If you love coffee but prefer brewing it in a way that is quick, convenient, and free from any mess or hassle, then chances are that you have a Keurig coffee machine in your home. Keurig machines are hugely popular for a lot of different reasons, especially for coffee-drinkers who want an option to brew tasty coffee in the morning as quickly as possible. But, if you are considering investing in or have already bought a Keurig coffee maker, one of the main factors to think about is that these coffee makers require some regular maintenance, including descaling the machine monthly.
While descaling is just a routine part of cleaning when you have pretty much any coffee machine that uses an extraction method to brew coffee, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s an important process for keeping the coffee machine in the best condition. If you have a single-serve Keurig coffee maker, descaling is a crucial process for making sure that your coffee maker keeps working for as long as possible.
It’s usually necessary to give any coffee machine a deep clean once a month. To remove deposits of limescale from the coffee machine, you can use Keurig’s solution for descaling, or alternatively (and more cheaply) white vinegar. To descale your machine, you will need to do several runs through the machine without a pod, and just a descaling product or white vinegar combined with water.
What Does Descaling Involve?
A range of different minerals, chemicals, and other components are in water. In some regions of the world, the water has a varied amount of these chemicals, causing hard deposits which might be destructive to shower heads, kettles, pipes, and your coffee maker. Descaling refers to the process that is used to remove these hard deposits from appliances. It is a simple process that won’t take you long to do.
When you descale Keurig, you will be glad to hear that the entire process is both quick and easy. You can usually descale a Keurig coffee machine in around fifteen minutes, and you will need to do this every month to keep your coffee maker in the best condition. The only decision you will need to make is whether to use a descaling solution or regular white vinegar for the process.
How Descaling Solutions Work
Most of the descaling solution options that you can get are fairly similar. Descaling products are made with various acids like hydrochloric, formic, phosphoric, citric, glycolic, and sulfamic acids. Some acids are well-known and widely used while some are lesser known, but all descaling solutions will contain some form of acid. You can also make your own descaling products using ingredients like citric acid or lemon juice.
When you use a descaling product to clean a Keurig coffee machine, it’s important to consider that some solutions may require you to use them several times for the best results. Check the instructions for your descaling product and make sure that you purchase enough of it for it to work well.
What are the Benefits of Descaling a Keurig Coffee Maker?
Many people forget that they should descale their Keurig coffee machine as you will always put clean water into the machine and no coffee is pumped through the water system, which can lead to mistakenly believing that the inside of the machine is probably quite clean. You may not be sure how to descale Keurig, but the good news is that it’s easy. Traces of minerals such as calcium and magnesium are left on the inside of your Keurig machine every time you use it to make a brew. And depending on how hard or soft water is in your location, these deposits can vary a lot. If you live in an area that gets harder water than most, it’s likely that you will probably need to run a descaling product or white vinegar through your machine more regularly compared to somebody who does not live there. But no matter how hard the water is where you live, there are several benefits of descaling your Keurig coffee machine regularly. These are:
Better-Tasting Coffee: While all the minerals that are deposited in a coffee maker are usually non-toxic, their presence can end up impacting the taste of the coffee. When you descale the coffee machine, you will usually notice that your next mug of coffee instantly tastes better.
Improved Brewing Temperature: A build-up of limescale in your Keurig coffee machine could end up covering the heating element, which will make it difficult for the water to reach the necessary temperature for brewing. Limescale will consume some of the heat, which can result in the temperature of the water being too low for brewing the perfect coffee.
Reduce Energy Use: Once limescale forms on the insides of a coffee machine, the coffee brewer will begin to use more energy. This is because when limescale is present, it consumes some of the heat and the coffee machine will require more power for tasks.
Reduce the Brewing Time: When the insides of your Keurig brewer are full of limescale, it will often lead to a longer time needed to brew one cup. This is because limescale can lengthen the process of heating the water and disrupts the flow of water which will result in your coffee taking longer to brew.
Protect the Coffee Machine: All the issues that may be caused by a build-up of limescale in your coffee maker can not only impact the quality and taste of the drinks you make, but it can also cause your coffee maker to stop working as effectively. If your coffee maker is not descaled regularly, this can lead to issues that may eventually cause it to stop working.
Descaling Solution or White Vinegar: Which One to Use
Descaling solutions and white vinegar are the two most popular options to choose from when it comes to what you use to descale your Keurig coffee machine. You can get solutions that are specifically designed to be used for descaling Keurig machines, but if you want to save money, white vinegar, which you can find in any grocery store, is a great alternative. The only type suitable for the task is white vinegar – you can’t descale a coffee machine with other types of vinegar like malt vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Both white vinegar and descaling solutions are just as effective when it comes to descaling your machine, so let’s take a look at the main differences between the two to help you choose which one is going to be the best for you to use.
The Price: Specially designed descaling solutions for Keurig coffee machines are quite difficult to get, and along with this, they can also be quite expensive. On the other hand, white vinegar is an effective option for descaling your machine that is relatively cheap to get hold of and easy to find online or in your local grocery store.
Effectiveness Long-Term: How effective the solution you choose for descaling your Keurig coffee machine will be over the long-term is another important factor to consider. Both descaling solutions for Keurig machines and white vinegar are very effective options; however, since they are specially made for Keurig machines, the descaling solution just wins in this situation.
Warranty: If you are interested in making sure that you are protecting the warranty your machine is under, this might also play a part in determining which product to use. There is no warranty for cleaning Keurig with vinegar, although it’s unlikely to impact the warranty of your machine. On the other hand, the manufacturers of Keurig descaling solutions guarantee that their solutions are effective and will reimburse you if the solution damages your machine.
How to Use White Vinegar to Descale Your Keurig Machine
How to descale Keurig with vinegar? If you plan to descale your Keurig coffee machine with white vinegar, the first step involves preparing the machine. Ensure that no coffee pods have been left in and remove the water tank to throw any leftover water away. Make sure that the auto shut-off feature has been turned off since you will need to run the descaling mixture through the machine for longer.
How to clean Keurig with vinegar? Mix equal parts of distilled, clean water with white vinegar. Fill the water tank to the half-way mark with vinegar and top the rest up with the water. Don’t use the vinegar undiluted, as this can damage your machine. Place a mug that can hold at 10oz of liquid or more under the spout and start the brewing process. Repeat this as many times as necessary, until the water tank is too empty to brew more. Let any remaining vinegar and water sit for around four hours, then remove the remaining mixture and rinse the system with water. Do this by simply brewing a cup of hot water a few times.
Descaling your Keurig machine is important to keep it in great condition. While you can get specially designed descaling solutions for your machine, white vinegar is a cheaper option that’s just as effective.