A Guide To Descaling Nespresso U Machine The Right Way

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.

A Guide To Descaling Nespresso U Machine The Right Way

The water used to brew your espresso pods contains minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your coffee maker. That’s why descaling Nespresso U machine the right way can remove those minerals. If left untreated, this can have a negative impact on the temperature and taste of your coffee as well as the U machine’s water flow.

Keep reading to learn more about how to descale your Nespresso U machine, with step by step instructions. To begin the process, you will also need a descaling solution kit like the one from Nespresso listed below.

How Often To Descale Your Nespresso U Machine

In addition to daily cleaning, it is recommended that you descale your Nespresso U 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 Nespresso U more frequently. If you are not sure about the level of minerals in your water, you can get a low-cost water testing kit.

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 Nespresso U Descaling With Vinegar Is A Bad Idea

Nespresso warns that you should NOT descale your U 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 U Descaling Solution

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 and the one that I use personally. Nespresso strongly recommends using only this descaler so I like using it because it makes me feel like I am protecting the investment I made in my machine. 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
Essential Values Universal Descaling Solution
  • Best-value descaler compatible with all coffee makers
  • Uses gentle and odorless citric acid
  • Made in the USA

Essential Values has a citric acid solution that is both odorless and powerful. Each bottle is good for two uses. A two pack will provide four doses. That’s a year supply if you descale your machine every three months. 

Impresa Universal Descaler (2 Pack)
  • Best-value descaler compatible with all coffee makers
  • Uses gentle citric and sulfamic acids
  • Made in the USA

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

How To Descale Nespresso U Machines

Follow the below instructions carefully. The descaling steps are the same whether you have a Nespresso U or a U&Milk machine.

Preparation

  1. Empty the drip tray and used capsule container. Make sure there is no pod in the machine.
  2. Empty the water tank. Add 1 packet of the Nespresso descaling solution to the reservoir. Then fill it up with 0.5L fresh water.
  3. Place a container that is at least 0.6L under the coffee outlet.
  4. Turn the machine on by opening the slider or pressing either of the cup size buttons. Whether or not you open the slider will determine which next step to follow!

Descaling Cycle If Slider Open

  1. Once all buttons have stopped flashing, press and hold the three controls for three seconds. The machine will beep and the three buttons will blink quickly.
  2. Close the slider to begin the descaling cycle. It will stop when the tank is empty.
  3. When it stops, refill the water tank with the water-solution mix that is in the container.
  4. Press any button to continue the descale cycle until the tank empties again.

Descaling Cycle If Slider Closed

  1. Once all buttons have stopped flashing, press and hold the three controls for three seconds. The machine will beep but the lights will not flash. This is a critical difference vs the video.
  2. Once you hear the beep, open the slider and press all 3 buttons again. This time there will be a beep and the lights will flash.
  3. Close the slider to begin the descaling cycle. It will stop when the tank is empty.
  4. When it stops, refill the water tank with the water-solution mix that is in the container.
  5. Press any button to continue the descale cycle until the tank empties again.

Rinse Cycle

  1. Empty the container. Rinse the empty water tank, drip tray and cup support to remove any residue.
  2. Fill the water reservoir with fresh water to the max line.
  3. Touch any button to start the rinse cycle. It will stop when the water tank has completely emptied.
  4. Empty the drip tray.
  5. To exit descale mode, push all 3 buttons for 3 seconds. You will hear a beep and the Nespresso U is now ready for use.

What To Do If Nespresso U Is Stuck In Descale Mode?

The descale cycle should end automatically if you followed the above steps all the way through without interruption. However, some people forget the important step of manually exiting descale mode. To exit descale mode, push all 3 buttons for 3 seconds. You will hear a beep. The Nespresso U is now ready for use.

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