The Complete Guide To Descaling Nespresso DeLonghi Machines

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

The Complete Guide To Descaling Nespresso DeLonghi Machines

The water used to brew your espresso or coffee pods contains minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your Delonghi Nespresso. If left untreated, this can have a negative impact on the temperature and taste of your coffee as well as the machine’s water flow. Descaling Nespresso Delonghi helps to remove those minerals and extend the life of your coffee maker.

Keep reading to learn more about how to descale all Nespresso DeLonghi models. I have written step by step instructions for every model DeLonghi makes for Nespresso.

Which Nespresso Models Does Delonghi Make?

Delonghi is one of two Nespresso manufacturing partners in the United States. The other is Breville. Delonghi makes several Nespresso models across both the Vertuo and Original product lines. As of 2023, the Delonghi Nespresso models include:

Delonghi Vertuo ModelsDelonghi Original Models
Vertuo NextLattisima Touch
Vertuo PlusLattissima Plus
Vertuo Plus DeluxeLattissima Pro
EvoluoGran Lattissima
VertuoLattissima One
Vertuo PopEssenza Mini
Pixie
Inissia
Essenza Plus
CitiZ
Delonghi Nespresso Models

How Often Should You Descale Nespresso Delonghi Machines?

In addition to daily cleaning, Nespresso and Delonghi recommend that you descale every 3 months or 300 capsules, whichever comes first. If your tap has “hard water,” meaning it contains higher level of minerals, then you should clean more frequently. If you are not sure about the level of minerals in your water, you can get a low-cost water testing kit.

The more premium Nespresso Original models, like the Delonghi Lattissima, have a built in display that will let you know that it is time to descale. The Nespresso Vertuoline has a light that will let you know that it is time to descale. On the Delonghi Vertuo Plus, the light will be half red and half green, though the green may look yellow to some people. On The DeLonghi Vertuo Next, Vertuo and Evoluo it will be an orange blinking light. To some people, this light may look yellow.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus Half Red Half Green Descaling Light
Delonghi Nespresso Vertuo Plus Half Red Half Green Descaling Light

You can still use your machine a few times after this warning light turns on, but it’s best to descale soon as possible. It takes around 15 to 20 minutes to finish the process. It cannot be stopped so be sure to start only once you have all of the supplies you need and have enough time to finish it.

Why Descaling Nespresso Delonghi With Vinegar Is A Bad Idea

Nespresso and Delonghi warn that you should NOT descale with vinegar. White vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid. This specific type of acid can wear down metal and cause your machine to leak. As a result, using vinegar to clean your Nespresso Delonghi can void the warranty.

nespresso descaling solution works with all delonghi nespresso models
nespresso descaling solution works with all delonghi nespresso models

Instead of damaging your machine by using vinegar, you can use one of these descaling kits to maintain your Nespresso Delonghi. These kits contain safer and effective types of cleansing acids.

Nespresso Delonghi Descaling Solution Reviews

Sale
Nespresso Descaling Solution, Fits all Models, 2 Packets
  • Official Nespresso Descaling Solution
  • Compatible with all models (Vertuoline and Original line)
  • Includes 2 packets for 2 total uses

This is the official descaling solution kit made by Nespresso. Nespresso strongly recommends using only this descaler. The primary cleaning agent in it is lactic acid. This descaling solution will gently eliminate the lime scale that has built up in your machine. Each pack contains 2 kits, so you’ll get two total uses out of it.

Sale
De’Longhi EcoDecalk Descaler, Eco-Friendly Universal Descaling Solution for Coffee & Espresso Machines, 16.90 oz (5 uses)
  • Significantly reduces the likelihood of premature breakdown from hard water scale build-up, increases the energy efficiency, and improves the coffee flavor
  • Made with 100% lactic acid
  • Suitable for all espresso/coffee machines
  • Will keep your machine running smoothly so you can always enjoy your favorite beverages
  • Usable for all Coffee machines

The Ecodecalk descaler is the official espresso machine descaling solution from Delonghi. It is made in Italy with high quality, plant-based lactic acid that is both safe and effective in cleaning your machine. The ingredients are natural and fully biodegradable. A 16.90 fl oz bottle has enough solution for up to 5 uses. Smaller bottles may be considered more convenient because they are already portioned for a single use.

How To Descale Nespresso Delonghi: Steps For Every Model

Vertuo Next, Vertuo Pop, Vertuo or Evoluo

The Nespresso DeLonghi Vertuo Next, Vertuo, Vertuo Pop and Evoluo all have the same descaling instructions. You need a descaling solution before you get started.

  1. Empty the capsule container. Remove the drip tray and empty it.
  2. Add the solution and clean water to the tank, following the instructions on your solution.
  3. Close and lock the machine to turn it on. Allow it to heat up. When the light stops flashing, it has finished heating up.
  4. Open the machine head and empty any used capsule. Close it and leave the lever in unlocked position towards the front.
  5. Press and hold the button for at least 7 seconds to enter descaling mode. The button will blink rapidly when it is ready. You then have 45 seconds to start the next steps in the descaling process.
  6. Turn the lever left towards the lock symbol, then unlock by turning right. Hold the button in the unlocked position for at least 7 seconds.
  7. Place a container that is at least 34 fl oz under the coffee outlet.
  8. To start descaling, turn the lever left to lock the machine. Push the button. It will stop when the first phase is done.
  9. Empty and rinse the water tank, drip tray and cup support.
  10. Fill the water tank with fresh water. Push the button to rinse.
  11. When the light stops flashing and becomes steady, the process is done.
  12. Let it sit and dry for at least 10 minutes.
How To Descale Delonghi Nespresso Vertuo Next

Vertuo Plus

Descaling Delonghi Nespresso Vertuo Plus
Descaling DeLonghi Nespresso Vertuo Plus

The descale instructions for Nespresso DeLonghi Vertuo Plus are a bit different than other Vertuoline models. You need a descaling solution. If you would like to see an illustrated step by step guide for the Vertuo Plus, click on the link and see pages 21-23 in the Delonghi user manual.

  1. Turn the machine on by pressing the button.
  2. Eject any used capsule. Push the lever down to close.
  3. Push the lever for 3 seconds to turn off the coffee maker. Empty the cup support and capsule container.
  4. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.
  5. Start descaling by pushing the button and lever down at the same time for 3 seconds. An orange light will turn on.
  6. Press the lever down one time in the next 2 minutes to select descaling. An orange light will come on.
  7. Place a 20 fl oz bowl under the coffee outlet.
  8. Click on the button to start. It will stop when the process is done.
  9. Empty and rinse the water tank and cup support. Then fill the tank with fresh water and put it back.
  10. Push the button again to rinse. It will stop when it is complete, but you can also stop the process by pushing the button once the orange light flashes every 2 seconds.
  11. Press the button and the lever down for 3 seconds to exit descaling mode. The light should turn green.
  12. Let it sit and dry for 10 minutes before use.

Vertuo Lattissima

Please note that for the Vertuo Lattissima you need to use TWO descaling solution pouches.

  1. Open the machine head and empty any used capsule. Close it and turn the lever towards the lock position. Empty the capsule container. Remove the drip tray and empty it.
  2. Remove the water tank and empty it. Add two Nespresso descaling solution pouches to the water reservoir and then fill to the descale line. That will be approximately 1 liter of water.
  3. Take the descaling pipe out of its compartment in the back of the machine and attach it to the milk carafe connector.
  4. The Vertuo Lattissima will automatically enter descaling mode. The alert light will blink orange and the cappuccino button will light up.
  5. Put a 1 liter container under the coffee outlet and descaling pipe nozzle. Press the cappuccino button to start descaling. When it is done, the latte macchiato button will light up.
  6. Empty the drip tray, used capsule container, cup support and container. Rinse the water tank, fill it up with fresh water to the MAX line and put it back on the unit.
  7. Empty and replace the 1 liter container and then press the latte macchiato button to start a rinse cycle. When done, the machine will return to ready mode.
  8. Empty the drip tray, used capsule container and cup support. Fill the water tank with fresh water. Carefully dry off any water that may be left behind in the machine head.
Descaling Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima

Lattissima Pro

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Enter the menu and browse until you see the descaling option. Select it. The display will guide you through the following steps:
  3. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.
  4. Insert the hot water spout.
  5. Place a 1L container under both the hot water spout and the coffee outlet.
  6. Press to confirm and the descaling cycle will begin.
  7. When done, empty the drip tray and capsule container again. Rinse with clean water.
  8. Fill the water reservoir to the MAX line with fresh drinking water only.
  9. Empty the 1L container and put it back in place.
  10. Press to confirm and the rinse cycle will start.
  11. The machine will switch off when the rinsing is done. Rinse the hot water spout with clean water.
Descaling Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima Pro

Gran Lattissima

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray, used capsule container, cup support and drop collector.
  2. Remove the water tank. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.
  3. Locate the descaling pipe at the back of the machine. Plug it into the steam connector. Replace the water tank.
  4. The machine will enter descale mode. The descaling alert will blink orange while the flat white button turns a steady white.
  5. Place a 1L container under the descaling pipe nozzle and coffee outlet. Press the flat white button to begin the cycle. It will continue until the water tank is empty.
  6. Empty and rinse the drip tray, used capsule container, cup support and drop collector. Also empty the 1L container and put it back in its place.
  7. Rinse the water tank and fill it with fresh drinking water to the MAX line.
  8. Press the flat white button again to start the rinse cycle.
  9. The machine will turn off when the rinse cycle is done. Carefully remove the descaling pipe (it may be hot) and return to the back of the machine.
  10. Fill the water reservoir with fresh drinking water to the MAX line.
Descaling Delonghi Nespresso Gran Lattissima

Lattissima One

The Lattissima One has a descaling alert that will shine orange when it is time to clean the machine. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.
  3. Place a 1L container under the coffee outlet. Turn the machine on.
  4. Locate the descaling pipe at the back of the machine. Plug it into the steam connector.
  5. The machine will enter descale mode. The descaling alert will blink orange while the espresso button turns a steady white.
  6. Press the espresso button to begin the cycle. It will continue until the water tank is empty.
  7. Empty and rinse the used capsule container, drip tray and container. Also empty the 1L container and put it back in its place.
  8. Rinse the water tank and fill it with fresh drinking water to the MAX line.
  9. Press the espresso button again to start the rinse cycle.
  10. The machine will turn off when the rinse cycle is done. Carefully remove the descaling pipe (it may be hot) and return to the back of the machine.
  11. Fill the water reservoir with fresh drinking water to the MAX line.
Descaling Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima One

Lattissima Plus

When the cappuccino button turns orange, it is time to descale the machine. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit. If using the Nespresso solution, fill the tank half way with water.
  3. Locate the descaling pipe from its storage area. Push it onto the steam connector. You should now see that the cappuccino button is blinking orange.
  4. Place a 1L container under the coffee outlet and descaling pipe.
  5. Press the cappuccino button to begin the cycle. It will continue until the water tank is empty.
  6. Empty and rinse the used capsule container, drip tray and container. Also empty the 1L container and put it back in its place.
  7. Rinse the water tank and fill it with fresh drinking water to the top.
  8. Press the cappuccino button again to start the rinse cycle.
  9. The machine will turn off when the rinse cycle is done. Carefully remove the descaling pipe (it may be hot) and return to the storage area
  10. Fill the water tank with fresh drinking water.
Descaling Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima Plus

Lattissima Touch

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the steps on your kit. If using the Nespresso solution, fill the tank half way with water.
  3. Locate the descaling pipe from its storage area. Push it onto the steam connector. You should now see that the warm milk button is blinking orange.
  4. Place a 1L container under the coffee outlet and descaling pipe.
  5. Press the warm milk button to begin the cycle. It will continue until the water tank is empty.
  6. Empty and rinse the used capsule container, drip tray and container. Also empty the 1L container and put it back in its place.
  7. Rinse the water tank and fill it with fresh drinking water to the top.
  8. Press the warm milk button again to start the rinse cycle.
  9. The machine will turn off when the rinse cycle is done. Carefully remove the descaling pipe (it may be hot) and return to the storage area
  10. Fill the water tank with fresh drinking water.
Descaling Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima Touch

CitiZ, Pixie or Inissia

The Nespresso CitiZ, Pixie and Inissia all have the same descaling instructions. To clean them, you need a descaling solution.

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.
  3. Place a 1L container under the coffee outlet. Turn the machine on.
  4. Press and hold both the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 3 seconds to enter descaling mode. Both buttons will blink.
  5. Press the Lungo button only and the descaling process will start. Wait until the water tank is empty.
  6. Pour the contents of the container back into the water tank. Repeat steps 4 and 5.
  7. Empty and rinse the water tank thoroughly. Fill it with fresh drinking water only.
  8. Perform a rinse cycle to remove any residue from inside the machine. To do this, repeat steps 4 and 5.
  9. Press and hold both the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 3 seconds to exit descale mode. If you do not, the lights will continue to blink.
How To Descale Delonghi Nespresso CitiZ

Essenza Mini

To clean your machine, you need a descaling solution. Your manual has instructions on how to descale. You may also see pdf pages 13-15 in the Delonghi Nespresso Essenza Mini manual.

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.
  3. Place a 1L container under the coffee outlet. Turn the machine on.
  4. Press and hold both the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 5 seconds to enter descaling mode. Both buttons will blink.
  5. Press the Lungo button only and the descaling process will start. Wait until the water tank is empty.
  6. Pour the contents of the container back into the water tank. Repeat steps 4 and 5.
  7. Empty and rinse the water tank thoroughly. Fill it with fresh drinking water only.
  8. Perform a rinse cycle to remove any residue from inside the machine. To do this, repeat steps 4 and 5.
  9. Press and hold both the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 5 seconds to exit descale mode.
  10. Empty the drip base.
How To Descale Delonghi Essenza Mini

Essenza Plus

To clean your machine, you need a descaling solution. Your manual has instructions on how to descale. You may also see pdf pages 19-20 in the Delonghi Essenza Plus manual.

  1. Open the lever to eject any used capsule. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container.
  2. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit. If using the Nespresso solution, fill the tank with fresh water to the half level. Then add one packet of descaler.
  3. Place a 1L container under the coffee outlet. Turn the machine on.
  4. Press and hold the Espresso, Lungo and Hot Water buttons for 5 seconds to enter descaling mode. All three buttons will blink.
  5. Press the Hot Water button only and the descaling process will start. Wait until the water tank is empty.
  6. Discard the contents of the 1L container.
  7. Empty and rinse the water tank thoroughly. Fill it with fresh drinking water only.
  8. Perform a rinse cycle to remove any residue from inside the machine. To do this, press the Hot Water button only.
  9. The Essenza Plus will shut off automatically once the rinse cycle is over.
  10. Empty the drip base.
How To Descale Delonghi Nespresso Essenza Plus

What To Do If the Nespresso Delonghi Descaling Alert Stays On?

Depending on the Nespresso Delonghi model you have, you may have to manually exit descaling mode. If you don’t, the descaling alert may stay on. Eventually you be blocked from making coffee. See my related post for detailed steps on how to exit descaling.

Auto Exit DescalingManual Exit Descaling
Vertuo Next
Gran Lattissima
Lattissima Pro
Lattissima One
Lattissima Touch
Essenza Plus
Vertuo Plus
Vertuo
Evoluo
Essenza Mini
CitiZ
Pixie
Inissia

Another common reason why the descale alert stays on is because a step was not completed quickly enough or did not finish. For example, the Delonghi Vertuo Plus requires you to complete each step within two minutes of the last. Also, many models will require that you let the water tank completely empty during the rinse cycle. If it doesn’t empty all the way, the light will stay on. In that case, you can try running the descaling again from start to finish, this time using only water and no solution.

If all else fails and you can’t get out of descaling mode, you may need to reset your Nespresso.

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