Coffee Makers, Troubleshooting Coffee Makers

Does Your Keurig Descale Light Stay On? Here Are a Few Possible Reasons Why

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

The Keurig descale light serves one major function: to turn on when your coffee maker is clogged.

You see:

The descale light acts as an indicator, informing the user that it is time to thoroughly clean the coffee maker with the right solution, also known as descaling.


You might be wondering what triggers the indicator. It comes on when calcium or dirt builds up inside your machine, restricting water flow within the pipes.

In light of this:

It is important to clean the machine as soon as you see this indicator come on. Why? Because continued build-up can clog your device, or worse, can cause extensive damage.

In some cases…

Your Keurig coffee maker could stop working entirely. You don’t want that, do you? So, here’s what you need to know to turn off the descale light.

Keurig Descale Light Stays On

Has that pesky descale light been keeping you up for a while? Never fear; you can turn it off by trying the following solutions. Either descale your coffee maker, clean the needle, clean the water filter, or double-check your refillable coffee pods. 

1. Descale (clean) Your Keurig Coffee Maker

We know that:

The descale light comes on as a warning. And to get rid of it, you need to clean your coffee maker.


This should be a thorough process while making sure you handle each part.


Use descaling liquid when cleaning the inner parts. The interior of your Keurig coffee maker is the most vulnerable to scale and debris build-up.


This is especially true when you brew with mineral-packed hard water. But worry not, because you can easily descale your coffee maker by following a few easy steps.


While Keurig recommends you use their descaling solution, there is a cheaper alternative. You can use equal parts vinegar and lemon as a homemade solution.

You see:

The citric acid helps cut through the mineral build-up, leaving a gunk-free passageway for your water.


Here is how you can Descale your Keurig coffee maker.

  • Step 1: Unplug your Keurig coffee maker
  • Step 2: Remove any coffee pod in the K-cup holder and empty the water reservoir.
  • Step 2: Prepare your descaling solution of choice (Keurig provided or homemade.)
  • Step 3: Pour your solution of choice into the water reservoir.
  • Step 4: Mix the solution with equal water and start a brewing cycle.
  • Step 5: Place a mug on the drip tray.
  • Step 6: Wait until the coffee maker just starts to dispense, and stop the brew cycle.
  • Step 7: Let it sit with the solution for at least half an hour, then start the cycle once more.
  • Step 8: Repeat the cycle five to ten times with filtered water.

Your Keurig coffee maker should be good to go after all the solution is washed out. Make sure to use filtered water as many times as it takes.


Remember to let your Keurig sit unplugged with the reservoir set aside for at least half an hour. The descale light should turn off once you’re done.


This process is relatively similar regardless of what Keurig model you use.

2. Clean the Needle

Keurig Needle

Now, if your Keurig is clean, but the descaling light persists, you might need to clean the needle.

You see:

Coffee grounds can clog the Keurig exit needle, thus interfering with brewing. And this can trigger your descaling light.


Remember not to use any sharp implements when clearing debris from the recesses, as this may damage your machine.


Cleaning the needle with the right tools shouldn’t take long. Here is how.

  • Step 1: Unplug your coffee maker and lift the pod lid.
  • Step 2: Find the dispense nozzle and lightly push against it to lift the pod holder.
  • Step 3: Find the recesses on either side of the two-piece pod holder. Lightly press and push up on them.
  • Step 4: Clean each part with soap and warm water. Be sure to get into the crevices and clear out any loose grounds you spot.
  • Step 5: Grab a safety pin and carefully stick it into the entrance needle. Shake it around and knock out loose coffee grounds.
  • Step 6: Let the coffee maker sit disassembled for half an hour.


After clearing the needle, wash the area with clean water and reassemble your coffee maker. This should fix the descaling light issue.

3. Overpacked Refillable Coffe Pods

Overpacked Refillable Coffe Pods

Here’s the thing:

Not everyone can afford to buy Keurig coffee pods. That is where the refillable pods come into play.

You see:

Refillable coffee pods allow you to pack your coffee into a small pod-shaped container that fits right into the K-cup holder.


While this is a relatively straightforward process, it could lead to a few unforeseen incidents.

For instance:

Overpacking the pod may stop water from flowing through as intended. This will immediately trigger the descale light.


You can fix this by packing your refillable coffee pods with caution.

4. Clogged Water Filter

Clogged Water Filter Keurig

The Reservoir water filter is a small mesh that often covers the intake valve. It stops debris and minerals from entering and clogging your machine.


Neglecting to clean your Keurig regularly could lead to a clogged water filter. This will prevent water from flowing into your coffee maker and may trigger the descale light.


You can easily fix this by thoroughly cleaning your Keurig water reservoir. Be sure to use filtered water and let it sit for a few minutes before reassembling.

Models Commonly Affected

Scale build-up is a common issue among all Keurig models.


Not all of them suffer from the Keurig descale light issue. Here are some of the models commonly associated with the problem.

1. Keurig Duo

Keurig K-Duo Grey

The Keurig duo is a versatile coffee maker that allows you to brew coffee with K-cups and coffee grounds.


This double coffee intake method leaves it susceptible to scale and debris build-up.


If your descale light stays on after you’re done cleaning, you can reset it with the below-listed steps.

  • Step 1: Plug your Keurig Duo into a power outlet, but leave it off.
  • Step 2: Press down on the eight-ounce and ten-ounce buttons simultaneously.
  • Step 3: Hold both down for at least five seconds before letting go.
  • Step 4: Let your coffee maker sit unplugged for ten minutes.
  • Step 5: Plug it back in and resume your brew.

This process should manually turn off the Descale light if all else fails.

2. Keurig Supreme

Keurig K-Supreme Black

The Keurig Supreme, also known as the K910, packs a large water reservoir.


The water filter can get clogged sometimes, especially when brewing with hard water. This can trigger the descale light and cause it to stay on.


You can remedy this by frequently cleaning the reservoir.

3. Keurig K-cafe

Keurig K cafe

The Keurig K-cafe provides all you need to make an excellent cup of coffee.


Handy as it is, the descaling light could remain stuck if not properly maintained. As such, you must take regular care of your K-cafe to avoid the descaling light issue. 

In addition:

Other models prone to the descaling light problem include the Keurig slim and Keurig express.


The descale light is meant to be a helpful tool. There’s no need to panic if it stays on after you have descaled your machine. Try some of these practical solutions instead.

  • Descale your Keurig coffee maker.
  • Clean the entry and exit needles.
  • Properly pack your reusable coffee pods.
  • Frequently clean the water filter.

Hopefully, this list can guide you toward turning off the Descale light. And if all else fails, make sure to contact Keurig customer service.

Did we miss out on any of your favorite fixes? Or have you tried any of the above fixes before? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get the Descale Light off on My Keurig?

You can turn off the Descale light by properly cleaning your Keurig coffee maker with a descaling solution.


You can reset the light on some models by holding the eight and ten-ounce buttons simultaneously for at least five seconds.

Why is the Descaling Light Still Flashing After Descaling?

The Descaling light indicates when water isn’t flowing through your Keurig. There may still be a clog in your machine.

As such:

Try some of the above-listed solutions to see if they fix your problem.


If the light continues to flash, consider contacting Keurig customer service.

Why is My Descale Light Still on?

The Keurig Descale light is triggered when water doesn’t freely flow through your coffee maker. Descaling the machine may not be enough. Try cleaning the needle and the water filter as well.

Why Won’t the Descale Light go off on My Keurig?

Something could still be obstructing free water flow within your machine. If you are certain that your coffee maker is clog-free, you can try resetting the light yourself.


Hold down on the eight and ten-ounce buttons for five seconds, and it should reset the light.

How Do I Force my Keurig to Reboot?

You can safely reboot your Keurig coffee maker by unplugging it from a power source and doing the following. Remove the water reservoir and let the machine sit for at least half an hour.


Plug it in, and the reboot is complete.

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.


Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00