This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Descaling your Keurig K-Supreme Plus coffee maker is a crucial maintenance step for your machine. It’s the best way to ensure that your coffee keeps tasting delicious for years to come.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what descaling is and how to descale a Keurig K-Supreme Plus (or K-Supreme or K-Supreme Plus Smart). We’ll also answer some of the most common questions we get about Keurig descaling and offer more than a few helpful tips.
What Scale Is in a Keurig K-Supreme?
Scale is the build-up of hard water deposits in a coffee maker. Magnesium, calcium, and other minerals in your water get left behind in your Keurig, which can clog the machine and impact the flavor of the coffee.
You can tell if you have hard water because the water looks a bit milky when it first comes out of the faucet. If the faucets or shower heads in your home look a bit chalky, then that’s a pretty good indicator that you’ve got hard water running through your pipes.
All water has some amounts of mineral deposits, though, so there’s no way to avoid descaling forever. Even if you’re using filtered water, you probably have hard water build-up in your Keurig K-Supreme Plus coffee maker.
Cleaning Vs. Descaling Your Keurig K-Supreme Plus
It’s likely that you have some understanding of cleaning versus descaling your coffeemaker, just based on what we have already said about hard water deposits.
However, it’s worth mentioning the difference because you may have to clean your Keurig before you descale it in order to really clear its system out.
Cleaning it out might include simple steps, like removing the coffee pod from it. It can also include cleaning and wiping out any loose coffee grounds that might have escaped the pod. It also includes clearing any remaining coffee oils from the brewing chamber.
Basically, if your Keurig has a bit of “coffee grime” on it, you may need to both clean and descale it. While cleaning should be a daily occurrence, you only need to descale your Keurig every few months.
How To Descale A Keurig K-Supreme Plus
Step 1: Ready your machine
Descaling your Keurig K-Supreme Plus starts with you prepping the machine for the process. First, if you’ve used the machine within the past hour or so, you might want to wait a bit to allow it to cool down.
Second, if you haven’t removed any pods from the machine, now’s the time to do so. If you’re using a charcoal water filter in your reservoir, you’ll need to remove that, too. It usually requires a bit of a twisting motion to get the filter out.
Step 2: Add the cleaning solution
Pour in your descaling solution. If you bought Keurig’s descaling solution, just use it according to the instructions on the bottle. Otherwise, you can use a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Make sure you fill the reservoir to the top with whichever solution you are using.
Step 3: Catch the waste
Put a ceramic mug in the machine under the pod chamber, just like you were going to brew a cup of coffee. The bigger the mug, the better, as you’ll be emptying out the entire reservoir.
Step 4: Run the descale cycle
Make sure that your Keurig K-Supreme Plus is plugged in but turned off. Once that’s done, look on the top of the machine for the icons for the 12-ounce and the 8-ounce cups of coffee.
Press both of them down at once. You’ll keep these buttons pressed down for 3 seconds. If you don’t turn off the machine, you won’t access the descaling mode.
You’ll know it worked because the K-light at the top starts to blink. You’ll eventually get a light that says “descaling” at the top of the unit.
Hit the K-button once it lights up.
Think of this part as you brewing the nastiest-tasting cup of coffee you’ll ever brew, except instead of coffee, you’ll have descaling solution in your mug.
You may have to empty the mug about five times before the solution runs out.
Step 5: Rinse the machine
Once all the solution runs through the machine, a light will flash on the top. It reminds you to add water to the reservoir. To do this part, you’ll remove the reservoir and rinse it out several times to get the solution residue out of the tank.
Once that’s done, fill it with some fresh water. Don’t replace the filter just yet, though.
The K-light will turn back on. Press the light and fill the mug up. Again, you’ll do this about five times until the process completely empties the reservoir.
At this point, the machine may prompt you to add fresh water, but it will look like it’s turned off. Repeat the process again. You may want to rinse the reservoir out again once the process is done the second time. You don’t want to taste any vinegar or descaling solution residue in your next cup of coffee!
Step 6: Finish up
Turn on your Keurig K-Supreme Plus. You’ll see new neon lights this time, which read “strength” and “temperature.”
Replace the filter.
This process should reset the descale light on Keurig K-Supreme Plus.
How Often Should I Descale A Keurig K-Supreme Plus?
You’ll want to do this process at least once every 3–6 months. If you have very hard water in your area, then you may need to do it more often. You should also descale more often if you notice any change in the flavor of your coffee, if your Keurig is brewing slowly, or if your Keurig says prime.
How Will I Know If I Need to Descale?
The Keurig comes with a warning light of sorts. It sort of reminds me of a small neon sign. On the Keurig K-Supreme Plus, the warning light is on the top of the unit in plain sight.
Additionally, your unit may also take on that chalky look we spoke about. It’ll run less well. Water may also move slowly through the smaller parts of the unit.
A good thing to remember is that the hard water deposits eventually clog up the pipes in the unit, as well as the spouts. If your shower head has ever gotten clogged with hard water deposits, this phenomenon will probably look familiar to you.
Finally, the hard water gunk may directly affect your coffee-drinking experience. That is, the amount of coffee the Keurig produces, its flavor, or even its temperature may change. None of these changes will be for the better.
Do I Need a Special Descaling Solution?
You don’t typically need to use a special descaling solution. Many people just rely on a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. That should work fine for routine descaling, but vinegar may not be enough if you have a lot of buildup in your machine.
You can also buy a special Keurig descaling solution designed by the manufacturer. The argument for this is simple. Keurig created the solution to work specifically in its machine.
It’s a more heavy-duty mixture that can handle more buildup than white vinegar, and it’s also made to be gentler on Keurig’s pressurized pipes. If you do use the manufacturer’s descaling solution, be sure to follow the directions on the bottle to create the right mix.
For the best cup of coffee that gives you the power to scale mountains, be sure to descale your Keurig regularly. Hard water deposits on your Kuerig K-Supreme, K-Supreme Plus, or Keurig K-Supreme Plus Smart make your java taste funny and leave your machine running poorly.
Proper maintenance is important if you want to extend the life of your Keurig. Regardless of which Keurig you have, they all need a little bit of care to keep your favorite coffee k-cups brewing just right.