If you click on a link on Coffee Brewster and make a purchase, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

How Long Can You Leave Water In Keurig Coffee Makers?(Not Too Long)

Coffee. For some of us it’s like the nectar of the gods. We simply can’t get our days started without at least one cup.

Whether you have a one-cup-a-day habit or a three-pot-a-day habit, one of the most convenient ways to feed that habit is with a Keurig style coffee maker. A Keurig allows you to brew your favorite hot drink one cup at a time. Whenever the mood strikes, your steaming cup of deliciousness can be sitting on your desk in mere minutes, especially since they have large reservoirs.

But how long can you leave water in Keurig coffee makers?

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker K-Cup Pod, Single Serve, Programmable, 6 to 10 oz. Brew Sizes, Black

How long can you leave water inside a Keurig?

Obviously, the perfect cup of Joe requires water for brewing. If you’re using your Keurig daily, the water you put in the reservoir will cycle through the machine quickly depending on the size of the machine you have and the amount of coffee you drink.

If you’re not using it regularly, you should keep the reservoir as empty as possible.

Letting water stagnate will result in the development of limescale which will affect the taste of your coffee, and if untreated, shorten the life of your machine. Worse, you can start seeing growth of bacteria which can be harmful to your health.

Don’t leave water in a Keurig for more than a couple of days.

It’s recommended to run a cleansing brew through your Keurig at least every other day, especially if you use it for more than just coffee. This is simply running it with plain water and no K-cup pod.

Some people recommend using filtered water when brewing coffee in your Keurig. While it isn’t an absolute necessity to use filtered water, it will improve the flavor of your coffee.

It’s also likely that using filtered water also helps to prevent the build up of slime and scale in the reservoir.

How to clean and descale a Keurig

Water can become stagnant and result in growing mold in a Keurig. That isn’t going to happen if you use your machine routinely, but just leaving water in for a few days might get the process started.

If you don’t use the Keurig often you will want to empty the reservoir and clean it thoroughly at least once a month. This will reduce the chances of slime build-up in the machine.

Additionally, you will want to thoroughly clean and descale the entire machine approximately every three months.

To descale your machine, you can purchase the descaling product made by the company. Alternatively, you can run a mix of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar or citric acid through the machine.

After running either product through, make sure to run clear water through several times to thoroughly rinse your machine.

Emptying a standard coffee pot is a simple matter.

How to remove water from a Keurig

Removing the water from your Keurig isn’t as simple. Depending on the model of Keurig you have, fully emptying the machine often requires the use of a screwdriver to remove the back access panel.

Typically, a Keurig has two locations that hold water. There is the water reservoir that holds the water until you are ready to brew. Water is also located in the pot of the machine.

That’s where it’s heated before being passed through the coffee grounds in the K-cup or the refillable pod. The machine holds approximately one cup of heated water inside it at all times.

The first step to fully removing the water from your Keurig is to turn the machine off and unplug it from the wall outlet. After you have unplugged the machine, you’ll want to wait about 30 minutes to allow the machine to fully cool down.

This step is important whether you’re simply emptying the water reservoir or emptying the water from the machine itself.

To fully empty the Keurig you’ll need to empty the reservoir as well as the interior of the machine.

Again, depending on your machine, you could have a reservoir that simply slips from the holder to be emptied. Or, you could have a reservoir that requires you to remove a screw from the rear of the machine in order to remove the reservoir for emptying.

Once you’ve accessed the pipe, just grab hold of your Keurig over a sink and let the water drain out of the pipe.

Can you leave a Keurig on?

If you drink a lot of coffee, you may wonder if you can leave your Keurig on for the entire day. Technically, it’s safe to do so, but more than likely you’ll have to disable an Auto Off feature to do it.

Most Keurig type machines are designed to shut themselves off after about two hours. This feature helps to prolong the life of the heating element in your machine. Disabling the feature allows you to leave your machine on for longer periods of time.

Leaving the Keurig on doesn’t seem to pose any safety issues. Be aware, though, that leaving the Keurig on does keep the heating element engaged, and that could cause your machine to wear out quicker.

The Keurig does use energy if left on. Generally speaking, the majority of that energy is used just as you begin a brewing cycle.

So, if your goal is to conserve energy, turning your Keurig off is a better choice. Conserve even more energy by unplugging your machine. Even turned off, an appliance uses a slight amount of energy if it is plugged into an outlet.

How to maintain a Keurig

To prevent any unnecessary performance issues, here’s a schedule you can follow to keep your Keurig running in great shape:

  • Clean out the reservoir and the outside of the machine once every week
  • Descale the machine every 3 to 6 months
  • Empty the water if you’re not going to be using it for an extended time

Final Thoughts

Regardless of your coffee drinking habits, a Keurig is a convenient device to have on your kitchen table. They are easy to use and relatively easy to maintain.

Cleaning your Keurig about once a month and descaling it about once every three months will help to increase the longevity of the machine.

Last update on 2022-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Become a coffee expert and brew like a barista

Learn to brew the best coffee of your life with our FREE email course.
You'll also get access to our community and weekly newsletter.