There’s nothing more frustrating that a Keurig coffee maker where it won’t brew or the descale light won’t shut off. Many Keurig owners then start to search for answers and inevitably ask “can I slap and burp a Keurig?”
I’ve had those issues too and decided to investigate and discovered:
The slap and burp method is not officially sanctioned by Keurig but has been used by thousands to successfully dislodge built-up scale or other things blocking the water lines in your Keurig. With the unit unplugged and water tank removed, gently strike the bottom of the unit with an open palm.
But there’s a lot more to know about a Keurig and slapping, burping, or otherwise dislodging built-up scale deposits on the inside of the unit.
So let’s explore this problem and solutions in greater detail!
The Keurig coffee brewer is arguably one of the greatest inventions of all time. I mean, what’s better than a freshly brewed cup of coffee for one ready within seconds of when the craving hits?
However, even those these pieces of machinery are wonderful, they can go through typical wear and tear. They need to be cleaned consistently. That helps to clear our calcium deposits and ensure that water is flowing through the lines smoothly.
But, sometimes cleaning out the lines just isn’t enough to get your Keurig brewer running smoothly.
While it may sound strange, many people have trusted the slap and burp method. And many of them claim it is one of the best ways to get your machine working again.
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) May 7, 2020
What is the Keurig Slap and Burp Method?
The Keurig slap and burp method is an unofficial way of dislodging any built-on scale residue inside the unit which may be preventing a normal brewing cycle. It involves striking the underside of the Keurig after it’s been unplugged and had the water reservoir removed.
With regular use over time, your Keurig brewer will need some cleaning. You may come across a few normal issues that need to be attended to.
- Calcium and other mineral deposits and buildup inside the machine
- Exit puncture needle clogged with coffee grounds
- Excess air in the water line
- Reservoir tank magnet offset (which prevents the machine from registering the attachment of the reservoir)
All of these things can leave your Keurig running less than smoothly. Sometimes then even result in a cup of coffee that has less than the amount it should.
It can be very frustrating, especially when you are desperate for that morning cup of caffeine to get your day started.
You’ve tried cleaning out the lines with vinegar and water or a descaling solution. And you’ve tried cleaning out the needle tip with a paperclip. But it’s still not working? The slap and burp method can be great to clear out any water, air, or coffee that may be clogging the lines.
Sometimes your Keurig coffee brews but doesn’t taste good.
If that sounds familiar, several things can cause your Keurig coffee to taste bad. Luckily, in a recent article, I walk you through each possibility, and what the solutions are.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Is it cool if I just give my Keurig the finger? What if I slap it around a little. I mean, it was pretty expensive. pic.twitter.com/fX9ozVbfgM
— Ken Adams (@Elohssa412) November 13, 2017
How do You Burp a Keurig?
The slap and burp method – sometimes also referred to as spanking – isn’t the most graceful or gentle way of cleaning out your Keurig brewer, but it does work for a lot of people. It’s best to try this method after you have already run it through a descaling cycle.
Here’s the best way to practice the slap and burp Keurig brewer cleaning method:
- Unplug your Keurig coffee maker
- Remove any used or empty coffee pods
- Take off the water reservoir tank and empty it out
- Remove the drip tray and any other loose parts that may fall off easily
- Make sure the exit needle is cleaned out if coffee grounds are clogging it
- Take the brewer to the sink or a tub if the sink is not very big
- Turn the machine upside down, ensuring you have a firm grip on it
- Using an open palm, slap or spank the bottom of the brewer
- Your palm should hit directly in the middle of the bottom of the machine
- Each hit should be firm but controlled to knock out any stubborn residue
There is no exact number of times you should hit your machine, but it could take up to 10 or 15 hits if your machine is older or if you continue to see water and coffee grounds coming out as you slap it.
After you have slapped your machine enough times, replace the water reservoir, and try to run a regular cycle, making yourself a cup of coffee. If the amount of coffee made matches the setting you selected, you are good to go. If not, try the process over again.
I have been at work for an hour and a half and I still have not had a cup of coffee because the Keurig isn’t working. I’m off the a rough start pic.twitter.com/v66fkkId0Q
— B (@broookewoodring) November 14, 2017
Does the Slap and Burp Method Work?
The short answer is maybe.
You may be surprised by the number of people who say the slap and burp method worked for them when they were having issues with their Keurig brewers not making the right amount of coffee.
For some, especially those with newer machines, burping your Keurig may not give you any physical results or satisfaction (even though it very well may still be working). You may only hear a slight gurgling of air and water leaving the clogged lines.
For others with older machines, you may notice that you also get a good out amount of water and even some coffee grounds that come out with the trapped air.
But at the end of the day, you’re hitting it to try and dislodge built-up scale and other deposits. So it’s not 100% guaranteed to work.
Don’t think, however, that adding super hot water to your Keurig will somehow make it brew better, or make your coffee hotter.
In fact, using hot water can actually damage your Keurig. Find out more, and learn what you can do to maximize how hot your coffee is in my recent article.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
This morning I learned that the drip pan in my Keurig holds a large cup of coffee. I also learned that if you want to drink the coffee it is best to put the mug in place before you hit the brew button and walk away. #2AMProblems pic.twitter.com/IZOvOlfzZf
— Jim Donovan (@jimdonovancbs3) February 20, 2020
Does the Slap and Burp Method Void My Warranty?
Keurig covers their machines for normal home use up to one year after purchase and registration.
If your machine stops working during that time, they will repair or replace it at no cost to you. This warranty, however, does not cover damage due to abuse or misuse.
That being said, the slap and burp method of cleaning your Keurig coffee brewer should not void your warranty. That’s as long as you are not causing any physical damage to the device. And a good slapping shouldn’t cause any issues.
However, if you are not careful with the way you hold and slap your Keurig, you could knock it out of your hand, dropping it on the floor or in the sink, and damaging it that way.
You want to make sure you only slap the machine with an open palm. Hit it directly on the bottom in the center so that you don’t apply any uneven pressure to fragile areas. You also want to make sure your hits remain controlled so that you know exactly how hard you’re going on it.
Make sure to unplug your machine before you try the slap and burp method.
After all, you don’t want to run the risk of injuring yourself or causing damage to your machine that is not covered by the warranty.
For more details on the Keurig brewer warranty, be sure to visit their customer support site.
Put in a K cup, hit ‘brew’ and the Keurig’s ‘add water’ light comes on. pic.twitter.com/Hbxq2JR2Ev
— Farty B (@btemps) September 9, 2016
Does the Slap and Burp Method Turn Off the Descale Light?
Depending on what you’ve done so far to try to descale your Keurig brewer, using the slap and burp method may very well turn off the descale light on your machine.
However, it is not necessarily guaranteed that it will happen.
For the best results, you should start with the normal descaling method. Using a descale solution made with citric acid or create your own with a combination of white vinegar and water. Then, run a cycle through the machine to break up stubborn residue.
You may also want to try cleaning the piercing needle with a paperclip or other small object that will fit inside. You may have coffee grounds stuck in there that are preventing the water from flowing well.
Once you have done this, you can take the water reservoir off, make sure there is no excess water in the machine. Then try the slap and burp method. Having already run the regular descale method before this, it is highly likely that your descale light should turn off now.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual thoroughly before trying to descale your machine.
Most Keurig brewers follow the same process, but you always want to make sure you do what is recommended for your specific machine so you don’t void your warranty.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about whether it’s OK to use the slap and burp method on a Keurig?
It can be very frustrating when you expect your appliances to work the right way when you need them to. Especially when it’s your prized Keurig brewer that you rely on for your morning pick me up.
You can always try running it through a descaling cycle if you find the water isn’t flowing quite right. But if that doesn’t work, turning it over and spanking it a few times may very well help to clear out some of the built-up residue and force air bubbles out.
And it may just help you feel a little better as well to hit something that isn’t working right, especially if it actually helps to fix it!
If the slap and burp method didn’t work, don’t give up on descaling your Keurig!
In my most popular article (referenced a few times in Women’s World Magazine, I walk you through every step I know to try to get that Keurig working again. These aren’t just things I Googled, but actually things I’ve tried with my Keurig.
Just click that link to read them on my site!