How To Descale Nespresso Vertuo? [Step-By-Step Guide]

how to descale Nespresso vertuo
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Nespresso Vertuo is nothing short of a blessing for coffee lovers. It gives you high-quality, great-tasting coffee with your favorite flavors and blends in minutes.

But it becomes frustrating when the brewer starts messing up. Neglecting its cleanliness and maintenance ends up faulting its performance and coffee quality.

Over time, the water used for brewing coffee creates buildup and limescale in the machine. The machine requires descaling every 3 to 6 months or after using 600 capsules.

Descaling removes calcium buildup, gunk, or coffee residue from the internal parts of the brewer. Descaling your Nespresso machine according to the time frame suggested by the brand will increase the machine’s lifeline.

Equipment Required to Descale Nespresso Vertuo

You will need the following tools to descale the Nespresso Vertuo machine:

What Does Descaling Mean?

If a Nespresso machine brews several cups of coffee over a prolonged period, residue buildup and debris accumulate in the machine’s internal parts, hindering its performance.

To keep the brewer clean, you must descale your brewer.

Nespresso descaling solution

It is imperative to descale the coffee maker to achieve the correct extraction, making it more flavorful and tastier.

Although the process of descaling your Nespresso can seem daunting, it is pretty easy once you know what you’re doing (about 20 minutes).

Nespresso Vertuo Descaling Equipment

To Descale your Nespresso Vertuo machine, you must have a few things at hand. Let’s look at the best options to help you descale your coffee maker properly.

1. Descaling Solution

A descaling solution plays an essential part in the cleaning process. It scrubs off the residue and gunk that dries up in the nooks and corners of the machine.

You can either get a descaling solution or make your own by mixing white vinegar and water.

Our Recommendation

Nespresso Descaling Solution works best with Nespresso machines. This lactic acid-based solution will gently remove the limescale build-up in your machine.

One kit consists of two sachets, retailing for around $39. Typically, one sachet is enough for descaling one brewer at a time, and it works for all Nespresso Vertuo machine models.

2. Water

The water you use to descale the machine is equally important as the water you use to brew coffee. Hard water increases the chances of calcium deposits in the machine, so it should also not be used for descaling purposes.

Our Recommendation

To enhance the cleaning process, use filtered or bottled water to descale your coffee machine. Using the correct type of water for descaling will not leave any residue.

3. A large cup

To collect the gunk and residue dispensed by the machine during the descaling process, you will need a large cup. Place it under the coffee spout. After descaling, discard its contents.

How to Descale Nespresso Vertuo Machine: A step-by-step Guide

Follow these steps to descale your Nespresso Vertuo:

Step 1: Nespresso Machine Preliminary Cleaning

Before the descaling process, you must take care of a few things beforehand.

Open the machine head, and the used capsule is ejected into the container. Then close the lid, leaving it in the unlocked position.

Nespresso vertuo parts detaching

Then detach all removable parts of the machine; the water reservoir, the capsule container, the cup support, and the drip tray. Give them a rinse with warm water to get rid of dirt and residue.

Rinse the drip tray and water tank under a running tap, or clean them with a damp cloth. Attach all the removable parts back once they are thoroughly dried.

Step 2: Prepare the Descaling Solution

The preparation of the descaling agent depends on the descaling liquid you are using to descale your machine. So follow the instructions on the bottle.

pouring descaling solution into water reservoir

If using Nespresso descaling solution, add 500 ml of fresh water to one sachet. Pour the descaling liquid into the water tank.

If you are using white vinegar, mix equal parts of vinegar with water in the water tank.

Step 3: Activate the Descaling Mode

While the machine is turned off, press down the lever and push the power button simultaneously for 3 seconds, it will enter the machine into functions mode, indicated by a steady orange light.

To enter descaling mode, press and leave the lever once.

Step 4: Start the Descaling Process

Place a large cup under the spout before you start descaling. Then push the button to start the descaling process. A blinking orange light will confirm that the descaling has started.

starting the descaling process of Nespresso vertuo

Wait till the machine automatically stops.

Step 5: Run a Cleansing Cycle

Once the machine stops dispensing water, discard the gunk collected in the mug. Run a cleansing cycle to ensure no lingering descaling solution or residue in the machine.

Fill the water tank with fresh water and push the button to start the rinsing cycle. Once it completes, the machine will stop on its own. You can repeat these steps till you are satisfied with the cleaning.

Step 6: Exit Descaling Mode

Press and hold the lever and the button for 3 seconds to exit the descaling mode. Once done, the light will turn green to confirm it.

Clean the machine’s exterior with a microfiber cloth and let the machine sit idle for 10 to 15 minutes.

Your Nespresso is ready to brew!

You can refer to this video explains how to descale a Nespresso Vertuo.

Can I use vinegar for descaling my Nespresso machine?

White vinegar is often used to prepare a DIY descaling solution, but do we recommend it? Not! Because only some people are aware of the correct proportions of using vinegar in Nespresso machines.

vinegar for descaling Nespresso

In vinegar, acetic acid is typically in amounts of 5 to 8% by volume. Its acidic properties can damage the internal parts of the Nespresso machine permanently.

Also, other home-descaling remedies can cross your mind, like lemon juice or baking soda. But these acidic contents increase the risk of damaging your brewer.

How often should you descale a Nespresso Vertuoline machine?

Nespresso recommends descaling its coffee machines every 3 to 6 months or after brewing 600 coffee capsules.

Follow the suggested time frame religiously to keep the machine working correctly. However, if your Nespresso brews several cups a day and is used excessively, you must descale it more frequently.

How to Know When It’s Time for Descaling?

If you need to remember about descaling your Nespresso machine, the LEDs on the machine will turn red and green. Not only that, but it will also give you subtle reminders.

The brewed coffee will start tasting bitter or burnt, or the brewer might take longer to extract a cup of coffee. Not descaling your machine can also result in coffee not reaching its optimal temperature.

On the other hand, you might start hearing weird sounds from your coffee machine, which usually isn’t loud during brewing.

What To Do If the Light Stays On After Descaling?

If the descaling light is still on after you have descaled the coffee machine, it is possibly because the machine needs to be rinsed with enough water.

Fill the water reservoir with enough water and eject the capsule from the machine if there is any. Press the lever and the button down for three seconds and start the rinsing cycle. Once the cycle completes, the machine will stop.

Repeat the steps 3 to 5 times so all residual content is cleaned and the descale light turns off.

The Bottom Line:

The most effective way to maintain the performance of a Nespresso coffee maker and to improve the coffee experience is to clean and descale it routinely.

It takes about 20 minutes to descale a Nespresso and should be performed every three to six months.

A well-maintained Nespresso goes a long way and provides the best quality expresso.


How do I put my Nespresso in descaling mode?

Activate the descaling mode in your Nespresso by simultaneously pushing the button and lever for 3 seconds. Once the light starts flashing, descale mode is activated.

Why is my Nespresso Vertuoline machine next blinking orange?

Blinking orange lights indicate that your Nespresso machine is dirty and clogged, so you need to descale it. It can also mean that the capsule container has reached its capacity, and you need to empty it.

Why is Descaling not working in Nespresso Vertuo?

The descaling function might stop in between when the machine is not cleaned in a long time, so it is wholly scaled. In this case, leave the machine to sit for a few minutes so the descaling liquid penetrates the gunk dried up in its internal parts. Then, restart the descaling process.

Why is my Nespresso blinking orange after descaling?

Blinking orange light after descaling means the process has been completed. You can deactivate the descaling mode to use your coffee machine. When the light turns green, the descaling mode is deactivated.

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