How To Descale Keurig Slim

How To Descale Keurig Slim (in Minutes) | Step-by-Step

We all want our Keurig Slim coffee makers to last and consistently produce great-tasting coffee. Descaling is the key to achieving this. It involves removing mineral deposits that accumulate over time, commonly known as limescale. Neglecting this maintenance can lead to clogged water flow, off-flavored coffee, and even damage to internal components.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the importance of descaling, provide alternatives to vinegar, and give you a step-by-step process to descale Keurig Slim.

Your Keurig Slim will inform you when it’s time to descale. The DESCALE button will start flashing, indicating that descaling is needed.

How to descale Keurig Slim

Frequency of Descaling

The water we use, whether tap, filtered, or bottled, contains minerals that get left behind in the Keurig Slim. These minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, gradually form limescale inside the machine. This buildup can affect the heating element and other crucial parts, resulting in issues like slow brewing, water pump problems, and altered taste.

To keep your Keurig Slim working optimally, it’s recommended to descale every three months. Even if you use a water filter, it can’t remove all the minerals. If you have hard water with a high mineral content, more frequent descaling may be necessary. Keurig Slim models have a built-in descale light, but it’s advisable to descale even if the light isn’t triggered, especially if you encounter issues like poor water flow or an unpleasant coffee taste.

1-2Every 3 months
3-4Every 3 months
5-8Every 2 months
8-10Every month

Steps To Descale Your Keurig Slim

To descale your Keurig Slim, follow these simple steps:

1. Preparation and Emptying

First, take out any K-cup pods and empty the water tank. This makes sure nothing’s in the way for cleaning.

2. Mixing Descaling Solution

Pour the descaling solution into the water tank up to the recommended level. You can find this amount on the solution’s instructions. After that, add fresh water to fill the tank. Aim for a half-and-half mix of solution and water.

3. Activating Descaling Mode

With the Keurig Slim still plugged in, turn it off. Then, press both the 8 oz and 12 oz buttons at the same time for about 3 seconds. Wait until the light stops blinking. This activates the descaling mode.

4. Clean and Rinse

Press the brew button to begin the descaling cycle. Repeat this process until the “ADD WATER” light turns on. Once the rinse cycles are complete, remove and thoroughly rinse the water tank with fresh water. Then, press the brew button to start the post-descaling rinse cycle. Repeat this step until the “ADD WATER” light turns on again, indicating the completion of the descaling process.

If you have difficulty following these steps, we have also attached visual instructions to help you through the process.

How To Descale Keurig Slim With Vinegar

Certainly, it is possible to use white vinegar as a descaling agent for your Keurig K-Slim. However, it’s important to note that while vinegar is a commonly used household solution for descaling, Keurig does not officially recommend it. Opting for vinegar might offer you a cost-effective alternative compared to the official Keurig descaling solution.

For optimal results, mixing equal parts of vinegar and water is advised. Specifically, use 14oz of vinegar combined with 14oz of water.

If you decide to proceed with vinegar, there’s an additional step to consider. Due to the distinct aroma of vinegar, which is more pronounced than the regular Keurig solution, running extra water rinses post-descaling is crucial. This ensures that your coffee maker is clean and free from any residual vinegar odor.

The Dangers of Using Vinegar for Descaling

Some might suggest using vinegar as a cost-effective descaling agent, but Keurig advises against it. Vinegar, along with lemon juice, contains acetic acid, which can potentially damage the machine’s metal components and cause leaks. To maintain your Keurig Slim’s longevity and performance, it’s best to avoid using vinegar for descaling.

Instead of vinegar, opt for a specially formulated descaling solution for Keurig coffee makers. These solutions are safe and effective in removing limescale without causing harm. Using the right descaling solution ensures a thorough clean and helps maintain the integrity of your machine.

Troubleshooting Common Descale Issues

Descale Light Stays On: Sometimes, you may encounter issues even after descaling. If the descale light stays on, it could mean that you added water to the tank before the “ADD WATER” alert appeared, or you haven’t run enough rinse cycles. In such cases, repeat the descaling process, using fresh water instead of a descaling solution. 

Keurig Slim Won’t Turn On: In rare cases, some users have experienced issues with their Keurig Slim not turning on after descaling. If this happens, you might need to reset the thermal switch inside the machine. However, attempting this reset should only be done by someone experienced and willing to void the warranty. It’s advisable to contact Keurig customer support for assistance in such situations.

Keurig Slim Won't Power On After Descaling


Regular descaling is crucial to keep your Keurig Slim coffee maker in top shape and ensure the best-tasting coffee. By understanding the importance of descaling and following the recommended methods, you can enjoy a consistently delightful coffee experience. Avoid using vinegar and opt for a descaling solution designed for Keurig machines for optimal results.


Can I descale my Keurig Slim with vinegar?

Using vinegar to descale your Keurig Slim is not recommended by Keurig. Vinegar can potentially damage the machine’s metal components and cause leaks. It’s best to use a descaling solution specifically designed for Keurig coffee makers.

How often should I descale my Keurig Slim?

To keep your Keurig Slim working optimally, it’s recommended to descale every three months. If you have hard water, more frequent descaling may be necessary.

My Keurig Slim’s descale light stays on even after descaling. What should I do?

If the descale light remains on, it’s possible that the descaling process was not completed correctly. Try unplugging the machine for a few minutes and repeat the entire descaling process using only fresh water.

My Keurig Slim won’t turn on after descaling. What could be the issue?

If your Keurig Slim doesn’t turn on after descaling, you may need to reset the thermostat inside the machine. This should only be attempted by someone experienced and willing to void the warranty. Contact Keurig customer support for assistance in such cases.

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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.

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