Keurig coffee maker with cleaning supplies

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

If you have a Keurig machine at home, you may have wondered what kind of sludge may have accumulated inside the coffee maker after brewing gallons of coffee. 

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Of course, you can choose avoid the topic, but then how would you know whether your coffee is dark due to the roast or as a result of all the potential grime in there? Or maybe you can just learn how to clean your Keurig.

Whether you use pods or reusable K Cups, a Keurig coffeemaker has many nooks and crannies where buildup and mold could hide, so it’s important to keep it as clean as possible. Whatever runs through your Keurig may also end up in your body, after all. 

How to clean your Keurig coffeemaker

Materials needed:

Estimated time:

  • About one hour

A Keurig has several removable parts where old coffee grounds and spills can hide. Wash all removable parts with dish soap in the sink, including the water reservoir, mug base, pod holder, and milk steamer, if your machine has one. 

The Keurig’s pod holder is the cup-shaped enclosure where you put K-cups to brew the coffee. To remove the pod holder, open the lid on your Keurig and locate the needles. Then push the pod holder from the bottom upwards with your fingers until it pops out. Be very careful with the needles when removing the pod holder! 

If you want to clean the needles on the brewer, you can use a pin or a paper clip to dislodge any grounds that may be slowing down your machine. I also wipe down the exterior of the brewer at this point.

Before and after of removable parts

The mug stand gets particularly dirty!

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

Empty your water reservoir and remove the filter. If your filter is over two months old, it’s probably time to replace it with a new one after you finish cleaning your machine. 

Fill the water reservoir halfway with white vinegar, then top it with water up to the fill line.