Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew? A Comprehensive Guide

Is your Keurig machine displaying the dreaded “Descale” message but refusing to brew your favorite cup of coffee? Don’t worry! In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the common reasons behind the phenomenon  “Keurig says Descale but won’t brew” and provide you with practical solutions to get your machine back up and running.

Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew: Common Reason

Scale buildup

Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate inside the machine, clogging the water lines and preventing proper brewing. Descaling the Keurig is necessary to remove these deposits.

Clogged exit needle

The exit needle, located at the top of the K-Cup holder, can get clogged with coffee grounds or other debris. This blockage can prevent water from flowing through and result in the “Descale” message.

Blocked injection tubes

The injection tubes, responsible for delivering hot water to the K-Cup, can also become blocked with scale or debris. This can inhibit the water flow and cause the machine to display the “Descale” message.

Control board issue

In some cases, a malfunctioning control board can incorrectly display the “Descale” message even after descaling has been done. Resetting the control board may resolve this issue.

Keurig Says Descale But Won’t Brew: How To Fix

Descale the Keurig

Firstly, it’s crucial to descale your Keurig machine regularly to remove mineral buildup that can hinder its performance:

  1. Start by filling the water reservoir with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Place a large mug or container on the drip tray to catch the liquid.
  2. Next, run a brew cycle without a K-Cup, allowing the vinegar-water solution to flow through the system.
  3. Repeat this process until the reservoir is empty.
  4. Finally, perform several additional brew cycles using clean water to rinse out any remaining vinegar taste.

Unclog the Exit Needle

Sometimes, a clogged exit needle can be the culprit behind the “Descale” message. To address this issue:

  1. First, make sure your Keurig is unplugged. Locate the exit needle, which is a small metal tube located at the bottom of the K-Cup holder.
  2. Using a paperclip or a similar tool, gently insert it into the needle and move it around to dislodge any debris that might be blocking the passage. Be careful not to damage the needle or yourself during this process.
  3. Once you’ve finished, plug the Keurig back in and try brewing a cup of coffee.

Unclog the Injection Tubes

Another potential cause of the problem is clogged injection tubes.

  1. To address this, you’ll need to remove the water reservoir and empty it. Then, using a clean cloth or sponge, wipe away any residue or debris from both the reservoir and the machine’s base.
  2. Next, take a paperclip or similar tool and carefully insert it into the openings of the injection tubes to dislodge any blockages.
  3. Again, exercise caution to avoid causing damage.
  4. Once completed, reassemble the Keurig, fill the reservoir with water, and attempt to brew a cup of coffee.

Reset the Keurig Control Board

If the above steps haven’t resolved the issue, resetting the Keurig control board may help. Unplug the machine and leave it disconnected for a few minutes. This will allow the internal components to reset. Afterward, plug it back in and power it on. Hopefully, this simple reset will clear any minor glitches and enable your Keurig to brew as intended.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the issue when your Keurig says “Descale” but won’t brew. However, if the problem persists, it may be necessary to reach out to Keurig’s customer support for further assistance.

Keurig Says Descale But Won't Brew


Why Won’t My Keurig Brew After Descaling?

If your Keurig isn’t brewing after descaling, it may be due to a number of reasons. The machine could have residual mineral buildup, or there might be air bubbles trapped within the machine. To resolve the issue, try powering it off and on again, unplugging it and waiting for a bit before plugging it back in, or performing another descaling cycle.

If there’s an air bubble, fill the reservoir with water, place a mug on the drip tray, lift the handle but don’t add a K-Cup, then lower the handle and press the largest dispensing button.

Why Does My Keurig Say Descale After I Already Descaled It?

Sometimes, if the “descale” indicator light doesn’t go off after descaling, the process might not have been thorough enough or the machine might not have registered the process. You may need to repeat the descaling process, ensure you’re using a sufficient amount of descaling agent, or even reset the machine according to its particular reset process for eradicating the descaling message.

How Do You Tell If Your Keurig Is Clogged?

Symptoms of a clogged Keurig include: the machine not dispensing water or dispensing it slowly, unexpected noises, or shorter-than-usual brew cycles. Keurigs can get clogged by calcium deposits or even coffee grounds stuck in the needles. Regular cleaning and descaling can help prevent these issues.

Will Keurig Work Without Descaling?

Yes, your Keurig will continue to function without descaling, but over time, the buildup of minerals and coffee grounds may decrease the machine’s functionality and the quality of its brew. Avoidance of descaling could also lead to more serious issues, like a clogged machine or breakdown. Regularly descaling your Keurig prolongs its life and ensures the best coffee quality.

How Do You Clean A Keurig That Hasn’t Been Used In A While?

If a Keurig hasn’t been used in a while, it will first need to be dusted off and checked for any visual damages. Then, you will need to:

  1. Descale the machine. Fill the reservoir with half white vinegar and half water, then run the machine until the reservoir is almost empty, making sure to discard each mug of liquid.
  2. Rinightly, to flush out the vinegar solution you will need to fill the reservoir with fresh water and run the machine again until the reservoir is nearly empty. This may need to be done multiple times to fully remove the vinegar taste.


By following these troubleshooting steps and implementing the suggested solutions, you should be able to resolve the issue of your Keurig saying “Descale” but not brewing. Remember to descale your machine regularly to prevent future problems and ensure optimal performance.