how to descale keurig k express

How To Descale Keurig K-Express (in Easy Steps)

If you’re reading this, you probably have a Keurig K-Express coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter. Isn’t it just the best thing since sliced bread? It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it makes a mean cup of joe. But here’s the thing – like any trusty sidekick, your Keurig needs a little TLC to keep it in tip-top shape. And that’s where descaling comes in.

Now, you might be thinking, “Descaling? Sounds like a job for a professional.” But trust me, it’s easier than you think. Descaling is just a fancy term for giving your Keurig a deep clean. It gets rid of any mineral buildup inside your machine, ensuring your coffee always tastes fresh and your Keurig runs smoothly.

So, whether you’re a Keurig newbie or a seasoned pro, this guide is for you. We’re going to walk you through the whole descaling process, step by step.

Let’s get started!

Signs Your Keurig Express Needs Descaling

Just like your car gives you a heads-up when it’s time for an oil change, your Keurig K-Express will also let you know when it’s time for a descale. The K-Express has a handy descale light that will come on to alert you.

Keurig Express Descale Light

But sometimes, there are other signs that your Keurig might need a little extra love.

What You’ll Need

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, let’s make sure you have everything you need to descale your Keurig K-Express. Here’s your checklist:

Step-by-Step Guide to Descaling Keurig K Express

Just follow these steps, and your Keurig will be back to brewing the perfect cup of coffee in no time. 

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Preparing Your Coffee Maker

First, pour the entire bottle of Keurig® Descaling Solution bottle into the empty water reservoir. Then, fill the same bottle with water and pour it into the reservoir.

How To Clean and Descale Keurig K-Express

Make sure you don’t have a K-Cup® pod in the holder. Place a large mug on the drip tray, and you’re all set for the next step.

Step 2: Descaling Your Coffee Maker

Now, it’s time to start the descaling process. With your coffee maker plugged in and powered off, press and hold the 8 oz and 12 oz buttons together for 3 seconds. This will activate the Descale Mode.

When the buttons start flashing, press the 12 oz button to kick off the descaling process.

How To Clean and Descale Keurig K-Express

After each brew, pour the hot liquid into the sink. Keep repeating this until the only ADD WATER light comes on.

Step 3: Fresh Water Rinse

Once you’ve finished the descaling process, it’s time to clean Keurig Express.

Empty the water reservoir and refill it with fresh water to the MAX fill line.

How To Clean and Descale Keurig K-Express

Press the 12 oz button to start the rinsing process when the buttons start flashing again.

How To Clean and Descale Keurig K-Express

After each brew, pour the hot liquid into the sink. Keep repeating this until the DESCALE light turns off.

And voila! Your Keurig K-Express has now been descaled and is ready to brew delicious coffee.


During the descaling process, you might notice your Keurig K-Express producing foam. Don’t panic! This is completely normal. The foam is just the result of the descaling solution reacting with the calcium deposits (the scale) inside your coffee maker.

If your Keurig is heavily scaled, you might run into a little hiccup where it doesn’t fill correctly once the descaler is added. If this happens, here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, turn off your Keurig and unplug it.
  2. If there’s any descaling solution left in the reservoir, get rid of it. Give the reservoir a good rinse and then refill it with water.
  3. Plug your Keurig back in, power it on, and repeat Step 3: Fresh Water Rinse.

If you’re still having trouble, give your Keurig a little break. Leave it unplugged for about 30 minutes before trying the rinse again.

Problems Facing After Descaling K Express

So, you’ve followed all the steps, but you’re still having some issues with your Keurig K-Express. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Descaling can sometimes bring to light other issues that were hiding under the surface. But fear not, we’ve got you covered.

One common issue you might face is the descale light that won’t turn off. This can be frustrating, especially after you’ve just finished descaling. But don’t worry, there are a few tricks you can try to get that light to turn off.

Another problem you might encounter is your Keurig K-Express not pumping water or coffee. This can be due to a number of reasons, from a clogged needle to a problem with the water pump. But don’t fret, there are solutions for these issues too.

Do’s and Don’ts of Descaling

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you along the way:


Descale Regularly: Aim to descale your machine every three months or whenever you notice a dip in performance. This frequency might vary depending on the hardness of your water.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Each coffee maker model might have a slightly different descaling process. Always stick to the recommended procedure for your specific model.

Use the Right Descaling Solution: Different coffee makers might require different descaling solutions. For Keurig machines, it’s best to use the Keurig Descaling Solution.

Rinse Thoroughly: After descaling, give your coffee maker a good rinse to make sure no residue is left behind that could mess with the taste of your coffee.

Be Patient: Descaling isn’t a race. It can take over an hour in some cases, so give the descaling solution time to do its job.


Don’t Ignore Signs of Scale: If your coffee maker is brewing slowly, not filling your cup all the way, or making more noise than usual, it’s probably time to descale.

Don’t Use a Paper Cup for Descaling: Always use a large, heat-resistant mug to catch the hot descaling solution and rinse water.

Don’t Leave Your Machine Unattended During Descaling: Stay close by during the descaling process in case of any unexpected issues like overflow or foaming.

Don’t Use Vinegar Unless Instructed by the Manufacturer: Some folks might suggest using vinegar as a natural descaling solution, but it can damage certain coffee makers and might void your warranty.

Don’t Forget to Remove Any Coffee Pods or Filters Before Descaling: Your machine should be empty before you start the descaling process.

Wrapping Up

Well, we’ve brewed our way to the end of this guide. I hope you’ve found it helpful and are now feeling confident about descaling your Keurig K-Express. It might seem like a bit of a chore, but trust me, your Keurig will thank you for it. And so will your taste buds when you sip that perfect cup of coffee.

Remember, your Keurig K Express isn’t just a machine. It’s your morning wake-up call, your late-night study buddy, and your midday pick-me-up. It deserves a little love and care to keep it running smoothly.

So, don’t ignore that descale light when it comes on. And if you run into any hiccups along the way, don’t stress. We’ve got your back with plenty of troubleshooting advice.

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Ronald Miller

I've been using multimeters for over seven years now, and I've tinkered with almost every brand out there. You might even say I'm a bit of a multimeter expert, but let's not get too carried away with titles.

2 thoughts on “How To Descale Keurig K-Express (in Easy Steps)”

  1. My Express tops is 10 oz. Did all your steps…holding 10 oz and 8 did not kick it into descale. I manually did steps, running mugs with no Kcup. Light still on. Express is only year old, I live alone and make reg brew 5 cup pot 4 days a weeks.

  2. It seems like your Express tops model might be the “K-Express Essentials” version. To enter the descale mode for the Essentials model, make sure it’s plugged in and powered off. Then, press and hold the 6 oz and 10 oz buttons together for 3 seconds. Once they start flashing, press the 8 oz button to initiate the descaling process. This should help reset the descale indicator light.


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