You wake up and drag yourself to the kitchen for your daily eye-opener. But instead of a hot cup of joe, you get a strange error message and no coffee. Could it be that your trusted coffee machine has just died on you? How long do Keurig coffee makers last?
Although Keurigs are well built, even the most reliable coffee machines eventually break. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure you can enjoy delicious coffee for years to come. In this ultimate one-stop guide, you’ll learn how to give your best coffee maker the tender loving care it deserves.
Do Keurigs break easily?
When you search online to see if Keurigs break easily, you’ll find many people complaining that their machine broke after a few months. But take these complaints with a grain of salt. The short answer to the question “Do Keurigs break easily?” is no. Generally, Keurig coffee makers are quite durable.
On the other hand, the long answer is the dreaded “it depends.” Several factors can affect the lifespan of a Keurig, either extending it or cutting it pathetically short. The first of them is the type of Keurig you own. The company makes many different variations of automatic coffee makers, including:
All these Keurig models differ in complexity. The general rule of thumb with all machinery is that the more moving parts and intricate systems they have, the higher the chance one of them breaks.
Another significant factor is how often you use your Keurig. If you brew 10 cups of coffee every day, there’s a good chance the brewer’s internal parts will wear out quickly.
Finally, there’s the issue of maintenance. Just like an unserviced car will soon stop running, the days of a dirty Keurig full of limescale are numbered. If you don’t take proper care of it, you’re asking for your Keurig to break.
In most cases, people break their Keurig coffee machines by doing a lot of brewing and little maintenance.
How long does a Keurig last?
Can we even estimate how long Keurigs last with so many factors affecting its lifespan? Yes, we can. And the answer might surprise you.
Based on the experiences of countless users, the average life expectancy for most Keurig coffee makers is around five years. However, with good care, it’s not unusual for people to go up to a decade without needing a new coffee maker.
Ultimately, it all depends on how often you brew coffee. A Keurig coffee maker in a busy office kitchen, making 50 cups of coffee a day, will likely be ready to retire after a couple of years or so.
How do Keurigs compare to other coffee makers?
When you first hear that five-or-so-year lifespan may not sound all that impressive. But as far as automatic coffee makers go, Keurig machines beat much of their competition.
Most regular drip coffee makers burn out around the three-year mark. Some of the cheaper ones are lucky to celebrate their second anniversary. Your Keurig might be more expensive up front, but it will save you money by not getting a replacement every couple of years.
Some coffee machine brands, such as Hamilton Beach or Black & Decker, generally have a longer life expectancy than Keurigs. However, you must buy paper filters and loose coffee instead of the convenient K-Cups.
Does a manual brewer outlast a Keurig?
But what about manual coffee makers like Chemex or French press? Would they last longer than Keurig? Well, a Keurig machine can’t even compete with them. Unless you physically break them, manual coffee brewers will likely last for years without electronics or complex parts after a Keurig gives up the ghost.
However, you also have to put a price on convenience. A manual coffee maker will last forever, but hand-brewed coffee is slow. Meanwhile, with a Keurig, you fill the water reservoir, pop a pod in the K-Cup holder, and enjoy coffee in no time.
If you value speed and convenience, you are probably ready to pay for a new Keurig coffee maker every 5-10 years. But a manual coffee maker is a good option if you love actively participating in brewing.
What can break your Keurig?
It’s good to be aware of the factors that can harm your Keurig coffee maker. Let’s find out what can break your Keurig so you try to avoid those things when possible and maintain your coffee machine properly.
Wear and tear
Oh, cruel entropy! Maybe I’m getting a bit poetic, but the fact is that the lifespan of a Keurig is limited. So no matter how well you care for it, you will eventually have to replace your coffee machine.
As time goes on, the wiring in the coffee maker will fray, the software will develop glitches, and the heating element will burn out. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it, as wear and tear are unavoidable regardless of the brand of the coffee maker, and Keurig is no exception.
Dropping your Keurig on the floor is the most obvious way you could mishandle your coffee maker. But there are many other things you could unwittingly do to break your machine.
Some people have poured milk into the water reservoir in an attempt to use a Keurig as an impromptu cappuccino maker. However, Keurigs are designed for heating water and water only. Milk will only clog up the machine and burst the water tubes.
Always check the manual if you are unsure whether something could harm your Keurig coffee maker.
Your coffee maker needs regular cleaning. Unfortunately, most people ignore this vital task.
Dirty parts and water tubes will not just negatively impact the coffee taste. Built-up minerals and coffee residues mean your Keurig works harder to circulate the water. This extra effort will shorten the appliance’s lifetime by a few years.
Sometimes factory product line spits out a faulty coffee maker that quality assurance doesn’t catch. Having a machine break after a couple of months of having it isn’t fun.
But don’t worry — Keurig offers a one-year limited warranty on all their coffee makers. If you’ve used the machine correctly, they will replace the broken parts or send you a brand-new coffee machine. If you encounter a manufacturing flaw, contact Keurig and ask about replacing the appliance.
How can you extend the lifespan of your Keurig?
So, you know now the factors that can affect your Keurig’s lifespan. You’ve also learned that you can get five years or more out of the Keurig machine with proper care. But what can you do to aim for that elusive 10th anniversary? Here are some maintenance tips to help you extend your Keurig lifespan.
Use filtered water
Tap water is often hard with many mineral materials, such as calcium. As a result, calcium deposits can build up in the water tubes inside your Keurig and clog it.
Filtered water can solve the problem. Alternatively, bottled water is a good option for brewing your coffee if you don’t have a water filter at home. It is a small investment, but using filtered water will increase the longevity of your Keurig and can save you money in the long run.
Empty the water reservoir
Mold and mildew can start growing on damp surfaces within 24 hours. The water tank of your Keurig is no different. Therefore, you shouldn’t leave water in the reservoir for more than a day.
Emptying the water reservoir after every brewing is essential for keeping your coffee machine mold-free over its lifespan. It’s also a good idea to leave the reservoir lid open so the water tank can air-dry.
Flush the machine regularly
The more coffee you brew, the more residue will build up inside your Keurig. And if you use K-Pods to make sweet drinks, like hot chocolate, the sugar will only add to the problem.
Flushing your Keurig machine means running a brew cycle without a K-Cup. Fill the Keurig water tank and run the water through until it’s finished. The hot water will give your Keurig a rinse. It would be best to flush your Keurig at least once a month.
Use the auto-off feature
Every Keurig has an automatic power-off button, and it is best to keep this feature enabled.
Keeping the coffee maker on continuously can burn out its heating element. Once that crucial part is broken, you’ll get at best a cup of lukewarm coffee — that’s hardly ideal.
Rinse removable parts
After every use, you should rinse your coffee maker’s removable parts. These include the K-Cup holder, drip tray, and the water reservoir.
To ensure your Keurig outlasts its average lifespan, you can clean all these parts with soapy, warm water after each brew. But if you don’t have time for that, at least give them a good rinse, towel-dry, and let them air dry completely before reassembly.
Limescale is your coffee maker’s worst enemies. Only a regular descaling will ensure that your Keurig can have a long and happy coffee-brewing life.
How to maintain your Keurig coffee maker?
You should thoroughly clean your Keurig coffee maker at least once a month. Your coffee will always taste better when you make it with a clean coffee maker, and it will extend the machine’s lifetime.
The Keurig cleaning process isn’t complicated, but there are a few steps. To maintain your Keurig, you’ll need these items:
- A microfiber cloth
- A mild household cleaning solution, like dishwashing liquid
- A sponge
- A toothbrush
- Descaling solution or white vinegar
Cleaning the removable parts
Start by removing the water tank and tank cover, the K-Cup holder, and the drip tray. If you need instructions on pulling them off, check your Keurig manual.
These parts are usually dishwasher-safe, so there’s no special trick to cleaning them. However, it would be best if you put them in the top rack of your dishwasher as the water temperature in the bottom rack may damage them.
If you want to be extra careful, you can handwash these parts. Here’s what to do:
- Soak the removable parts in warm soapy water for 15 minutes.
- Rinse the parts with cold water.
- Use the toothbrush and sponge to remove any remaining residues.
- Towel-dry the pieces and leave them out to finish drying.
Cleaning the coffee machine
While the removable parts are in the dishwasher, you have plenty of time to clean the machine itself. Follow these steps:
- Use a damp cloth to wipe the outside of the coffee machine.
- Clean any residues from the brew chamber where the coffee pod holder attaches.
- Wipe off the drip tray attachment slot.
- Finally, wipe off any dust or dirt left on the machine.
Descaling a Keurig coffee maker
The final part of the cleaning process is the most involved, but it’s still not complicated. Before descaling, you need to reassemble the machine, so clean and dry all the components first.
To descale a Keurig follow this procedure:
- Fill the reservoir with a descaling liquid or vinegar and water mixture.
- Place a mug on the drip tray and run the brewing cycle without a K-Cup.
- Discard the mug contents and thoroughly rinse the water tank.
- Reattach the reservoir and pour in fresh, clean water.
- Run the brew cycle once more without a K-Cup.
If you can still smell or taste the descaling solution or vinegar in the first coffee cup you make, keep running the machine with plain water until the flavor or smell is gone.
When is the time to replace your Keurig coffee maker?
With proper maintenance, your Keurig will serve you faithfully for many years. But at some point, the time will come to let it go. Here are some signs that your Keurig needs to retire.
You can’t find the K-Cups you need
Keurig has supported its machines for years, but the company regularly releases improved models. Even though it does not happen often, coffee pods may also get an upgrade. So if you can’t find the K-Cups for your old Keurig model, it’s time to get a replacement coffee machine.
The coffee flavor goes off
Have you noticed that every cup of coffee you make tastes more and more strange? It is one of the telltale signs that your Keurig is nearing the end of its life. It is time to get a new machine if the coffee tastes watery or bitter and cleaning doesn’t help.
The coffee maker stops brewing coffee
When your Keurig refuses to work and priming it or calling customer support does not help, it’s a goner. You can try to repair it to cut back on waste and help the environment. But if every repair attempt fails, it’s time to head to the store.
Once your Keurig is done for good, you shouldn’t just throw it in the trash or even the recycling bin with your old pods. Instead, recycle the machine at a small appliance recycling center. Research online to find out where to recycle the device in your hometown.
And there, you have everything you need to know to keep your Keurig coffee maker clean, long-lasting, and operating at maximum efficiency. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have a faithful coffee companion to satisfy your caffeine needs for many years.