How To Clean The Needle On A Keurig! Clean And Clear The Gunk!

How To Clean The Needle On A Keurig! Clean And Clear The Gunk!

Learning how to clean the needle on a Keurig is easy and is something that must be performed to remove blockages and prevent the build up of further blockages that may occur.

This article details how to unclog, clean and descale your Keurig coffee maker for all models.

Keep reading for the instructions.

How To Clean The Needle On A Keurig

Cleaning the needle on your Keurig is a very easy and essential task, one that you must perform every other week when you run a descaling cycle.

All kinds of gunk from coffee grounds to rancid coffee oils and minerals can build up inside the needles as can bacteria and mold.

Besides, keeping your machine and your needles in tip-top condition you will prevent future blockages and serving your perfect coffee every single time.

The ideal starting point for cleaning your needles is the easiest and will make the rest of the process of cleaning your needles is to run two hot water only brew cycles by filling your water reservoir with fresh water and run the two complete brew cycles until the reservoir is empty.

This loosens any coffee grounds in your machine and makes them easier to break up and get rid of.

How To Clean The Needle On A Keurig
Cleaning The Needle On A Keurig Is Easily

Read: How to unclog a Keurig

Where Is Keurig Needle?

There are two Keurig needles on your Keurig machine: a puncture needle which is also known as the entrance needle and the exit needle.

To find your Keurig needles, start by opening up your brew head. The exit needle is located below the pod holder.

Remove the K cup holder with care and attention, and you’ll see the exit needle. You can take the opportunity to clean the pod holder with soap and water.

The puncture needle is located directly above the pod holder.

Please practice caution with the needles as they are sharp and will cut you if you are not careful.

How To Remove Pod Holder From Keurig Elite

The pod holder of a Keurig machine, be it a Keurig elite or any other model, can be a little tricky.

Start by opening the brew head to expose the pod holder. grasp carefully the top of the K cup pod holder with one hand and push up on the bottom part from the underside of it until it is released.

How To Clean Keurig Exit Needle

Let’s start by cleaning your exit needle, a great starting point.

Look out a long thin needle, a paper clip or better still, a pipe cleaner.

If you have pipe cleaners, you may need to twist a few together for the best effect. A paperclip clip or a long thin needle are both good enough.

Use your item of choice, a paper clip for example, and poke around inside your exit needle for approximately one minute.

Poke around well but be careful not to damage your machine. The goal is to loosen built-up dirt and blockages. Using a drinking straw, insert it into your exit needle and blow hard to loosen debris.

How To Clean Keurig Exit Needle
Cleaning The Keurig Exit Needle Is Easy

Read: Keurig needle cleaning

How To Clean Keurig Puncture Needle

Cleaning your puncture needle follows the same process and procedure as cleaning your exit needle.

Insert your unfolded paperclip or long thin needle and poke around inside the puncture needle for a minute to loosen debris.

With a straw, insert it into your needle and blow hard inside your machine to loosen any debris.

At this point your needles should be clear of the hardened blockages and ready for the next step.

Keurig 2.0 Needle Cleaning Tool

Before using your Keurig 2.0 cleaning tool and continuing with the process of Keurig needle maintenance, fill your water reservoir with clean water and run a water only brewing cycle until it is empty.

Repeat this step again to free any remaining coffee grounds and particles from your Keurig coffee maker.

Look out your Keurig needle maintenance tool, fill it with hot water, as hot as you can safely manage, and place it where you would put a K cup coffee pod.

Align your needle cleaning tool correctly and open and close your brew head 5 to 7 times. This will force the water through your system.

Now for my little extra step that really cleans your needles and kills any bacteria and clears them of mold, coffee oil and all kinds of gunk.

Fill your orange Keurig needle maintenance tool with 50% cleaning vinegar and water. Repeat the process of opening and closing the brew head 5 to 7 times.

Fill your needle cleaning tool for a second time with the same vinegar and water solution in equal ratios and perform the same action of opening and closing the brew head 5 to 7 times.

This gets your needles properly clean and properly sanitized.

Now run a full and complete descaling cycle of your coffee maker by filling your water reservoir with a solution of 50% cleaning vinegar and 50% water. Run a full brew cycle until your water reservoir is empty.

Refill your water reservoir with the cleaning vinegar and water solution in equal amounts and for a second time run a full brew cycle until it is empty.

To rinse out the traces of vinegar from your coffee maker, run 5 to 7 flushing cycles until your water tank is empty each time.

At this stage your Keurig coffee machine needles are clogged and fully clean. All the lines leading up to both needles are clean, and your coffee maker is fully descaled.

It is in perfect condition for brewing coffee.

Keurig Bottom Needle Broke

If your Keurig bottom needle broke, the top needle has become broken or is no longer sharp, you have nothing at all to worry about as you can order a new one and replace them.

They are easy to replace and only need to be replaced every few years.

Keurig Needle Maintenance Still Not Working

If your Keurig needle maintenance is still not working after running a proper deep cleaning of them and running a full descale cycle I suggest that you contact Keurig support as there may be something wrong with the internal functionality of key components like the water pump.

Contact Keurig support for further advice.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Clean The Needle On A Keurig

How Often Do You Clean The Needle On A Keurig?

I suggest that you clean your Keurig coffee maker every other week, every 15 days, and while doing so take that little extra effort to clean your needles to ensure that they are clean, clear and in optimal conditions for brewing perfect coffee every single time.

Does Baking Soda Clean Keurig?

Yes, baking soda is a very effective non-acidic alkaline cleaner that is great for cleaning your Keurig machine which you can use if you don’t want to use an acidic cleaner like lemon juice, citric acid or hydrogen peroxide.

Simply add a solution of 25% bicarbonate of soda and 75% clean water, mix it well and add to your water reservoir until it is full.

Run a full descale cycle until your water reservoir is empty.

Repeat then run a full flush cycle 3 to 5 times.

Read: Keurig needle maintenance

Is Vinegar Enough To Clean Keurig?

If you have run out of Keurig descaling solution, distilled white vinegar with an equal amount of fresh water is a great solution to use when cleaning your coffee maker, be it a Keurig, Nespresso, or a drip coffee machine.

Simply fill your water tank with 50% white vinegar and 50% water and to the max fill line and run a full descale cycle.

Does Vinegar Disinfect Keurig?

Yes, vinegar is not only a great cleaning solution and substitute for descaling solution it is great for disinfecting your Keurig machine too.

Can I Put Baking Soda And Vinegar In My Keurig?

Yes, you can use both baking soda and vinegar to clean your coffee maker but not together.

Some coffee enthusiasts warn against using vinegar and baking soda as they are corrosive, guess what?

Descaling solution is corrosive too as it is citric acid based. The cleaning solution that you use must be corrosive to a degree otherwise it will not remove the built-up limescale, mineral deposits and calcium build-up.

Is Vinegar Or Descaling Solution Better For Keurig?

In my opinion, you are best to use the official descaling solution for your Keurig coffee maker as it is custom designed for your machine.


if you want, it is not a problem for you to use distilled white vinegar.

How Do You Tell If Your Keurig Is Clogged?

One of the tell-tale signs of your Keurig being clogged is that it suddenly stops brewing a full cup of coffee.

It’s a very common problem and is very easy to fix. Start by cleaning and unblocking your needles and proceed to running a complete descaling cycle.

How Long Do Keurigs Last?

Your Keurig will last you about 3 years on average. If you take good care of it and keep it well maintained, you can extend its lifespan by an extra 2 years.

Final Thoughts – How To Clean The Needle On A Keurig

Now that you know how to clean the needle on a Keurig all that is left is for you to do is to make sure that you have all the gear and equipment that you need. Cleaning vinegar is a substance that works much better than regular vinegar due to being more acidic, more concentrated.

It is the acidity that breaks down mineral and calcium build up.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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