What Does Descale Mean On a Keurig? (Explained!)

You just bought a new Keurig coffee maker, and you noticed the “add water” and “descale” lights. The add water light is pretty self-explanatory, but what does the descale light mean?

What Does Descale Mean On a Keurig?

The descale light indicates when your Keurig needs to be cleaned. When you have used your Keurig for a while, the water flowing through the tubes will leave mineral deposits over time. Descaling your Keurig removes the buildup of mineral deposits and scale.

Calcium and scale build-up even faster if you use tap water, however, if you use filtered water all mineral deposits are filtered out of the water and you don’t need to descale as often.

Mineral deposits and limescale are not toxic, but if enough of them accumulate, they can affect the taste and temperature of your coffee and possibly break your coffee maker.

what does descale mean on a keurig

How To Descale Your Keurig Coffee Maker?

With other coffee makers, you might just throw some vinegar in, rinse it a couple of times and call it a day. But with the newer Keurig models, you have to follow a whole descaling procedure before the descaling light will come off. Fortunately, This descaling process is quite simple.

I have written a descaling guide for all new Keurig models:

To descale your Keurig, I recommend using the Keurig Descaling Solution. It works perfectly for my Keurig.

How Often Does My Keurig Need Descaling?

When your Keurig coffee maker starts making some more noise or the coffee starts tasting different, you know it’s time to descale it. Keurig recommends descaling your coffee maker at least once every three months, especially when you’re using unfiltered water.

If you use your Keurig a lot, it needs to be descaled more often. The descaling light comes in handy here because it comes on after 250 brews. So depending on how much you use your Keurig, you may need to descale it more often than once every three months.

If you’re using soft filtered water you only need to descale your Keurig about once a year.

What Happens If You Don’t Descale Your Keurig?

If you don’t descale your Keurig for a while, mineral deposits accumulate in the tubes. This can restrict the flow of water and even block it. When this is the case, you will only get half a cup of coffee because the coffeemaker cannot pass more water through.

Lime scale can also affect the taste of your coffee, it will taste more bitter and there will be no crema.

The Descale Light Stays On

Like I said before, with the Keurig K-Express and some other newer models like the K-Supreme and K-Slimyou need to put the coffee maker in “descale mode” and go through the whole process before the light goes out and you can make a cup of coffee again.

The descaling procedure to follow did come with the original manual when you first bought your Keurig machine.

Make sure to not open the lid or to remove the water tank while in descaling mode. This will cancel the descale mode and you will have to do it all over again. Also don’t touch any other buttons than described above, as this could also put your coffee maker out of descaling mode.

If that doesn’t work the easiest way to fix it is to do the whole descale procedure again. But this time you can just use water for all the steps since you’ve actually already descaled your coffee maker.

I wrote a guide on how to turn the descaling light off for every model:

Conclusion

Now you know what the descaling light is and how to descale your Keurig!

In summary, The descale light indicates when your Keurig needs to be cleaned. When you have used your Keurig for a while, the water flowing through the tubes will leave mineral deposits over time. Descaling your Keurig removes the buildup of mineral deposits and scale.

Thanks for reading!