How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker the Right Way

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If you can’t remember the last time you wiped it down, read this now.

Keurigs mean you no longer have to think about wrangling filters, water and ground coffee beans every morning. But many of us are probably guilty of not thinking about cleaning it either — and that thing can get dirty. KDKA-TV of Pittsburgh swabbed 28 machines and found more than half contained harmful bacteria. Grossed out? Us too.

We asked Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, for advice on how to maintain your go-to morning machine. Start by buying the following cleaning essentials, then follow this timeline for how often you should clean every part of your brewer.

What you’ll need:

  • water filter cartridge
  • white vinegar
  • descaling solution
  • brewer maintenance accessory

And now … on to the good stuff.

Every few days or as needed

When you see grounds in your K-cup holder, remove them with a sponge to prevent them from ending up in your beverage tomorrow morning. If you’re having trouble brewing, there may also be coffee grounds stuck in the needle, which is the entrance and exit points the water flows through. Keurig recommends carefully using a paperclip to clear away any debris that might be clogging the holes, then rinse. Or you can use the Keurig brewer maintenance accessory.

Every week

Clean removable pieces, like your tray and your K-cup holder, in warm soapy water. For the water reservoir and lid, remove the water filter, then wipe the surfaces with a damp, soapy cloth. Rinse with water and let air dry — you don’t want to dry it with a cloth since this could leave lint behind. Finish by wiping down the exterior surface with a wet sponge.

Every two months

Replace your water filter cartridge to keep your coffee fresh every other month. Start by soaking a new cartridge in fresh water for five minutes, then rinse it for 60 seconds. Wash the mesh of the lower filter holder, insert the cartridge into the upper filter holder and snap on the lid. Finally, put it back into your reservoir and lock it into place.

Every three to six months

Descale your machine to remove minerals that can build up over time, which could effect how well it works. Begin by filling the reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar — or you can use Keurig’s Descaling Solution. Start the brew cycle without a K-cup and let the machine run as usual, using a mug to catch the liquid. Repeat this process a second time. Then, repeat the process one last time, but with 10 ounces of fresh water.

As long as you follow these steps, you won’t have to worry about anything other than coffee being in your morning brew (well, unless you like yours with milk and sugar, that is).