Can You Put Milk in a Keurig?

Can You Put Milk in a Keurig?

If you enjoy drinking creamy lattes and cappuccinos when you go out to coffee shops, you might be thinking about how you can replicate these beverages at home. There are specific tried and true methods, but what about putting the milk directly in the Keurig?

This article will explain everything you need to know about whether you can put milk in a Keurig. Read on to learn more!

How Does a Keurig Work?

The Keurig is an innovative coffee brewing machine that produces a single cup of coffee at a time, using a pre-packaged cup of coffee grounds known as a K-cup. K-cups come in almost every flavor, roast type, and caffeine level one could desire, making the Keurig one of the fastest and most desirable at-home brewing methods. 

Keurig machines each feature a tank that stores a large quantity of water (the precise amount will vary based on the specific model of Keurig). So long as there are at least a few ounces of water in the reservoir, you will be able to brew a perfect cup of coffee with the press of a button.

After you have selected the size cup you wish to brew, the machine begins heating the water in the tank. Once it has reached the right temperature, it is pressed through the K-cup grounds, resulting in a smooth and delicious cup of coffee.

The manufacturer recommends using fresh, filtered water in the reservoir, and this is the only liquid that should ever be used to fill the machine. The following section will go over the reasons why you should not use milk or any other liquid in place of water in the machine. 

Why You Should Never Ever Put Milk in a Keurig Water Tank

If you like to add milk or creamer to your coffee, you might have had the idea to use dairy to brew your coffee instead of water. Would the resulting beverage be infused with hot milk, like a latte? Would it eliminate the step of heating up milk separately to add to your coffee? 

What if you want to make a rich and creamy hot chocolate using a cocoa K-cup using milk instead of water? Would it be the end of the world to heat up the milk in the reservoir to save time and make a better beverage?

The answer to each of these questions is a resounding no. You should never ever put milk in a Keurig water tank. Ultimately, doing so can permanently damage or even ruin your machine. 

There are some strategies for cleaning milk out of the machine that may be effective, but there is no guarantee that your device will be the same after you press the brew button with milk in the tank. Your milk will be rendered scorched, spoiled, and wasted. Even worse than this, the interior of the Keurig may be irreversibly affected.

The following section will cover some of the consequences that will arise as a result of putting milk into your Keurig instead of water. If you have already experienced the disastrous effects of making a mistake, read to the end of the article, where we cover some tips about cleaning your Keurig and reversing the damage created by this error.

What Happens if You Put Milk in Your Keurig

If you put milk into your Keurig, a few things may happen as a result: burning, scorched metal, and spoiling.


A Keurig is designed to heat water to near-boiling temperatures almost instantly. This technology makes it fast and efficient to brew coffee at home. However, nothing except for water should be heated so rapidly. When heating milk, it needs to be done at lower temperatures and at a slower rate, so the milk doesn’t burn.

If milk heats in a Keurig, it will burn almost instantly. You will smell an unpleasant, acrid odor, and if you are brave enough to taste the resulting drink, it will taste burnt and bitter rather than creamy and smooth.

If you have ever smelled or tasted scorched dairy, you will know from experience that this consequence of putting milk inside a Keurig is enough to completely ruin your cup of coffee or hot chocolate and make you question whether you ever want to drink milk again.

Scorched Metal

Unfortunately, burned milk is not the end of your problems if you make the mistake of putting milk into the water reservoir of your Keurig and trying to brew a cup of coffee. In addition to the liquid itself burning, the machine’s metal will begin to scorch.

When the milk reaches high temperatures and burns, it solidifies into a solid that sticks to the interior of the machine. This reaction causes the metal on the inside of the Keurig to scorch. This is one of the most critical issues that can arise from putting milk in a Keurig.

It is difficult to reverse the effects of scorched metal without taking apart the entire machine since the areas affected are usually located out of reach. The more times you brew in your Keurig using milk, the more severe the scorched metal issue will become.


Keurig machines are countertop appliances, meaning they are traditionally stored at room temperature in a kitchen or office. This storage does not pose a problem when water is used in the machine. However, if you were to store milk in the reservoir, several health and safety issues would arise.

Milk, and most other types of dairy, need to be stored chilled in a refrigerator in order for it not to spoil. If you were to keep milk in the reservoir of your Keurig on the counter, it would begin to turn in a matter of hours. After days or even weeks, you could become very ill from drinking coffee made with milk stored in this way.

Even if you decided to store your milk in the fridge and only use it to fill the reservoir as needed, there would still be the issues of burning and scorched metal that cause this to be an ill-advised option.

How To Clean Your Keurig Machine After Adding Milk

What should you do if you added milk to your Keurig machine before you found this article? Is your whole device ruined permanently, or is there a way to empty the milk, clean the tank, and restore your Keurig to its former condition?

Luckily, it is possible to reverse most of the effects of adding milk to the reservoir of a Keurig machine. How severe the burning and scorched metal inside the device are will depend on how many times you attempted to brew coffee with milk. 

The first step you need to take is to unplug your machine and dump out any remaining milk in the tank. Do not save this milk or attempt to use it in another application, as the risks of spoilage are too high. Do this as soon as possible to avoid the growth of any mold or other bacteria. 

After you dump the milk down the sink, you will need to attempt to clean the tank. Start by filling the reservoir with fresh water. Add a drop or two of dish soap to the water, and do not insert a K-cup. Simply brew a few cups of hot, soapy water. Once you have done this two or three times, rinse the reservoir, refill it with plain water, and brew again to remove any soap residue.

If you have followed these instructions and the milk still is not removed from the inside of the machine, you can take a few other steps. You can try the same process with a few drops of vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda instead of soap.

How To Get Hot Milk Directly From the Keurig

Now you know that putting milk in a Keurig machine is a bad idea. However, is there any other way you can get hot milk directly from a Keurig? 

If you have the Keurig K Cafe model, there is! This is a relatively new design for the brand that contains a separate station for frothing hot milk. The frother will work with whole or skim milk, as well as alternative kinds of milk like oat, almond, and soy.

Simply insert the K-cup as usual, and fill the pitcher with your favorite type of milk up to the line that corresponds to the drink you want (cappuccino, latte, etc.). 


There you have it! If you have one takeaway from this article, let it be that you should never put milk in your Keurig machine. It might seem like a time-saving idea, but the consequences of burning, scorched metal, and spoiling are too direct to make the combination worthwhile.

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