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how to clean a keurig needle

How To Clean A Keurig Needle? (Quick & Easy)

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If you own a Keurig, chances are you already know that they require a lot of ongoing maintenance to keep them in good working order.

These coffee pod machines are incredibly convenient, but it’s crucial to keep them well maintained and regularly cleaned. Otherwise, you risk the brewer clogging, or worse, the unit just refuses to operate; and they’re temperamental at the best of times.

An often overlooked part of the machine when you’re cleaning is needle maintenance. If you’ve popped a pod into the Keurig and noticed a slow stream of water coming out from your machine or no coffee coming out at all, then it’s likely the Keurig needle needs cleaning.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a complicated or expensive process. In this article, we will show you exactly how to unclog the needle without much effort or using any special tools.

Keurig Needle Maintenance

The Keurig needle is a vital machine component that punctures through the foil on the K-cups and into the ground coffee inside.

There are actually two needles working simultaneously, one that punctures a hole at the top of the K-cup (entrance needle) and another that makes a hole at the bottom (exit needle).

keurig entrance and exit needle locations

As you can imagine, over time, coffee grounds and other residues can build up in the needles, which can cause them to become clogged.

If regular maintenance and cleaning aren’t performed on this vital part of the machine, the water flow coming into the pods will reduce and even stop.

But don’t fret, keep on reading, and we’ll show you exactly how to keep them clean.

We recommend cleaning both the Keurig exit and entrance needle at least once a month as part of your regular cleaning regime.

It doesn’t even have to cost you any money. You can use a paper clip or spend a few dollars on a proper needle maintenance tool, both of which we will talk about in this article.

Just remember, this needle is very sharp, so take special care when you’re moving your hands around it. Plus, you don’t want to accidentally break it; the Keurig machine won’t work without that.

How Do You Know If You Need To Clean Your Keurig Needle?

There are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to do a thorough deep cleaning of your Keurig puncture needle.

Once one of the needles starts to become blocked, you will immediately begin to see a restricted flow of coffee filtering through into your cup. The machine may splutter, the K-cup could explode, and the machine may stop working altogether.

But all of this can be avoided if you carry out regular Keurig needle maintenance every couple of months.

Here’s how to do it.

What Will You Need For Needle Cleaning

The most thorough way to clean the entrance needle is by investing a few dollars on Keurig’s brewer maintenance tool. The good news is that this specialized tool comes with all Keurig 2.0 coffee brewers.

Another excellent alternative is Keurig’s very own brewer maintenance kit, which comes with a set of disposable rinse pods and works with both Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 machines.

But for those of you who don’t want to spend any money, a regular paper clip can be your saving grace if you suddenly discover your Keurig is blocked and not functioning as it should.

keurig needle cleaning tool

How To Clean The Needle In A Keurig

If you have Keurig’s brewer maintenance accessory tool follow the below maintenance instructions, and you’ll have the needle clean in no time at all.

  1. Make sure your Keurig unit is unplugged and powered down.
  2. Fill the brewer maintenance accessory tool with water.
  3. Open the Keurig brew head and slot in the cleaning tool into the pod holder. Double check that the arrow indicators are pointed towards you and the green power button indicator icon is aligned to the right.
  4. Next, close down the brew lever and then open and close five more times. This repetitive action is cleaning the needle inside of the Keurig K-cup machine.
  5. Once again, open the brewing compartment and remove the maintenance cleaning pod. If you look carefully, you should be able to see dirt, debris, and coffee grounds inside it.
  6. Finally, close the brew head lever and run three water cycles with clean water to ensure any grounds or dirt is completely flushed out of the machine.
📌 You might also like to read: Best Reusable K-Cups For Keurig Coffee Machines
📌 You might also like to read: Do K-Cups Expire? How Long Before They Go Bad

How To Clean Keurig Needle Without A Tool

If you own a Keurig 1.0 model, or you just don’t want to spend money on a specialized Keurig needle cleaning tool, no problem. Below are two quick and easy methods for cleaning your Keurig needle that is proven to work.

Needle Maintenance Using A Paper Clip

Keurig closeup needle clean

Make sure you have unplugged your Keurig coffee machine. Open the brew head and locate the entrance needle, which is located at the top. Gently push the paper clip through the holes on the needle using a back and forth motion.

Any debris, dirt, or coffee grounds should fall away from the needle. The needle is incredibly sharp, so work carefully.

Once you’re happy with the cleaning job and you think you’ve removed all the blockage, close the brew head and run the machine on a brewing cycle three times to flush out any loose dirt or grime that may still be trapped inside of the unit.

Keurig Rinse Pods

keurig rinse pods: keurig needle maintenance

The rinse pods aren’t made for Keurig needle cleaning per se, but they help reduce and assist in keeping dirt and debris at a minimum. Taking proactive steps such as this will ensure that your entrance and exit needles stay clean and unclogged.

The cleaning pods work just like any other K-cup; place one inside the holder and brew a regular 8-ounce cup as usual. Remove the rinse pod and run the machine through a cleaning cycle.

These pods also help keep the second needle clean, which is often prone to breaking and needing replacement.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this quick guide has set you on the right path to keep your Keurig coffee pod machine in good shape. And let’s be honest, Coffee machine cleaning and maintenance is one of those things none of us enjoy doing.

The Keurig needles may seem like a small, unimportant part of your machine, but they play a vital role in delivering coffee from the pod to your cup.

It literally takes five minutes to keep the needles maintained. If you add needle cleaning to your regular Keurig descaling and cleaning routine, you shouldn’t have any problems with a clogged needle or slow-flowing coffee coming out of your machine.

FAQs

📌 How Do I Change The Needle In My Keurig?

It’s doubtful that you will ever need to replace both needles on your Keurig coffee brewer, and more often than not, the machine comes to the end of its life before the needles start to fail.

However, the bottom compact needle can be prone to breaking or not puncturing as it should but changing it is a relatively straightforward process. Keurig needle replacements can be found online and are typically universal for the range, but double-check to ensure it’s suitable for your machine.

📌 Why Is Your Keurig Spitting Out Coffee Grounds?

The coffee grounds spitting out of the machine is often caused by coffee grounds or tea clogging the exit needle inside the brew head.

The clogging of the needle doesn’t allow for the water to exit the area after each brew cycle. Following our quick needle cleaning guide, you can prevent this from happening and grounds landing in your cup.

📌 How Often Should You Clean Your Keurig Needle?

We suggest that you clean both needles on your Keurig machine every month. It only takes five minutes. Being proactive by keeping your device in tip-top shape will ensure that it will continue to serve great-tasting coffee for years to come.

Mark Morphew

Mark is the editor and founder of the popular coffee blog Bean Ground. He's been active in the catering and hospitality industry for many years.

When he's not fiddling around with a new coffee gadget, you'll find him busy doing DIY projects around the home and taking his German Shepherd for a walk, who funnily enough is called Kona! Discover more about Mark here.

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