How To Descale Keurig Slim: A Complete Guide

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 Slim: A Complete Guide

How To Descale Keurig Slim

The water used to brew your K-cups has minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your Keurig Slim coffee maker. Descale Keurig Slim brewers regularly will keep them working in top shape. For best results, you should use a special solution that has a safe and effective formula. This will work better than vinegar. Keep reading to learn how to descale Keurig Slim coffee makers and get answers to other common descaling questions.

Why Is It Important To Descale Keurig Slim Coffee Makers?

Descale Keurig Slim

As I wrote above, the water you use to brew your coffee contains minerals that get left behind in your K Slim. All types of water, other than distilled water, will have minerals. That includes tap, filtered and bottled spring water. Distilled water is not recommended to use with your Keurig.

These minerals are not toxic. However, if you don’t remove them, they can build up and eventually affect your Keurig’s water flow as well as the taste and temperature of your coffee. In particular, the minerals can negatively affect the heating element and other important internal parts that often come in contact with water.

How Often To Descale Keurig Slim Machines

You should descale your Keurig every 3 months. This is true 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 brewer more often. If you are unsure if you have hard water, you can get a low-cost testing kit.

Keurig Slim coffee makes have a built in light alert that turns on when it is time to descale.

Keurig Slim coffee makes have a built in light alert that turns on when it is time to descale. However, these notifications are likely triggered more by time or number of K Cups used rather than detecting actual mineral buildup. With that in mind, you may want to descale even if the brewer isn’t saying you need to. It is usually a good place to start when your Keurig Slim isn’t working correctly. For example, descaling may help solve these common issues:

You will also want to descale your Keurig Slim 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 Slim Coffee Makers With Vinegar?

Keurig warns that you should not descale your Slim coffee machine 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.

keurig k slim descale light

Using a DIY solution with vinegar or baking soda can void the warranty. 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 Slim Descaling Solutions

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


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.

Essential Values

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 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 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 Slim Coffee Machines

Follow these steps to descale your Slim:

Prepare The Keurig Slim For Descaling

  1. Empty the water tank and K-cup pod holder. Make sure there are no coffee pods inside.
  2. Pour the solution into tank
  3. Fill the empty bottle with water and pour into the tank.
  4. Place a large coffee mug or bowl on the drip tray.

Start The Keurig Slim Descaling Cycle

Press and hold the 8 oz and 12 oz buttons together to start the Keurig Slim Descale cycle
  1. Turn the brewer off. Then press and hold the 8oz and 12oz buttons at the same time for 3 seconds until the light turns steady and does not flash.
  2. Shortly after step 5, the brew button will begin flashing. At that time, press the brew button to start the descale cycle.
  3. Repeat step 6 until the ADD WATER indicator light turns on.
Press the Keurig K Slim brew button to start the descale cycle
When the brew button starts flashing again, hit the brew button to start the second wave of the descale cycle. repeat until the add water light comes on.

Run The Rinse Cycles To Complete Descaling

  1. Rinse the tank thoroughly. Fill it to MAX line with fresh water. Then, press the brew button once it begins flashing.
  2. Repeat until the ADD WATER light turns on again. At this time, the brewer is ready for use.
Press the brew button once it begins flashing to start the post descaling rinse cycle

What To Do If Keurig Slim Descale Light Stays On After Cleaning?

The descale alert should reset automatically if you followed the instructions all the way through without interruption. You shouldn’t have to do anything. If the Keurig Slim descale light stays on, it is likely that you either added water to the tank before the ADD WATER alert came on, or you have not run enough rinse cycles. A couple may be required. Try the entire process again. This time, however, you can just use fresh water instead of adding more descaling solution.

How To Fix Your Keurig Slim If It Won’t Turn On After Descaling

It is not a common issue, but some owners have had trouble with their brewer after descaling. If your machine will not turn on after you’ve descaled, you may need to reset the thermostat inside. Unfortunately, that isn’t very easy and should only be attempted if you are very skilled at this kind of stuff and are not concerned about voiding your warranty. Otherwise, you are better off calling Keurig customer support!

Amazon Item Images and Prices Last update on 2024-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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