Is Your Keurig Dripping Slow? Here’s Your 7-Step Guide to Fix It Fast

Look, we get it. Your morning coffee should be a quick thing. Rolling out of bed and meandering into the kitchen should be an enjoyable experience. You’re in anticipation of a warm, inviting cup of joe. But solving the unfortunately common issue of your Keurig dripping slow kills your vibe and puts a damper on your morning, as if you didn’t have enough to think about!

Here on Top Off My Coffee, I believe it should be one and done, coffee on demand.

Any time you want a quick caffeine boost of your favorite roast, you should be able to have it. Just turn your amazing Keurig machine on, load the water, pop in a K-cup, and you’re off to conquer your day.

If your Keurig is obnoxiously dripping at a snail’s pace, today’s article will help you fix it. From top to bottom, we’ll cover why this happens, what to do about it, and how to prevent it in the future. You invested a lot into your Keurig, so it should bring you back a lot of joy.

You’ve been waiting on that cup to brew for ages now anyway; what’ve you got to lose by reading this? Spend a couple minutes on today’s article to fix this annoying issue once and for all.

Let’s get down to the grinds…

Oh No, Am I Going to Have to Take This Thing Apart?!

Okay, first off… we wanted to cover a quick misconception: that of needing to disassemble your entire Keurig.

You’ll need to take your scenario on a case-by-case basis, but in general, the strong, sturdy Keurig machine was built for customers to have quick, easy coffee brews on demand. It wasn’t created with the thought in mind, that end consumers (coffee lovers like yourself) would have to take the thing apart like a mechanic in a chop-shop.

Its value lies in one-push, 10-second delectable coffees.

Keurig wanted you to be able to invest in ease and convenience, and have a reliable machine you didn’t have to hack away at.

So the point of today’s article is to clear up the frustration when you find your Keurig running slow.

And furthermore, there is a last resort option to disassemble your machine. But that is only done when all else fails. In fact we’ve covered this in-depth in this article.

► Make sure to see my comparisons of the best Keurig’s sold today.

So… Why is My Keurig Brewing So Slow?

The primary reason your Keurig gets blocked (and your coffee takes ages) is due to a blocked water line or channel. Plain and simple.

Your coffee passes through a small, concentrated needle, and blocking that would block the natural flow of coffee into your cup, and in some cases, stop it completely.

A secondary reason for your Keurig not working properly could be that the water lines inside the machine are plugged up. However, recognize this is nowhere near as common as a blockage in the dispenser needle.

Remember that your coffee is being made inside the machine, it’s just not reaching its final destination: your cup. And ultimately, your blood stream and good mood…

Usually all you have to do to get your Keurig working properly again is to unclog the puncture needle and/or give the entire machine a good deep cleaning which we have a dedicated guide for right here.

Of course there are a few other things to consider listed below.

How to Decide What You Should Do About a Slow Keurig

Alright, in the last section, we mentioned the most common reason for the agonizingly-slow coffee brewing: an issue with the puncture needle.

So in this situation, most people can easily fix the clog with a strong toothpick, or a sharp object like a regular sewing needle. For more severe cases, you may have to replace the needle entirely, but remember this option would still be far cheaper than buying a new Keurig coffee maker.

So, if it is in fact a problem with your needle, the toothpick/needle route should be able to solve it. If it’s an internal water line issue, it may take a bit more effort or parts replacement. Today we’ll go through the seven steps for either scenario.

Read on to figure out where you stand in a scenario like this one.

Your 7-Step Guide to Fixing Your Slow-Dripping Keurig Issue

If the following doesn’t solve the problem, there’s a high probability that a deeper issue exists inside your Keurig. If that’s the case, you might be better off disassembling your machine, or taking it to a parts and service professional.

If you do need to take it apart, you can first read our guide on disassembling your machine safely, if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person! But we hope that doesn’t happen to you, so we’ll lay out a step-by-step guide for you to follow, so you can be back to steaming cups, warm pajamas and Netflix in no time.

1 – Turn off Your Keurig with the Power Button

Kind of a no brainer for number one, huh?

If you try restarting your machine, it could lead to a reset that’d help you get back to baseline. After all, lots of Keurig loyalists keep their machine plugged in and on all the time, using it as a faithful, automated coffee barista.

Turn it off and back on again after a few minutes. And if you do plan to perform an autopsy on your dead Keurig, be safe and cut the power off before you do.

2 – Take The Protective Reservoir Off

Self-explanatory here; you’ve got to get to the important pieces.

Even more important to a normal cup than this, you’ve got to alter and clear out the pieces causing the problem. If you don’t take the reservoir off first, you won’t be able to get to them, obviously.

3 – Open The Lid Like You Normally Would to Insert A K-Cup

Open up the top, so you can access your needle and your K-cup.

Just lift it as if you were to add a new K-cup, and reminisce about a better time when it was simply that easy to get a beautiful, warm, and caffeinated cup of yum.

Optional: Use this longing as extra motivation to get your hands dirty and fix this problem once and for all, so you can get back to that blissful, caffeinated state.

4 – Remove the K-Cup Puncturing Needle

Look up at the open lid, above your K-cup reservoir.

This part requires your full attention and care.

You need to watch your hands and fingers when you dig around in this area. This is because there’s a needle inside this piece that punctures the K-cups to make coffee.

Ideally you don’t even use your fingers at all; you straighten out a paperclip, toothpick, or ideally use another needle here. You’re aiming to clear out the blockages and restore the flow, but you don’t want to get poked.

It’s an important, expensive piece to your Keurig, so be careful when handling it and poking around in there. Take it out, clear it with a toothpick or a needle, but again, be very careful you don’t prick your fingers.

This is the point where pressurized, boiling water shoots through your K-cup to make coffee instantly. And as we mentioned, if it’s blocked, you’ll grow old waiting for your cup of coffee.

5 – Clean the Tubes Behind Your Puncture Needle

If you saw and removed a clear blockage in the needle that punctures the K-cups, then you probably fixed it.

If, by prodding it, a piece of lint, sugar/coffee grounds or a small family was hiding inside, then you’re probably all set. You can re-insert the needle and return to quick cappuccinos on the daily.

But on the other hand, if you pulled out the needle and it looked normal, there’s a good chance the tubes behind it are blocked or clogged. It’d be a better idea not to use a needle here, but a toothpick or a straightened paper clip would do the job in a softer way.

No need to create one problem when you’re trying to fix another.

Take your time and clean out the inside of these tubes, wash them or use a Q-tip to “squeegee” them out if you can. Clear out whatever was blocking it inside, and again, if you find and remove something clear and obvious, then you’ve probably found the culprit.

6 – Re-Assemble Your Keurig In Reverse

Everything you just did to destroy your Keurig, reverse it and put it back together in the opposite order.

If you bring this article down to the kitchen on your iPhone, to remember the backwards-order, we won’t judge you. We won’t even tell anybody. This stuff can get complicated, and you didn’t ask for your Keurig to give you only one coffee per decade.

It’s not your fault.

7 – Turn Your Machine Back On & Resume Drinking Responsibly

Now that you’ve finished yelling at your kids for breaking your Keurig, have re-assembled it in reverse, kissed it and apologized, you’re ready to flip the power back on and try again.

You might want to run it once with just hot water into your cup, to see if the normal flow’s returned. No sense wasting a K-cup if it’s not all the way fixed. But if the water looks normal, nice and steamy, and your flow speed is back to regular…

Pop in a new K-cup to resume your normal coffee-making happiness!

If you followed these instructions carefully, and this was the actual problem, you should be good to go. If not, it’s likely a deeper problem that will unfortunately require more work and or service.

Read our guide on how to safely disassemble a Keurig coffee maker here.

Related – Keep your coffee equipment in top shape with our step-by-step guide. From descaling to cleaning, we’ve got you covered.

Why Your Keurig Is Dripping Slowly and How To Fix It

A Keurig is a machine, and for many of us it’s an important one!

So what do you do when this device you use daily begins dripping too slowly?

Don’t fret! You have options for figuring out this issue.

To help guide you through why your Keurig might be dripping slowly and what you can do about it, we’re going to provide some helpful steps to try out!

In most cases, following these steps will be able to get your Keurig back to the level of efficiency you’re used to.

So buckle up, read on and try out these steps with your machine!

This Is Usually Due To A Blockage

In most cases, a Keurig can begin to drip more slowly when there is a blockage in the system.

The good news is that this is something you can typically fix pretty easily.

With the right steps and tools, you can clean out the machine and have it back to working order in no time.

You will want to make sure to be careful when you make the steps to clean out the Keurig.

Otherwise, there could be some risk of breaking the machine or accidentally injuring yourself.

For those who may be less familiar with how a Keurig works, it’s a coffee maker that uses K-cups.

These small pods contain a single serving of coffee grounds, which the Keurig uses to brew a cup for you.

The process is similar to a standard drip-style coffee maker, but using a pod rather than measured grounds, such as in scoop coffee makers.

Many find that these machines are often easier to use, but they can sometimes get clogged!

Steps To Take For Resolving The Issue

Preparing the machine

The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure that your machine is ready and you have everything you need to clean it out.

You’ll want to start by unplugging the machine, just to make sure you’re as safe as possible while cleaning it.

Safety is always the most important concern when it comes to these kinds of tasks, as it’s easier to replace a machine than your life!

After that, you’ll also need to remove the reservoir.

This can just make the overall task easier, so it’s highly recommended.

As part of this process, you may also want a paper clip or another item that can reach into small spaces.

This can help with pushing the clog out and is just useful to have, but be careful with it!

Next, you’ll want to open up the Keurig.

This can be done through the same method you would use when you want to put in a K-cup for brewing.

You’ll be working in this area, so after that it’s going to be important to take a close look.

Consequently, you’ll want to be in a well-lit area or have a flashlight on hand to help you with seeing any potential issues.

Check out the cup-insertion space

In a Keurig, there is a part that is used to puncture any K-cup you’re using to make your coffee.

To begin with your cleaning, you’ll need to take this part off.

As you do so, be very careful as it is a part that is quite sharp.

You’ll also want to make sure that you place it somewhere safe, where it won’t get lost or accidentally poke you as you’re cleaning.

If you don’t have the tools necessary to remove this part safely, it’s recommended that you wait until you do.

Clean out the area

Behind the part you just removed, there should be a tube.

This is where your paper clip (or other tool) is going to come in handy.

First, take a look and see if there is any obvious clogging going on in the tube.

If so, you’ll know exactly where the problem is, otherwise it may just be deeper than you can easily see.

Try inserting the paper clip into the tube.

Be very careful as you work to unclog the tube without using more pressure than necessary.

Too much force can run the risk of damaging the tube, so it’s best to be as gentle as possible.

If you can manage to clear out the jam, there’s a good chance that your problem will be solved.

Otherwise, you may find that you need to take a few more steps.

Keep an eye out for any other potential problems while you have the machine open, and give it all a good cleaning if you need to!

After that, you’ll be able to get the machine back into working order.

Set your machine back up

At this point, you can place the puncturing tool back into its position in the machine and close the lid.

You’ll also be able to place the water reservoir back inside, toss your paperclip and plug the Keurig back in.

If you want to, you can choose to rinse out the machine with some water or cycle some hot water through it just to test out the flow.

At this point, you should be able to see whether or not the flow has improved.

If you found and removed a clog, it’s most likely that the machine is now fixed.

You’ll also know how to fix this problem going forward, which can decrease the overall frustration that it might otherwise cause.

Try it out!

With your Keurig working normally, you can now go back to enjoying your coffee without a problem!

Going forward, you’ll also be able to just keep a paperclip handy for any potential issues.

Now that you know the cause of the problem, it will likely be a matter of minutes fixing it in the future.

This is an ideal time to make some coffee in celebration of your success!

What If It’s Still Not Working?

While it’s likely that cleaning out the clog will likely solve the issue, there is always the chance that it won’t.

The clog may be too deep, or there might be something else going on inside the machine.

Though it is an unfortunate situation, you do have options!

Your first option is to consider how long you’ve had the device.

If you’re still within a return or warranty period, you can contact the manufacturer to get their help with this issue.

They may have some helpful advice, or they may be able to fix or replace the Keurig altogether.

If that isn’t the case for you, then you may also want to consider purchasing a new Keurig.

There are a wide number of options out there that can suit your needs.

You may even choose to go with another type of single-serve machine, like a Nespresso or Cuisinart.

If you don’t want to spend the money, you can also just try taking a closer look at the problem before taking a different route.

It’s all going to be up to your preferences and needs!

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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