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Why does my reusable k-cup leak? (Explaination + Fix included)

Why does my reusable k-cup leak? (Explaination + Fix included)

Ding! I received a message from a long-time instagram follower about their reusable k-cup. They explained they wanted to reduce waste, so they got a reusable k-cup for their coffee machine! There was just one problem, it leaked. They asked me "why does my reusable k-cup leak?" I did some research, and found out exactly why reusable k-cups leak. Here's what I found.

Why does my reusable k-cup leak? Reusable k-cups leak because there isn't a tight seal around the needle that enters the top of the reusable k-cup. When the machine releases water through the needle, the water builds up and leaks through the top hole on the reusable k-cup where the needle entered. If the hole were properly sealed, all of the water would be forced down through the coffee grounds and release through the hole on the bottom of the k-cup.

Now that we know why your reusable k-cup is leaking (for Keurig 1.0 & 2.0), we know how to fix it! All that needs to be done to stop reusable k-cups from leaking, is to create a proper seal around the top hole of the k-cup where the needle enters. Let's look into the best way to do that. The picture below shows which hole I'm referring to.

why does my reusable k-cup leak

How to fix a reusable k-cup leak

So we know that we need to properly seal the top hole of the reusable k-cup where the needle goes in. I did a little digging, and found that the following is the best way to seal the hole and fix a reusable k-cup leak. This works for both the first Keurig, and the Keurig 2.0.

  1. Gather materials. All you need is a rubber o-ring and your reusable k-cup. The o-ring should be small enough to fit within the circular divot, and large enough to not cover the hole where the needle goes.
Reusable k-cup leak fix
  1. Fill your k-cup with coffee grounds, then place the o-ring in the circular divot, around the hole on top of the reusable k-cup. The o-ring may be loose and move around. To fix this, you could use a high temperature hot glue to fasten the o-ring in place. That is not necessary for this to fix the leak.
  1. Place the reusable k-cup in the designated slot in your Keurig. Next, carefully pull the Keurig's lever down to secure the reusable k-cup in place. Be sure that the o-ring does not move during this process.
how to fix a reusable k-cup leak

And that's it! All that's left now is turning the machine on and making yourself a leak-free cup of coffee.

While we're on the subject of reusable k-cups, wouldn't it be interesting to find out how great they are for the environment? Reusable k-cups replace a lot of disposable k-cups. I made a few calculations and found out exactly how many disposable k-cups a reusable k-cup replaces!

How many times you can use a reusable K-cup

Reusable k-cups can be used for 3-4 months before they either need to be replaced, or need a deep clean. To find out how many times a reusable k-cup can be used, we need to know how many cups of coffee people drink every day on average.

According to Statista, the average American drinks 2 cups of coffee every day. To find how many cups of coffee a reusable k-cup can handle, we multiply 2 cups of coffee by 90 - 120 days (3-4 months).

Following that logic, a reusable k-cup can be used 180 to 240 times. After the reusable k-cup is worn down, it either needs a deep clean or to be replaced.

If you can use your k-cup for up to 240 times, that means it replaces up to 240 disposable k-cups! That's a lot of k-cups you're saving, well done!

If you want to learn how to reduce even more plastic and waste, check out this room-by-room guide to live zero waste!

How to give a reusable k-cup a deep clean

All you'll need to give your reusable k-cup filter a deep clean is a deep bowl or wide-mouth drinking glass, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1 cup of water.

  1. Empty coffee grounds in a compost. Rinse the k-cup to rid it of any excess coffee grounds.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water into a deep bowl or wide-mouth drinking glass
  3. Place reusable k-cup filter into the vinegar & water solution. Let the filter sit in the solution for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove filter from solution, and rinse with water. Allow to air dry until completely dry.

To clean the reusable k-cup's filter container, simply wash it with warm & soapy water.

Now you can use your reusable k-cup for another 180 to 240 times!


I hope you learned something new! If you did, please share this on social media so others can fix their leaky k-cup and learn something new as well!

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