How to Clean and Descale a Keurig Mini

Keeping your Keurig Mini coffee maker clean and descaled is key to ensuring it brews delicious coffee and lasts a long time. Allowing buildup of coffee oils, minerals, and limescale inside the machine can lead to off-tasting coffee and eventually damage the brewer. Fortunately, cleaning and descaling your Keurig Mini is a simple process that only takes about 10-20 minutes. With just water, vinegar, and a descaling solution, you can have your Mini running like new again.

Supplies You’ll Need

To clean and descale a Keurig Mini, you’ll need just a few simple supplies:

  • White distilled vinegar – This is used to help break down coffee oil and mineral buildup during cleaning. Avoid using other types of vinegar like apple cider or red wine vinegar as they can leave behind a residue.
  • Descaling solution – Look for a descaling product specifically made for coffee brewers. Popular options are made by Keurig, Urnex, and Impresa. This helps remove limescale deposits.
  • Large ceramic mug – Use an empty 12-16 oz mug that can catch hot liquid during descaling. Avoid using a paper cup.
  • Pitcher or measuring cup – This is used to pour in the descaling solution and vinegar. A 2 cup size is ideal.
  • Sink – You’ll need a sink close by to empty out liquids. Alternatively, you can place a large bowl under the brewer outlet.

Step 1: Cleaning Your Keurig Mini

Before descaling, it’s a good idea to give your Mini a thorough cleaning. This removes any loose coffee grounds, oils, or mineral deposits. Here is the cleaning process:

Brew Plain Water

  • Fill the water reservoir to the max fill line with fresh water.
  • Place your ceramic mug on the drip tray.
  • Without adding a K-cup, lift the handle and select the 6 oz brew size.
  • Allow the hot water to brew through completely.
  • Dump out the mug when finished. The hot water helps rinse the inner brewing system.

Make a Vinegar Cleaning Solution

  • In your pitcher or measuring cup, mix equal parts white distilled vinegar and water. For example, 1 cup vinegar to 1 cup water.
  • Pour the vinegar cleaning solution into the water reservoir.
  • Place the empty mug back under the brew head.
  • Lift the handle and brew a 6 oz cup using the vinegar solution.
  • Let the full amount brew through. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help clean and break down oils and mineral deposits.

Flush Out the Vinegar Taste

  • Once the vinegar solution has fully brewed, discard the contents of the mug.
  • Remove and empty the water reservoir.
  • Refill the reservoir to the max fill line with fresh water.
  • Place the mug back under the brewer.
  • Brew another 6 oz cup using just the fresh water. This will flush out any vinegar taste left behind.

Take Apart Removable Parts

  • If your model has a removable water reservoir, take this out and wash in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • The K-cup holder and drip tray can also be detached on some models. Wash and rinse these too.
  • Wipe down the outer housing of the brewer with a damp cloth.

Your Keurig Mini is now clean! It’s ready to be descaled whenever you notice flow issues or mineral buildup.

Step 2: Descaling Your Keurig Mini

Descaling removes limescale deposits from inside your Keurig brewer. Follow this simple process:

Prep Your Descaling Solution

  • Pour bottled distilled water into your pitcher or measuring cup. Follow the dilution directions on your descaling product. Typically it’s a 4:1 ratio of water to solution.
  • Carefully pour the diluted descaling solution into the water reservoir up to the max fill line.

Place Ceramic Mug Under Brew Head

  • Make sure your empty 12-16 oz ceramic mug is positioned securely on the drip tray under the brew head. You don’t want hot liquid splashing around.

Start Descaling Process

  • Without adding a K-cup, lift the brewer handle.
  • Press the 6 oz brew size button.
  • The descaling solution will start pumping through the system. Let the full amount brew out into the mug.

Pause and Empty Mug

  • When the brew cycle finishes, the brewer will beep.
  • Carefully remove and empty the mug of descaling solution down the sink.

Repeat Descaling Brew Cycle

  • Place the empty mug back under the brew head.
  • Press the 6 oz brew size button again to run a second descale brew cycle.
  • Let the full amount brew out again into the mug. This ensures full coverage inside.

Flush With Clean Water

  • Remove and empty the water reservoir once descaling is complete.
  • Rinse reservoir thoroughly.
  • Refill with fresh water to max fill line.
  • Place mug under brew head and run a 6 oz brew cycle using just water.
  • Repeat 2-3 more water brew cycles until the mug contents run clear.

Your Keurig Mini is now descaled and ready for coffee brewing! Descaling every 3-6 months extends the life of your machine.

FAQs About Cleaning and Descaling a Keurig Mini

How do I know when my Keurig Mini needs to be descaled?

Here are some signs your Keurig brewer needs descaling:

  • Brewing time is slower than normal
  • Coffee comes out weak or off-tasting
  • Visible white calcium deposits inside water reservoir
  • “Descale” indicator light turns on

Descaling every 3-6 months is recommended to keep your Mini in top condition. If you have hard water, descale more frequently.

What can I use if I don’t have descaling solution?

White vinegar can be used to descale in place of a specialty descaling product. Create a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water. Then follow the descaling instructions above.

The acetic acid in vinegar helps dissolve mineral buildup. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly with plain water afterward so coffee doesn’t taste like vinegar.

Can I use apple cider or other vinegars to descale?

It’s best to avoid using vinegars other than distilled white vinegar. The added colors, flavors, and sugars in vinegars like apple cider can leave unwanted residue behind in the brewer. Stick to white distilled vinegar as a descaling agent.

How often should I take apart and deep clean my Mini?

For regular maintenance, you only need to fully take apart removable parts like the reservoir, K-cup holder, and drip tray once every 3-6 months. Just give them a good hand wash and rinse.

Clean removable parts more often if you notice a lot of oily coffee drips or grounds accumulating. But deep cleaning internal components isn’t necessary for basic upkeep.

Can descaling solution expire or go bad?

Yes, descaling solutions can lose effectiveness over time. Always check the expiration date before use. If your solution is expired or has been sitting for over a year, it’s best to purchase fresh descaler.

Using old or ineffective descaling solution may not fully remove limescale deposits. This can lead to continuing brewing problems in your Keurig.


Keeping your Keurig Mini properly cleaned and descaled will help it function at its best for years to come. Allowing coffee oils and mineral scale to build up can hamper performance and shorten the brewer’s lifespan.

Fortunately, cleaning and descaling a Keurig Mini is a simple, fast process. With just distilled white vinegar, descaling solution, and water, you can remove buildup and prevent issues like slow brewing or off-tasting coffee.

Descaling every 3-6 months and cleaning removable parts regularly keeps your Mini running smoothly. Pay attention for signs like altered brew times indicating it’s time to clean and descale. With proper care, a Keurig Mini can stay in service providing delicious coffee for many years.