How to descale a Nespresso machine

descaling Nespresso machine
(Image credit: Nespresso)

While it’s not always as easy as brewing a drink, keeping your Nespresso in top condition is a must if you’re going to enjoy quality coffee and ensure your machine runs smoothly each time. Descaling a Nespresso machine is necessary to not only make sure you continue to get a great taste, but also to extend the life of your device. After all, if you’ve invested in one of the best Nespresso machines around, you’re going to want to make sure it’s running at its best. 

Even the best coffee makers accumulate calcium and lime deposits over the course of their day-to-day running. If left, these deposits will affect your coffee’s taste and harm your machine. You should descale your Nespresso at least every six months, with Nespresso itself recommending a clean after every 600 coffees. 

When you purchased your machine, you likely received instructions on how to descale a Nespresso. But if those are long lost then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we show you what you need and the steps to follow to successfully descale some of the most popular Nespresso machines.

Before you start descaling your Nespresso, you'll need to pick up some solution. You'll find all the latest prices on the official sachets just below. 

Descale Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso Vertuo Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Start by making sure there are no pods left in your machine and that the water tank is empty before turning your machine off. Add an empty 0.8 litre container underneath the spout at the front of the machine. 

Add the contents of one Nespresso descaling solution packet and 0.5 litres of water to the water tank. 

Now you need to put your machine into descaling mode. To access the special functions menu, push both the main button and the lever down together for three seconds. Enter descaling mode by pushing the lever down once by itself. Note that you'll only have two minutes to set the descaling mode before the machine returns to 'Ready' settings. 

Once you are in descaling mode, simply push the button at the top to start descaling. 

The machine will automatically stop when finished, at which point, remove the water tank, rinse, and fill with water. 

Push the button once more to rinse the system through with fresh water, with the machine once again stopping automatically when finished. 

You can then leave the descaling setting by pushing both the button and lever at the same time for three seconds - a new green light will confirm that you are ready to start brewing again. 

Descale Nespresso Lattissima

Nespresso Lattissima

(Image credit: Future)

The Nespresso Lattissima will tell you when it's time to descale automatically. When this occurs, make sure all capsules are out of the machine and empty the water tank. 

Add one Nespresso descaling solution packet to the water tank and fill to the descaling line on the inside of the reservoir. 

There is a descaling pipe around the back of the machine, place this nozzle into the steam wand connector at the front. Your Nespresso will now automatically enter descaling mode. 

Place a one-litre container underneath the pipe and the main spout, and press the espresso button to begin the descaling process. 

Once the water tank is empty, empty the capsule bay and drip tray and fill the reservoir with fresh water. Press the Lungo button to rinse the system through. 

Descale Nespresso Pixie

Nespresso Pixie

(Image credit: Nespresso)

Empty both the capsule bay and the drip tray, and fill the water tank with 0.5l of fresh water and one packet of Nespresso descaling solution. 

You'll need to place a 0.6l container beneath the main spout of the machine, switch your Nespresso on, and wait for the steady light. 

Press both buttons at the same time for three seconds to enter descaling mode, then press the Lungo button to run the water and solution through the system until the reservoir is empty. 

Take the container and pour the used descaling solution back into the water tank, before pressing the Lungo button again to run the descaling step for a second time. 

Once the reservoir is once again empty, refill it with clean water and press the Lungo button for a third time to rinse the system through. 

When you're finished, press both buttons at the top of the machine for another three seconds to leave descaling mode. 

Descale Nespresso Essenza (Plus or Mini)

Nespresso Essenza

(Image credit: Future)

To descale either your Nespresso Essenza Plus or Mini, first remove all capsules from the machine's used pod container and pod bay, and empty the drip tray and water reservoir. 

Add one Nespresso descaling sachet and add 0.5l of water (for Essenza Plus) or 0.6l of water (for Essenza Mini) to the water reservoir and place a one-litre container underneath the spout. 

Put your Essenza Plus into descaling mode by pressing the hot water, Lungo, and Espresso buttons at the same time for five seconds. If descaling a Nespresso Essenza Mini, just press the Lungo and Espresso buttons for five seconds. 

Press the hot water button (Essenza Plus) or Lungo button (Essenza Mini) to start the descaling process and run the full water tank through system. 

Return the used solution to the water tank when complete, and run the process again before refilling the reservoir with fresh, clean water. 

Press the hot water or Lungo button again to clean the system through. The Essenza Plus will automatically turn off when complete, but you'll need to manually leave descaling mode on your Essenza Mini by pressing the Lungo and Espresso buttons for five seconds again. 

Now that you've descaled your Nespresso machine, you can pop a pod back in and continue enjoying your coffee from a sparkling machine. 

Nespresso produces a huge range of coffee makers, which means there may be slight differences in the process if you're using an older model. If unsure, Nespresso has a full guide to descaling all of its machines via its product help pages

If you're after more pod coffee choice, check out the best Keurig coffee makers available now. Or, if you're looking for something a little more wallet friendly, take a look at the latest cheap coffee maker deals under $100.

Tabitha Baker

Tabs is a deals editor on our sister site TechRadar. She spends most of her time searching for the best prices on top consumer tech, but has also written about everything from flower delivery to mattresses. Happiest with a DualSense controller in her hand, she's also contributed to GamesRadar and T3 and specializes in gaming hardware and computing.