Can you winterize a Keurig?

What is Winterizing?

Winterizing refers to the process of preparing appliances and equipment for the cold winter months. For items like garden hoses, air conditioners, and sprinkler systems, winterizing typically involves draining water and disconnecting hoses to prevent damage from freezing.

When it comes to small kitchen appliances like a Keurig coffee maker, winterizing takes on a different meaning. Rather than draining water or disconnecting hoses (since there are none!), you instead need to adjust how you use and maintain the machine to keep it running properly all winter long.

Do Keurigs Need to be Winterized?

Keurig coffee makers do not require winterizing in the traditional sense of draining water and disconnecting hoses. However, there are steps you should take as the weather turns cold to keep your Keurig running smoothly all season long.

The main threat to Keurigs in winter is the potential for water in the internal plumbing to freeze. If this happens, it can cause damage to the plumbing and disrupt the brewing functionality.

Luckily, avoiding frozen water lines in your Keurig is easy to do with some simple preventative maintenance. The key steps involve:

– Keeping the machine away from cold drafts

– Always emptying the water reservoir after use

– Running a cleansing brew monthly

– Using an insulated travel mug instead of cold ceramic

By being diligent about these chores throughout winter, you can keep your Keurig safe from the cold and working perfectly all season long. No need to fully winterize it by draining or disconnecting any hoses.

Tips for Winterizing a Keurig

While a Keurig doesn’t require full winterization, here are some useful tips for keeping yours running optimally in cold weather:

Location, Location, Location

Where you place your Keurig in winter can help prevent problems. Avoid setting it near drafty windows or doors where cold exterior temperatures can infiltrate. The cold air can freeze water inside the machine’s inner workings.

Instead, keep your Keurig in a warm, interior spot in your kitchen away from cold drafts. An insulated, indoor mudroom or enclosed porch are also great winter homes for your Keurig if the temperatures remain above freezing.

Empty the Reservoir

One key way to safeguard a Keurig against freezing issues is to always empty the water reservoir after each use. Don’t leave water sitting in the tank for long periods. Draining it dry eliminates the chance for that water to freeze within the machine.

Make emptying the reservoir part of your routine when powering down your Keurig for the day or leaving home for an extended period. You’ll head off frozen water line problems before they ever occur.

Brew a Cleansing Cup Monthly

Mineral scale buildup can affect any coffee maker over time. In winter, this can be accelerated due to the heating cycles Keurigs use. To combat scale, brew a hot cleansing cup of water through your machine once a month.

Simply fill the reservoir with fresh water, pop in a K-Cup without coffee grounds, and run a brew cycle. The hot water will help dissolve and flush away any scale buildup. Pay special attention to model alerts about descaling to stay ahead of any issues.

Use an Insulated Mug

That ceramic coffee mug may keep your beverage hot at your kitchen table, but it can sabotage your Keurig if used for winter brewing. The cold ceramic quickly cools the inner mechanisms when you place it under the dispenser. This temperature shock invites trouble.

Opt instead for an insulated stainless steel travel mug in winter. The insulation keeps the inner stainless steel layer warmer, preventing drastic temperature swings in your Keurig that can lead to frozen water lines.

Steps for Quick Winterization

While a full winterization isn’t needed for a Keurig, you may still want to do an easy preventative maintenance check before storing yours away for an extended time. Here are suggested steps:

Step 1: Empty Reservoir

Always start by dumping out any leftover water in the reservoir. If any moisture remains in the tank when storing the Keurig, it can freeze and potentially crack the plastic housing.

Step 2: Remove K-Cup

Check that no pod remains loaded in the K-Cup holder. Leaving an old pod in place allows coffee oils and residue to build up inside the machine. Remove any old K-Cups before storage.

Step 3: Clean Exterior

Give the outside of your Keurig a thorough wipedown with a soft damp cloth. Don’t submerge the machine or use excessive liquids. Just a light damp wipe cleans away dust and drips from the exterior.

Step 4: Store Upright and Indoors

Always store your Keurig in an upright position and in a climate-controlled setting above 32°F. Never place in storage with tilt, water inside, or in an unheated outdoor shed or garage.

Following these steps before extended non-use will keep your machine in great shape for quick use when you unpack it again.

Can You Leave a Keurig Plugged In Over Winter?

Many people wonder if their Keurig will be safe left plugged in over winter or if this poses a risk of freezing. The answer is that leaving a Keurig plugged in all winter is perfectly fine, with proper precautions.

Here are tips on safely leaving your Keurig powered on in cold months:

Use a GFCI Outlet

Always make sure your Keurig is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This safety outlet will cut power if an electrical fault occurs, preventing damage from any power surges.

Keep Reservoir Empty

Even while plugged in, be diligent about dumping out all water from the reservoir after each use. Never let it sit full for extended periods, as the water could still freeze.

Let Components Warm Up

If you do unplug your Keurig for a time, allow all inner components to reach room temperature before brewing again. Rapid heating of frozen parts can cause fractures or leaks.

Watch for Error Signals

Many Keurig models have auto-off capabilities if internal temperatures dip below freezing. Pay attention for any error messages or warning signals while your Keurig is powered on, and unplug if issues arise.

With smart operation and conscientious maintenance, leaving a Keurig powered on in winter carries minimal risks. Just take action at the first sign of any malfunction.

Keurig Storage Over Winter

For some users, fully powering down and storing the Keurig over winter may make the most sense. Here are tips for proper winter storage:

Drain and Dry

Always start by fully draining both the reservoir and internal water lines. Remove pods and run multiple hot water cycles until empty. Allow all parts to thoroughly air dry before storage.

Clean Thoroughly

Give your machine a full descaling and scrub down before storage to remove mineral buildup and coffee residue. Consult your owner’s manual for Keurig-approved cleaning methods.

Check Parts for Damage

Inspect all accessories like the drip tray, pod holder, and reservoir for cracks or malfunctions. Replace any defective parts before storage.

Store in Clean, Dry Location

Choose an indoor spot that stays between 32-86°F and has low humidity. Avoid storing in a musty basement, dusty attic, or garage with temperature extremes.

Use Original Packaging

For safe storage, box up your Keurig with all parts in its original packaging. This prevents damage from jostling or moisture.

Following proper winterizing steps will ensure your Keurig emerges ready for action when springtime comes around!

Keurig Troubleshooting for Winter

Winter weather can create some unique troubleshooting scenarios for Keurig owners. Here are some common winter-related issues and how to address them:

Issue: Keurig Leaking Water

Potential Fixes:

– Empty reservoir fully after use

– Thaw machine at room temperature; do not rapidly heat frozen parts

– Descale machine or clean with vinegar to remove scale films

– Check and replace water line fittings as needed

Issue: Keurig Not Heating

Potential Fixes:

– Allow internal parts to reach room temperature before brewing

– Ensure machine is not near drafty windows losing heat

– Run cleansing brews with vinegar to remove any scale buildup

– Reset internal thermal fuse if tripped using paper clip per user manual

Issue: Keurig Display Frozen

Potential Fixes:

– Unplug and allow Keurig to thaw fully to room temperature

– Check for error code signals when display resets

– Contact Keurig support if display stays frozen after repeated thawing

Issue: Keurig Not Brewing

Potential Fixes:

– Check water reservoir fill level and refill if empty

– Remove and re-seat K-Cup pod holder firmly

– Reset brewer by unplugging for 1 minute and replugging in

– Descale machine and clean K-Cup holder if needed

Stay vigilant and don’t hesitate to contact Keurig customer support if you can’t resolve an issue. With proper care, your machine will brew happily all winter long.

Keurig Maintenance Over Winter

Diligent maintenance is key to keeping your Keurig problem-free as the temperatures drop. Here are handy winter maintenance tips:

Monthly Cleansing Brews

Run hot water brew cycles monthly to flush away mineral scale and prevent buildup during freezing and thawing. Use Keurig descaling solution or diluted vinegar for thorough cleansing.

Lubricate O-Rings

Apply food-grade silicone lubricant to rubber O-rings on K-Cup pod holder and water reservoir to prevent cracking from cold weather.

Inspect Parts

Check brew head, pod holder, water lines, and reservoir regularly for cracks or damage. Replace any defective parts.

Keep Exterior Clean

Use a damp soft cloth to gently wipe down the outside of your Keurig monthly to prevent dirt and drips which can corrode the housing.

Test Heating and Brewing

Periodically run a hot water brew cycle and test your Keurig’s heating ability. Also test with a K-Cup to check full brewing functionality.

Staying on top of maintenance will keep your Keurig running smoothly all the way until spring!

Fixing a Frozen Keurig

If you neglected winterproofing tasks and your Keurig still ends up with frozen water in its inner workings, don’t panic. Here is how to safely thaw and fix a frozen machine:

Step 1: Unplug Machine

Power down and unplug the Keurig immediately if you find it frozen. Don’t try to force it to brew or heat up.

Step 2: Leave Sealed Shut

Do not pry open the frozen water reservoir or pod holder or remove parts. You risk damage by trying to rush the thawing process.

Step 3: Let Thaw Fully

Position the machine sealed shut in a warm indoor spot like the kitchen and allow 1-2 days for complete thawing.

Step 4: Empty Water Lines

Once thawed, dump reservoir water and run hot brew cycles until all internal lines are fully emptied.

Step 5: Clean and Descale

Scrub interior parts like the K-Cup holder and run vinegar cleansing brews to remove scale after freezing.

Step 6: Test Functionality

Do test runs with water only and actual K-Cups to ensure full brewing functionality before resuming use.

Don’t lose heart if your Keurig freezes – follow these steps and you’ll soon have it back in working order! Prevent future freezing with proper winter care.


Keurigs are incredibly convenient appliances that don’t require full-scale winterizing like other equipment. But some key maintenance steps and usage adjustments will keep your machine brewing happily all winter.

Store indoors rather than a garage, keep empty of water between uses, run regular cleansing brews, and use an insulated mug. With smart operations, your Keurig will stay unfazed by the cold weather.

If you do experience any freezing or malfunctions, don’t attempt to forcefully thaw or disassemble your Keurig. Instead, allow safe gradual warming to room temperature before resetting the machine and testing all functions.

By becoming knowledgeable on winter care recommendations, common issues, maintenance, and troubleshooting, Keurig owners can confidently keep sipping perfect cups of coffee regardless of the weather! Just stay proactive and diligent with care, and your Keurig will power through winter without a hitch.

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