The Dreaded Keurig Descale Reset Light is not turning off? No problem! We’ve got you covered!
Keurig prides itself in being the coffee maker that serves you coffee shop-standard cups, instantly.
Not to mention that it looks hella good on your kitchen counter, too along with that pod rack showing off your k-cup coffee collection.
After a few months of use, you may notice your Keurig may have started to produce a flat and weak cup of coffee, while the descale light is on.
Or perhaps, your Keurig is even emitting weird gurgling or vibrating sounds, with the descale light that stays on and won’t turn off.
Your Keurig coffee maker isn’t broken!
The thing is, you might just have missed some maintenance measures and your coffee machine is calling you to go and have it cleaned. And yes, the descale light won't turn off because the descaling process can be quite convoluted or you've waited for too long.
However, not all is list! In this comprehensive guide, I will cover how to turn off your Keurig's descale light, as well as the following content:
We’re just of one blood in here, really. You didn’t buy a Keurig if you’re not a coffee fan. So if you’re looking for more ways to prolong your coffee maker’s life, this article is for you!
Prepare your hot cuppa joe.
And let’s deal with that Keurig descale light to get you brewing!
For long-time Keurig coffee machine maker users, the descaling light is one dreaded signal.
When your Keurig descale light turns on, it means one thing: your baby needs some cleaning.
The signal comes on when your coffee maker detects something that’s clogging the normal water flow inside.
...some clueless users tend to ignore the descaling light. But you might pay greatly for that. Neglecting to descale your machine will lead to malfunction, and eventually, to your machine being unusable altogether.
You don’t want that, do you?
So, the bottom line is, when you see the descaling light on, your coffee maker is telling you to have it clean NOW.
Now you know that the descaling light is telling you that the normal water flow might be restricted or the pathway is clogged.
And these clogs are caused by what we call scales.
These are simply a build-up of calcium and other minerals inside your coffee maker.
What causes this mineral build-up?
Well, the water itself! Water naturally contains minerals. Depending on where you live, your water might have a high or low concentration of minerals and calcium. If the concentration is high, your water is hard. If the concentration is low, your water is soft.
So you’d do well to use soft water when using your Keurig whenever possible. If you live somewhere with hard water make sure you use a water filter! And don't skip any descaling cycles!
These minerals may look like no big deal for now but they will eventually build up inside until they start to restrict the water flow.
They can also can make your coffee taste awful regardless of how fancy your coffee maker type is.
Your Keurig actually doesn’t have a sensor inside that can detect when you’re running out of water. But it can detect if the water isn’t running as fast as it is supposed to.
So what does descaling do?
Your machine's descaling cycle pushes a descaling solution throughout the machine's components. The descaling solution is acidic (for example citric acid) and thus dislodges any scale build-up. Sometimes, if you ignore the descaling light for too long, it may be necessary to run the descaling cycle multiple times.
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Now if your Keurig descale light just won’t turn off, it’s not the end of the world.
There are some easy steps you can do to take your coffee pod machine to its pristine condition.
But take note.
If you’ve ignored that descale light for so long, you may have to do the descaling process several times.
Let's go over the different solutions to get that that dreaded descale light to turn off!
Although this might sound obvious, this should be your first step if you've successfully run the descaling cycle and your Keurig's descale light did not turn off.
As we mentioned, your Keurig has a sensor that detects water flow obstructions. As such, it could be that one single descaling cycle was not enough to clean the innards of your beloved machine. This is particularly true if you have forgotten to run the descaling cycle for a long time!
If you run the descaling cycle, and barely any liquid comes out, followed by a gargling sound, this means your machine is heavily scaled. You may need to repeat the descaling cycle before that descaling light turns off.
For this, we recommend you use the Keurig official descaling solution.
The great thing about Keurig's Descaling Solution is that it doesn't have a strong smell to it, unlike vinegar, which can leave a strong smell and possible aftertaste in your machine!
You can peel off the labeling from the descaling solution to find the descaling procedures. It took me a while to figure this out! It’s well hidden!
Below are detailed instructions to descale your Keurig coffee machine.
You can descale your classic Keurig coffee maker following the process below.
Now your coffee machine should be free from scale buildup and perform much better than before.
If the Keurig Duo descale light is on, all you have to do is:
One of the most common causes for the descaling light refusing to turn off is an incomplete descaling cycle.
Yes, this might an obvious one as well, but what is not so obvious is that Keurig's descaling cycles involve lengthy rinsing periods. The Duo series also require a 30-minute rest time to allow for the descaling solution to take effect. If you do not complete these, your Keurig's descaling light will not turn off.
Here are some of the most common pitfalls when descaling your classic Keurig coffee maker:
And here are some of the most common pitfalls when descaling your Duo Keurig coffee maker:
Keurig coffee machines use needles to pierce through the K-cup (or refillable K-cups) to inject water into the K-Cup which mixes with the coffee grounds inside the pod to make coffee. The coffee is then released through the Keurig exit needle at the bottom of the K cup to deliver you a delicious cup of coffee.
Your Keurig's needled are very thin and prone to clogging with coffee grounds or scales. Clogged needles not only prevent you from having good cup of joe but also can prevent a successful completion of the descaling cycle.
A telltale sign the needles are clogged is if you see grounds spill over the k-cup holder.
You can buy needle-cleaning tools like the one below. Just make sure it’s compatible with your Keurig Model! This option is only compatible with Keurig 2.0 machines:
But you can also try cleaning them yourself!
So how do you do that? It’s very simple. Under the K-Cup holder, you will find the exit needle's orifice. That’s where most of the gunk will be.
You’ll want to take a paper clip or a sewing needle and push it through the hole. This should dislodge any scales and gunk that have built up inside.
Then put the K-cup holder under running water to rinse.
To clean the entrance needles, use again a paper clip or sewing needle to clean the entrance needles' orifices. The are found on the side of the needles. Once you've cleaned them, run an empty cycle to rinse the entrance needles.
If you are unable to clean the needle, relatively cheap replacement parts can be purchased. Just make sure you select the replacement part appropriate for your Keurig model.
If you are not sure which one to get, don’t be shy and leave us a comment! We’ll be happy to help!
Please be vigilant and careful if you don’t want to end up with bloody hands and a messy Keurig machine.
If you are still unable to successfully complete a descaling cycle (and turn off that darned light!), try unclogging the water reservoir.
A clogged water tank drain is usually the culprit if when descaling, you hear your Keurig's water pump, yet little to no water comes out.
Thankfully, there is an easy fix for this. Partially fill the water tank and place it on your Keurig. Then, with a turkey baster or large syringe push water through the tanks drain located at the bottom.
You will see scales floating in the water tank - which is a good sign! This means the water tank drain was at least partially blocked.
Check the video below - it's oddly satisfying to see those scales come out.
Some reusable cups are made to give more room for water flow compared to others. It could also be that the refillable k-cup is packed way too tightly and that’s causing water flow restrictions, causing the Keurig descale light to stay on.
Also, if you are grinding your coffee beans, make sure the grind is not too fine. Overly fine grounds will prevent the water flowing through the K-Cup. Remember, your Keurig's water pump is not as powerful as the one from an espresso machine!
If you don’t want any store-bought solution touching your coffee maker, you can actually make do with some home remedies.
All you need is vinegar and/or lemon juice!
Why vinegar and lemon juice?
What you really need is an acidic solution for dissolving and scraping off all the scale and coffee oil build up in inside your Keurig machine. Vinegar contains acetic acid and lemon citric acid.
If you read the label of the Keurig official descaling solution, you will see citric acid as one the main ingredients.
Aside from these alternatives, you can also use a homemade descaling solution made from citric acid powder if that’s what you have at home.
Just like how Keurig recommends you to descale your Keurig baby every 3 months with the Keurig descale solution, it’s also the same with vinegar.
You’d want to wash it up with vinegar every 3 months, as well, to maintain a clean interior and a healthy performance for your machine.
Some people also do a vinegar descaling weekly.
Here’s how you do it:
As mentioned earlier, citric acid is the main ingredient of Keurig's official descaling solution. It's also readily available in most grocery stores nowadays.
Many people don’t actually know this, but citric acid has similar cleaning properties as vinegar.
To prepare the descaling solution just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of citric acid powder to 4 cups of fresh water, then add this mixture to the water tank. Just make sure you check with the manufacturer instructions.
Then go through the descaling mode again for a squeaky clean coffee machine!
Citric acid is the main ingredient in Keurig’s own descaling mixture so if you’re looking to be more practical and want to have a descaling ingredient to have in your house ready at all times instead of a bottle of solution, then a bag of citric acid may just be your best bet.
Whenever things go wrong with our machines, a good push of the reset button will often save the day. But unfortunately, the Keurig coffee makers don’t have a reset button.
But you can still do something about it.
For a Keurig mini, it’s as simple as turning off the unit and unplugging it, then letting it rest for about 2 hours.
But for more complicated Keurig units, such as the Keurig 2.0 which is powered by an internal computer, you’ll need to tweak some settings.
The most basic step is to check the settings and reset any settings that don’t look right.
You can also check if there’s any automatic features that are turned on.
Then reset the display.
You can also detach all the components such as the water tank while letting the unit rest for a couple of hours to ensure you drain all power from the capacitors.
Keurig itself advises its users to descale their single cup coffee maker every 3-6 months. However, this depends on your local water hardness.
As I’ve mentioned above, you’d do well to avoid hard water. However, if your local water is hard, you should always use a water filter.
As a coffee lover, we know that coffee machines, such as the Keurig machines, are literally life. That's because we need them to make our different types of coffee drinks every day!
I hope this guide comes in handy for you. Let me know which solution helped you the most of if you've tried something else we did not cover in this article.
What’s your experience with your own choice of descaling solutions? How about the alternatives?
Let me know!
As we know coffee is a guilt-free addiction, and an awesome coffee maker can make your day better.
You know it!