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Most of us have heard horror stories about the amount of bacteria which can build up in our home appliances.
Keurigs are no exception, and are just as susceptible as other household appliances. Anything that deals with food and drink needs to be taken good care of, and appliances can be tricky due to the (obvious) fact you can’t put them in a dishwasher or submerge them in water.
Hopefully our review about how to clean a Keurig (1.0 and 2.0) will be useful to you.
Some people are guilty of leaving appliances like this. It can be easy to think “it only brews my morning coffee, how dirty can it get?”
The answer is that it can get extremely dirty, and studies of uncleaned appliances often show them to contain huge amounts of harmful bacteria. It isn’t worth risking becoming ill for.
The methods used to clean a Keurig are far from rocket science, but they’re not as simple as, say, a cafetiere.
Keurigs in both 1.0 and 2.0 ranges have a lot of different compartments, each of which will have its own way of being cleaned.
On top of this, some of the more complex mechanisms like the needles which pierce the pods or the tubes which dispense water should not be ignored either.
Get Ready for Cleaning
The first thing to do is to turn your Keurig off. This is a simple thing to remember and may even sound patronizing, but it is key when dealing with cleaning any kind of electronic appliance.
The next thing is to make sure that there is no water left in the appliance by removing all from the water reservoir, and also getting rid of any K-Cups which may be in the holder.
Keurigs are made of a lot of different parts and many of these can be removed. Though the machine itself can’t be put in a dishwasher or hand washed in the sink, different components within it can be.
You should remove absolutely everything you can. This may differ slightly from generation 1.0 to 2.0 and depending on which model you have, for instance the K10 model from generation 1.0 doesn’t even have a separate reservoir.
On most Keurigs, though, you should at least be able to remove the following items:
- Drip tray or top layer of drip tray.
- K-Cup holder (be careful when doing this, there are needles in this part of the machine).
- Water reservoir.
Wash the Removables
Fortunately, there is nothing to stop you from giving the removable parts a thorough, soapy clean! The removable parts such as the water reservoir should be very thoroughly washed and even soaked if you have the time.
Leaving them in hot, soapy water for a long time will allow any bacteria to be killed and leave these components flowing clean.
Keurig components can also be successfully washed in a dishwasher. Many homes are now fitted with dishwashers and though it may not be your preference (the Keurig components can be slightly awkward shapes), this is at least another option for getting a thorough clean.
Some like to wash their Keurig removables in distilled vinegar, too. This is an item that has been known to break down limescale, which is a very common problem with any appliance which deals with water, especially if you are in a ‘hard water’ area.
Distilled vinegar is also what people often use to descale the inner workings of their Keurig, and though not essential for your removables it can help to get a thorough clean.
A “Deep Clean”
Two words that send shivers down the spines of most people who hate these kinds of chores; deep clean!
It isn’t a fun job, but even after following the steps above there are plenty of awkward and tiny spots within your Keurig which may not have been reached.
Leaving damp coffee grounds in there for weeks or months is a recipe for disaster. Mold can build up quickly and this can be harmful to your health. So how can you get to the hard-to-reach areas?
The kinds of areas we are talking about include the slot where your water reservoir clips in, the drip tray, and the area where your K-Cup holder sits.
This can be especially troublesome, and there are plenty of small spaces where residue can drop. As well as this, the tubes which connect the different parts, and the needles which pierce the K-Cups themselves can be hotbeds for bacteria and need to be reached and cleaned.
Best Methods of Deep Cleaning: How to clean a Keurig
There are a few ways you can get into these awkward areas.
The toothbrush technique. Something a lot of people tend to do with these kinds of appliances. A toothbrush (even a small children’s toothbrush) can be perfect for getting into these areas, and the bristles allow you to brush away residue such as coffee grounds. The toothbrush can be soaked in antibacterial solution before being used.
Cotton wool buds are another way to get to the difficult areas of your Keurig, and of course they will absorb hot, soapy water.
A brilliant ‘hack’ method is to use an antibacterial wipe which has been wrapped around the end of a butter knife. This will enable you to get into even the thinnest areas and wipe away the dirt and grime which has built up.
As well as being great for the nooks and crannies of the machine, all three of these methods may also be the best ways of cleaning both the needles in the pod holder and also the areas where water is moved and dispensed.
Cleaning (Descaling) The Inside of Your Keurig
We have created a complete guide to descaling your Keurig on our site. This is the process by which the inside of your Keurig such as the pipes and connections can be kept clean and clear of limescale.
The process basically involves running multiple large brews through the machine using either descaling solution provided by Keurig, or distilled vinegar.
This process takes a little time and should be completed every three to six months. It will help to keep your Keurig functioning properly for a long time, as without doing it; blockages are far more likely to occur.
How Often Should You Clean Your Keurig?
It is good practice to keep your Keurig as clean as possible at all times. It doesn’t take much effort to give it a wipe down with a clean cloth, or even wipe the drip tray and the K-Cup holder after each use.
Generally speaking, properly cleaning the components such as the water reservoir can be done roughly once a week, depending on how much you use your machine.
A ‘deep clean’ doesn’t take too much effort, and doing so every one to two weeks should be enough just to ensure that any harmful residue in awkward places is gotten rid of.
The descaling is something which needs to be done a little less frequently. Every three to six months is the guideline, though this depends on how much use your Keurig gets on a day-to-day basis.
The harder working Keurigs out there may need a little more maintenance.
Cleaning your Keurig may seem like a pain. It isn’t a glamorous job, but it is worthwhile.
As well as reducing the risk that you could become ill from mold or dirt getting into your brews, it is also the best way to make sure your Keurig functions to its full potential for as long as possible, and doesn’t experience build-ups of limescale.
The right maintenance can even save you money in the long run as you won’t have to replace your Keurig as quickly as you would if you leave it to get dirty and blockages to occur.
Many Keurig users get into the habit of using it every single day. Coffee lovers tend to be an obsessive bunch, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Just devoting a little time to cleaning can ensure that these risks are alleviated and your Keurig coffee is always as good as can be.