Keurig Bottom Needle Keeps Making a Large Hole in K-Cup – How to fix

Picture of used kcup pods

Even though they are somewhat hidden away (for your safety!), the needles on your Keurig are an essential component of the machine. But the needles are the unsung hero of any Keurig… the machine simply couldn’t work without them.

So what if the needles are acting up and actually causing problems for your brewer? They may be doing too good of a job and puncturing a hole that’s far too large than what’s needed to brew the perfect cup of coffee. But there’s no need to worry. There are a number of simple fixes that should have your Keurig’s needles working as they should in no time.

How Keurig needles work

Before we get into troubleshooting issues with your Keurig’s needles, it is helpful to know what their function is and how they work in the grand scheme of brewing a delicious beverage. It is a common misconception that there is just one needle on your machine, but there are actually two.

The needle on the top of the lid of your machine, known as the entrance needle, is the one that most people are more aware of. It is more obvious when you lift the lid and hopefully, you haven’t learned the hard way (ouch!) that it’s there. But there’s also a needle that sits underneath the spot where the K-cup goes, known as the exit needle.

When you place your K-cup into the machine and close the lid, both the entrance needle and exit needle puncture through the top and bottom of the K-cup, respectively. The hole on top allows the water to enter (hence, the name “entrance needle”) the K-cup and flow through it. As the water streams through the coffee grounds in the K-cup, coffee is forced through the bottom hole created by the exit needle and into your coffee mug.

So now that you have a better understanding of a Keurig’s needles, you can understand how critical they are to a good cup of coffee. If the entrance needle isn’t working properly, water won’t be able to flow through, causing your machine to brew much slower than usual or leading to a blockage altogether. On the other hand, if the needle creates too large of a hole, water will flow through too quickly. This can result in watery coffee or coffee grounds in your mug. Yuck!

How to fix common issues with Keurig needles

There are a few simple steps you can take to evaluate your machine’s needles and determine whether or not there is an issue. Some involve a quick fix that can do yourself, while others may require you to order a replacement part for your brewer. Either way, it is far cheaper than replacing the Keurig altogether or wasting those precious K-cups!

Examine your machine’s needles

Take a good look at the needles within the K-cup holder to check if there are any visible issues that you can see right away. If the needle looks crooked, this could be the cause of the large holes in your K-cups. 

While this issue will require you to order a replacement piece, luckily you can find them from many major online retailers that should be able to ship them to you quickly. For entry needle issues, you’ll want to look for a piece known as “Keurig entry needle housing” and for exit needle issues, a replacement K-cup holder should do the trick.

Give the Keurig’s needles a thorough cleaning

Needles making large holes in your K-cups doesn’t always require replacement parts. It could be as simple as needing to give one of the needles a good cleaning. If you have a newer brewer it should have come with an orange maintenance accessory that makes this task a breeze.

To use the maintenance accessory, simply unplug the machine, fill the tool with water, and place it into the K-cup holder. There is a correct way to align the tool, so be sure to pay attention to the arrows. Then close and open the lid at least five times to clean the needle. Finally, run three water-only cycles on your machine to ensure any loose debris is completely eliminated from the needle.

If you tossed this mysterious orange tool or have an older version that didn’t come with the maintenance accessory, you can still clean your Keurig needle with a simple household tool: a paperclip. 

To clean your Keurig needle with a paperclip, first, make sure that the machine is unplugged. Straighten part of the paperclip out and slide it back and forth through the holes of the entrance needle. You may see some visible debris falling from the needle, so continue working the paperclip through the holes until all the debris has been loosened. Just as you would when using the maintenance tool, run three water-only cycles to ensure the needle and machine are clean.

This guide can walk you through both methods in further detail. Neither method will take you very long and it can make a world of difference in how your machine functions so you can say goodbye to giant holes in your K-cups!

Take advantage of your warranty

If you give both of these things a try and you’re still getting large holes in your K-cups, the problem may be beyond the scope of what you can fix on your own. If you purchased your brewer within the last year and haven’t done anything to the machine that would void its warranty, then you should be eligible to have your machine replaced by Keurig altogether. 

Give their customer service line a call at 866-901-BREW(2739) to discuss the issue with a representative. If they are unable to help you troubleshoot the problem yourself, they can help you replace the faulty machine.

Final thoughts

Finding large holes in your K-cups can seem like an odd problem to have, but it can be a relatively easy fix. If anything, it highlights the importance of keeping up with the maintenance of your Keurig, which includes regular cleaning. 

Your brewer’s needles have an incredibly important job, so don’t ignore them! Keeping them in good working order can help to ensure that your machine as a whole continues working as it should.