How To Unclog Keurig Needle - Keurig Needle Maintenance

How To Unclog Keurig Needle – Keurig Needle Maintenance

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:19

Learning how to unclog a Keurig needle and performing essential Keurig needle maintenance will find many problems that you might be facing and has the potential to improve the flavor of your coffee slightly.

In this article I detail two methods and show you how to clean Keurig needle with a paper clip and how to clean and unclog it without using any tools.

Keep reading for the step by step detail.

How To Unclog Keurig Needle – How To Clean Keurig Needle With A Paper Clip

When you find your Keurig coffee maker spluttering, brewing partially or half full cups of coffee the most probable cause is clogged needles.

Thankfully, cleaning them is quick and easy and doesn’t require too much skill or effort and should take you as little as 5 or 6 minutes. All that is needed is the simplest of tools – a regular paper clip, and clean hot water.

Step 1: Switch Off Your Machine And Unplug It

For safety reasons, switch off your device, unplug it and wait a few minutes for any capacitors to discharge.

Step 2: Remove Your Pod Holder

You need to remove the pot holder from your Keurig machine. This is very easily done and is designed to be as simple as can be. Locate the handle on your Keurig and lift it in the same way as if you were going to put a K-cup in to your machine. Grab the pod holder by the top with one hand and with your other hand push the pod holder in an upwards direction from underneath.

For clarification, the pod holder is where you put your K-Cups.

Keurig Needle Maintenance Tips
Keurig Pod Holder

Read: Keurig clogged needle

Step 3: Take The Funnel Out Of The Pod Holder

Inside the pod hold is a small funnel – remove it. Hold the top of your pod holder with one hand and with the other slide or pull the two apart.

The funnel is at the bottom of your pod holder and is a little difficult to separate the first time. If they are stuck together, run them under hot water to help them to slide apart easier.

Step 4: Unclog The Needles

Insert a clean metal paper clip into the small tube that is at the bottom of your pod holder. To clean and unblock your exit needle, turn the pod holder upside down. Use a straightened-out paperclip and carefully insert it into the small tube.

Move the paper clip around inside the tube for a minute to free any dirt and old coffee that has built up near the exit needle.

It is not possible for you to poke around too much or all the way, when you meet resistance don’t push too hard.

Step 5: Rinse Out Your Pod Holder

Rinse your pod holder with tap water. When you are rinsing the two parts, use a clean sponge to soften and wipe off any grime. Rinsing will also help to keep your exit needle clean.

You can also go a step further and clean your pod holder and the funnel either by hand or in your dishwasher. If you are using a dishwasher, use the top rack. When you are finished cleaning them, set them out on a tower to air dry.

Step 6: Look For The Entrance Needle

The entrance needle is found under the brewer head. Just lift the handle to open up where you put your K-Cup Pods. You will see the entrance needle on the underside of the top half of your coffee machine.

Look closely, and you will see openings on both sides. Since this needle is sharp be careful.

Keurig Entrance Needle
Keurig Entrance Needle

Read: Keurig needle maintenance

Step 7: Remove Particles With A Paper Clip

You can remove the dirt from the entrance needle with a clean metal paperclip. Take the paper clip that you used earlier and insert it into both of the openings of the needles. Move it around well to displace it caked in grime.

Step 8: Finish Cleaning

Put your pod holder and the small funnel back together and wait patiently until your pod holder is dry. Align the side slots and push the two parts together until you hear a click.

Step 9: Put The Pod Holder Back Into Your Coffee Maker

Put your pod holder back into your machine. Align the tabs on your newly cleaned pod holder with the matching openings.

Make sure the pod holder has the side that has the two tabs is on the bottom and the side with just one tab is on the top. Once it is aligned, push gently until it snaps into position.

You should notice a white arrow on the rim of the holder; this should be on to and in centered.

Step 10: Run 2 or 3 Water Only Brew Cycles

Run 2 or 3 water only brewing cycles. Place a large coffee mug to catch the water. Fill the water reservoir with fresh clean water and start a brew cycle. Repeat the cycle two or three times to flush away the grime and dirt that you were poking and scraping at.

When your rinse cycle is finished, make a test cup of coffee and enjoy.

Keurig Architecture
Keurig Internal Diagram

How To Perform Needle Maintenance On Keurig Without Tool

Don’t worry if you have lost the special tool that comes with your Keurig for cleaning it. You can clean both the exit needle and the entrance needle with a toothpick, a sewing needle and even a regular paper clip.

This method is going to clean your Keurig needle without any of the above tools or adapted tools.

Hang on, I’ll get to it in a second.

When your machine is leaking water, spitting out loose coffee grounds and making a half cup of coffee is a clear sign that you need to clean or unclog the needle.

If you follow this technique, you will easily rid your need of debris without using a specialized needle cleaning tool.

How To Unclog Keurig Needle Without A Paper Clip Or Tool

For this tool free and paper clip free method you will need one key and very important item which is distilled white vinegar.

The amount to use in most cases is 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% fresh clean water. If your machine is particularly dirty, use a 75% white vinegar solution.

Always add your water first and then add your white vinegar and give the water and vinegar a good stir.

Simply remove your water reservoir, clean it and add the water and vinegar solution to the now freshly cleaned water reservoir and run a brew cycle until it is empty.

The vinegar will have the effect of giving your Keurig a good proper clean, removing all dirt, grime and mineral buildup. It will also unclog the needle and kill any bacteria, mold and germs lurking in your machine.

Once your water reservoir is clean, give it a real good clean with soap and water and rinse it with an abundance and let it air dry – this part air drying is very important. Don’t skip it.

When your reservoir is clean and dry, reattach it to your Keurig and fill it with fresh clean water. Run a rinse cycle to clean the vinegar from inside your machine. Run 3 to 5 cycles of filling your reservoir with water to rinse it completely!

The goal is to rid your machine of the scent of vinegar so that it does not get into your next cup of coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Unclog Keurig Needle

How Often Should You Clean Your Keurig Needle?

I suggest that you give both the needles on your Keurig machine at least every other week to prevent it from clogging up and keep serving you good, clean and great tasting coffee every single time.

How Do I Change The Needle In My Keurig?

It is unlikely that you will need to replace both of the needles on your coffee brewer as your machine is likely to breakdown and be replaced long before you need to switch out both needles.


the compact needle at the bottom does break or fail to puncture as you would expect it to from time to time. Thankfully switching it out and changing it is a straightforward process. You can find needle replacements online; just make sure it is a suitable needle for your machine.

Why Is Your Keurig Spitting Out Coffee Grounds?

The reason that coffee grounds are spitting out of your machine is because the exit needle which is inside the brew head is blocked with coffee grounds.

Why Does My Keurig Needle Keep Getting Clogged?

Your Keurig coffee maker‘s needle gets clogged due to the coffee grounds getting stuck there and the build up of mineral deposits and lime scale which make their way to the needle.

Due to being very fine, Keurig coffee machines need to be cleaned more often than other coffee machines.

How Do You Unclog A Keurig With Vinegar?

Full your reservoir with a mix of 50% water and 50% distilled white vinegar and run a cleaning cycle. If you have not cleaned your machine for a while, you may need to run a few more cycles to get it perfectly clean.

How Long Do You Let Vinegar Sit In Keurig?

I don’t advise leaving vinegar to sit in your machine for long; 30 mins is long enough. When you use vinegar in your machine, it is very important that you rinse with an abundance of clean water to remove any trace and scent of the vinegar.

Final Thoughts – How To Unclog Keurig Needle

Since you have read this far and know how to unclog Keurig needle with two different techniques, the famous paper clip method and the deep cleaning method with distilled white vinegar. 

Which of these two methods do you use? Which do you prefer? 

Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your coffee creations, recipes, ideas and coffee morning selfies. 

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

Blogarama - Blog Directory