Keurig Coffee Maker: Cleaning Mold From the Water Reservoir


Coffee has become an essential part of modern life. I can hardly function without my morning brew. Keurig coffee makers are popular home coffee makers because they brew single cups of gourmet coffee in just a few seconds. But in order to keep the Keurig functioning properly and the coffee tasting great, it is important to clean the machine from time to time. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your Keurig.

Do I Really Need to Clean That Coffee Maker Resevoir?

The telltale signs that your coffee maker is overdue for cleaning:

  • mold (either visible or smell only)
  • slow drip
  • calcium buildup on parts

Did you know that routine cleanings will help ensure great-tasting coffee, coffee performance, and a germ-free machine? An uncleaned coffee maker can harbor mold and other harmful germs. The National Sanitation Foundation study found that kitchens were the “germiest” places in the home. The study went on to note that kitchen items, including coffee maker reservoirs, have higher germ counts than a bathroom doorknob or light switch.

White Vinegar: The Best Way to Clean a Dirty Coffee Maker

That bottle of white vinegar in your kitchen cabinet is the best product to clean a Keurig coffee maker resevoir.
That bottle of white vinegar in your kitchen cabinet is the best product to clean a Keurig coffee maker resevoir. | Source

How to Clean your Keurig

Keurigs and other coffee makers can get clogged with hard water buildup. This accumulation leads to poor performance. The best way to remove buildup is to flush it out with white vinegar to flush it out. This process is called "descaling."

  1. Pour an equal mixture of white vinegar and water into the water reservoir of your Keurig or coffee maker. Let this sit for a few minutes, to clean the reservoir and water intake hole.
  2. Run this solution through the machine with no K-cup inserted. If your Keurig has never been cleaned or is badly clogged, you may need to repeat the process more than once.
  3. Once you have run the white vinegar solution through your machine, run plain water through three or four times to rinse all of the vinegar.
  4. NOTE: If your Keurig is not for single servings and has a large reservoir that is never empty, you will need to rinse the reservoir out or run many more plain water operations through your machine.

Keurig Mini


Daily Care of Your Keurig Coffee Maker

  • Always use a clean cup to fill your machine. Using a dirty cup can introduce bacteria and mold, which can affect the taste of your coffee and possibly impact your health.
  • If you use a Keurig Mini or other single-serving coffee machine, consider leaving the reservoir lid open when not in use. This will allow the water tank to dry. A wet tank that is not used for a few days will is an ideal environment for mold, which would end up in your coffee the next time you use your machine.
  • Remove and clean the platform tray for mugs from time to time. Excess water and coffee drain into this tray and can cause gunk to develop. If you use your Keurig often, this tray will likely contain standing liquid and mold. Use a damp cloth and some dish soap to wipe any water away.
  • Avoid excessive buildup by using bottled instead of tap water. Bottled water has fewer minerals than tap water and will cause little or no buildup in your machine. Bottled water can be expensive, however. An affordable alternative is to use a water filter, which will remove most of the mineral content.

See How Else You Can Use White Vinegar In Your Home

Thanks for Reading!

I hope you found this Hub useful. If you liked what you read, please rate this hub and/or leave a comment. What has worked for you? Which devices or parts are really tough to clean? Please share your tips and experiences in the comments section below.

Comments 11 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

Sounds great, voted it up, great name (lol) welcome to hubs!


PatN 4 years ago

Thanks for the help - we found it very useful. We get mold in our water reservoir occassionally and find it difficult to wipe the bottom clean - The white vinegar and leaving the lid open will help lots!

Mt 4 years ago


Margie L 3 years ago

What should you do if you are going to be gone for a few months. How would you drain the water or prepare it so there is no problem when you return?

ph 23 months ago

I was told that even vinegar would not get rid of slime & mold in tubing, etc., other parts of a keyring.

Karin 16 months ago

Remove the water tank use your kitchen sink sprayer hold the tank upside down and spray hot water with high pressure up into the tank. This removed all the mold in the filter and hard to reach places. Of course do this after cleaning with detergent.

Ken 14 months ago

The water tank is dishwasher safe so it's OK to run it through a cleaning cycle.

Dan 6 months ago

My Keurig took forever to reload water... The issue was the screen filter at the bottom of the water tank... It took a long phillips head screwdriver to remove the screen.... soaked it in vinegar over night and took a soft hobby acid brush to it..... removed all the green slim and rinced it well... reinstalled it and it reloads the water quickly.... ran white vinegar thru it and good to go.... so if your Keurig takes forever to load water check the metal round screen for slime

Carson collins 4 months ago

Just got my keurig at a pawn shop didn't know it had a internel water don't know how long that water has been in the machine I think I'm going to throw it away and eat the $30.00 I payed for it

afry 4 months ago

I have a single serve and cannot remove the water reservoir. I have run through over 6 cycles of vinegar (plus rinsing with water) and still have black specks. :( Any suggestions?

Jerry Patterson 2 months ago

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