Cleaning Mold From a Keurig Coffee Maker’s Water Reservoir

Things to Consider

When you enjoy a great cup of coffee, but don’t want to waste time and money heading out to your local coffee chain, a good coffee maker is a sound investment for your home or business. Keurig is one of the most respected industry brands, but making a purchase decision can still be a challenge. So, we’ve produced a comprehensive buying guide with all the things you should consider and features to seek out. We’ve also covered answers to some common questions to aid you in making your purchase decision.


Problem 5: I see leakage from my Keurig coffee maker

Solution: Observing inadvertent leaks around your Keurig machine?

We know, it can be pretty irritating and can take the kick out of your morning coffee, since you see a mop-up job lined up.

This happens because the upper gasket of the machine can either go missing. Inaccurate installation of the gasket also causes this problem.

The gasket is placed around the puncture needle of the machine. So, if you see leakages, check if it’s in the proper place. If it’s missing, you’ll need to purchase one. If it’s still there, you’ll need to adjust it so that it forms a perfect seal with the incoming water supply and the k-cup.

Any misalignments, and you’ll see leakage pretty soon. When the grounds also start leaking out, you can imagine the mess it’ll make around your Keurig machine.

In most cases, moving the gasket down by a quarter of an inch does the job of closing the minute gap between the k-cup and puncture needle.

Keurig Warranty:

NEVER lose your receipt. Register your coffee maker on the website as per the user guide that comes with the box. The box will also have the warranty card.

Some things might render your warranty void, for example, refilling disposable cups or hacking the 2.0 K-Cups or coffee pods.

If you decide to invest in a new Keurig coffee machine, at some point in the future, hold on to your existing brewer. You don’t want to miss out on your regular coffee dose while customer support takes their time to resolve your issue with your new machine.

Almost all of the issues listed above are based on customer preference. But, the last item is based on the build of the machine.

After using the machine for a year, users find out how hard it is to get a Keurig replacement. Unlucky are those whose machine breaks down just after crossing the warranty period. The vast majority of the time, they have no option but to purchase a new one.

If you are one such person who has developed a love for the Keurig machines, finding out the non-availability of replacement parts might be a shocker to you.

Who is this Keurig not for?

If you do not regularly enjoy lattes or cappuccinos, this machine is not for you. There are simpler machines available if you just want to make a cup of coffee using a coffee pod. In addition, if you are a hard-core espresso drinker, this machine will likely not satisfy your tastebuds.

How Does a Keurig Mini Brewer function?

Keurig Mini brewers are designed with the latest technology that delivers delicious homemade coffee every time you use it. 

A water reservoir is present in each brewer that has a capacity to contain a good quantity of water. You just have to insert the pod, turn the machine on and your cup of coffee is ready. The water that is left can be used later.

Answering Your Keurig Cleaning Questions

Do you have to clean your Keurig if there is already a water filter?

Yes, you and your Keurig coffee machine still have to undergo the descaling process even if there is already a water filter. 

Many Keurig coffee makers have built-in water filters, but these don’t excuse you from regular cleanings with some sort of descaling agent. In fact, they add an extra step to your Keurig maintenance routine, as these water filters should be replaced every two months (though this could vary depending on how often you use your brewer). 

Can I put my Keurig parts in the dishwasher?

You’ll have to consult the user manual that came with your coffee maker to see which parts, if any, of your specific brewer are dishwasher-safe. In general, the water reservoir, drip tray, and K-Cup holder can survive a low-temperature cycle on the top rack of the appliance. 

If the water is too hot, though, there’s a chance of the plastic components melting, so if you don’t want to take that risk, just use warm, soapy water and a washcloth to scrub each part of the coffee machine by hand. Generally, we recommend hand-washing all parts of your Keurig; it’s the best way to make sure nothing’s left behind in any of your brewer’s hard-to-reach places. 

What happens if you don’t descale your Keurig? 

It might be tempting to skip out on descaling your Keurig but trust us, taking a few extra minutes to make sure everything’s clean is worth it. Descaling guarantees your machine will consistently give you the best-tasting coffee possible, as it keeps calcium deposits from building up and clogging your machine. The more calcium and other water minerals build up in your machine, the less efficiently your Keurig will run, and pretty soon, you’ll have to invest in a brand new brewer. 

To put it plainly: descaling your Keurig prolongs its life and spares you from having to suffer through cups of off-tasting coffee. 

Is Keurig descaling solution toxic?

While the cleaning solution is safe enough for use in your beloved single-serve coffee maker, it can be harmful if it’s swallowed, inhaled, or makes contact with your skin. However, symptoms and reactions could be delayed, so your best bet is to seek medical advice right away if any of these things happen. Use it only for its intended purpose and follow the instructions carefully, though, and you should be fine. 

Can I use vinegar to descale Keurig?

Grab the vinegar: White distilled vinegar will help descale (remove lime and scale buildup) your coffee maker, which is key to helping it run. (You can also use a descaling solution.) Fill the water reservoir halfway with vinegar. Add water: Fill the reservoir the rest of the way with water.

Why is Keurig Coffee Maker the best?

Keurig brought an interesting idea to the world of coffee. Keurig is convenient and that is what makes it perfectly suitable in this fast paced life.

Prevention is better than cure:

No matter what, you’re going to need to clean your machine a number of times a year. However, if you wish to avoid potential issues, it’s vital you frequently look out for your Keurig.

Your Keurig could do with regular cleaning, although descaling may not be necessary that frequently.

21.  Cleaning the Water Reservoir

This simple task is important to keep your coffee maker working.

For best results, follow these steps –

  • Remove the water tank, and take its lid off
  • Fill with soapy water, and wipe it out using a soft cloth
  • Completely get rid of all the soap in the reservoir by rinsing it thoroughly. Do not use a cloth to dry the reservoir, as the fabric particles left behind might clog your reservoir, or even worse, end up in your coffee. Air drying is recommended.
  • After drying, refill the tank and put it back in place with the Keurig. Ensure it is perfectly placed on the machine. Dangling reservoirs may lead to non-movement of water into the internal tank.
  • As mentioned earlier, repeat the “water only” cycle twice or thrice before starting to brew coffee.

22.  Cleaning the Pod Holder

From time to time, the cleaning of the pod holder is also necessary. Otherwise, it might become full of bacteria and other microbes, which will eventually get into whatever you are brewing.

To avoid this, perform the below steps –

  • Remove the pod holder. Be careful and watch out for needle
  • Rinse the holder with warm water. Do not use soap, for obvious reasons
  • Put it back in the machine
  • Ensure it is inserted correctly in the unit
  • Perform the steps discussed earlier for a cleansing brew before making a new cup of Joe

The below video shows how to take your Keurig apart and how easy it is to clean it.  Remember to do this regularly to ensure it remains in good working order and prolongs the life of your coffeemaker.

Problem 3: Keurig (Classic) turn on or shuts off on its own

Solution: If your Keurig machine is turning off on its own, or turning on without your command, chances are the inbuilt timer has been set.

Here’s how to check and solve for some of the classic models:

Keurig Mini: If the brewer remains sedentary for more than 90 seconds, it turns off on its own. You’ll need to press the Power button to start it again.

Keurig Elite: Check if you see the Auto Off light indicator (green) illuminated. This suggests that the brewer will switch off automatically 2 hours after its last brew. If you want to disable this auto switch off, press the Auto Off black button, which will turn off the green light.

Special Edition and Platinum: Again, if Auto Off is set, your brewer will shut off on its own. To disable, go to Auto Off programming through the menu. The left button (small cup) needs to be pressed multiple times; it then says Off, which means ‘auto off’ is disabled.

It’s unlikely that the machine will break down while brewing.

However, if it does, we’ve got you covered. Often, the vibrations of the machine cause the water reservoir’s magnet to get dislodged, which interrupts the brewing cycle.

When this happens, all you need to do is to set the reservoir’s magnet in its correct position. Resume the brewing, and see if the problem is sorted out. If even this does not solve the problem it’s time to talk to customer care.

How do you change the filter on a Keurig charcoal?

How to Replace a Keurig Charcoal Filter
  1. Soak the new charcoal filter in a container of cool water for 10 minutes to help remove the loose charcoal in the filter.
  2. Grasp the filter housing base with your fingers and hold the water reservoir in your free hand.
  3. Rinse the new charcoal filter under cool water until the water runs clear through it.

Common Keurig troubleshooting issues

Below, we’re listing 11 common problems you may encounter with your machine.

1. My Keurig won’t switch on

It may seem simple, but if your coffee maker isn’t turning on, you should double-check all of the apparent solutions first:

  • Check that the power cord is plugged into the socket properly
  • Check that the power socket is functioning by testing other appliances
  • Test the Keurig machine in a different outlet

If this doesn’t work, try these steps:

  • Hold down the power button for 10 seconds.
  • Unplug the machine and remove the water reservoir. Let your Keurig sit unplugged for one hour before reassembling and switching on.

If you have tried all of the above, and the machine still won’t switch on, it’s time to contact Keurig customer care (1).

2. My Keurig is not heating water

This problem happens if your coffee maker appears to be dispensing water properly, but it is coming out cold. This may not be a problem with the heating mechanism itself – instead, it switches off for safety reasons if it’s not pumping water correctly. The first thing to try with any electrical issue is to switch the machine off and on again. This may help reset the heating mechanism.

The water may not be pumping correctly due to clogged or dirty pipes. You can fix this by using our cleaning instructions below. If it is an issue with the water pump, try holding the brew button for five seconds. This will force the pump to work at maximum power. If none of these steps resolves the issue, you may need to replace the water pump in your Keurig machine.

3. My Keurig is stuck in preheating mode

After switching your machine on, it will take around 3 minutes to preheat before brew. But if it takes much longer than this, there could be an issue with the machine. The first thing to try is switching off and unplugging the machine to kickstart the preheating process again. 

If that doesn’t work, there is an unofficial hack that could solve the problem. Some users have found that filling the reservoir with hot water will force the machine into brew mode. Keurig recommends only using cold water in the tank, so you should attempt this solution at your own risk.

4. My Keurig is not dispensing water properly

You may find that you press the brew button on your Keurig one day and discover that you don’t end up with a full cup of coffee. You can quickly diagnose this and just as simple to remedy.

Over time, the water line in your machine will become clogged with debris and coffee grounds. This means that only a small amount of water will pass through during the allotted brewing time. You can fix this by giving your machine a good clean using our instructions below. After you have unclogged the water line manually, you can run the machine on a brew cycle using water only to rinse out any final bits of debris.

If the descaling doesn’t help, try this method instead:

5. My coffee contains grounds

This is another issue that’s simple to diagnose and repair. Coffee grounds in your cup are signs that your machine needs cleaning – the exit needle in particular. Over time, the grounds from K-Cups can gather in the exit needle, which are then pushed along the water line and into your cup. This is particularly true if you brew hot chocolate or other sweet drinks, as the sugars can make the needle sticky. 

To remedy this, you need to clean the needle either with the Keurig tool or a paper clip. Then run the brew cycle with water only until there are no residual grounds in the water that comes out.

If you have grounds in your coffee when using a reusable K-Cup, the problem may not be the needle. Check that the capsule is closed correctly, that it is not overfilled, and that you are using the recommended grind size (2).

6. My Keurig is leaking from the bottom

To determine the best course of action, you’ll need to discover where the leak is coming from. If your machine is leaking from the bottom even when it’s not in use, the most likely scenario is a leak in the cold-water reservoir. To confirm this, remove the reservoir and see if the water has pooled underneath. Then hold the reservoir over the sink and see if any water leaks out. 

The bottom of the reservoir has a small rubber band known as an O-ring. If this is broken or misaligned, water can leak directly from here. You can replace an O-ring easily yourself, but you just need to ensure that you get the correct size. If the water reservoir itself is cracked, you’ll need to order a replacement tank from your Keurig supplier.

7. My Keurig is leaking when brewing

If the water only leaks during the preheating or brewing cycle, there are a few reasons. The first is simply overfilling the water reservoir, which can be easy to do with machines like the K-15 Mini. It could also be a matter of the machine being clogged, in which case a good clean will remedy the issue. 

Another common cause of leaking is a loose or broken upper gasket. This is a silicone part that creates a tight seal between the K-Cup and the water hose. Check that the gasket is correctly aligned by closing any gaps between the puncture needle and the K-Cup. If the piece is broken or missing, you’ll need to order a replacement. 

If neither of these two solutions fixes your leakage issue, the cause is most likely a broken valve or hose somewhere inside the machine. This will require you to contact customer care.

8. My Keurig switches off mid-brew

Keurig coffee makers have several safety features that will automatically switch off the machine. This is to prevent damage to the machine or prevents leaks on to your counter. To fix this problem, you need to find out what the machine detects as being a safety issue. 

The most likely culprit is that the reservoir is not seated properly. The vibrations of the brewing cycle can cause the water tank to shift slightly, disrupting the connection between the magnetic contacts. The machine then assumes there is no water tank attached and will switch off. Switch off your machine and unplug from the socket before removing the reservoir. After five minutes, put the machine back together, ensuring that the magnets have full contact.

Some Keurig machines have an auto shut-off feature set to switch off the machine after a certain period of inactivity. Check that this feature’s timing is assigned to an appropriate period, or turn this feature off entirely.

9. “Add more water” error message

If you have sufficient water in the reservoir but are receiving this message, there is an issue with the machine not detecting the water level correctly. Try filling the reservoir to the maximum level to see if this corrects the problem. 

If not, remove the reservoir and empty it. Then thoroughly clean it with soapy water and rinse well. Check the valve at the bottom to ensure it is not clogged. Reseat the tank, making sure it is sitting correctly, then fill to the maximum level.

10. My coffee tastes bad

If the taste of your Keurig coffee has suddenly changed for the worse, this is usually a sign that your machine needs a good clean. It could be a case of limescale build-up from the water supply or reside from the coffee grounds stuck in the machine. Both of these will affect the taste of your coffee. Follow our instructions below for both descaling and cleaning removable parts.

If you have recently cleaned your machine, this might also be the problem.

Residue from the descaling solution or vinegar may linger in your water reservoir or the hoses. In this case, you will need to empty all of the water from the machine, then run a few cycles using only fresh hot water. If you left a filter in the machine during the descaling process, this might have absorbed the vinegar or cleaning solution, and you will need to replace it with a fresh one.

If it’s more of general dissatisfaction with the quality of coffee that you’re brewing, try some of these tips:

  • Use filtered or bottled water for brewing
  • Alternatively, add a water filter to the machine
  • Try a reusable K-Cup, which will allow you to brew with fresh grounds (and more of them)
  • Choose a smaller cup size when brewing for stronger coffee
  • Remove your coffee cup early to avoid catching the last watery drips


With the K-Café, you can brew a shot of coffee, adjust the brew strength, and use travel mugs up to 7.2 inches tall. There’s a two-hour auto-off program and a brewer maintenance reminder, so you won’t have to keep track of descaling schedules.

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