Keurig Says Descale But Won't Brew - What And What To Do!

Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew – Why And What To Do!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 18:23

If your Keurig says descale but won’t brew, it is highly probable that there is a blockage in your coffee maker somewhere, and you need to give your coffee maker a good quality deep clean.

One of the advantages of going through a quality clean of your machine, the injection tubes and the needles is you will get your Keurig coffee maker brewing coffee that is just as good as it was when you first bought it.

Keep reading for more details about a deep descaling process, cleaning your injection tubes and how to reset your machine if you really need to.

Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew

The reason the descale light is on and your Keurig coffee maker won’t brew is due to the water lines and needles having too much dirt and grime building up inside the internal tubing.

The excess build-up of dirt and gunk is usually mineral deposits, calcium and limescale build-up as well as loose coffee grounds, air bubbles and coffee oils.

As great as your machine is, it won’t tell you what is clogging your machine, only that the flow of water has been inhibited, and it is affecting the brewing process.

Look for tell-tale signs like sediment in your water reservoir, a thin layer of chalky white residue around the sides. The cause of this is your water supply. Limescale build-up and calcium build-up are the most common reason that your descale light is on.

If you have an excessive gunk build-up, you will need to run a particularly strong descaling process using Keurigs descaling solution or running a descaling cycle using a 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% water solution.

You may even need to run a descaling cycle two or three times with your water reservoir full.

Before you start your descaling process and put your Keurig into descale mode, focus on your needles and give both of them a real good clean. Use both a fine needle or paper clip and the needle maintenance tool that came with your machine.

Once you have cleaned and cleared the needles and run the descaling process at least twice. Rinse it well, very well with fresh water by filling the water reservoir at least 3 to 5 times until the scent of vinegar has disappeared.

This should descale your coffee machine and clear the blockages. Now proceed to cleaning all the removable parts like the drip tray and the water tank and consider changing the water filter if it is dirty.

Keurig Says Descale But Won't Brew
Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew

Read: How to reset Keurig after descaling

Keurig Still Says Descale After Descaling

If you have followed the instructions above and given your coffee machine a full and proper descale and cleaned and cleared any blockages in your needles and the descale light is still on run a few more rinsing cycles with a full water tank of fresh water.

Press the brew button to run the flushing cycles. If after 2 or 3 more full tanks of water and the light is still saying descale reset your machine.

Unplug it and wait 15 minutes, then replug your machine. Another way of resetting your machine after descaling is to hold the 8 ounce and 10 ounce buttons for 3 seconds at the same time.

Keurig Reset Descale Light

The way in which Keurig recommends that you reset your Keurig coffee maker is to hold down the 8 ounce and 10 ounce buttons for 3 seconds.

You can also unplug your Keurig coffee maker and wait for 15 minutes, and then plug it back in.

Descale Light On Keurig Won’t Go Off

The most common reason for the descaling light not going off is because the descaling process has not been completed.

Even if you have run a full cycle with a concentrated solution of 50% water and 50% distilled white vinegar or two or more bottles of Keurigs descale solution and cleaned blockages in your needles, there may still be an excess buildup of coffee grounds, grime and mineral deposits restricting the water flow.

Run a second deep descale with a water tank full of vinegar and water in equal amounts. This time clean and unblock both of your needles using a paper clip or sewing needle. This time, use the Keurig needle maintenance tool and fill it with 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% hot water (as hot as possible!) and open and close the lid of your Keurig 5 to 7 times.

This will give your needles a really good deep clean. When you have cleaned the needles run the descaling cycle and flush with 3 to 5 water tanks full of fresh tap water.

This process will also clean and clear the injection tubes which often become blocked.

Frequently Asked Questions About Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew

 If your Keurig coffee machine is not brewing after you run a full descale cycle, have a look at the needles. It will probably be that the entry and exit needles are blocked.

Use the descaling pod that came with your coffee maker and fill it with warm water. Then open and close the lid 5 or 6 times. If this doesn’t clean the entrance needle and the exit needle, make a second attempt with a 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% warm water and repeat.

If your entrance needle and exit needle are still blocked, use a very fine sewing needle or an unfolded paper clip and poke around inside both needles. Then repeat the cleaning process using your needle maintenance tool and warm water.

Run a full descaling cycle again and rinse well.

If you have already descaled your coffee machine, switch off and unplug your brewer and wait for about 10 to 15 minutes. While you are waiting, throw out any descaling solution that is in your water reservoir and give it a good clean.

Refill your water reservoir with fresh water. Plug your brewer back in, switch it on and repeat the fresh water rinsing cycle. Your Keurig coffee brewer should start to work as it should.

Read: Keurig K-Duo descale light won’t turn off

If your Keurig coffee makers descale light is still on, it may be that your machine has a particularly large build-up of mineral deposits, lime scale and coffee grinds and oils.

Run a second descaling cycle, but this time focus on the needles and give them a good cleaning using both the needle maintenance tool and a fine sewing needle to poke around inside the entry and exit needles to clean any blockage.

When you are finished, empty the water reservoir after descaling and run 3 to 5 brewing cycles using fresh water to rinse the scent and taste of vinegar from your coffee maker.

One of the big tell-tale signs is your Keurig stops brewing a full cup of coffee. When this happens, remove all the removable parts and give them a good clean with hot water and soap. Clean and unblock the needles and proceed to descale your Keurig brewer.

Yes, but to a point where the internal pipes start to get blocked and either fail to brew a cup of coffee altogether or brew a smaller cup, or half a cup of coffee. By the time the descale indicator light comes on your machine is already dirty and brewing coffee that is less than perfect.

Don’t skip regular cleaning and descaling. I consider the regular cleaning and descaling as a preventative maintenance and run a descale cycle every other week. This way I keep my machine in prime and optimal condition for brewing coffee.

Read: Keurig descale light stays on

Star a brew cycle without putting a K-cup in the machine. Repeat until the contents of your water reservoir is empty. This will simply rinse your machine. I advise a complete descale to give your machine a proper clean internally since it has not been in use for a while.

Final Thoughts – Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew 

If you Keurig says descale but won’t brew, you now know what it is that you need to do to solve this problem. To help keep your Keurig coffee maker in prime condition, I advise pre-filtering your water by using one of the many water jugs with a built-in water filter and using it to fill the water tank of your coffee machine.

This extra step is effortless and helps to reduce the scale build-up in your machine.

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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 Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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