Coffee Makers, Maintenance & Cleaning Coffee Makers

5 Steps to Drain Your Keurig Coffee Maker Like a Pro [VIDEO]

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

If you won’t be using your Keurig machine for a long time, drain and store it properly.” Surely you’ve heard this before.

But why’s this, and how do I drain it? You may ask:

Well, this is because not draining your brewer before packing it can result in the growth of mold and bacteria. Thus, making your coffee unhealthy and adversely affecting the performance and longevity of your machine.

That said:

Let’s show you how to drain your Keurig.

Materials Needed

  • Keurig machine (Needless to say)
  • A bowl to receive water from the machine

Step-by-Step Process on How-To Drain Your Keurig Machine

Here, the idea is also to trick the brewer into believing there’s enough water in the main reservoir to brew coffee. It is a straightforward process that’ll take only a couple of minutes.

Step 1: Remove the Reservoir

Remove the reservoir

To start, detach the water reservoir and power on the brewer. The brewer will automatically detect that the reservoir has been removed; therefore, there’s no water to brew.

Power On the Keurig

This will prompt the “add water” light to blink for a few seconds and turn stagnant afterward.

Step 2: Reinstall the Reservoir

Add water button

After the “add water” light becomes solid, fill up the reservoir and reinstall it. Once you do this, the machine will know that there’s enough water to brew, and the add water light will turn off.

Step 3: Select the Biggest Cup Size

Select the Biggest Cup Size

Once you see the light go off, select the biggest cup size available. Ensure there aren’t any K-Cups or coffee grounds in the brewer.

Step 4: Swiftly Remove the Reservoir

Now, here comes the most important part:

After selecting the biggest cup size, remove the reservoir immediately. Since the brew cycle is already in progress, the machine will have to use water from the inner tank as the main tank is missing.

Remove the reservoir

Since there are no coffee grounds in place, the brewer will only dispense water from the inner tank, thus draining itself.

Step 5: Repeat the Process

There might still be some water left inside the machine, so you may need to repeat the process multiple times.

To do this:

Lift the handle of the K-Cup compartment of the machine. This will reset the machine and allow you to repeat the process until water no longer comes out from the inner tank.

Lift the handle K-Cup


This draining method may not apply to all Keurig models. If this method doesn’t work for your brewer, you may contact Keurig Customer Service for help.

Coffee Holli’s Useful Tips for Draining Your Keurig Coffee Maker

  • Drain your Keurig regularly. It shouldn’t only be because you don’t plan on using it for a long time. If you’re using the brewer for the first time in 3-5 days, try draining it before use. Using water that has stayed stagnant inside the machine for that period may no longer be healthy.
  • Descale your brewer every 3 to 6 months. This will help eliminate mineral buildup and limescale from the inner tank and tubes. Thus, further preventing air bubbles, bacteria and clogging in the inner tubes.
  • After draining your machine, store it at a frost-free temperature. Also, ensure that you keep the brewer upright so it doesn’t leak from the inner tank.


Leaving water in your Keurig for a long time invites mold and bacteria, which is bad for your health. But you can prevent this by draining your coffee.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Remove the reservoir and turn off the machine
  • Once the machine detects there’s no water, fill up the reservoir and reinstall it
  • Select the biggest cup size and remove the reservoir immediately
  • Lift the handle of the K-Cup compartment to reset and repeat the process
  • Store the brewer in an upright position and in a frost-free environment
  • Draining your brewer helps improve its efficiency and lengthens its longevity

By now, you know why leaving water in your Keurig for a long time is a bad idea. But also, you know how to drain and maintain it.

If there’s something else you’d like to know about the topic, reach us via the comment box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know My Keurig Needs to be Drained?

Ordinarily, you should drain your Keurig if you don’t plan on using it for a long time. However, if you fail to do this and you notice that your coffee tastes funny later on, it might be because of mold or bacteria. In that case, you must drain the brewer.

Can I Drain My Keurig Without Removing the Tank?

No, you can’t drain your Keurig without removing the tank. The idea is to allow the brewer to pump water from the inner tank until it’s empty. So, with the main tank installed, the brewer will continue using water from it.

How Do I Store My Keurig After Draining?

Keep your Keurig in an upright position in a frost-free environment for the ideal storage.

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


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