How to use Keurig rinse pods

A whopping 62% of Americans enjoy a cup of coffee every day, myself included. For this, I rely on my Keurig because it’s convenient, speedy, and makes delicious brews. Recently, however, I have noticed my morning coffee has tasted flat and the quality is underwhelming.

Part of owning a Keurig involves cleaning and maintaining the appliance to ensure its longevity. Taking care of this appliance will also maximize the flavor of your brews by removing any mold, bacteria, mineral deposits, and residual flavors that may have built up in the machine over time (especially if you use your Keurig more than once a day).

Fortunately, Keurig has created a handy pod to help flush out the K-cup pod holder, brewer funnel, and exit needle. Cleansing these external features of the machine is just as important as disinfecting the internal mechanisms. 

What Are Rinse Pods?

Keurig rinse pods look like the regular coffee pods that are used in Keurig machines. As with the various coffee pods that can be purchased, the rinse pods are made from polypropylene #5 white plastic. A foil topper, which is easily penetrated by the needles in the machine, seals the cleaning agent inside.

The company claims these plastic pods, which are made from FDA-approved food-grade materials and are BPA and phthalate-free, are the quickest way to clean your Keurig machine. It is also recommended that they are used weekly to ensure your brews taste top-notch. These pods are also compatible with any Keurig machine, making them even more convenient.

What’s Inside the Pods?

There are four ingredients in the Keurig rinse pods. These ingredients are:

  • Maltodextrin- a white powdery substance made from a combination of corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. Being plant-based, the FDA considers this a safe food additive.
  • Citric Acid- a naturally occurring food additive that can also be utilized as a disinfectantSodium Citrate- a white substance that neutralizes acids
  • Sodium Bicarbonate- also known as baking soda, this white powder dissolves easily in water and helps get rid of grease and odors

Are Rinse Pods Safe?

Keurig rinse pods are both safe and effective, although they should not be ingested. They contain an odorless and gentle formula made specifically for removing residue and residual oils from previous brews. The pods are also recyclable, which is safe for the planet.

If a small amount is accidentally ingested, it’s recommended to drink plenty of water to reduce the amount of irritation that may occur in the mouth. If a large quantity is swallowed, the company urges you to seek medical attention, especially if you feel sick.

How to Use a Keurig Rinse Pod

The process of cleaning out your Keurig’s pod holder, brewer funnel, and exit needle is quick and easy when using a rinse pod. For this process, you will need one rinse pod and a large mug. Also, be sure to check the level of water in the external water reservoir to make sure it is full and ready to go.

  1. Turn on your machine and place a large mug on top of the drip tray. (The mug must be big enough to hold 8 oz of water.)
  2. Insert the rinse pod into the pod holder and lower the handle just as you would with a regular coffee pod.
  3. Choose the 8 oz serving size and allow the machine to run.
  4. When the cycle is over, carefully remove the rinse pod from the pod holder and discard it.
  5. Dump the contents of the mug into the sink. 
  6. Return the mug to the drip tray and run another 8 oz water cycle, this time without a pod. This will fully flush out the K-cup pod holder, brewer funnel, and exit needle.
  7. When the cycle is complete, carefully discard the hot water in the mug. You are now ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee.

Cost-Effectiveness & Alternatives

Depending on who you talk to, this product can be viewed as cost-effective or expensive. With a quick search online, you can find many retailers who sell a box of ten rinse pods for under ten dollars. For some, this is a great deal.

Although a box of ten is comparable to an average box of K-cups, they still cost money. And let’s face it, every penny counts these days. For those who like to sniff out a bargain, other brands can be found but all seem to be in the same price bracket.

Some alternative pods, each slightly different from the next, that can also be used for cleaning the K-cup pod holder, brewer funnel, and exit needle out include:

  • Urnex- this company offers 5-count boxes of cleaning pods that are compatible with Keurig
  • Quick & Clean- these pods have tiny holes along the outside of the plastic pod to ensure the pod holder gets adequately cleaned 
  • Pure Water- these biodegradable pods are odorless, phosphate-free, and available in a 15-count box

Rinse Pods vs. Descaling Solution

While Keurig rinse pods take care of cleaning the K-cup pod holder, brewer funnel, and exit needle, descaling is an internal cleaning process that targets the tubes and mechanisms inside the appliance. 

Descaling involves adding a special solution to the external water reservoir. When the machine is run multiple times in quick succession, the solution is forced through the machine, removing calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that slowly build up from the use of unfiltered water. While Keurig suggests that cleaning pods be used every week to keep the holder, funnel and needle clean, descaling is only done every three to four months. 


Keurig rinse pods are an excellent cleaning tool to help keep your appliance clean and to produce the best quality brews possible. It also keeps the Keurig in tip-top shape so that it will last longer. Although the rinse pods don’t clean the internal tubes or heating element, they are excellent at washing away any residual oils, bacteria, and mold from the K-cup pod holder, brewer funnel, and exit needle.

Considered safe to use, Keurig rinse pods are comparable in price to other cleaning pods. They are also recyclable, which makes them better for the planet. These refreshing sessions, which are quick and easy, should be done each week.