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How to replace your Keurig water filter

The filter in your Keurig's water reservoir needs to be changed fairly regularly. Here's how.

Your Keurig might help drag you out of bed each morning with the smell of coffee. But just as your Keurig takes care of you, you must also take care of it, else the coffee it brews and the machine itself will degrade over time.

Not only should you clean your Keurig by descaling it every three to six months, you should also replace the water filter every few months. Here's how.

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When to replace a Keurig charcoal filter

The purifying filter in the water reservoir on your Keurig is designed to last a finite number of brew cycles, not any particular length of time. The less you use your Keurig, the less often you should need to replace it.

Keurig says its filters should be changed every two months. But if you're not brewing every day, it suggests you change the filter every 60 tank refills. You could also get into the habit of descaling the Keurig every other filter change.

Some newer Keurig models allow you to set a water filter reminder so there's no guesswork in when you should replace the filter.

Like any other charcoal filter, once it's spent, it will no longer filter the water in the reservoir like it should. This will not only affect the quality of the coffee, but can affect how quickly particulates will build up inside the machine.

Most newer Keurig models (save for office-style, Rivo and K200 models) use the same charcoal filters, and they can be found in most major retailers that sell Keurigs. You can also find them online for as little as 65 cents each (they're about 90p in the UK or AU$4 in Australia).

How to replace a Keurig charcoal filter

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Once the existing water filter in your Keurig is spent, replacing it with a new one will take less than 10 minutes.

  • Start by soaking a new charcoal filter in a cup of water for 5 minutes or so.
  • While the new filter is soaking, remove the old filter by gently pulling up on the filter holder.
  • Remove the clip that holds the filter in place by pressing in both sides.
  • Discard the spent filter.
  • After the new filter has soaked for 5 minutes, rinse it for 60 seconds.
  • Rinse the filter holder and the bottom clip.
  • Insert the new charcoal filter into the filter holder and reinstall the clip that holds it in place.
  • Rotate the dial to the month that you should replace the filter next. (Older filter holders only highlight a single month, while newer ones highlight the date you installed the new filter and when you should replace it.)
  • Reinstall the filter holder in the water reservoir by firmly pressing until it locks into place.

After that, you'll be ready to brew for a few months without having to worry about the water filter.

Note that if you feel the water filter isn't doing its job and you don't have a replacement on hand, you can also use prefiltered water in a pinch.