Keurig Clogged Needle - How To Clean Needle With Paper Clip

Keurig Clogged Needle – How To Clean Needle With Paper Clip

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:20

 Knowing how to clean a Keurig clogged needle will save you from the trouble of annoying the call service staff, getting service specialist to call out or bugging that handyman in your family.

When you have cleaned your clogged needle, keeping it clean and clear will ensure you keep getting a top quality cup of coffee.

Keep reading for the easy methods to keep your clogged Keurig needle clean.

Keurig Clogged Needle – Why Keurig Needle Maintenance Is Important

There are two needles in your Keurig coffee machine, the exit needle and the entrance needle, both of which function simultaneously.

Entrance Needle: This is a sharp needle that punctures a hole in your K-Cups at the top and into the bed of ground coffee inside.

Exit Needle: This punctures a hole at the bottom of the K-Cup and is the needle that your brewed coffee flows through and eventually makes its way into your cup of coffee.

If you do not perform some basic regular maintenance, either the exit or entrance needle, or both, will become blocked by either the buildup of mineral deposits or coffee grounds and block the flow of water.

Cleaning your machine is easy – even if you have lost the specialized needle cleaning tool that comes with your coffee maker.

Since it only takes about 5 minutes, I advise you to clean both needles at least every other week.

Keurig Clogged Needle
A Clogged Needle In Your Keurig Is Annoying

Read: How to unclog Keurig needle

How Do I Know When It Is Time To Clean The Needles?

You will know that it is time for some Keurig needle maintenance and clean them when:

  • Starts to spit out coffee.
  • You are only getting half a cup of coffee.
  • The coffee is dripping out.
  • You are getting an empty cup.

Generally speaking, you will notice a restriction in the flow of coffee filtering down and into your coffee mug. If and when you notice any of these signs don’t delay in fixing the blockage as the pressure will build up and damage your machine.

Do I Need Any Special Equipment For Needle Cleaning The Needles?

While there is a proper needle maintenance tool that comes with your machine it is easily lost, you can buy a replacement one online from Alibaba, eBay and specialist outlets.

Pro Tip: When you get a new machine or still have your needle cleaning tool tape it to the side of your brewer! It will serve as a reminder to clean your machine and where it is.

A great alternative that is 100% optional is the brewers’ maintenance kit by Keurig, a set of disposable rinse pods and works equally well with a Keurig 1.0 and a Keurig 2.0.

If money is tight, don’t worry, a simple and humble regular paper clip will get the job done just as well as anything else that you will find.

Cleaning Pods For A Keurig
Cleaning Pods For A Keurig

Read: How to perform needle maintenance on a Keurig

How To Clean The Needle In A Keurig With The Needle Maintenance Tool

Switch off, unplug and properly power down your coffee machine to eliminate the probability of any nasty shocks and locate the specialized needle cleaning tool.

Fill the special cleaning tool with water. Now open the brew head of your Keurig and carefully slot your cleaning tool into the pod holder. Make sure the arrows are pointing in your direction while the bright green power button indicator is aligned to the right-hand side.

Now properly close the brew lever and perform an open and closing cycle 5 or 6 times. The repetitive opening and closing of the brew lever pumps and cleans the needles in your coffee maker.

Open up the brew head lever again and remove the cleaning pod. You should see some debris and old coffee grounds. Now run 3 to 5 brew cycles with fresh clean water to ensure that all the dirt has been flushed out.

Cleaning A Keurig Clogged With A Paper Clip

Unplug your machine to avoid any unpleasant shocks. Open the brew head and look for the entrance needle, it is on the top of the machine. Using your straightened-out paperclip insert it into the needle and use a gentle forwards and backwards, in and out motion of poking the needle.

Be careful, don’t poke around aggressively and keep it in your mind that this needle is sharp.

When you have removed all the grime, dirt, old coffee and what may be blocking or clogging the needle, close the brew head. Run 3 to 5 brewing cycles with water only to flush out the loose dirt.

Cleaning Keurig Needle With A Paper Clip
Cleaning Keurig Needle

Read: Keurig needle maintenance

Cleaning Your Keurig Without A Tool – Using The Keurig Rinse Pods

To be clear, these rinse pods are not designed for needle cleaning as such, but do help to keep your machine in order and prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. The are good at getting loose dirt and coffee grounds clear but not the “caked and baked” in dirt.

These are more of a maintenance tool to clean your machines pipes and tubes than unclogging the needles.

These work the same way that a regular K-cup coffee pod does; pop one in your machine and run a brew cycle for a regular 240 ml (8 oz) cup of coffee and have your mug ready to catch the liquid that pours out.

Frequently Asked Questions About Keurig Clogged Needle

Why Does My Keurig Needle Keep Getting Clogged?

A Keurig K-Cup coffee maker gets clogged for two main reasons: the build up of mineral deposits due to hard water in the tubing and tiny parts of coffee grounds building up.

Good preventative measures can prevent this from happening. Use filtered water and regularly cleaning your machine with white distilled vinegar every other week will stop the buildup of minerals and will clear and clean your clogged needle and keep it clear.

How Do You Fix A Keurig That Won’t Brew A Full Cup?

If your Keurig is not brew a full cup, it is highly likely that there is some kind of blockage somewhere be it the tubing or the nozzle.

Clean your machine with distilled white vinegar or descaling solution, both of which will clear and dissolve anything that is blocking your coffee maker.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than the cure, so, with that in mind, always use filtered water in your machine to prevent the build up of mineral deposits.

Can You Take Apart A Keurig To Clean it?

Yes, you can take your Keurig brewer apart to clean it if you want to, but it is not necessary as when you clean with a descaling solution or white vinegar you will get every part just as clean.

Can You Replace The Needle In A Keurig?

Yes, you buy and replace the needle and other parts of a Keurig. It is a lot more difficult to find an exit needle replacement than a puncture needle replacement.

You will find the replacement parts on eBay and Alibaba and will probably need to replace the whole pod holder unit.

How Do I Put My Keurig In Descale Mode?

Activating the descale mode is easy. Have your machine plugged in but powered off. Press and hold both the 8 ounce and 12 ounce buttons for 3 seconds. When they start to flash, press the brew button. This will start the process of descaling your Keurig.

Can Vinegar Ruin A Keurig?

Good question! White vinegar will not damage or ruin your Keurig machine. The solution has high enough acidity to clean your machine and all the mechanisms but does not stay in your machine for that long as it flows through your coffee maker.


the vinegar is flushed out in an abundance with fresh water to get rid of the scent of coffee in your machine.

Final Thoughts – Keurig Clogged Needle

When you have a Keurig clogged needle you have three very easy and almost effortless methods to follow that will loosen the dirt, grime and anything that is causing the blockages. 

Which of the three methods did you use to fix your blocked needle? 

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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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