How To Descale Keurig Duo Coffee Machines The Right Way

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

How To Descale Keurig Duo Coffee Machines The Right Way

How to Descale Keurig Duo

The water used to brew your K-cups and coffee carafes has minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your Duo coffee maker. These are not toxic, but they can affect your Keurig Duo’s water flow as well as the taste and temperature of your coffee. Knowing how to descale Keurig Duo coffee makers the right way will help you keep your brewer in top shape.

For best results, you should use a special descaler solution that has a safe and effective formula. This will work better than vinegar. Keep reading to learn how to descale Keurig Duo coffee makers and get answers to other common descaling questions.

How Often To Descale Keurig Duo Machines

You should descale your Keurig Duo every 3 months, even if you are using a water filter. Filters cannot remove all of the calcium and magnesium from the water. These two minerals cause the limescale buildup that can only be removed by descaling. If your tap has “hard water,” meaning it contains a high level of minerals, then you should descale your Duo more often. If you are unsure if you have hard water, you can get a low-cost testing kit.

Keurig Duo coffee makers will have a descale message that appears in the top left corner of the display. This alert is triggered by time and/or the number of cups brewed. The Keurig Duo cannot sense the actual mineral buildup in the machine. Therefore, you may want to descale even if the brewer isn’t saying you need to. For example, descaling may help solve these common issues:

You will also want to descale your Keurig Duo if you’ve stored it away or not used it for a long time without emptying the internal water tank first. Since water was left inside the machine, limescale likely built up inside while it was out of use.

Can You Descale Keurig Duo Machines With Vinegar?

you should not descale keurigs with vinegar
you should not descale a keurig with vinegar

Keurig warns that you should not descale Duo machines with vinegar or lemon juice. White vinegar has 5-8% acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice have 5-6%. This can wear down metal and cause leaks.

Using a DIY solution with vinegar or baking soda can void the warranty on your Duo. You also don’t want a vinegar taste or smell in your cup of coffee. It is best to use a solution that contains safer types of acids that won’t cause damage or change the taste of your coffee.

Keurig Duo Descaling Solutions

Keurig makes its own descaling solution that works with all models. However, there are other popular descaling solutions sold online that you can use instead.

Keurig

The safe formula has no odor and acts fast to remove mineral build up with gentle citric acid. Using this solution won’t cause any harm to your brewer.

You can buy the solution alone or as part of a bundle with rinse pods and filters that will also help you keep your machine clean. If you have the K-Duo model, be sure to check out this K-Duo bundle.

Essential Values

Sale
Essential Values Universal Descaling Solution for Keurig
  • Best-value descaler compatible with all coffee makers
  • Uses gentle and odorless citric acid
  • Made in the USA

Essential Values has a citric acid solution that is both odorless and powerful. Each bottle is good for two uses. A two pack will provide four doses. That’s a year supply if you descale your machine every three months. 

Impresa

Impresa Universal Descaler (2 Pack)
  • Great-value descaler compatible with all coffee makers
  • Uses gentle citric and sulfamic acids
  • Made in the USA

The Impresa descaler is a top selling descaler. It uses citric and sulfamic acids. Both are gentle on metal and aluminum. A pack has two bottles, each enough for two uses.

Where To Buy Keurig Duo Descaling Solution

If you are an Amazon prime member, these items are eligible for fast, free shipping. However, you can also find the official Keurig solution in stores. Target sells it in store and online. You can also find the solution at Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond.

How To Descale Keurig Duo & K-Duo Special Edition

Before you get started, make sure you have your descaling solution handy. The process takes about 75 minutes from start to finish so ensure you have enough time before beginning. It takes longer to descale the K-Duo compared to descaling other Keurig models because you have to descale both the carafe and single serve parts of the machine.

Prepare the Keurig Duo For Descaling

  1. Power off the Duo. Empty the water tank and K-cup pod holder. Remove the water filter if you use one. Make sure there are no coffee pods inside.
  2. Pour the solution into the empty tank
  3. Fill the empty bottle with water and pour into the reservoir.
  4. Place a large mug on the drip tray

Start Descaling

  1. Power on the machine and then press the POD button. Next, select the 12 button and press brew to perform a cleansing brew. Discard the liquid into a sink.
  2. Place carafe on the heating plate, press the CARAFE button. Then do a cleansing brew by selecting the 12 button and pressing the brew button.
  3. Empty the carafe into the sink and turn off the heating plate by pressing and holding the Power button.
  4. Let the brewer rest for 30 minutes to give it time to dry. During this time to descaler will clean the inside of the Duo. Do not power off or unplug your Keurig during this step.

Rinse To Remove Descaling Solution Residue

  1. Discard any remaining solution from the tank.
  2. Rinse the tank and then add fresh water to it. Fill it to the MAX line.
  3. Place empty and rinsed carafe on the heating plate. Press the CARAFE button and perform a cleansing brew by selecting the 12 button and hitting brew. When done, discard the liquid.
  4. After filling the tank with clean water to the MAX fill line, repeat this step three more times.
  5. Remove the water tank and fill it to the MAX fill line
  6. Place a large mug on the drip tray, press POD button. Next, select the 12 button and press brew to perform a cleansing brew. Dump the liquid into the sink.
  7. Repeat this step three more times
How To Descale Keurig Duo

How To Descale Keurig Duo Essentials

Before you get started, make sure you have your descaling solution handy. The process takes about 75 minutes from start to finish so ensure you have enough time before beginning.

Prepare the Keurig Duo Essentials For Descaling

  1. Power off the Duo Essentials. Empty the water tank and K-cup pod holder. Remove the water filter if you use one. Make sure there are no coffee pods inside.
  2. Pour the solution into the empty tank
  3. Fill the empty bottle with water and pour into the reservoir.
  4. Place a large mug on the drip tray

Start Descaling The K-Duo Essentials

  1. Power on the machine by pressing the OZ button. This will turn on the single pod side. Press the 12 button to perform a cleansing brew. Discard the liquid into a sink.
  2. Place carafe on the heating plate, press the CUPS button to turn on the carafe side. Then do a cleansing brew by selecting the 12 button. Discard the liquid into a sink.
  3. Empty the carafe into the sink and turn off the heating plate by pressing and holding the CUPS button.
  4. Let the brewer rest for 30 minutes to give it time to dry. During this time to descaler will clean the inside of the Duo. Do not power off or unplug your Keurig during this step.

Rinse The K-Duo Essentials To Remove Descaling Solution Residue

  1. Discard any remaining solution from the tank.
  2. Rinse the tank and then add fresh water to it. Fill it to the MAX line.
  3. Place empty and rinsed carafe on the heating plate. Press the CUPS button and perform a cleansing brew by selecting the 12 button. When done, discard the liquid.
  4. After filling the tank with clean water to the MAX fill line, repeat this step three more times.
  5. Remove the water tank and fill it to the MAX fill line
  6. Place a large mug on the drip tray, press the OZ button. Next, select the 12 button to perform a cleansing brew. Dump the liquid into the sink.
  7. Repeat this step three more times

How To Descale Keurig Duo Plus

Prepare the Keurig Duo Plus For Descaling

  1. Power off the Duo. Empty the water tank and K-cup pod holder. Remove the water filter if you use one. Make sure there are no coffee pods inside.
  2. Pour the solution into the empty tank
  3. Fill the empty bottle with water and pour into the reservoir.
  4. Place a large mug on the drip tray

Start Descaling The Duo Plus

  1. Power on the machine and then press the POD button. Next, select the 12 button and press brew to perform a cleansing brew. Discard the liquid into a sink.
  2. Place carafe on drip tray, press the CARAFE button. Then do a cleansing brew by selecting the 12 button and pressing the brew button. Empty the carafe into the sink.
  3. Let the brewer rest for 30 minutes to give it time to dry. During this time to descaler will clean the inside of the Duo. Do not power off or unplug your Keurig during this step.

Rinse The Duo Plus To Remove Descaling Solution Residue

  1. Discard any remaining solution from the tank.
  2. Rinse the tank and then add fresh water to it. Fill it to the MAX line.
  3. Place empty and rinsed carafe on the drip tray. Press the CARAFE button and perform a cleansing brew by selecting the 12 button and hitting brew. When done, discard the liquid.
  4. After filling the tank with clean water to the MAX fill line, repeat this step three more times.
  5. Remove the water tank and fill it to the MAX fill line
  6. Place a large mug on the drip tray, press POD button. Next, select the 12 button and press brew to perform a cleansing brew. Dump the liquid into the sink.
  7. Repeat this step three more times

Keurig Duo Descale Reset

The Keurig Duo descale light should reset automatically if you followed the instructions all the way through without interruption. You shouldn’t have to do anything. If the alert is still on, you can reset it. With the machine on, press and hold both the 8 and 10 oz cup buttons together for 5 seconds.

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