How To Descale Nespresso Machines – Descaling Nespresso Vertuo And Original

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Nespresso machines offer a fantastic way to brew delicious coffee quickly and conveniently, but they still need maintenance to keep them in the best possible condition.

One of the most important ways to do that is to descale the coffee machine at the appropriate time. But why is descaling important, and how do you do it? This article will examine the issue of descaling Nespresso, so you’ll know exactly why it’s necessary – and the best ways to go about it.

We will also introduce the steps needed for all types of Nespresso machines.

Why Do You Need To Descale Your Nespresso Machine?

A small amount of debris remains in the interior piping whenever you use a Nespresso coffee machine. This is known as scale. Scale – or limescale – is magnesium, calcium and carbon dioxide molecules that build up over time to form a hard, off-white chalky substance that builds up in the piping.

While the build-up of scale is not an issue in the short term as there’s so little of it left behind after each use, over time, it can accumulate to the degree that the pressure reduces, which can affect the quality of the beverage, making an otherwise delicious coffee watery and unsatisfying.

Nespresso Descaling Instructions – For Vertuo And Original Models

What Do You Need To Descale A Nespresso Machine?

There are only a few items you need to descale a Nespresso machine – Nespresso descaling solution, fresh water and a container.

The descaling liquid removes the debris and minerals from the coffee maker most efficiently. The solution is available from Nespresso stores or online. You can also find many coffee descalers from other brands.

In addition, you’ll need a container to hold the water once it flushes out of the device during the descaling process.

How Long Does The Nespresso Descaling Take?

There are several steps to descaling your Nespresso machine, but the whole process should be complete within 15-20 minutes. This is a small inconvenience for a task that only needs to be performed every few months. The key is to set aside the time needed to descale, follow the instructions correctly, and ensure you have all the equipment you need to hand.

There are two Nespresso product lines – VertuoLine and OriginalLine. They are quite different from one another, and, as a result, descaling each also requires different steps.

Descaling Nespresso Vertuo Coffee Machines


Step One: Note that when the light on top of the Nespresso Vertuo machine turns green and red simultaneously, it’s time to descale it. Firstly turn the machine on by pushing the button.

Step Two: Open the machine head and eject the used capsule, then close the head and turn the machine off. Remove the cup support and used capsule container.

Step Three: Fill the water tank with one unit of Nespresso descaling fluid and add a minimum of 17 fl.oz (500ml) of water.

Step Four: Push the lever and button down simultaneously for three seconds until the orange light begins steadily flashing.

Step Five: Push the lever once to enter descaling mode.

Step Six: Place a container of a minimum of 27 fl.oz (800ml) under the coffee spout and push the button to begin descaling. The machine will stop when the descaling is complete. The orange light will blink throughout. You can exit descaling mode by pressing the button.

Step Seven: Once the descaling is complete, you’ll need to do a rinsing process. Empty and clean the water tank and cup support. Push the button to begin the rinsing cycle. The orange light will blink once every two seconds. To exit rinsing mode, push the button and lever simultaneously for three seconds and let the machine cool for 10 minutes.

Descaling Nespresso Original Machines

Step One: Turn on the machine, remove any capsules and empty the capsule container and the drip tray.

Step Two: Place a container up to 34 fl.oz (1l) beneath the coffee outlet.

Step Three: Fill the water tank with 17 fl.oz (500ml) of water and add the Nespresso descaling solution.

Step Four: To activate the descaling mode, wait until both the espresso and lungo buttons stop flashing, then press them simultaneously for three seconds. The lights will flash quickly to indicate descaling is activated. Next, press the Lungo button to start.


Step Five: Once the cycle has finished, refill the water tank with the used solution and return the container to under the coffee outlet. Then, press the Lungo button to run the cycle again.

Step Six: Empty and rinse out the water tank. Refill it with fresh water. Press the Lungo button to complete a rinse cycle.

Step Seven: Empty and thoroughly rinse out the drip tray then press the two buttons simultaneously for three seconds to exit the descaling mode.

Descaling is the same for Pixie, CitiZ, Essenza, and Inissia, and most other original Nespresso machines.

Descaling Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima

Descaling these machines are different as they have different control panels. You’ll also need to attach the hot water nozzle to the front.

The Lattissima Pro has a display screen. Press the gear button and choose descaling from the menu. With the Lattissima One, Lattissima Touch or Lattissima Plus, you need the descaling pipe connector, which you plug into the front of the Nespresso machine before starting the descaling mode. Then press the blinking button on the panel to start descaling.


Descaling Nespresso Breville Creatista

These machines differ from other Nespresso machines as they come with a steam wand.

They also have slightly different descaling processes, depending on the model.

So, the Pro and Plus models also have a touchscreen, making it extremely easy to enter descaling mode. However, the Creatista Uno requires you to simultaneously press the Ristretto and Steam buttons to enter descaling mode.

Once you’re in the descaling mode for your machine, the preparations and rinsing cycle are the same as other Nespresso machines.


Descaling Nespresso With Vinegar

While it’s always recommended to use the official Nespresso descaling solution, if you’re out of it, you can make your descaling solution using ingredients, including vinegar.

One way to do this is to use equal parts vinegar (or lemon juice) and water. Alternatively, use one part citric acid to 20 parts water. If you use citric acid or lemon juice, perform two rinse cycles afterward. If you use vinegar, do five rinse cycles to remove the unwanted taste.

If in doubt, always consult the machine’s manual before doing this. Also, note that, though it’s probably OK to do this when you have no alternative, it shouldn’t be done often in place of the Nespresso descaling solution.

How Often Should You Descale Your Nespresso Machine?

How often you descale your Nespresso machine will depend on your water hardness and the amount you use. As a general rule of thumb, once every three months will be sufficient, or once every 300 uses as Nespresso recommends, whichever is sooner.

Some models also remove the guesswork with a descaling alert LED, which will flash when descaling is due.


While it is easy to forget to descale your Nespresso machine (particularly if you have a model that doesn’t have an alert), it is nonetheless an important process to ensure your machine stays in the best condition and continues to make quality coffee.

The good news is you don’t need to descale your machine too frequently and, following the correct steps, it’s not particularly difficult or time-consuming. Also, if you don’t have a Nespresso descaling solution to hand, you can even use a homemade alternative on occasion to remove limescale.

The important thing to note is that the process varies depending on your machine, so if in doubt, always consult the manual to ensure you’re descaling correctly and as frequently as needed.

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.