Does your Keurig machine give you the Prime message? Read on to understand why you’re getting it, and how to make it go away.

how do you prime a Keurig

What Causes the “Prime” Message

If the Keurig says prime and it does not brew, here are the top reasons and the things you can do to prime it:

Dirty Water Reservoir

Yes, you should take the time of the day to clean your water reservoir. Even though Keurig filters, boils and brews your water, you should still maintain the reservoir once every couple of weeks. Here is how:

  • Remove the water reservoir out of your Keurig. Re-install it to ensure that it is not out of alignment and that there are no air bubbles in it.
  • Clean the machine’s reservoir using soft dish soap and a non-abrasive cloth, and clean the inside and outside portions of the outlets. Wash it to eliminate the residues and dry it.
  • Reassemble the reservoir and re-install it correctly. Make sure that it doesn’t have air bubbles; otherwise, you may get the “prime” message all over again.

Lime Scaling

It is advisable to use distilled water from the store at all times when the water in your area is hard. You can also use a water filter to eliminate unwanted minerals in the water. But, water still has some calcium carbonate in it, so after two weeks, the machine needs to get descaled. The problem is that some people don’t clean their brewer nearly as often as they need to.

Since this machine is prone to scaling because of calcium and sodium which is in water, you have to get rid of the limescale build up inside your coffee machine through a process called descaling.

You can buy a descaling solution suggested by your machine’s manufacturer, or if you don’t hate the stench of supermarket white vinegar diluted by 50%, you can use it too. Just make sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty, because some of them void it when you don’t use the recommended descaling solution. Follow the machine’s adjustment of the descaling cycle, and check if there are instructions as to descaling after a certain number of cycles.

How Often to Descale Your Keurig?

The interval of removing the limescale depends on how often you use the machine and on the hardness of the water you use to make coffee. If your Keurig doesn’t have an indicator that shows when to descale, you ought to descale it about once every two months.

We do have a list of best Keurig brewers that we recommend you check. The latest models all have sensors that let you know when it is time to descale.

Can I Choose Not to Prime My Keurig?

When the water tank doesn’t dispense water properly, you will get a “Prime” error message from your machine. If you want it to function properly, you have no choice but to prime it. Otherwise, you may experience some of the common problems caused by dirt, too much scale, and debris buildup and air bubbles:

  • It won’t brew coffee. The worst problem you can get when you fail to prime your machine is when your coffee maker won’t brew some coffee.
  • It brews too little amount of coffee.
  • Your coffee starts tasting odd because of the buildup of scaling inside your machine.
  • You always see the error or the prime message.

If you tried the steps above and you’re still getting the message, or it is not yet working properly, contact the Keurig customer support.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Keurig flashing blue?

This usually indicates a problem with the water reservoir – often it needs a minimum amount of water in it to operate, so try refilling it. If that doesn’t work, flush through the reservoir and check that the water filter is in in the right place before trying again.

What does it mean when your Keurig is flashing red?

The red light usually indicates that the coffee maker is heating your water, and the light will be solid red once it has started brewing. A red light on your drip tray usually indicates that it’s full and needs emptying. If the red light continues to flash even when the Keurig has finished brewing, try troubleshooting or contacting Keurig support.