How to Descale a Keurig 2.0: Step by Step Instructions (Two Methods)

So you’re lucky enough to have the state-of-the-art one-cup coffee-making miracle that is a Keurig 2.0?

Congratulations! You’ve been enjoying consistently good coffee with the minimum of effort for months now.

But you want to keep it that way! You know that means maintaining your Keurig in pristine condition. And you’ve heard that regular descaling is important. The thing is, you’re not sure how to do it. You don’t want to mess it up and risk ruining your machine.

Maybe you’ll just have a cup of coffee and think it over…

But what’s this? When you pressed the brew button a message appeared on the screen. “Time to descale the brewer”. You take a moment to be impressed – your Keurig really is a clever machine! But what on earth are you supposed to do now?

Never fear, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to take you step by step through how to descale a Keurig 2.0. Whether you’re using descaling solution or vinegar and water, we’ll show you how to keep your Keurig limescale free.

So are you ready? Let’s get started!

What you will need to follow this tutorial

  • Keurig 2.0
  • 1 bottle of descaling solution or 10 fluid ounces of white distilled vinegar

Unsurprisingly, Keurig recommends their own brand of descaling solution, but it’s really not necessary to stick to that. And when you need to use a whole bottle each time you descale, it can be an expensive option.

Save money by searching online. The Keurig website retails a single bottle of solution for $12.99, but head over to Amazon and it’s only $8. So shop around for the best deal.

You can be even more frugal and still get great results by using vinegar and water. We’re going to show you how to use either method.

  • Water

You can mix tap water with the descaling solution or vinegar. For the latter stages of the process, though, use bottled or filtered water if you can. It will reduce the frequency with which you have to descale your Keurig. (If you have hard tap water, regularly using filtered water instead can actually double the time between descaling processes.)

  • Large cup
  • Measuring jug (vinegar method only)
  • Access to a sink

How to Descale a Keurig 2.0
Step by step instructions

Step 1: Prepare your Keurig for descaling

Step 1 is the same whether you’re using descaling solution or water.

First, check whether the reservoir has any water in it. If it does, remove it and tip the water down the sink. If you’ve got a Keurig with a built-in filter, take this out. Simply pull it straight up and out of the reservoir, and put it to one side.

Replace the reservoir and make sure that it’s properly aligned.

If you’ve set your brewer to automatically turn itself off after a particular time, you’ll need to disable that feature. You don’t want it switching off in the middle of your descaling process!

To do that, select “settings” on the touch screen, then “Auto off”. On the screen headed “Turn brewer off next” uncheck the box marked “Enable”.

Now turn off the power.

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Descaling​​​​ solution method

Step 2: Pour in your descaling agent

If you’re using descaling solution, you’ll need to pour a full bottle into your reservoir. Console yourself with the thought that it’s a lot more cost-effective than having to buy a new Keurig! 

Now refill the bottle with fresh water from the tap and pour that into the reservoir too.

Step 3: Carry out a cleansing brew

Switch your Keurig back on and put your mug onto the drip dray.

Raise the handle to open up the K-cup compartment. Take a look to make sure there’s nothing inside. If there’s a K-cup in there, take it out.

Lower the handle again to close the compartment and press and hold the “brew” button. If for any reason you have a brain freeze, that’s the round, black button underneath the LCD screen.

If you have the K300 or K400, it will cleverly identify that there’s no K-cup in the compartment. At this stage, the screen will show you the message “Dispense hot water?” Beneath that there’ll be two options, “cancel” or continue”.

Press “continue”. Then select the 6 ounce serving size and press “brew” (there’s no need to hold down the button).

Related Post: Keurig K400 vs K450 - What's the Difference?

Step 4: Pour away the hot water from your mug and repeat the process

When the water has finished flowing, remove the mug from the drip tray and pour the contents down the sink.

Place your mug back on the drip tray and go through the process again. You’ll need to raise and lower the handle for the K-cup compartment each time.

After a few more cleansing brews, the screen on the Keurig will read “More water please”. 

Step 5: Wait, then remove the water reservoir

At this stage, you need to be patient. Leave the machine switched on for half an hour.

When the time is up, remove the reservoir and pour the remaining water down the sink.  

Rinse the reservoir thoroughly under running water to get rid of any solution lingering inside. You don’t want that ending up in your coffee!

Now place the reservoir back in the brewer. Fill it with water to the “max fill” line.

Pro tip: At this stage, it pays to use filtered or bottled water if you can. The amount of descaling solution in the Keurig will be reducing with every cleansing brew. Using filtered or bottled water will mean you’re not adding tiny amounts of limescale even while you clean.

Step 6: Carry out at least 12 more cleansing brews

Repeat the cleansing brew process a minimum of 12 more times. You might find you need to refill the reservoir at least once to do this.

Everything will be exactly the same as it was in steps 3 and 4. The only difference is that this time there’s no descaling solution in the reservoir.

That’s because it’s now passed into the Keurig’s internal hot water tank. You need to keep performing those cleansing brews until all the solution has passed through the machine.

Step 7: Brew a coffee

The descaling process is complete! Check that everything’s working by brewing a coffee.

Put your favorite K-cup in the holder and press brew.  

You should get a great tasting coffee from your sparkling clean Keurig! Sit back and enjoy, knowing you’ve got at least another 3 months before you need to do it all again.

Vinegar and water method

Step 2: Pour the vinegar into the reservoir

Use a measuring jug to measure out about 10 fluid ounces of white distilled vinegar. Pour it into the reservoir. 

Now fill the reservoir with tap water up to the “max fill” line. Replace it in the brewer and check that it’s properly aligned. Raise and lower the handle on the K-cup compartment and press the “brew” button.

Pro tip: You can use this opportunity to clean the K-cup holder too. Push up from the bottom and you should find it comes out quite easily. Then press the buttons on either side to release the inner cup from the holder. Rinse them both under running water and dry with a lint-free cloth.

Step 3: Repeat the cleansing brew process 

Just like if you were using descaling solution, you need to make sure all the vinegar and water has passed through your Keurig.

Keep pressing the “brew” button until the machine tells you it needs more water. Then fill the reservoir again and repeat the process until you get the “more water please” message for a second time. We recommend using filtered or bottled water at this stage.

You’re almost there! Refill the reservoir (ideally with filtered or bottled water) one last time. Keep raising and lowering the handle and pressing the “brew” button to run more cleansing brews. When you get the “more water please” message for a third time – you’re done!

Step 4: Brew a coffee

After all that descaling, it’s time to check the results. Refill the reservoir with filtered water and place your preferred K-cup in the compartment. Now press brew and savor the delicious aroma of fresh coffee! 

Relax – now you know how to descale your Keurig. Even better, you won’t have to do it again for months!

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed our step by step guide to descaling your Keurig. Never again will that “Time to descale” message hold any fear for you!

The process may take a little time, but it’s quite simple. Most importantly, carrying it out regularly will prolong the life of your machine.

Descaling solution is convenient and easy to use. But if you’re prepared to spend a few extra seconds measuring out some vinegar, you can save a lot of money.

If you’ve descaled your Keurig 2.0, we’d love to hear how you got on. Please comment and let us know.

And if you have friends with one of these great machines, why not share this article? We hope they’ll find it helpful too.

My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.

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