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A Guide To Descaling Your Original Nespresso Machine

The water used to brew your espresso pods contains minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your machine; descaling Nespresso removes those minerals. 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.

Keep reading to learn more about how to descale your Nespresso machine, with step by step instructions for Original models. To begin the process, you will need a descaling solution kit like one of those we review below.

If you have a Vertuo machine, see my post on how to descale a Nespresso Vertuoline machine.

How Often To Descale Nespresso Machines

In addition to daily cleaning, Nespresso recommends you descale your machine 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 your machine 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 with a built in display will have an alert that will let you know that it is time to descale your machine. 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 With Vinegar Is A Bad Idea

Nespresso warns that you should NOT descale your machine 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 can void the warranty on your machine.

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

Nespresso Descaling Solution Reviews

Nespresso Descaling Solution

Nespresso descaling solution

This is the official descaling solution kit made by Nespresso. Nespresso strongly recommends only using this descaler. It is compatible with all Original models. 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.

Impresa Coffee Machine Descaler

Impresa Descaler to use when Nespresso half red half green light comes on

The Impresa descaler is a top selling coffee machine cleaner. It uses citric and sulfamic acids. Both are gentle on metal and aluminum. A pack has two bottles, each enough solution for two uses.

De’Longhi EcoDecalk Descaler

De'Longhi Descaler to use when Nespresso half red half green light comes on

The De’Longhi Descaler is another Amazon customer favorite. It is made in Italy with high quality, plant-based lactic acid. This solution can be used to solve a descaling issue with any coffee machine, including those made by Breville. A 16.90 fl oz bottle contains enough solution for up to 5 uses.

How To Descale Nespresso Lattissima Machines

Descaling Nespresso 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 Nespresso 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 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.

How To Descale Nespresso CitiZ

To clean your machine, you need a descaling solution. Your machine manual has instructions on how to descale with a solution kit. If you would like to see an illustrated step by step on descaling Nespresso CitiZ, please click to see pdf pages 15-16 in the user 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 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 CitiZ

How To Descale Nespresso Pixie

To clean your machine, you need a descaling solution. If you would like to see an illustrated step by step on descaling Nespresso Pixie, click on the link and see pages 13-14 in the user 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 0.6L 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.
How To Descale Nespresso Pixie

Descaling Nespresso 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 18-19 in the 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 Essenza Mini

Descaling Nespresso Inissia

You’ll need a descaling solution before you can begin. Your manual has instructions on how to descale. You may also see pdf pages 13-14 in the Nespresso Inissia 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 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. The lights may blink for up to 25 seconds after that, but then should turn steady.
  10. Empty the drip base.
Descaling Nespresso Inissia

How To Descale Nespresso Creatista Machines

Descaling Creatista Pro

Turn on the machine. On the menu, navigate to Descale and select. Follow the on screen instructions. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.

Descaling Creatista Plus

Turn on your machine. Rotate the dial to navigate to Maintenance and select. Turn the dial to Descale and select. Follow the on screen instructions. Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your kit.

Descaling Creatista Uno

  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. While the machine is turned OFF, press and hold both the Ristretto and Steam button together for 5 seconds. This will enter the unit into descale mode. Both buttons will illuminate steadily. Press either the Ristretto or Lungo button to begin descaling.
  5. When the cycle is over, discard the liquid from the 1L container and return to it to its former position.
  6. Empty the water tank and rinse clean. Fill the water tank to the MAX line with fresh drinking water.
  7. Press either the Ristretto or Steam button to begin a rinse cycle.
  8. When the first rinse cycle is done, empty the 1L container and return it. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to run the rinse cycle a second time.
  9. When this cycle is done, the Ristretto and Steam buttons will flash three times and the machine will turn off.
  10. Rinse the drip tray and water tank and reattach them to the machine. Fill the tank with clean water to the MAX line.

Now that your Nespresso machine is clean, stock up on your favorite pods or try something new. For inspiration, see our buying guides. Shop by caffeine level or by intensity level.

What To Do If the Descale Alert Stays On After Descaling?

If your Original model has a descale alert, it should reset automatically if you followed the above steps all the way through without interruption. You shouldn’t have to do anything. If the descale alert or light stays on on, then it is likely that extra scale has built up inside your coffee maker. If you have not been properly cleaning your Nespresso, this is not surprising. Take a look at the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, you’ll need to repeat the steps using the solution at least one or two more times.

  • Have you been ignoring the descale light for a while?
  • Has it been a lot longer than 3 months since you last descaled?
  • Do you have really hard water?

If you have been taking good care of your machine and the descale light stays on after the first deep clean, open and close the machine and see if that makes the light turn off. If not, you may need to reset your Nespresso.

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