How To Use Keurig Rinse Pods: Easy Instructions

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 Use Keurig Rinse Pods: Easy Instructions

how to use keurig rinse pods

What do you get when you mix french vanilla, hazelnut and caramel flavor coffee? Something that tastes a bit weird. If you use your Keurig to brew flavored coffees, hot chocolate or even tea, you may have noticed that the taste of your coffee has changed over time. That’s because pods leave behind flavor residue and oils. If not cleaned, they can end up in your next cup of coffee. Keurig cleaning pods can help. If you want to keep your brewer clean, learn how to use Keurig rinse pods.

Is It Necessary To Use Keurig Rinse Pods?

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Keurig Pods Reduces Flavor Carry Over, Compatible Classic/1.0 & 2.0 K-Cup Coffee Makers, Original Version
  • Better tasting beverages: Reduces flavor carry over between brews
  • Quickest way to clean your k cup pod holder: Rinse away residue and oils that can build up in your coffee maker
  • Easy to use: Use just like you would a regular k cup pod
  • Safe and effective: Gentle and odorless formula
  • Use weekly: Or any time after brewing a flavored coffee, cocoa, or tea

Over time, residue and oil from coffee grinds can build up in your coffee maker. A Keurig rinse pod is the quickest and easiest way to clean your K-cup pod holder, brewer funnel and exit needle. These Keurig cleaning pods contain a special formula that can rinse away the leftover coffee residue and oils. They can help clear out any leftover coffee grinds from old pods too.

learning how to use keurig rinse pods the right way can keep your brewing chamber clean
learning how to use keurig rinse pods the right way can keep your brewing chamber clean

Keeping your brewer’s parts clean will give you a better tasting cup of coffee. It can help you extend the life of your coffee maker too. These pods are compatible with all brewer models other than the Vue. One box contains ten cleaner capsules.

What’s Inside A Keurig Rinse Pod?

Keurig rinse pods contain only four ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin is a processed, plant-based powder made corn, rice, wheat or potato starch
  • Citric Acid: a gentle cleansing acid that is safe and effective on the metal parts inside your brewer
  • Sodium Citrate is an acid neutralizer derived from citric acid
  • Sodium Bicarbonate is an acid neutralizer more often called baking soda

This combo creates a non-toxic, safe and effective cleaning agent. It is gentle and odorless. Keurig cleaner pods are made in the USA.

Rinse Pods vs Descaling Solution

Both rinse pods and descaling solution contain citric acid, but they have different uses. A rinse pod goes in the K-cup holder and only cleans that area. On the other hand, the liquid descaler goes into your water tank and travels all the way through the brewer. This enables the solution to remove limescale from all of the areas where water flows through.

Use the Keurig cleaning pods weekly or in between flavored coffee brews. This reduces flavor carry over across brewed pods and keeps beverages tasting as they were meant to. Use the descaling solution when prompted by your Keurig or every three months, whichever comes first. If your machine is not pumping water well, it is a sign that you need to descale.

How To Use Keurig Rinse Pods: Step-By-Step Instructions

The cleaning pods work with all Keurig coffee makers except the Vue system. Just follow these simple rinse pods steps:

  1. Place a large cup on the drip tray
  2. Lift handle and insert rinse pod
  3. Lower handle and select 8 oz brew size
  4. When done, remove and discard the rinse pod
  5. Empty the cup and then place it back on the drip tray
  6. Run one or two 8 oz water only cycle to rinse the brewer of any cleaning solution left from the pod

When To Use Keurig Cleaning Pods

Keurig says to use a rinse pod once a week. However, if you often use your brewer to make hot chocolate, tea or flavored coffees, you may want to use them more often.

If you use a Keurig to make hot water and the hot water starts tasting like coffee, you should run a cleaning rinse. Or if you use it to brew tea every now and then and the tea starts to taste like coffee, the pod holder needs cleaning. Using a rinse pod before and after you make hot cocoa or tea will make sure any residue doesn’t end up in your next cup of coffee (or vice versa).

Using in between brewing different flavored coffee K-cups will prevent any mixing of the flavors. That way you can enjoy your coffee pod as the maker of it intended.

Keurig Rinse Pods FAQ

Where Can I Buy Keurig Rinse Pods?

Most major retailers will carry Keurig rinse pods. If you want to buy them online, check out Amazon, Walmart and Target.

Are Keurig Rinse Pods Really Necessary?

If you want to enjoy great tasting coffee, then Keurig cleaning pods are necessary. They will rinse away the leftover coffee residue, grinds and oils. If you tend to drink a lot of flavored coffee, they will also reduce flavor carry over across K-Cups.

how to clean keurig needle
example of old coffee grind build up

The photo above is from my brother’s Keurig machine. He doesn’t use rinse pods and you can see how the old coffee grinds have built up around his needle. This can negatively affect the taste of the coffee he brews as the hot water touches the old grinds.

Are Keurig Rinse Pods Toxic?

No, rinse pods are not toxic. Keurig rinse pods contain 4 non-toxic ingredients: Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate and Sodium Bicarbonate.

If I use Keurig Rinse Pods, Do I Still Have To Descale?

Yes! Both rinse pods and descaling solution contain citric acid, but they have different uses. A rinse pod goes in the K-cup holder and only cleans that area. A descaler goes into your water tank and travels all the way through the brewer.

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