One early morning, I just got dressed to head out the door for work and hit the brew button on my Keurig so I could sip on my coffee during my commute to work. It brewed my coffee, but not without sputtering a bunch of it all over my white blouse. I’m not ready for terrible things to happen BEFORE coffee. I changed, headed to work while drinking an expensive cup of coffee: the price of my dry cleaning bill.
Instead of sitting down and doing work like a good employee, I started Googling what had gone wrong with my trusty Keurig. Apparently you’re supposed to clean it regularly. They don’t tell you that. It’s possible that its in the instruction manual, but who reads it?! The best remedy I found (and cheapest) was to run vinegar through the machine. Done.
Here’s how I cleaned my Keurig with vinegar and what I used to do it:
- Paper towels
- Phillips screwdriver
- Large heat-proof cup
I started by dumping out all the water and filling the reservoir with vinegar. I ran through the whole thing by brewing vinegar into a large heat-proof glass. Well. it’s not actually meant to handle a ton of heat but it worked. I brewed a cup, dumped it into the sink (after inspecting all the gunk), and repeated until all the vinegar was drained (or at least all of it that could be brewed). Pee colored vinegar water with a light coffee scent. It may as well be pee. TMI?
Warning: Your house/apartment/office or whatever will smell like vinegar. Promise.
Side note: Vinegar works as a smoke deodorizer. Learned this after setting a pot on fire and then trying to figure out how to get rid of the smokey smell for days.
Next, I dumped the remaining vinegar from the reservoir and filled it with water to start rinsing out the vinegar. I used non-tap, drinking water to be exact. I didn’t want whatever minerals that are in tap water to re-clog my machine. I repeated the same process that I did with the vinegar. Brew, dump, rebrew.
Warning: Definitely don’t sniff the water to see if the vinegar rinsed out. It didn’t. I promise. I learned this after many whiffs of hot vinegar. Its not fun.
I went through 2 more reservoirs of water for a total of 3 reservoirs of water rinsing. Halfway through the second reservoir rinse, the vinegar scent will start to fade and the brew will look less cloudy. Don’t be fooled and DEFINITELY do not sniff the liquid. You’ve been warned. After the 3rd reservoir rinse, it should be fine. All clear, no vinegar smell or taste. Yea. I tasted it. Had to be sure.
Next, I started to disassemble the K-cup holder to clean out all the coffee grounds that spilled over the last year. Yea. It took me THAT long to clean it. I started by removing the two screws that held on the front face plate and rinsed it under the tap.
Next, I popped out the center cup that’s just snaps in and out. I just yanked it out without a problem. Yanked gently. I also rinsed that under the tap.
I dried the face plate and center cup with some paper towels and reattached/resnapped the pieces back into place.
Lastly, I cleaned the drip tray. People forget about this because it conceals the drips so well. Almost too well because I forgot clean it too. When I finally cleaned this thing for the first time, it was pretty gross. So many brown crusty coffee drips accumulated over months and months. EW. I rinsed it under the tap and also dried it off with paper towels before putting it back.
All done. I refilled the reservoir with water and brewed my first super clean cup of coffee. No spattering. Its like I got brand new Keurig. I’m planning to do this every 3-4 months or at least before it starts spattering coffee all over me again.