Learning how to perform needle maintenance on a Keurig is something very important if you are one of the 25 million homes in America that own a Keurig.
Learning some very simple maintenance tasks that your grandfather can do with one eye shut in 5 mins will help to make sure that your Keurig brews great-tasting coffee every single time when you conduct bi-monthly coffee machine cleaning and maintenance of the needle to prevent the buildup of limescale, mineral deposits and old coffee.
If you are klutz at DIY and don’t know a screwdriver from a spanner you have nothing to worry about, no skills and no tools are required to conduct these simple regular maintenance tasks on what is a very popular coffee machine.
Keep reading to learn how to perform needle maintenance on your Keurig.
How To Perform Needle Maintenance On A Keurig – What is Keurig Needle?
Starting at the very beginning and what a Keurig needle is. To be more exact, there are two needles, an exit needle and an entrance needle which function together at the same time.
Let’s talk about the two needles.
- The Exit Needle: The function of the exit needle, which is located at the bottom of the K-Cups, is to puncture a hole and aid the flow of the brewed coffee from your K-Cup coffee pod into your cup of coffee.
- The Entrance Needle: This sharp metal entrance needle is a puncture needle that pierces your K-Cup coffee pod at the top and directly into the bed of ground coffee providing an inlet for the hot water to brew your coffee.
Both are hollow needles and can be described as puncture needles as they both provide this action. Be careful when handling them as they are sharp needles.
If you fail to conduct regular Keurig needle maintenance and regular maintenance on your coffee maker, they will eventually become blocked with the buildup of old coffee grounds or mineral deposits from your water.
Like all maintenance routines, preventative maintenance is best. It is better to prevent something from happening than retrospectively fixing it.
You have many options regarding how you maintain your needles. A good basic way is using the specialized needle cleaning tool that comes with your machine. If you still have it, tape it to the side or back of your coffee maker so that you do not lose it.
Read: Keurig clogged needle
Why Performing Keurig Needle Maintenance Is Important
All coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts want their coffee pod machine to perform perfectly every time and produce a great tasting cup of coffee. This alone makes taking care of the entrance needle and exit needle essential.
Failing to do this, you will end up with old coffee grounds getting stuck in the needle and tubing which will contribute to a lesser quality cup of coffee. The buildup of lime and calcium will all have a detrimental effect on the flavor and taste of your coffee.
The fact that the needles are in contact with coffee grounds and hot water on a daily basis means they will get clogged regularly if you don’t perform some basic preventative maintenance.
Signs That Tell You When To Perform Keurig Needle Maintenance Urgently!
There are a few signs to look out for that will tell you that you need to perform some needle maintenance and needle cleaning.
- Slow-flowing coffee.
- Machine spitting out coffee.
- Half cup of coffee or even an empty cup of coffee.
- Your Keurig coffee brewer is leaking before the brew cycle.
- Your Keurig is leaking after the brewing cycle.
- You notice some odd noises from your machine and no coffee comes out.
- You are not getting great-tasting coffee.
- You notice a warning sign of there being too much water pressure.
If you notice any of the signs above, take immediate action and clean your needles. The goal of preventative maintenance is to prevent any of the above signs from happening.
How To Perform Needle Maintenance On A Keurig With The Needle Maintenance Tool
The first and most important thing is to switch off your coffee machine and unplug it. This will ensure you don’t get any nasty shocks.
Search and find your specialized needle cleaning tool and fill it with warm water and open up the brew head and carefully slot it into the pod holder while ensuring the arrows are pointing in your direction while the green power button is positioned to the right.
This next step is easy and does the cleaning for you. Properly and securely close the brew lever and open and close it again five to six times.
Don’t use a half-hearted pumping quick opening and closing, it’s not a race. Open and close it properly 5 to 6 times.
This will clean the needles. When you open up you will see some old coffee grounds and other dirt and grime.
Simply run 3 to 5 brew cycles with only fresh water to flush the needles and ensure no dirt gets into your next cup of coffee. This is a very easy way of both cleaning the needles of dirt and maintaining them in perfect working order.
Perform this simple and effortless action once every other week to keep your gear in perfect working order.
Performing Maintenance Using Keurig Rinse Pods
Strictly speaking, these rinse pods are not designed for needle maintenance or needle cleaning. They do have the effect of cleaning the needles as a secondary effect, more so when you keep your machine and needles well maintained.
I suggest you use this method in conjunction with the process above of using the special cleaning tool that comes with your machine for a proper internal clean of your coffee maker.
Take the proactive step of keeping your needles and your machine in perfect working order and your entrance and exit needles will always be clean, clear and unclogged.
Simply put your cleaning pod in the same place where you would put a regular K-cup, in the pod holder and run a brew cycle as you normally would for an 8 ounce (240 ml) cup.
Then remove the Keurig rinse pod and run 3 to 5 flush cycles of running just hot water through your machine.
The reason I suggest cleaning with the rinse pods after you use the above step of cleaning with the specialist tool is because the pods are very good at helping to keep the exit needle clean and clear.
Performing Needle Maintenance Using A Regular Paper Clip
If you have lost the special tool for cleaning the needles, don’t worry as there are a number of alternative tools that you can use including a toothpick, needle, safety pin, and a regular paper clip.
Ensure that your machine is switched off and unplugged for safety reasons.
Open up the brew head and find the entrance needle, which is very easy to find. It’s on top of the part you open. Gently insert your straightened-up paper clip into the opening of the needle and poke around to remove blockages and dirt.
Debris and coffee grounds should start to drop and fall. This needle is very sharp, so be careful. When you are confident that you have all the dirt cleared, stop poking around.
Since there is some dirt stuck in the needle that you have loosened, it would be a great idea at this point to run a cleaning cycle using the rinsing pods and then run 3 to 5 rinsing cycles to flush the machine.
Using the rinsing pods will help to give your machine a good internal clean.
Using White Vinegar For Needle Maintenance
Like all 3 methods above, this is quick, easy and effortless.
Give your water reservoir a good clean and add 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% fresh clean water and fill to the max fill line.
Have a large container ready to catch the solution and press brew and run as many brew cycles as needed until your machine is empty of the water-vinegar solution.
Then rinse your water reservoir well and let it air dry.
Fill your water reservoir 3 to 5 times and run the required amount of brew cycles to flush your machine of the vinegar solution and scent of vinegar.
Brew a test cup of coffee and find out.
Cleaning your Keurig machine will also clean the needles, tubes and all internal parts. It works as a great preventative measure if and when you do this every other week.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Perform Needle Maintenance On A Keurig
How Do You Unclog A Keurig 2.0 Needle?
There are a few methods that are very effective for cleaning a Keurig 2.0 needle. You can use the proper needle maintenance tool, fill it with warm water and insert it into your Keurig machine and open and close the brew head lever repeatedly 5 or 6 times. The action of opening and closing will clean the needles.
Try the paper clip method and use a regular paper clip, insert it into the tube at the bottom of your pod holder and poke around to loosen dirt and grime. Perform this poking action for 20 to seconds on the exit needles.
A third option is to use the special cleaning pods for rinsing out your machine of dirt. A fourth option and my favorite is to use a 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% clean water solution and run a descaling cycle.
After all unclogging methods rinse your machine with an abundance of water and run 3 to 5 brew cycles with only water.
Why Does My Keurig Needle Keep Getting Clogged?
If your Keurig needle keeps on getting clogged, it will most probably be because the water that you are using is hard water or high in mineral content. The elevated levels of minerals and calcium are building up in your machine and blocking it.
Or you are using your machine a lot and old coffee grounds are building up and causing your needle to get blocked.
It is happening too often filter your water before you add it to your Keurig brewer and run preventative maintenance by cleaning your machine every other week with distilled white vinegar.
How Do You Fix A Clogged Keurig?
The easiest and most effortless way of fixing a clogged Keurig is to fill the water reservoir with a 50% distilled vinegar and 50% water solution to the max fill line and run a descaling cycle.
When complete, run a minimum of 3 to 5 rinsing cycles of clean tap water in your machine to get rid of the scent and any trace of vinegar.
Why Is My Keurig Not Punching Hole In Bottom?
The first step is to open the machine where you put your K-Cups and inspect the entrance needle and exit needle. Take advantage of the opportunity to clean both needles and to give your machine a real good clean, including the needles and the internal tubes.
The likely cause of your needle not puncturing or punching a hole in your coffee pods is a broken or bent needle, or you just simply have a blunt exit needle. Both the entrance and exit needle over time will lose its sharpness.
You can buy replacement parts from Keurig directly or from all the usual outlets online like Amazon, eBay or Alibaba.
How Long Do Keurigs Last?
A Keurig will last you from three to five years at least. If you take good care of it like cleaning it properly and using filtered water, you can extend the lifespan of your machine by up to 2 years at least.
Preventing hard water from getting into various parts of your machine, like the heating element, extends its life. Of course during that time you will need to replace the needle, and some other basic inexpensive parts like the pod holder and perhaps even the heating element, all of which is easy to replace and are super cheap.
What Is The Orange Thing For My Keurig?
The orange thing that comes with your Keurig is for needle maintenance. Keep it in a safe place so that you don’t lose it.
I tape mine to the side of my machine.
Final Thoughts – How To Perform Needle Maintenance On A Keurig
When you know how to perform needle maintenance on a Keurig you can, and will, know how to keep it in perfect condition and serving you great coffee day after day. Good maintenance will also help you to prolong the life of your machine.
You have no excuses for not keeping your machine and your needle well maintained – you have 4 easy and effortless methods to choose from.
Which of the 4 maintenance methods will you be using?
Or do you have your own secret method that you want to share with us?
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