Keurig Descale Light: What Does it Mean and What Should You Do?

Keurig makes some of the best coffee makers available. But, just because they’re some of the best doesn’t mean that they don’t come with various problems and errors that can be annoying to address.

The most common problem that people have with Keurig’s coffee makers is the infamous “Descale Light”. By reading through this quick guide, you will learn all about this light, what it means, and what you should do to turn it off.

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What Is The Keurig Descale Light?

Every Keurig coffee maker has something known as a “Descale Light”. The Descale Light is, essentially, an indication that there is something within the coffee maker that is preventing the flow of water.

More often than not, when the Descale Light is on, it means that scale has built up within the water lines of the coffee maker. Because of this, you will need to perform a very basic descaling process that eliminates the scale build-up.

Since this is, as mentioned, most often the case, the process should work very well. But, there are times when it doesn’t and the Descale Light remains on. For those instances, you will find another section in this guide that walks you through the common cause and the easiest fix.

How Can You Descale A Keurig Coffee Maker?

To begin the process, you will need to pick up a bottle of Keurig Descaling Solution. If you don’t have a bottle, then you must pick one up before you are able to begin the process.

Once you have that bottle of Keurig Descaling Solution, you will need to take a look at the reservoir within the coffee maker. Make sure that it is completely empty. But, if it isn’t, you will need to empty it out.

Right after you empty out the reservoir, you must pour the Keurig Descaling Solution into the reservoir. Make sure every last drop is in the reservoir, so that none of the solution is going to waste.

Take the now-empty bottle of Keurig Descaling Solution and fill it with water from your sink. Make sure that it’s completely full. And then, right after you fill up the bottle, pour it directly into the reservoir, so that the reservoir is full of Keurig Descaling Solution and water.

The next thing you need to do is to take a coffee mug and place it right underneath the coffee maker. Make sure this mug is big enough to hold ten-ounces of coffee – or any other liquid, for that matter.

After you place the mug underneath the coffee maker, you can turn on the coffee maker. As you do so, select the “10 Ounce Brew Size” setting. By doing that, the Keurig Descaling Solution and water will begin breaking down the build-up within the coffee maker, allowing it to thoroughly and efficiently clean itself.

Right after the first brew comes out, take the time to empty the mug. Then, begin the process again and again, until the “Add Water” indicator comes on. Once that indicator comes on, you can end the process.

Let the coffee maker sit for at least thirty-minutes. Don’t turn it off but, rather, leave it on and allow it to work.

After the thirty-minute interval has passed, you will need to take out the reservoir. Make sure to wash it very thoroughly in the sink, to ensure that the water and Keurig Descaling Solution are removed.

Right after that, fill the reservoir with water and make – at the very least – twelve cleansing brews. By making these cleansing brews, you ensure that none of the Keurig Descaling Solution remains.

What Happens If The Descale Light Is Still On?

Sometimes, the descale process just doesn’t work the way its supposed to. When that happens, there is almost always one thing that you must do. By doing this, you are able to remove the excess scale within the coffee maker, allowing you to brew your coffee once more.

Right off the bat, you must consider is the K-Cup that you are using. Many people choose to reuse K-Cups – which makes sense, considering how wasteful it can be to throw K-Cups away immediately after use. But, it isn’t uncommon for K-Cups to be refilled so tightly that a Keurig coffee maker interprets that as a scale problem.

Since this is the case, the first thing to do is to remove the K-Cup and to see if your coffee maker will let you run a cycle. If it does, then the problem was an overly-tight K-Cup. Because of this, make sure to fill up future K-Cups less tightly than you have been, so that the problem does not persist.

Can You Make Your Own Keurig Descale Solution?

The answer to this question is “Yes”. But, that is a very simple answer for a slightly complex question.

The Descaling Solution that Keurig sells consists of only a few ingredients. Each one of these ingredients is, generally speaking, easy to find and easy to put together. But, putting these ingredients together can be a bit of a drag, which is why it’s so nice that Keurig sells the solution in its entirety.

But, if you do want to save some money, there are a few custom descaling solutions that you can make. Each one of these solutions is quite cheap, and they work very well.

The first solution to consider is mixing seven-ounces of water with seven-ounces of white vinegar. This is the easiest solution, and it’s quite easy. But, it can take longer to descale the coffee maker.

The second solution involves using powdered citric acid and mixing it into the reservoir of water. By using powdered citric acid, it will dissolve, leading to the same effect. You must be precise with the measurements, though.

The third solution is the most complex, and it involves lemons. More specifically, though, it involves seven-ounces of lemon juice, which will require a dozen lemons, give or take. By squeezing these lemons, you can make that juice, and then mix it into the reservoir and use it to descale your coffee maker.


In the end, turning off the Keurig Descale Light is easy. All you must do is follow the basic process that Keurig offers, and by doing so, you will be able to turn off the Descale Light and use your coffee maker once more!

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