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How to Clean Your Nespresso Machine

Jan. 17, 2017
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For the best-tasting brew and the longevity of the brewer, it’s important to know how to keep your beloved Nespresso machine clean. But the cleaning — or “descaling” process — isn’t exactly intuitive.

We’re here to break it down for you. So if you’ve had your Nespresso machine for a while, or even if you’ve just purchased a new model, you’ll want to read on.

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Defining ‘descaling’

All coffee machines build up deposits of calcium and lime over time. “Descaling” is the act of stripping these deposits from your machine’s surfaces. To keep your Nespresso functioning properly, you should remove these buildups by descaling regularly.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s coffee maker buying guide

How often should you descale your Nespresso?

Nespresso recommends that you descale your machine approximately every three months. But if you use your machine often and want to ensure that it is always producing the best flavor, it is recommended that you descale it after every 300 capsules.

Some models, like the VertuoLine, are equipped with a light that blinks to alert you that the machine needs to be descaled.

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How long will it take?

The entire process to descale your Nespresso should take no more than 20 minutes.

What you will need

To properly descale your Nespresso, you’ll need a descaling solution kit. A two-pack kit that works for all machines costs about $9 from Nespresso, but you might occasionally spot it for less on Amazon. You will also need fresh water and a container that holds at least 1 liter.

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How to descale your Nespresso

Once you have your descaling kit, you’ll need to prepare your machine. The descaling process may vary slightly by model, but the first step is the same across the board:

  • Remove any used capsules from the machine and empty the capsule container.
  • Put the proper amount of fresh water into your water container and mix in a sachet of descaling solution. You can find out how much water your specific machine requires in the user guide or on the Nespresso website.
  • Place a container that holds up to a liter of water under the coffee outlet, then turn the machine on.
  • To start the descaling process, you will need to press one or more buttons, depending on the model you own. For the VertuoLine, hold the singular button for at least seven seconds. For the Pixie, Inissia and the Citiz, press the two flashing buttons at the same time for three seconds, and for the Prodigio, press all three buttons for three seconds.
  • The descaling process will now start and take about 10 minutes. With certain machines, you’ll need to refill the water tank with the used solution afterward and repeat the process.
  • Once your machine runs its cycle, rinse the water container and pour fresh water into it. Then, run the cycle again for another 10 minutes without the descaling solution in the water.
  • Empty and rinse your drip tray.
  • To exit the descaling mode, press the same buttons you pressed to start it again. Let your Nespresso machine dry for 10 minutes before use.

Here’s what the process looks like for the VertuoLine:

And for the Pixie:

You can find more videos and user guides with cleaning instructions for other Nespresso models on the Nespresso website.

Updated Jan. 17, 2017.