fizzles. Rinse again and again until the baking soda stops fizzing.

How is a Keurig reset after descaling?

Keep in mind that if you clean your machine and the light remains on, all you need to do to turn it off is hold down the 8oz and 10oz buttons for 5 seconds.

If I use filtered water, do I still need to descale my Keurig?

People calling us frequently want to know what kind of water is best to use in their machine. We can all agree that customers who contact and inquire about the water want to safeguard their investments, thus this is a very valid question. You can receive water for your machine in one of three ways: from the tap, from a bottle, or from a source that has been filtered, like a reverse osmosis filter. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine them and what it means for you in terms of maintenance.

Tap Water

A good alternative for water for your machine is water from the faucet. If you reside in a big city, the water is cleaned but not ultra-purified before it reaches you. Tap water is not the enemy of the espresso maker; however, you may wish to filter it through a Brita or Pur filter to remove any big particles. Since you are already accustomed to the mineral percentages and composition in your tap water, which, believe it or not, impacts the flavor of your coffee, you may even prefer tap over the other two options. Coffee notes kind of bounce off of the water’s calcium or lime content, which works as a tapestry. For instance, due to the varied mineral concentration in the water, a shot made from the same espresso beans in Rochester, NY, will taste different than a shot made in Houston, TX.

To figure out how often you’ll need to descale, you’ll need to evaluate how hard your water is. Depending on whose hardness scale you use, the ideal range is between 1 and 3 gpg (grains per gallon) or roughly 50 ppm (parts per million). The benefit of using tap water is that it will give your coffee a more familiar flavor. The drawback is that you must set up a timetable for descaling the machine and determine the appropriate intervals at which to do so.

Bottled Water

There are two types of bottled water: distilled water and spring water. In terms of how the coffee will taste when it comes out of your machine, these two are at the opposing extremes of the spectrum. In general, spring water has a pretty high mineral concentration and is bottled there. This is one of the reasons why many people enjoy the waters in Poland Springs or Fiji. Similar to tap water, you should test the spring water to determine how hard it actually is and maintain a regular descaling program to prevent a significant buildup of scale on the machine.

Distilled Water

Since distilled has almost no minerals, there is essentially no need to descale the equipment. I say virtually because you still want to keep the machine spick and span and functioning properly. I would still advise a twice-yearly descale even if you use pure water, mainly to keep the machine clean and get rid of any scale that might have been left behind. The flavor and if the tap water in your municipality isn’t that excellent would be the benefits of utilizing distilled water. Distilled water is an excellent alternative if you use well water, some of the toughest water known to man. Additionally, distilled water isn’t recommended for use in Prosumer level equipment and has the same drawbacks as tap and spring water (more on that below).

The cleanest water is that which has been filtered using a reverse osmosis system, which may be what you want to use or maybe what you already have in your home. Although it will do away with the requirement to descale, some devices may be harmed. Reverse osmosis-filtered water should not be used with larger appliances like an Expobar Lever or any appliance in the Prosumer Class because it is so pure that it leaches ions from the boiler and takes on an almost acidic quality. The equipment won’t recognize when the boiler is full if the water contains no minerals. To assess whether or not the boiler is full, the majority of espresso machines contain electrical sensors at the top of the boiler. The machine will keep pumping water into the boiler because it doesn’t have minerals to conduct the current and hence believes it needs more water. What we advise is adding a little salt or even a little tap or spring water to your reverse osmosis-filtered water. Although it may sound absurd, adding a pinch of salt to a gallon of water can address those issues and keep the inside of your espresso maker incredibly clean. You won’t even taste it. The internals are maintained clean, which is a plus. The absence of minerals results in no interaction with the coffee’s “notes” and could result in equipment damage.

Filters are a good addition to the majority of espresso machines. Many of the super-autos have water softening or purifying filters that you can add to the reservoir, and some prosumer-level ones have water softeners that you can add to the tank. The Jura machines also assert that you won’t need to descale if you use their purifying filters, Claris or Clearyl filters. Ever. In between filters, I would still descale a few times a year. I simply don’t believe a small in-tank filter can be that purifying, and when you’re talking about a machine that costs $1000 or more, it’s worth the $2.33 it will cost you to take a dose of Cleancaf during each descale cycle to be safe.

I hope this clarified the significance of water to the machine you cherish and provided you with a plan of action for keeping its internals clean for years to come. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a call from a customer and learning that their machine, which is just a couple of years old, is leaking like a sieve because they never descaled it.