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Home » Nespresso Descaling Instructions: An Easy-To-Follow Guide

Nespresso Descaling Instructions: An Easy-To-Follow Guide

Everyone knows that a regular descaling of Nespresso Vertuo and Original Line machines is necessary. Why? To keep your coffee capsules tasting deliciously fresh. Plus, your coffee makers will run smoothly for longer.

Using a Nespresso descaling solution eliminates limescale build-up, as this erodes your coffee machine over time with internal rust. This is harmful and unpleasant to consume.

Keep reading for an easy-to-follow guide with our Nespresso descaling instructions.

What You Need

  • Water
  • Nespresso machine
  • 1 L capacity mug or container
  • 1 unit from a Nespresso descaling solution kit

At A Glance

Prep time:

15-30 minutes


One cleaner and hotter cup of coffee

Extra Notes:

  • With Nespresso Original Line vs Vertuo Line coffee machines, the former take 15 minutes for the full descaling Nespresso machine process, whereas the latter ones are closer to 20 minutes.
  • You can buy a Nespresso descaling kit solution online at the Nespresso Club or at any of Nespresso’s many boutiques. Nespresso recommends not to use descaling substitutes to this kit, like vinegar. Otherwise it may influence your resulting coffee taste. Avoid getting this solution on your skin, in your eyes, or on any counter surfaces.

All About Descaling Nespresso Machine

Instead of sending you to YouTube, which Nespresso Coffee Specialists instruct their customers to do, we’ll walk you through some Nespresso descaling directions. We’ll use the Nespresso Vertuo and Nespresso Citiz machines to describe how the process works.

What you need for Nespresso descaling

How Do I Know If My Nespresso Machine Needs Descaling?

You will know if your Nespresso machine needs descaling when you see the descaling alert come on. The buttons with the little coffee cup logos will blink on and off three times in an orange hue and stay on as long as the machine is on. Usually, this light is white. Descale as needed, especially once a month if you drink regular coffee daily. Otherwise, aim for every 3 to 6 months. The descaling kit comes with two solutions, and these are intended to last you a year.

Nespresso Vertuo Descaling

If you’ve got a Nespresso Vertuo machine, stay here. For Original Line ones, skip over this part. The process here is the same as for the Evoluo, Vertuo Plus, and Nespresso Vertuo Next descaling processes. The process for descaling Nespresso Vertuo models takes 20 minutes.

1. Prepare The Vertuo Line Machine

Shut down your Nespresso Vertuo machine. Open the machine head. Remove all of the used Vertuo Line coffee capsules. Empty out the coffee capsule container. Rinse out the drip tray of any residual water or coffee. Close the machine head and leave it in its unlocked position. Fill the water tank with 500 ml of water. Add 1 of the two units included in the Nespresso descaling solution kit. Now turn the machine on. For the next 15 seconds, the machine is preheating with a flashing orange light. Wait until this mode is finished before continuing.

2. Initiate The Descaling Process

Place a large mug or container holding about 1 litre of liquid under the machine’s coffee spout. Activate the descaling sequence by pressing the power button and holding the button down for at least 7 seconds. You’ll now have 45 seconds to enter the descaling mode. Lock the machine head by turning the lever left and then unlock it by turning the lever right. Press the same button and hold it down again for at least another 7 seconds in this unlocked position.

Cycle Phase

To start descaling, lock the machine and press the button. The descaling liquid solution will pour through the machine outlet and into your container. Once the descaling liquid has finished running, rinse the water reservoir and drip tray. Discard the container’s liquid.

Rinsing Phase

Fill the water tank more than halfway with fresh new water. Place the empty container back under the spout. Press the button again to start rinsing the machine. The machine will automatically stop once this rinsing phase is complete.

3. Wrap It Up And Wait

To exit the descaling mode, unlock the machine head. Press and hold the power button for at least 7 seconds. You will see the button stop blinking and gain a steadier light.

Wait 10 minutes for your machine to dry before it is reused. That’s it!

Nespresso Citiz Descaling

For descaling Nespresso machines on the Original Line side, this section is for you. Though titled Nespresso Citiz descaling, this is the same process here as for Nespresso Pixie descaling. The process for descaling Nespresso Original Line machines takes 15 minutes.

1. Prepare The Original Line Machine

Turn off your Nespresso Citiz machine. Pop out any recently used Original Line coffee capsules and empty out the coffee capsule container. Then turn the machine on. Fill the water tank with 500 ml of water. Add in 1 of the 2 units included in the Nespresso descaling kit to the tank.

2. Initiate The Descaling Process

Place a large mug or container holding about 1 litre of liquid under the machine’s coffee spout. Activate the descaling sequence by pressing the espresso and lungo buttons simultaneously for a minimum of 5 seconds. You will see each of the buttons blink now.

First Cycle

Press the lungo button. This starts the first cycle of the Nespresso descaling process. The descaling liquid solution will pour through the machine and into your container. Keep this liquid.

Second Cycle

Refill the water reservoir with the liquid from the container to start the second cycle. Place the container under the outlet and press the lungo button again to continue the descaling process.

First Rinsing

Rinse and fill the water tank with fresh new water. Empty the container before replacing it under the coffee spout. Press the lungo button for the first rinsing step.

Second Rinsing

Repeat the previous rinsing step.

3. Wrap It Up And Wait

To exit the descaling process, end the sequence by pressing the espresso and lungo buttons for at least 5 seconds. Your machine is now ready to use again. Simple!

Pro Tip: I recommend waiting 10 minutes, or at least a few hours, before using your freshly cleaned coffee machine. This applies to all Nespresso machines. Run your coffee machine through a few brewing cycles with just water. You’ll get a much better taste.

Nespresso Lattissima, Creatista, & Essenza Descaling

The Nespresso website has a detailed instructional guide, video, FAQs, and support for each of their top-rated Nespresso machines (1). Take a look for Lattisimas, Creatistas, and Essenzas.

Nespresso DeLonghi Descaling Vs Nespresso Breville Descaling

The only difference between the Nespresso Delonghi coffee machines and the Nespresso Breville ones is their appearance. For instance, the Vertuo Plus model designed by DeLonghi has a flat top, whereas the one by Breville has a dome-shaped one. Their descaling processes are the same. Just follow along to the appropriate guide to descale your Nespresso machine.

Final Thoughts

Everyone wants an undisrupted coffee experience with the perfect cup each time. You’ll have to descale your Nespresso machine to remove any lime deposits regularly. Just make sure only to use clean cold water; using water from a hot tap may damage your machine.

Nespresso Vertuo Line coffee machines have a descaling mode with two phases: one cycle and one rinse. Nespresso Original Line coffee machines have a shorter descaling mode with four phases: two cycles and two rinses. The latter machines are activated by pressing the espresso and lungo buttons simultaneously.

Once everything is dry, enjoy!


Instead of a Nespresso descaler, you could use citric acid or vinegar to descale your Nespresso machine (2). You could use strained, pulp-free lemon juice instead of citric acid if you cannot find it at your local health food store. But we still recommend using a Nespresso descaler. Nespresso products are only compatible with one another. You may damage and shorten the lifespan of your machine if you use external solutions to descale a Nespresso machine.

To descale your Nespresso coffee machine with water and vinegar:

1. Fill the water reservoir of your coffee machine before the maximum fill line.
2. Use a homemade mixture of one part white distilled vinegar to two parts fresh water.
3. Run the appropriate descaling process.
4. Brew a couple more cycles using water to clean out residual vinegar flavour.
5. Use cold water or warm water, not hot water or hard water.

Your Nespresso may taste bad or bitter after descaling if there is residual limescale. Sometimes even the descaling solution may not be fully removed during the descaling process. This rarely happens, but it is still something to look out for. You’ll need to descale your Nespresso machine again. If issues persist, call the Nespresso Club support line on the website.

  1. Nespresso. (n.d.). How To Use Your Nespresso Machine. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/machine-assistance
  2. Rodriguez, A. (2022, May 14). A Fellow Coffee Professional Recommended This Special Descaler So I Gave It a Try — Here’s My Honest Review. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://www.thekitchn.com/citric-acid-descaler-coffee-maker-23326661
Dasha Toptygina
I am a writer who delves into all manner of things related to coffee, cats, and characters. I started drinking coffee daily in university and now my entire work, life, and personality all revolve around procuring the perfect brew. I start every morning with yoga, French Press coffee, and some special creative time devoted to working on a magical cat café story... but, more on that later.

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