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The Right Way To Descale Keurig K Supreme Coffee Makers

The water used to brew your K-cups has minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your Keurig Supreme coffee maker. Regularly descaling your K-Supreme brewer will keep it 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 Supreme coffee makers and get answers to other common descaling questions.

Why Is It Important To Descale Your K Supreme?

As I wrote above, the water you use to brew your coffee contains minerals that get left behind in your K Supreme. 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 Your Keurig Supreme

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 Supreme, Supreme Plus and Supreme Plus SMART all have built in notifications that will alert you when it is time to descale. However, these notifications are likely triggered more by time or 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 Supreme isn’t working correctly. For example, descaling may help solve these common issues:

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

Keurig warns that you should not descale your Supreme 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. 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 Descaling Solutions

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

Keurig

keurig descaling solution for supreme coffee makers
Keurig Descaling Solution

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.

Impresa

Impresa Descaler to use when Nespresso half red half green light comes on

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.

Essential Values

Essential Values Descaler to descale breville coffee and espresso machine

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. 

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.

An Important Warning About Descaling Keurig Supreme Brewers

Many owners of a Keurig Supreme have complained that their brewer stopped working after running a descale cycle. The issue appears to be with the thermal switch inside the machine. The back to back “brew” cycles needed to run the solution through the machine and then rinse it appear to sometimes overheat the brewer and cause the thermal switch to trip. It is also possible that during the first part of the descaling process, the brewer runs the water tank too dry instead of turning on the add water indicator and causes itself to overheat. No matter the cause, when the thermal switch trips, the brewer won’t turn on and you will need to contact support. If you haven’t done this already, you’ll want to find your serial number and register your machine for the warranty.

How To Adjust The Official Descale Instructions To Reduce Overheating Risk

If you are concerned about any risk to your machine, you can try one of these modifications shared by some Supreme owners on Reddit.

Option 1 is, during the rinse cycles, try filling your tank with fresh water half way instead of the max line. After the first rinse cycle, when the add water light comes on, wait 30 minutes before starting the next rinse cycle. This will give your Keurig Supreme a chance to cool down.

Option 2 is begin the descale process as described below, but when the water-descaler mix is just under and inch, turn off the brewer and unplug it. Empty and rinse the water tank. Let your Supreme sit idle for a minute. Plug the unit in again and the descale alert should reappear. Add fresh water to the tank and complete the rinse cycles to finish descaling.

How To Fix Your K Supreme If It Fails After Descaling

If your Keurig Supreme won’t start after descaling, I would strongly recommend calling Keurig support. They will be able to help you, especially if your machine is within its one year warranty period. As shown in the video below, some people have figured out a way to open up the brewer and reset the thermal switch. This may be advanced for most people. It also may void your warranty. Again, I think it is best to contact Keurig support first.

How To Descale Your Keurig Supreme Coffee Machine

Below you will find instructions on how to descale your specific model of the Keurig Supreme. Note that the process takes about 15 to 20 minutes and cannot be interrupted. It is very important that you follow these steps carefully and complete the process in full. If you do not, the descale notification may remain on. Be sure to have your descaling solution and a large ceramic mug or measuring cup.

K-Supreme Plus SMART

  1. Empty the water tank and K-cup pod holder. Make sure there are no coffee pods inside.
  2. If you see the descale notification, press the left arrow and then select continue. Choose the descaling product you have. If you do not have the descale notification, open settings by pressing the left and right arrow at the same time. Select descale mode.The Supreme Plus SMART model has a screen that will walk you through all of the steps you need to take to descale.
  3. Empty the water tank. Pour the 14 oz of solution into tank. If using the Keurig descaler, that is one whole bottle.
  4. Fill the empty bottle with water (14 oz) and pour into the tank.
  5. Place a large coffee mug or bowl on the cup holder.
  6. The BREW button should be flashing. Press it. 12 oz of hot water and solution should come out of the machine.
  7. Empty the mug or container and place it back. Select BREW again.
  8. Repeat Step 7 until the water tank is completely empty and the screen says ADD WATER.
  9. Rinse the water reservoir. Fill it to MAX line with fresh water only.
  10. Place the mug or container under the coffee outlet. When the BREW button flashes, press it to begin the rinse cycle.
  11. Repeat the rinsing process until the screen says DESCALE COMPLETE. Each time, be sure to wait until the screen says ADD WATER before refilling the tank with water.

Keurig K Supreme Plus

  1. Empty the water tank and K-cup pod holder. Make sure there are no coffee pods inside.
  2. Pour the solution into tank. Fill the empty bottle with water and pour into the tank.
  3. Place a large coffee mug or bowl on the cup holder.
  4. Power off the brewer and pressing down the 8oz and 12oz buttons at the same time for 3 seconds.
  5. When the BREW button starts flashing, press it to begin the process.
  6. Repeat step 6 until the ADD WATER indicator light turns on.
  7. Rinse the tank. Fill it to MAX line with fresh water and press the brew button to start the rinsing process.
  8. Repeat the rinsing process until the descale notification turns off. Each time, be sure to wait until the ADD WATER light turns on before refilling the tank with water.

Keurig K Supreme

  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 cup holder.
  5. Power off the brewer and pressing down the 8oz and 12oz buttons at the same time for 3 seconds.
  6. When the BREW button starts blinking, press it to start the process.
  7. Repeat step 6 until the ADD WATER indicator light turns on.
  8. Rinse the tank. Fill it to MAX line with fresh water and press the brew button to start the rinsing process.
  9. Repeat the rinsing process until the descale alert turns off. Each time, be sure to wait until the ADD WATER light turns on before refilling the tank with water.

How To Reset Keurig Descale Light That 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’s descale alert 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 rinsing cycles. A couple may be required.

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