Can You Put Milk In A Keurig? (What Happens?)

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by John Moretti

Keurig coffee machines are very versatile appliances. These machines can make everything from coffee to hot chocolate, and they do so very well and very conveniently, but what if you want to add something to your machine to make drinks better? What if you can tot add milk to your Keurig for making hot chocolate? Can you put milk into a Keurig? 

You cannot put milk in a Keurig coffee machine. Milk is likely to ruin a machine entirely, damage internal components, and leave behind a severely unpleasant odor and flavor as the milk goes rancid within the machine, despite how well the machine is cleaned afterward. 

Keurig coffee machines are very versatile, but they do have limits. If a Keurig machine is used improperly, it may cause severe damage to the machine. These machines are designed to work with water, but what happens if you put something like milk into one of these machines?

Can You Use Milk In Place Of Water In A Keurig? 

Every Keurig machine is designed to function with water for brewing coffee and preparing other beverages from capsules that are compatible with the machine. 

However, some beverages simply taste better when they are prepared with milk rather than water, which leads some Keurig owners to wonder if you use milk in a Keurig machine? 

The truth is that while it is technically possible to run the milk through a Keurig machine rather than water, it is not advisable at all. If milk is run through a Keurig coffee machine, it is likely to damage the machine and impart a terrible odor to the machine that is very difficult to get rid of. 

coffee pod

Keurig machines work with a water reservoir that allows the machine to pump water into the K-Cup capsules for brewing beverages. However, this water does not simply run to the capsules. The water must first pass through the inner plumbing of the machine, where it is passed through various pumps and tubing to increase the pressure at which the water can be pumped through the capsule. 

This process works well with water, but if milk is used instead, it may cause damage to these components, and milk residue will remain in the machine that will eventually go rancid. 

For these reasons, milk should never be used in a Keurig machine instead of water. Only every put water into your Keurig machine for preparing K-Cup beverages and use appropriate cleaning solutions and products when necessary, but never put milk into the machine for making drinks. 

What Happens If You Do Put Milk Into A Keurig?

Milk for Latte Art

Now that we have established that it is never a good idea to use milk in a Keurig machine let’s take the time to find out what might happen to the machine if you do put milk into it. 

As we have already learned, the liquid placed in a Keurig machine must pass through various elements of plumbing and other mechanisms before it reaches the beverage capsule. These components include pumps, filters, tubing, and various plumbing components that send the liquid to the brew head at the right pressure and flow rate for use with a K-Cup.

The trouble is that the Keurig brewing process is quite complicated, even though using the machine is so convenient. The water must be brought up to a certain pressure to flow through the capsule correctly, and the flow rate must be within a precise range for brewing as well. If these two elements do not work together, the machine will not function well. 

Without the correct pressure and flow rate, the machine will not be able to make any beverages as it should. The water is also subjected to very high temperatures and heated very rapidly within the machine with various boilers and heating elements. 

This means that if anything other than water is placed into the machine, it is likely to have negative effects on the inner workings and functionality of the machine. 

This is particularly true for milk. Milk is far thicker than water, and it cooks if it is exposed to high temperatures. This means that if milk is used in a Keurig rather than water, the milk will leave a residue within the machine, and it will be cooked and thickened as it passes through the machine. 

This liquid will get caught up in the inner workings of the machine and remain left behind within the components even after the machine is rinsed with water. Over time, and as the machine is heated up, the milk will go rancid and cause a terrible smell in the machine. 

This smell and coupled with cooked, rancid milk particles, will ruin any beverage that is made with the machine, as the water will pick up small amounts of the aroma and particles on the way to the brew. 

Using milk in a Keurig will damage the components of the appliance, and it will ruin every beverage made with the machine in the future, even if it is thoroughly rinsed with water. 

How To Clean Milk Out Of Keurig

coffee maker

If your Keurig machine has been run with coffee rather than water, there is not much that you can do to remove the odor and unpleasantness that has befouled your machine. 

However, if you manage to clean the machine quickly enough after using it with milk, there are some potential ways to remove much of the milk before the problem becomes too severe. 

The best way to clean a machine from milk is to run a milk-specific cleaning solution through the machine. These cleaning solutions are developed for the milk lines of espresso machines and are specifically designed to break down the leftover milk residues left behind in coffee machines. 

These products are quite harsh and must be used carefully, but they will do a good job removing cooked milk from within the machine. However, this is not a guarantee that all of the unpleasant flavors and odors will be removed from the machine, but it is the best cleaning option available. 


The conclusion to this matter is that milk should never be used in a Keurig machine. The only liquids that should ever be used in these machines are water and descaling solutions. Milk will do nothing but ruin the machine.

No matter how tempting it may be to use milk in a Keurig to add richness to beverages such as hot chocolate, never use milk in this type of machine unless you want to buy a new machine. Milk will only ruin a Keurig.