How To Descale Nespresso Vertuo: Make Your Life Easier
Regarding coffee machine convenience, it doesn’t get much better than Nespresso. Insert a pod, press a button, and have a delicious espresso in under a minute. But proper maintenance, especially descaling, is crucial for your machine to run smoothly.
If you don’t descale often enough, your machine will build up minerals and lose pressure. This negatively affects the temperature and taste of your coffee. Here’s a Nespresso Vertuo descaling step-by-step guide, so you always have great coffee.
What You Need:
- 1L container
- Nespresso descaling liquid or a universal descaler
- Fresh drinking water
At a Glance
How to Descale Nespresso Vertuo Machine
Nespresso Vertuo is the base model in the Nespresso VertuoLine range of machines. It was introduced in 2014, and it’s a fan favourite. Here are detailed Nespresso descaling instructions for this Nespresso Vertuo model.
1. Empty the Capsule Container and the Drip Tray
You need to empty the machine before you start descaling. Open the machine head by pushing the lever upwards. Once the capsule is ejected, close the machine head by pushing the lever down. Leave it unlocked, then empty the used capsule container.
Pro tip: Knowing when the machine is ready for descaling is easy. Like most other Nespresso machines, the Vertuo has a descaling alert in orange light, which flashes three times when the coffee machine needs to be descaled.
2. Add the Nespresso Descaling Solution
Next, it’s time to prepare the descaling solution. Fill the water tank with 500 ml of water, and add the descaler. You can use Nespresso descaling liquid or another descaler of your choice.
Pro tip: You can get a Nespresso descaling kit specially designed for Nespresso Vertuo if you’re part of the Nespresso club. You can order the descaling kit online or from your Nespresso boutique. The kit has a descaling solution, a chemical fluid that removes the minerals).
You need a descaling solution to get rid of limescale. Limescale can block machine parts, prevent optimal water heating, and damage metallic surfaces (1).
It’s important to give your coffee machine a deep clean to keep everything working and tasting the way it should.
Follow the instructions on your solution and add the solution to the correct concentration, depending on which one you’re using. Usually, you need one bottle of the solution for 500 ml of water to clean the water tank and the machine’s insides.
Finally, don’t forget to put a container under the machine’s liquid output. Make sure the container is large enough to catch the water as you rinse the machine.
Pro tip: Different Nespresso machines let you fold the cup support so the container fits better under the coffee outlet.
3. Put the Machine Into Descaling Mode
Once you’ve done all the prep, turn the machine on and put it into descaling mode. Push on the button to turn on your Vertuo coffee maker. The button will blink for about 15 seconds during the preheating phase. Once the light stops flashing, hold the button for at least seven seconds until the button starts flashing quickly.
The quick flashing light means your Vertuo coffee machine is entering the descaling process, and you have 45 seconds for the next steps. Turn the lever toward the left (towards the lock symbol) and then to the right (the unlock position). Hold the button again for another seven seconds in the unlocked position. Finally, lock the lever left to lock the machine. This will start the descaling.
The machine light will flash on continuously during the descaling process.
Once the light starts flashing, the coffee maker will dispense the solution in short bursts. Let the solution flow through the machine. When all the liquid from the water tank has been dispensed, the Nespresso Vertuo will become silent and go off. This means the descaling cycle is done.
Note: You can’t exit descaling mode once you enter it without first completing the descaling process. Even if you remove the plug during the descaling mode, the machine will enter it again once you plug it back in.
4. Rinse the Machine
The descaling cycle isn’t quite over when the machine stops running. You need to ensure there aren’t any leftover chemicals in the machine mechanisms, or you risk having descaling solution in your coffee. Now it’s time to run a cleaning cycle using fresh water.
Empty out the container used to catch the descaler and place it back under the spout. Empty and rinse the water tank, refill it about two-thirds of the way with fresh water, and put it back in the machine. Push the button on the machine once to start the cleaning cycle.
Same as with the descaling cycle, the machine will go quiet once the water tank is empty. Remove the container and discard the water.
5. Exit the Descaling Cycle
Now that the inside of the machine is clean and free of minerals and chemicals, it’s time to exit the descaling cycle. You need to reset the machine, so it enters the brewing mode again. Press and hold the button until the flashing light turns steady. Once again, you do this by holding the button for at least seven seconds.
Let the machine dry for 10 minutes before you use it. Use this time to clean Nespresso Vertuo. Empty and rinse the drip tray and the capsule container with warm water. You can use soap, but it’s not obligatory.
Finally, you should clean the Nespresso Vertuo. Wipe the outside of the Nespresso machine with a damp cloth and refill the water tank. Once the ten minutes are up, you can make coffee as usual.
Note: The steps above describe how to descale a Nespresso Vertuo, Vertuo Next, and Evoluo Nespresso VertuoLine machine. The Nespresso VertuoPlus descaling instructions are somewhat different, and it’s best to check the user manual to learn how this Nespresso works. Overall, Nespresso has a unique process to enter a descaling mode that’s different from descaling a Keurig and other pod brands.
Descaling Nespresso Vertuo is a reasonably straightforward process. You need a descaler and know how to enter descaling mode on your Nespresso machine. Fill the water container, press the button until the orange light flashes rapidly, and turn the lever to lock mode. The machine will descale independently — all you need to do is wait.
Don’t forget to run a rinsing cycle and wash all the removable parts, and you’ll have a perfect cup of coffee with every pod.
You descale your Nespresso Vertuo without a kit by using a homemade descaler. The most popular is the vinegar solution, mixing one part white distilled vinegar with two parts water (2). Pour the solution into the water reservoir filled with 500 ml water and run a descaling cycle.
No, you can’t descale Nespresso Vertuo with just water. You need a descaler because water can’t remove the mineral buildup in the machine. A descaler is a chemical solution that removes lime and minerals. You should use just water to rinse the machine after you descale it, and this ensures your machine is chemical-free and you have a flavourful cup of coffee.
You should descale your Nespresso Vertuo machine every three months or 300 capsules, whichever comes first. This also depends on the machine’s age, how often you use it, and how hard your water is (3). Some Nespresso machines, such as Vertuo Plus, have a descaling alert that lets you know it’s time to descale. This is usually a small light that changes colour to tell you its descaling time — it goes from green to orange.
Several issues happen if you don’t descale your Nespresso. The machine won’t have sufficient pressure, and low pressure means it won’t perform well. Moreover, the water used to brew coffee has minerals that build up inside your Nespresso VertuoLine machine. If you don’t remove these minerals, you’ll have a lower temperature, bad coffee taste, and insufficient water flow. The machine can even completely stop working.
- admin. (2019, July 1). How to Prevent Limescale in Coffee Machines. Beanmachines Coffee Co. https://beanmachines.co.uk/how-to-prevent-limescale-in-coffee-machines/
- Cleaning a Coffee Pot: Vinegar vs. Descaling Solution | Molly Maid. (n.d.). Www.mollymaid.com. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.mollymaid.com/practically-spotless/2019/september/coffee-pot-maintenance-vinegar-vs-descaler/
- Canada, E. (n.d.). Espresso Machines⎮How the Water You Use Can Impact Your Machine. Espresso Canada. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://espressocanada.com/blogs/news/the-importance-of-water-and-your-espresso-machin