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Keurig Needle Maintenance: How to Clean a Keurig Needle

Keurig Needle Maintenance: Cleaning a Keurig Needle

I love my Keurig. But if you have ever popped a Keurig K-cup in and found a slow filing coffee mug, or worse, no water coming out at all from your Keurig, then it’s likely you have a clogged Keurig needle. This article will show you Keurig needle maintenance, and how to clean a Keurig needle so you can get your coffee maker back to its normal brewing ways so you can enjoy your next cup of coffee. 


Why isn’t there coffee coming out of my Keurig pod? 

If you already know how to use a Keurig, you get that it’s a pretty easy process. So when it stops working it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. The most likely culprit for your Keurig not making a full cup of coffee is that your Keurig needles are plugged (there is an entrance needle and an exit needle). This can happen over time. Luckily cleaning the Keurig needles is an easy fix.


Understanding how Keurig coffee makers make coffee

When you put a K-cup into your Keurig and close it, two needles are working simultaneously.  One that punctures it from the top and the other that punctures the bottom.

When you put a coffee pod into the machine and close it, the bottom gets punctured while the top needle punctures the top wrapper. If one of these needles doesn’t puncture the pod, you will have coffee issues. 

how a Keurig makes coffee. 



Why isn’t my Keurig making coffee? 

The most common reason for your Keurig not making coffee is a plugged needle due to a bad K-cup. The other reason for no coffee coming out of a coffee pod is a bent needle with no exit hole at the bottom of the pod itself.

This can cause the coffee grounds in the pod to come back up into the top Keurig needle need causing it to get plugged up and requiring the needle to be cleaned. 

When your K-cup holder gets plugged up (meaning there is something in the needle), there is nowhere for the water to go. That water pressure builds up and can force unwanted things back up the entrance needle and clog it. 


Steps to diagnosing your Keurig issue

First, open your Keurig and remove the pod. Inspect it to see if there is a hole in both the top and bottom. If there is no hole in the bottom, you will need to fix the bottom needle of your Keurig. It’s possible that it has been bent over time and may need to be bent back into place. This is harder than it sounds, and likely, if you try to restore it to its normal position, it will snap. 

Luckily you can buy a replacement holder, and it is very affordable. We had to do this once when we accidentally put our Keurig self coffee maker (the hard grey coffee pod you use with your own loose coffee). We forced the removable cup on it, and boom! Broken exit needle. 

bottom exit keurig needle

Click here to order a replacement pod holder.


If you have holes in both the top and bottom, the next test is to run it through without a k-cup in it to see if you have a faulty cup. Sometimes the filter is plugged, and the water can’t run through it. If you run a water cycle through it and nothing is coming through, it’s likely you have a blocked Keurig needle, and you will need to clean your Keurig needle. Keurig Needle Maintenance: how to clean a Keurig needle

This is a super easy thing to do in your Keurig maintenance and takes seconds. Best of all, you won’t need any special tools or products like when you need to descale your Keurig machine. All you will need is a paper clip. 

If you have a Keurig  2.0, the steps are a little different. You will want to use the right tool for the job. It’s best to get a Keurig Needle Cleaning Tool here. 

Keurig B01MXFTW88 2.0 Needle Cleaning Tool, kkk, Orange


Click here to order a Brewer accessory tool. 


Steps to cleaning a Keurig needle

  1. Turn off the power. Before you start your Keurig needle maintenance, it’s a good idea to turn off the power. 
  2. Fill up the Kuerig brewer maintenance accessory with fresh water Keurig B01MXFTW88 2.0 Needle Cleaning Tool, kkk, Orange
  3. Lift the lid of the Keurig and remove the K-cup from the K-cup holder.  Take the maintenance accessory tool and place it in the K-cup holder.Keurig B01MXFTW88 2.0 Needle Cleaning Tool, kkk, Orange
  4. Open and close the Keurig lid 5 times. This will dunk the needle in and out of the water, rinsing it out and cleaning your exit needle
  5. Remove the Keurig 2.0 Brewer maintenance accessory cleaning tool.
  6. Turn the power back on the Keurig.
  7. Next close the Keurig lid. Turn on the machine and run it through a few brew cycles without a pod. 
  8. If the coffee cup is filled to its normal level, then you have unclogged your Keurig and successfully cleaned your Keurig needle. 


Still no coffee? Here’s another way to clean your Keurig Needle

If you tried the above method and there still isn’t water coming out of your Keurig, or it’s trickling out slowly, you may need to try this process a few times. It could also mean that there is something lodge in the needle holes. You could use the steps in the next part as an alternative way to clean your Keurig needle if the tool didn’t work. 


How do I clean the needle on my Keurig without the tool?

  1. Turn off the power. 
  2. Get a paper clip and unbend part of it. unbent paper clip to clean keurig needle
  3. Lift the lid of the Keurig and remove the K-cup from the K-cup holder (pod holder).  Take the end of the paper clip, and put it through the end of the needle. The needle on your Keurig has a couple of holes for the water to come out of, and if it gets plugged, the water won’t come through. cleaning a keurig exit needle with paper clip
  4. Use the end of the paper clip to dislodge any gunk or coffee grounds that have been stuck in the needle. Be careful as there could be some hot water that comes out. There is water under pressure in your machine, and it’s possible that some hot water comes shooting out when you remove whatever is blocking your machine.
  5. how to perform needle maintenance on keurigNext close the Keurig lid. Turn on the machine and run it through a few brew cycles without a pod. Make sure to have a cup underneath to catch all of the water and see if any coffee grounds are flushed out. coffee ground in mug from keurig
  6. If the coffee cup is filled to its normal level, then you have unclogged your Keurig and successfully cleaned your Keurig needle. 


How to perform needle maintenance on Keurig

If you are wondering, “How can I prevent the Keurig needle from being clogged? ” there are a few things you can do on a regular basis to keep your coffee maker in great shape. 

  • Prevention is a great way to make sure you extend the life of your Keurig brewer. You can add a water filter to the water reservoir. That way, you prevent smaller particles from getting in and building up inside the machine. 
    12-Pack Compatible KEURIG Replacment Water Filters by K&J - Universal Fit (NOT CUISINART) Keurig Compatible Filters - Replacement Charcoal Water Filters for Keurig 2.0 (and older) Coffee Machines

Click here to order a water filter. 

  • If you notice that there are white flakes coming into your coffee as you do this, it could mean that you have scale build-up inside your machine. This is a widespread occurrence and can easily be fixed by descaling your Keurig machine.  Running a descaling solution periodically is another great way to keep your machine running smoothly. 


  • Run through a few rinse cycles to make sure nothing is stuck in the machine can help. Usually, it’s not just one coffee ground that clogs it but a build-up of them over time.  Putting through a few clean water cycles will help keep your coffee machines running properly.


  • The best thing you can do is use fresh water in your Keurig brewer and rinse out the water tank periodically to ensure there is no buildup. Our tap water is fairly hard to we like to clean it out every month or stop with a damp cloth and descale it so that we remove the mineral deposits that build up on the inside. If you have softened water, it is still a good idea to fund a few cold water cycles through your brewer. 


Final thoughts on Keurig Needle Maintenance and Cleaning a Keurig Needle

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black

While not being able to get your morning cup of coffee can be frustrating, it’s nice to know that you can easily fix your Keurig needle when you need to.

As a rule, it’s best to have the Keurig’s brewer maintenance accessory tool and perform maintenance on it every month or so to keep it running smoothly. It’s a quick fix that will have you back to your tasty cup of coffee in no time. 

If you do all of this and it’s still not working check out our best Keurig coffee makers for your next coffee maker. 


Click here to order Keurig’s Brewer maintenance kit. 


Related Keurig Reading

How Many Times Can You Use a Keurig Cup?

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Can You Put Milk in a Keurig?

Can You Use K Cups Twice?

How to Descale a Keurig With Vinegar or Descaling Agent

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How to use a Keurig to get the perfectly brewed cup of coffee

How Much Coffee to Put in a Reusable K-Cup

Best Keurig Pod Storage Ideas

Can You Clean a Keurig with Vinegar?

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