Has your coffee been tasting a little less than great lately? If so, it could be time to descale your Keurig and in this post, I compare White Vinegar vs Keurig Descaling Solution and explain how to use each.

*This post may contain affiliate links and I’ll earn a commission if you shop through them. You can read my full disclosure here

*Post Update 04/24/2019:  Walmart is having a great sale right now on the descaling solution for only $6.54 which is almost 50% off so if you’re considering buying it, now would be a great time. Get yours here

Keurig Descaling Solution For All Keurig 2.0 and 1.0 K-Cup Pod Coffee Makers - Packaging May Vary


*Amazon seems to be matching the price of the Descaling Solution at the current time so if you have Amazon Prime, you can get it with free shipping! Keurig K475 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker with 12oz Brew Size, Strength Control, and temperature control, Programmable, Black


If you have a Keurig coffee maker you’ve probably seen the descale alert displayed at one time or another. Occasionally, I ignore mine but sometimes, especially when the coffee is tasting funky and bitter and less than enjoyable, I know it’s time to start the descaling process.


I have an older variation of the Keurig above and love it!

Descaling is important because it helps to remove mineral buildup from the coffee maker.  The mineral buildup can cause coffee to taste bitter so it’s important to descale it every 3 to 6 months. I have very hard water where I live so I descale more often to keep my Keurig running more efficiently and help keep my daily coffee tasting smooth and delicious.

While I have only used white vinegar for every descaling session in the past, today I did it and spent almost $13.00 (that seemed really expensive to me!) on a bottle of Keurig HOT Descaling Solution to see if there was any difference.

I bought the bottle I used at Walmart and then came home and found the same Keurig Hot Descaling Solution on Amazon for a little over $8.00 so next time, I’ll be ordering it in advance so I have it on hand.

Photo of white kitchen cabinets and older kitchen

How-To Descale with White Vinegar

Bottle of vinegar from Aldi's

  • The process for this is very simple. Turn off your Keurig. If there is not the option to turn it off, unplug the unit.
  • Empty any water from the reservoir.
  • Fill the reservoir with half white vinegar and half water.
  • Turn your machine back on, place a mug or cup in place, and run the unit to dispense water only (no pod or K-cup in place).
  • Empty water from the cup after each cycle.
  • Continue the above cycle until you are prompted to add more water.
  • At this point, empty the reservoir, rinse thoroughly, and fill with water only.
  • Run through 12 cycles of dispensing water and dumping.
  • Refill with water as necessary.
  • Your unit is now ready to make coffee as usual.

How To Clean a Keurig with Keurig Descaling Solution

Close up of Keurig Descaling Solution next to Keurig 2.0 unit

The process for this will vary depending on the specific Keurig you have and the directions are on the label.  For my full-sized Keurig 2.0 I used the entire bottle of Keurig Descaling Solution along with a bottle of water for the first cycle.

Photo of Keurig 2.0 dispensing Keurig Descaling Solution into white coffee cup with blue interrior

I then rinsed out the reservoir, refilled with fresh water and ran the cycle 12 times before once again rinsing the reservoir and adding fresh water.

Which Did Better?

Banana Chocolate Chip muffins with a secret ingredient ~ fresh coffee! from cupcakesandcrinoline.com #McCafeMyWay #ad

My opinion is based solely on taste and taste alone.

Pumpkin Biscotti made from a quick bread and muffin mix - get the recipe at www.cupcakesandcrinoline.com

After using the white vinegar method for several years I can honestly say that using the Keurig Descaling Solution did yield better results.  So much so, that my husband had the first cup of coffee after I was done descaling and he said the coffee tasted amazing. I had a cup, too, and couldn’t agree more.  There was definitely a difference that made the cost worth it to me. Because it is pricey, however, I’ll probably continue to use the white vinegar method every 3 months and follow up with a once a year cleaning with the Keurig Descaling Solution.

Do you have any tips for cleaning your Keurig? If you do, I’d love to hear them!

Close up of Keurig 2.0 with bottle of Keurig Descaling Solution next to it