How Does a Keurig Work and How to Clean It

How to Descale a Keurig 2.0: A Guide to Doing It Right

Consider yourself lucky if you have a Keurig 2.0. It is a high-quality coffee maker that will make it effortless to make your own caffeine fix, even with minimal effort and time to spare.

One problem with their coffee machines, however, is that they tend to decline in terms of quality through the years. This is one thing that is pretty much normal and you can expect the same in the case of other brands.

If you want your coffee maker to remain in its tip-top condition even through the years, you need to learn how to descale Keurig 2.0, which is exactly what we will tell you in the rest of this short guide.

What is Descaling and Why It is Important

Before we proceed with the discussions, let me first educate you on what is descaling, in case it is the first time that you encountered this word.

To put it in the simplest way, descaling refers to the removal of limescale that has accumulated in your coffee maker. It is the build-up of calcium carbonate that can negatively alter the taste of your coffee and the functionality of the machine.

​By now, your next concern is probably about where limescale is from. The build-up is from hard or tap water. Water contains impurities. With a higher concentration of calcium carbonate, the higher is the likelihood that there will be limescales. The best way to avoid the latter is to use soft or filtered water.

​Is descaling necessary? If you will ask me or other coffee enthusiasts, without hesitations, the answer is a YES! The limescale can block the screens and the filters. It can also shorten the functional life of your Keurig 2.0 brewer. Worst, it has a negative impact on the overall quality of your caffeine fix.

​Do not be one of those people who have the wrong belief that using a water filter is enough. Yes, the latter will indeed be effective in improving the quality of water. Nonetheless, it is not sufficient. It will be unable to remove the tiniest particles of magnesium and calcium, which is why it is still important to take the time to descale.

What is the Difference between Cleaning and Descaling

Isn’t cleaning just the same as descaling? Unfortunately, while they are similar in terms of their goal, the two have differences. When you are descaling your coffee maker, you are doing one way to have it cleaned. Nonetheless, when you are cleaning your coffee makers, it does not necessarily mean that you are descaling, especially if you are only wiping the exterior.

When you are cleaning your coffee machine, you are removing the residues of oil that accumulate through time. If you do not remove these residues, you will end up with bitter-tasting coffee. It can also make the coffee maker unusable because of clogging.

​Descaling, on the other hand, is a deeper form of cleaning since it involves the build-up of minerals in the heating elements. You need to do this to have an assurance that the machine will be able to reach its optimal temperature, which is an essential for the maximum extraction of flavor from your coffee.

​How to Descale a Keurig 2.0

Total Time: 45 minutes (including 30 minute rest)

Now, let us go to the more important part of this post. Below, you will learn the simple descaling steps that will be applicable to your Keurig 2.0.

1. Prepare the Materials that you will Need
How to Descale a Keurig 2.0

Similar to other cleaning tasks, the first thing that you have to do is to gather the items that will be needed for cleaning. In this case, some that you will need include a descaling solution, dishwashing liquid soap, water, and clean cloth.

​Depending on your personal preferences, there are different types of descaling solutions that can be used. Some people might opt for one that is ready-made and commercially-available. Alternatively, you can also make your own solution with the use of vinegar.

2. Disassemble and Clean the Coffee Maker

The process of disassembly will vary depending on the model of Keurig coffee maker that you are using. I strongly suggest that you consult the manual from the manufacturer to know how you can do it right. In most models, you have to remove the pod assembly, water reservoir, and drip tray.

When removing the parts, pay attention to how they look like when the coffee maker is a whole. This will make it easier for you to put them back together later on.

​Now that you have disassembled your Keurig 2.0, start with basic cleaning. Pay attention to the oil deposits, as well as signs of dirt and grime that might have accumulated in the coffee maker.

3. Start with Descaling

This is perhaps the most important step. If you are using a ready-made descaling solution, all that you have to do is mix one part of the latter with one part of water. You can also use a combination of one part vinegar and one part water or one part water and 20 parts citric acid.

Fill the reservoir of the Keurig coffee maker with your choice of a descaling solution. Place a cup on the top of the drip tray. Run the coffee maker on its highest setting. Do this for one or two more times until there is a warning sign that you need to fill it with more water.

Allow the brewer to sit for a while. This will provide the descaling solution with the time to rest and clean the internal parts of the Keurig coffee maker. Leave it for about 30 minutes to four hours.

Rinse the brewer with clean water. You might want to repeat the rinsing process to get rid of any strong smell from vinegar or soap. Let the unit dry and by this time, you are ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee!


In sum, knowing how to descale a Keurig 2.0 is an essential knowledge for any coffee enthusiast. This is one of the simplest ways to optimize the functionality of your machine and improve the taste of your coffee.

​The good thing about descaling is that it does not involve too much effort at all. You will also need only a short time to accomplish the task.

​If you have a Keurig brewer sitting at home, now is the right time for descaling! For sure, you will easily notice a better taste in your coffee once you are done!


Title photo by www.mensjournal.com | CC By

​Materials photo by www.thecoffeemaven.com | CC By

About the Author Miguel Garriga

My name is Miguel Garriga and I’m a self-made barista! Coffee is my passion and I made this website to share that to the world!

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