A Nespresso machine is a unique coffee machine that prepares espresso-like coffee from single-serving capsules.
Nespresso has risen to be one of the most popular coffee-making machines in the United States, mainly due to the efficiency of the machine and the peculiarity of the beverage it produces.
However, like many coffee-makers, Nespresso machines are susceptible to scaling.
You can descale a Nespresso machine using any of the following methods:
- Use a specialized Nespresso Descaling Kit
- Use a descaling fluid
- Use white vinegar
- Use citric acid
- Use baking soda
- Use a water softener
- Use lemon juice
Although these methods will effectively eliminate limescale in a Nespresso machine, the Nespresso Descaling Kit’s the easiest way to descale the machine.
The rest of this article will teach you how to descale a Nespresso machine in seven easy ways. I’ll also touch on how to activate the descaling mode on a Nespresso.
How to descale a Nespresso machine
Scale is formed on the surface of a Nespresso when the water used to make coffee evaporates, leaving behind a build-up of heavy minerals.
These minerals are calcium carbonate deposits and impact the efficiency of a Nespresso machine by affecting the taste and texture of the beverage or causing the device to get clogged.
Descaling a Nespresso machine is vital to ensure that you obtain an excellent flavor while also extending the life of your appliance.
The following section offers an in-depth, step-by-step guide on seven effective ways to eliminate limescale in a Nespresso machine.
1. Use a specialized Nespresso Descaling Kit
Nespresso recommends using its Descaling Kit to descale your machine.
The kit comes with Nespresso machines and includes two 100ml (3.38oz) descaling bags made with citric acid to dissolve scale without causing damage to machine components.
The descaling kit contains all you need to descale the appliance and is suitable for limescale removal in various Nespresso machines.
You should take the following steps to descale your Nespresso machine when using a Nespresso Descaling Kit:
- Disassemble the appliance and give it a thorough wash. Remove the Nespresso’s lid, drip tray, and capsule container and wash them with warm water. This preliminary cleaning will help you eliminate some limescale and make the descaling process more effective.
- Wipe down the body of the Nespresso and reassemble the machine. Clean the body of the Nespresso using a damp, soapy cloth, but only reassemble the components once they have completely dried.
- Get your Nespresso Descaling Kit ready. Fill your machine’s water tank with 3.38oz (100ml) of Nespresso’s descaling liquid before filling the remaining with clean water.
- Put your Nespresso machine in Descaling Mode. Putting your Nespresso in Descaling Mode is a simple process, but the way to do this varies for different Nespresso devices. The latter part of this article provides clear instructions on how to activate the descaling mode for popular Nespresso machines.
- Begin the descaling process. Press the button to start the descaling process and allow the descaling agent to work its way through the machine, filling your cup. Afterward, pour the cup’s contents back into the water tank to repeat the rinse cycle.
- Repeat the descaling process using clean water. This process helps eliminate any residues of the descaling chemical, cleanse the water tank and clean the inside of your machine. Go through this process at least three times to make sure the inside of your Nespresso machine is spotless.
Using a Nespresso kit to remove limescale is the easiest way to perform the descaling process. You can get a Nespresso Descaling Kit from Amazon.com if you’ve already used up the kit that came with your Nespresso machine.
The descaling liquid comes prepackaged and is specially formulated not to damage your appliance.
2. Use a descaling fluid
Other descaling fluids on the market work well for all types of coffee-makers, including Nespresso machines. Although some may not be as effective as Nespresso descaling agents, they can get the job done.
You should avoid harsh agents and take special care not to use concentrated amounts of descaling fluids as they can destroy the Nespresso machine.
You should take the following steps to descale your Nespresso machine when using a descaling fluid:
- Select a descaling fluid. There is a wide range of suitable descaling fluids online. The Impressa Coffee Machine Descaler from Amazon.com is a good choice because it’s gentle enough on Nespresso machines.
- Fill the tank with the descaling solution. Take care to add 17oz (500ml) of water to no more than 4oz (118ml) of descaling fluid.
- Place a large bowl under the coffee outlet and select your Nespresso machine’s descaling mode. The descaling solution will pass through the appliance and into the bowl you previously put under the coffee outlet.
- Refill the water tank with the bowl’s contents and repeat the descaling process. After the fluid has made this second cycle, you can dispose of it.
- Finish the descaling process using clean water. This stage is the rinsing step and will help clean the machine and remove any remaining chemicals and limescale. It’s recommended that you repeat this rinsing process at least 3 times to clean your Nespresso machine thoroughly.
After you have finished descaling, exit Descaling Mode, reset your Nespresso machine, and it’ll be ready to use again.
Make sure to mix the water and descaling fluid in the correct quantities. The descaling process will be ineffective if you dilute the descaling solution too much.
However, making the solution too concentrated may cause severe damage to your Nespresso machine.
3. Use white vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most popular homemade descaling solutions used in the United States.
Aside from being a cheap descaling fluid alternative, vinegar works as well as most commercial descaling fluids if appropriately used.
You should follow the procedures below to descale your Nespresso machine when using vinegar:
- Fill the tank of your Nespresso machine with 4 cups of undiluted Vinegar. I recommend using natural vinegar like Heinz All-Natural Distilled White Vinegar (available on Amazon.com) for best results.
- Allow the vinegar to stand for 30 minutes. Letting the vinegar stand is an integral part of the descaling process and necessary to allow the vinegar to work well.
- Set the Nespresso machine to Descaling mode. You can begin the descaling process as with a normal descaling fluid.
- Rinse the Nespresso machine by repeating the descaling process using clean water. Repeat the rinsing process as many times as possible or until the vinegar smell is gone. However, change the water each time to ensure the vinegar doesn’t cycle back into the machine.
The only drawback to using vinegar to descale a Nespresso machine is the lingering smell it leaves behind. But if you rinse your machine well enough, you won’t have a vinegary aroma in your next cup of coffee.
4. Use citric acid
Citric acid is one of the active ingredients used in descaling agents present in Nespresso Descaling Kits.
The pH of citric acid is lower than that of vinegar and is an excellent substitute for commercial descaling liquids and vinegar.
You can descale your Nespresso machine using citric acid by following this procedure:
- Prepare the citric acid descaling solution. Add water and one tablespoon of citric acid powder to a bowl and stir the mixture well.
- Pour the solution into the tank of your Nespresso machine. Make sure not to fill up the tank to the brim so it doesn’t spill.
- Start the descaling process. Remember to set your Nespresso machine to Descaling Mode. Throw out the fluid collected after the descaling process.
- Fill the tank with clean water and restart the descaling process. Repeat this process until the tank is spotless.
Unlike vinegar, citric acid won’t leave any strange odors in your Nespresso machine when used to descale it.
The Roots Circle All-Natural Citric Acid from Amazon.com is a sensible choice of citric acid for general household cleaning and Nespresso descaling.
5. Use baking soda
Baking soda is a fantastic choice when it comes to DIY descaling remedies. It’s cheap and leaves no aftertaste or residual scent after the descaling process. Furthermore, baking soda will descale a wide variety of Nespresso machines.
You should follow the procedures below to descale your Nespresso machine when using baking soda:
- Prepare the descaling solution. Fill a bowl halfway with water and dissolve ¼ cup (59.14 ml) of baking soda in it. Ensure that the baking soda has dissolved completely before pouring it into the machine.
- Pour the baking soda solution into the tank of the Nespresso machine. Don’t overfill the tank, as baking soda mixed with coffee residue can form bubbles.
- Set your Nespresso machine to Descaling Mode and start the descaling process. Get rid of the used water after it’s expelled.
- Fill the tank with clean water and rerun the descaling process. Repeat this until the water in the tank of the Nespresso is completely clean.
Pure Organic Ingredients Sodium Bicarbonate (available on Amazon.com) is suitable for cleaning and descaling activities. It’s 100% pure food-grade baking soda, so you don’t have to worry about any potential toxins.
6. Use a water softener
Limescale is caused by hard water, and using a water softener is a viable method to eliminate the deposited minerals in a Nespresso machine.
Morton Potassium Chloride Water Softener Pellets retail on Amazon.com and are excellent water softeners suitable for use with Nespresso machines.
You should follow the steps recommended by the manufacturer on the product package when using water softeners to descale your Nespresso machine.
Some water softeners may not be suitable for Nespresso machines, so buying water softeners rated for home appliances is preferable.
Descaling using water softeners might be difficult because there are so many different sorts of chemicals.
Nespresso machines are especially vulnerable to certain water softeners since they can clog the small apertures in the appliance and prevent water from flowing. So, using a water softener should be your last resort.
7. Use lemon juice
Lemon juice is another cheap method of descaling Nespresso machines. Lemon juice, although unconventional, is safe and eliminates the danger of clogging your device, which can’t be said for baking soda and water softeners.
It also smells nothing like vinegar and is suitable for people who can’t stand the nasty scent it leaves.
Here’s how to descale your Nespresso machine using lemon juice:
- Add a mix of water and lemon juice into a bowl. The descaling solution should be equal parts water and lemon juice.
- Fill the tank of the Nespresso machine with the lemon mixture. Use filter paper while pouring the fluid into the machine but take care not to let the solution spill.
- Allow the mixture to remain undisturbed for 25 minutes. Allowing the fluid to sit will enable the lemon juice to work as a descaling agent.
- Activate Descaling Mode on your appliance. Run the descaling process like normal and empty the fluid you collect.
- Rerun the descaling process with clean water. Repeat this rinsing process until all traces of the solution are gone.
Natural lemon juice is best suited for descaling. The main disadvantage of this method is that you have to squeeze a lot of fresh lemon juice. Thankfully, you can also use the bottled kind for descaling.
How to turn on Descaling Mode on a Nespresso machine
There are different models of Nespresso machines, and each model has a unique way of activating the Descaling Mode.
This section covers the methods to turn on Descaling Mode on Nespresso machines from Amazon.com:
- Nestle Nespresso CitiZ Original Espresso Machine: Press and hold both buttons on the Nespresso machine for five seconds until they start blinking. Click the Lungo button to start the descaling process. This method also works for Nestle Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee and Espresso Machine, Nestle Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine, and Delonghi Inissia Nespresso Black models of Nespresso machines.
- Nestle Nespresso Lattissima Espresso Machine: The descaling light turns on when you turn on the hot water tap. Push the espresso button to begin the descaling process.
- Nespresso Creatista Espresso Machine by Breville: Select ‘Maintenance” from the dial on the Nespresso machine, and then descale from the drop-down menu. Follow all the succeeding instructions to start the descaling process.
- Nestle Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Maker: Hold the power button for seven seconds until it blinks quickly. The Nespresso machine must be turned on, and the lever unlocked. Then, confirm the descaling mode and turn the lever to the left to lock it. Press the button to start the descaling process.
The build-up of minerals in a Nespresso machine is a serious situation and is often caused by the dissolved compounds in the water for brewing.
You can descale a Nespresso machine using a Nespresso Descaling Kit, a commercial descaling fluid, or something you already have at home like vinegar or baking soda.
Activating the descaling mode of Nespresso machines is easy but varies across different models of Nespresso machines.
Finally, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, descaling your Nespresso machine every 600 coffees or at least every 6 months will ensure the quality of the beverage is always good.
After you’ve descaled your Nespresso machine, you might want to try a delicious coffee. You can find a few step-by-step recipes below: