I'd love to say that I've never considered using weeks-old water left in my Keurig reservoir, hoping the taste of delicious coffee somehow counteracts the staleness.
Before a recent trip, I did come to my senses and considered how to drain it completely and start anew.
After all, the idea of bacteria brewing isn't exactly appetizing. If you're just as confused as I was about how to drain a Keurig coffee maker, you're in the right place!
I'm here to make sure you stay healthy, and your coffee stays fresh!
How To Drain Keurig Coffee Makers (Step-By-Step)
Not every Keurig machine has a water reservoir located in the same spot or even has the same internal components!
Scroll down to easily find out how to drain your specific model without the hassle of disassembling it.
You'll love this simple method to drain your Keurig 1.0!
- Remove the external reservoir located at the back of the machine. Pour out any remaining water.
- Adjust the floating magnet/disk at the bottom of the reservoir so that it doesn't trigger the "add water" light. Do this by sliding the disk to the top of the track.
- Press the brew button and let it pour out into a coffee mug or other container to drain water completely.
- When the machine displays “prime” on the screen, it means the internal tank is all emptied.
Unfortunately, there's only one way to drain a Keurig 2.0 completely, and that's through disassembly. I'll go into this process further on in this article.
Keurig Mini, Keurig Mini Plus, or K15
You'll be pleased to know that each of these Keurig machines can be completely drained.
- Turn off the coffee maker.
- Place a mug or other container under the spout. It doesn’t matter which kind, as you won’t be drinking it.
- Gently lift the handle, then press it down again.
- Press and hold the brew button until water comes out into the mug (or other container).
- After about 5 seconds, all water should be fully drained out of your Keurig machine!
- Remove the hot water reservoir from your Keurig machine and pour out the water.
- Once empty, place it back onto the machine.
- Locate the small disk inside the water tank. Reach down and slide it up with your fingers, which will “trick” the machine into thinking there’s water inside.
- When the light stops flashing, and your Keurig screen no longer says "add water," you're ready for the next step.
- Open and shut the handle as if you were placing a K-cup pod inside, selecting a cup size to brew.
- It should now begin "brewing" all the water that was leftover in the internal water tank.
- Toss the water out.
- Turn on your Keurig coffee maker, then turn it off.
- Grab a mug or other collecting vessel to catch any water.
- Check if the cold water reservoir is filled.
- Lift the brewer handle to drain water from the cold water reservoir into the hot water tank if needed.
How To Drain A Keurig 1.0 & 2.0 For Storage
Draining your Keurig for deep cleaning is one thing, but if you're going to be storing your Keurig for any length of time unused, you'll want to make sure that it is completely dry.
- Lift the handle as if you were going to put a coffee pod inside. You'll see two screws located at the "11:00" and "1:00" positions with a flat-head screwdriver.
- The top section that says "Keurig" should now be loosened. Slide this off so that you can see the internal water reservoir.
- There are two silicone tubes connected to this reservoir: an L-shaped one facing to the side and the other silicone tube coming straight from the top. With needle-nose pliers, grab their zip ties and loosen them by wiggling, detaching the two tubes.
- Turn the brewer upside-down so water comes out of the L-shaped opening while simultaneously inserting the straw into the opening at the top of the tank to help rid the chamber of water.
- After all water is removed, reassemble the brewer.
To drain a Keurig 2.0 is no easy feat, but this step-by-step guide will help.
- Lift up the K-cup pod compartment handle so you can see the chrome ring around the rear top of the machine. Detach the chrome ring by snapping it off from the body (without breaking anything).
- Close the handle, flipping the coffee machine over, using a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the 6 screws on the bottom.
- Keeping the brewer upside-down, slide the tall, silver plastic piece off, located on the front corner. Then, slide off the front of the Keurig coffee maker.
- Place the machine back upright and remove the two screws at the top of the Keurig 2.0. Take a flat object, like a little metal spatula, dislodging the top collar of the brewer.
- At this point, you should just have the exterior wrapper. Take that off, as well.
- Remove the water intake assembly by removing the three clips and popping it up. Once you've done this, disconnect the black section with two silicone tubes connected to it.
- This piece should still have a bit of water inside, so press the middle while shaking it to completely drain it.
- At the base of the motherboard, there's another screw. Remove this to wiggle out the internal filter.
- Move to the other side of the machine and remove the screw on top of a white plastic washer. Now you’ve finally detached the entire water tank.
- Lift and slide out the entire internal tank.
- Move the brewer back to the motherboard side, detaching the filter behind it from the pump assembly. Once completely detached, empty out the filter.
- Remove the tube from the top of the water tank.
- Lastly, remove the tube that goes from the pump assembly to the water tank.
- If any water remains inside the pump, you can blow on the entry tube or even use a syringe to move it out.
- After, reassemble the machine.
Keurig Water Reservoirs (Internal & External Tanks Explained)
If you’re researching how to drain a Keurig coffee maker, you’ve probably noticed mention of both an internal reservoir and an external tank.
It's smart to have both if you frequently use your coffee maker, as water will always be ready for brewing, and it'll be regularly cycling through.
However, if you're not going to be using it for a while or very often, it could create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria on the internal tank and external!
Not to mention, if you're going to transport or get your Keurig ready for storage, you want to drain the water completely.
We now know why you'd want to regularly complete the draining process.
So, what's the difference between the two types of tanks, and what does that mean if you want to drain a Keurig?
Internal Water Tank – Not Easy To Drain
If you want to drain the water from the internal tank, strap in and get ready for the ride because the only way to drain the internal reservoir is by disassembling the Keurig coffee pot.
Keep in mind that doing so could also void your warranty! Needless to say, Keurig coffee makers with an internal water reservoir are more of a hassle to drain.
This can also help ensure it doesn't grow mold while you're not using it.
External Water Tank – Much Easier To Drain
Coffee machines with an external tank are super simple and straightforward to empty. You just lift and pull it out and pour out the leftover water. These water tanks take just seconds to empty.
Why Do You Need To Drain Your Keurig?
It's smart to learn how to drain a Keurig if you won't be using it for an extended period of time, will be transporting it, or will need to leave it in storage - especially in a cold environment like a garage.
This ensures nothing is growing on the inner tubing, hot water tank, internal filter assembly, and other parts that involve the brewing process.
Depending on the Keurig models, it may vary in difficulty, but it's never a good idea to leave the same water inside for more than a few days.
How Often Do You Need To Do It?
If you’re planning on letting your Keurig sit for 1 to 2 weeks or longer, you should definitely drain it.
The water reservoirs should be completely empty so your Keurig brewer machine doesn’t grow mold on the internal tank or external.
Related Keurig Draining Questions
How long can you leave water in a Keurig?
You can drink water safely up to typically 1 or 2 days after opening it. However, you should not leave water in a Keurig for more than 3 to 4 days. After this, bacteria can start to develop inside the Keurig water reservoir.
Can you use tap water in a Keurig?
Yes, you can definitely use tap water in your Keurig machine!
Can you use distilled water in a Keurig?
Using distilled water in a Keurig isn't the best idea. It could cause the coffee makers to stop working quicker, and the 2.0 won't even work correctly with distilled.
Why won’t water drain from Keurig?
If your Keurig water tank is not draining, this is almost always going to be due to water scaling. This can build up and block the water flow.
Where is the water tank on a Keurig?
The water tank of Keurig coffee makers are not always in the same place from one model to the next model. However, most are located on the rear left-hand side.
Don't Forget To Drain Your Keurig!
Okay, coffee lovers: now that you know all about how to drain a Keurig, make sure that you do so regularly.
I want to make sure every time you brew coffee, it comes out delicious, fresh, and free of any bacteria!
In some cases, it takes less than a minute to do, so there’s no excuse! Thanks for tuning in, and happy sipping!