Keurig Descaling Solution vs Vinegar: Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on April 3rd, 2023

Hello, coffee enthusiasts! If you own a Keurig coffee maker, you know how important it is to keep it clean and functioning smoothly. One essential part of coffee maker maintenance is descaling.

But when it comes to descaling, you have options: the Keurig descaling solution or good ol’ vinegar. So, which one should you pick? Let’s find out!


Why Descale Your Coffee Machine?

First things first, why is descaling important? Well, when you brew coffee, the water in your coffee maker leaves behind mineral deposits, like calcium and limescale. Over time, these minerals can affect your coffee’s taste, slow down brewing, and eventually cause your coffee maker to break. Regular descaling is the key to keeping your coffee maker in tip-top shape and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee every time.

Descaling Methods Comparison:

VinegarCommercial Descaling Solution
CostAffordable and cheapMore expensive
AvailabilityEasy to find (any supermarket)Available at select stores
OdorStrong odorOdorless
EffectivenessBreaks down mineral depositsBreaks down mineral deposits
Impact on WarrantyMay void warranty (check mfg)Usually recommended by mfg

Using Vinegar for Descaling: The Pros and Cons

Vinegar is a popular choice for descaling because it’s cheap, easy to find, and effective at breaking down mineral deposits. Just be sure to use white vinegar—no balsamic, malt, or any other variety!

To descale with vinegar, mix equal parts white vinegar and water, fill your coffee maker’s reservoir, and start the brew cycle. If you own a single-cup brewer like Keurig, run multiple brew cycles until the reservoir is empty. For a drip coffee maker, pause the brew cycle halfway and let the solution sit for a few minutes before resuming. Finally, rinse your coffee maker by running fresh water through it several times.


  • Affordable and readily available
  • Effectively removes mineral buildup


  • Vinegar has a strong odor, so thorough rinsing is necessary
  • Some manufacturers don’t recommend vinegar and may void warranties

Commercial Descaling Solutions: The Pros and Cons

Many coffee maker manufacturers, including Keurig, offer their own descaling solutions. These products usually come as liquids or tablets that you dissolve in water. To use them, just follow the instructions on the package, which are similar to the vinegar method.


  • Specifically designed for coffee makers
  • Odorless and easy to use


  • More expensive than vinegar
  • May be less accessible than vinegar

Clean Your Coffee Machine

While descaling is crucial, cleaning your coffee maker is just as important! Here’s how you can give your machine some love and care:

  1. Unplug the machine and remove any removable parts, such as the water reservoir, lid, K-cup holder, and drip tray.
  2. Wash these parts with dish soap and warm water.
  3. Use a clean cloth to wipe down the entire appliance, including any water outlets or filter baskets.
  4. If you have a single-serve coffee machine like Keurig, clean thoroughly around the pod holder to remove old coffee grounds and gunk.
  5. Once all the removable parts are cleaned, dry them with a clean, dry cloth.
  6. Reassemble the coffee maker by putting all the cleaned parts back in place.
  7. Plug the machine back in, and you’re ready for descaling!

Final Thoughts

Taking care of your coffee maker is essential for a great coffee experience. Whether you choose vinegar or a commercial descaler, regular descaling will keep your coffee maker running smoothly and your coffee tasting its best. And don’t forget to give your coffee maker a good clean to keep it looking shiny and new! Cheers to great coffee!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Remember to support us by purchasing through the Amazon/Walmart/Impact Radius links provided. Last update on 2024-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.