How To Fix The Keurig Slow Drip During Brewing

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.

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Why Your Keurig Is Dripping Slowly And How To Fix It

Has your Keurig coffee maker been taking longer and longer to brew than it did when you first got it? Has it gotten to the point now where there is only a slow drip of coffee into your mug? The Keurig slow drip is a common problem among owners who were not aware of some simple cleaning steps that are regularly needed to keep these machines in top shape. But fear not! Never too late to start. Follow the steps below to fix your brewer.

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Step 1: Clean The Needles

When you brew a K-cup, there are needles inside your coffee maker that make two holes in the pod. This allows hot water to pass through the capsule and eventually make its way to your cup. The coffee grounds can get stuck around the needle and eventually become dry and hard. This is especially likely to happen if you don’t discard your pods soon after brewing. As a result, the ground coffee build up starts to block the water flow inside your Keurig, eventually resulting in only a slow drip.

There are entrance and exit needles at the top and bottom of the pod holder. These are sharp so please use caution while cleaning and be careful.

Keurig 2.0 Models

The easiest way to clean the Keurig 2.0 needles is with the orange brewer accessory tool. Most models will come with one. However, if you lost yours you can buy a new one for just a few dollars or use the paper clip method described in the next section.

needle maintenance tool to fix Keurig slow drip for 2.0 models
  1. Turn off the power. Unplug the machine from the wall.
  2. Fill the silicone bulb in the middle of the brewer maintenance accessory with water.
  3. Lift the handle to open your brewer. Place the maintenance accessory in the pod holder. Make sure the arrows on the ring are pointing down. Push firmly down.
  4. Raise and lower the handle five times to draw out coffee grounds.
  5. Remove the brewer maintenance accessory. If you look inside the bulb, you’ll see the coffee grounds that were removed.
  6. Perform a cleansing brew. You can use only water and no pod or, preferably, you can insert a cleansing rinse pod. Use your touchscreen to brew a 6 ounce cup, letting the hot water or cleansing rinse flow through the machine. When done, discard the cup’s contents.
  7. Put the pod holder back into the machine. Make sure it clicks. Then put the water tank back in place.
  8. Try brewing a pod and see if the dripping issue has been fixed. If not, try cleaning the needles again or proceed to step 2.
  9. Clean the maintenance accessory by washing with warm water and let it air dry.

Other Keurig Models

For other Keurig models you can use the paper clip method. To do so follow these steps, while using caution around the sharp needles.

  1. Straighten one end of a paper clip.
  2. Turn off the brewer and unplug it and remove the water reservoir.
  3. Grab the sides of the pod holder and remove it from the brewer by gently pulling away.
  4. Press the button on both sides to separate the holder from the housing. Push the lever to show the exit needle, then hold it down while flipping the holder over.
  5. Insert the straight end of the needle and then move it around in a circle a few times. Rinse the pod holder with water and set it aside.
  6. Open the handle and look underneath to see the top entrance and exit needles. Insert the paper clip in each and move it around to clean.
  7. Try brewing a pod and see if your Keurig’s slow drip has been fixed. If not, try cleaning the needles again or proceed to step 2.
How To Clean Keurig With Paper Clip

Step 2: Descale

If your Keurig still has a slow drip after cleaning the needles, you should try descaling. The water used to brew your K-cups has minerals that cause limescale to buildup inside your machine. Eventually this buildup can affect the water flow in your machine. You should descale every 3 to 6 months, even if you are using a water filter.

Keurig makes its own descaling solution that works with all models. The safe formula has no odor and acts fast to remove mineral build up with gentle citric acid. 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.

Once you have the descaling solution, follow these instructions to descale your Keurig. If you’ve had your machine for more than 6 months and never descaled, you may need to run this process at least 2 times.

Last Resort: Needle Gasket Replacement

If both the needle cleaning and descaling didn’t work, you could try replacing the needle gasket. These parts are easy to install. The needles are sharp so please use caution!

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