How To Clean Nespresso Vertuo: A Complete Guide

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.

How To Clean Nespresso Vertuo: A Complete Guide

how to clean nespresso vertuo
Nespresso Vertuo Plus Cleaning Cycle

Are you a new owner of a Nespresso Vertuo looking for advice on how to clean it and keep it working at its best? Welcome to the club! You are in the right place to learn all about how to clean Nespresso Vertuo coffee makers.

Or maybe you have been using your Nespresso Vertuo for a few months and are starting to notice that something is off. For example:

  • The taste of your coffee is unusually bitter, burnt or metallic
  • You see coffee grinds in your cup
  • The temperature of your coffee is a bit cooler than it used to be
  • Your machine is not pumping water or brewing the expected volume
  • Pods are not being punctured correctly

Nespresso recommends regularly cleaning your coffee maker. If you haven’t been doing that, well… better late than never! Keep reading to learn how to clean Nespresso Vertuo machines.

How Often Should Your Clean Your Nespresso Vertuo?

I follow the below cleaning regimen with my Vertuo Plus as recommended by Nespresso. The cleaning suggestions are the same for all Vertuoline models. There is some quick, basic cleaning I do at the end of the day if I have used my machine, and then some other cleaning steps that happen at the end of each week. I descale less frequently, about every three months.

Daily Cleaning

  • Fill the tank on a daily basis using clean water.
  • Always eject used coffee pods right after brewing. Never leave them in the pod holder. If you do coffee grinds can get stuck there leading to a burnt or bitter taste in your next cup.
  • Empty the drip tray and capsule container to prevent overflowing and bacteria buildup.
  • If you use a Nespresso Aeroccino 3 or 4 to froth milk, be sure to wipe it down immediately after use and wash it at the end of the day.

Weekly Cleaning

  • Use a damp cloth with warm water or a mild spray to wipe down the exterior and under the coffee outlet.
  • Perform a cleaning cycle using water only, no special cleaning solutions (see instructions below). This cleaning cycle helps remove coffee grinds and residue from inside the brewing chamber.

Less Frequent Cleaning

About every 3 months or after 300 capsules, whichever comes first, you should run special descaling cycle to deep clean your Nespresso machine. If you have hard water, then you should do this more often. This process will remove limescale buildup inside your machine. If you don’t descale your Nespresso Vertuo, it can cause problems over time with water flow, water pressure and temperature.

nespresso descaling solution
nespresso descaling solution

Learn about the descaling process for your Vertuo machine. All Vertuoline models have a built in alert that lets you know when it is time to descale. For the Vertuo Next, Vertuo Pop, Vertuo and Evoluo, there will be an orange light that blinks 3 times. For the Vertuo Plus, it will be a half red light, with another half that looks green or yellow.

You’ll need to buy a solution for descaling. 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. Each pack contains 2 kits, so you’ll get two total uses out of it.

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

Nespresso Vertuo Clean Cycle Instructions (All Models)

How To Run A Cleaning Cycle On Vertuo Next, Vertuo, Evoluo, Vertuo Pop, Vertuo Lattissima and Vertuo Creatista

Nespresso Blinking Orange Light
Nespresso Vertuo Next Blinking Orange Light two times means cleaning cycle is needed
  1. Rinse the water tank
  2. Fill the water reservoir with water and put it back on the coffee maker
  3. Place a large container under the outlet
  4. Eject any used capsule from the holder
  5. Turn the machine on and turn the lever left to the lock position
  6. Once the coffee maker has finished heating up, push the brew button 3 times within 2 seconds
  7. Within 2 minutes, water will start flowing out. The procedure will then run for 2-5 minutes depending on your model. The orange light will blink during this process.
  8. Wipe the coffee outlet with a damp cloth
How To Clean Nespresso Vertuo

How To Run A Vertuo Plus or Vertuo Plus Deluxe Clean Cycle

  1. Rinse the water tank
  2. Fill the water reservoir with fresh drinking water
  3. Place a large container under the outlet
  4. Eject any used capsule from the holder
  5. Turn the unit on
  6. Push the brew button 3 times within 2 seconds
  7. Within 2 minutes, water will start flowing out. The procedure will then run for 2-5 minutes. The light will blink orange when the process is complete.
  8. Wipe the coffee outlet with a damp cloth

How To Clean Nespresso Vertuo Water Tank and Used Capsule Container

Dish soap and water is all I use to clean my Vertuo water tank and used pod container. Since these are quite tall, it can be hard to clean by hand using a sponge. I find it helpful to use a brush with soft bristles to clean them really well. It is especially useful for the used capsule container which can get pretty gross with old coffee grinds and water that drips out of used pods.

How To Clean Nespresso Vertuo Drip Tray

After you brew a pod, a little bit of coffee will likely drip into the drip tray. When you are done making coffee for the day, you should lift up the drip tray to remove it from your Vertuo. The top grid will come off so that you can give both the cover and the tray itself a good clean. Just use warm water, dish soap and a sponge. Dry the pieces and then return the drip tray to the machine.

Nespresso Vertuo Deep Clean (Descale) Cycle Instructions

How To Descale Vertuo Next, Vertuo, Evoluo or Vertuo Pop

Prepare

  • Empty the capsule container. Remove the drip tray and empty it.
  • Add the solution and clean water to the tank, following the instructions on your descaling solution.
  • Close and lock the machine to turn it on. Allow it to heat up. When the light stops flashing, it has finished heating up.
  • Open the machine head and empty any used capsule. Close it and leave the lever in unlocked position towards the front.
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

Start Descaling

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Place a container that is at least 34 fl oz under the coffee outlet.
  • To start descaling, turn the lever left to lock the machine. Push the button. It will stop when the first phase is done.

Rinse

  • Empty and rinse the water tank, drip tray and cup support.
  • Fill the water tank with fresh water. Push the button to rinse.
  • When the light stops flashing and becomes steady, the process is done.
  • Let it sit and dry for at least 10 minutes.

How To Descale Vertuo Plus or Vertuo Plus Deluxe

nespresso half red half green light
Nespresso Vertuo Plus Half Red Half Green Yellow Light means a deep clean descale is needed

Prepare

  • Turn the machine on by pressing the button.
  • Eject any used capsule. Push the lever down to close.
  • Push the lever for 3 seconds to turn off the coffee maker. Empty the cup support and capsule container.
  • Add the solution and water to the tank, following the instructions on your descaling solution.
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

Begin Descale Cycle

  • Start descaling by pushing the button and lever down at the same time for 3 seconds. An orange light will turn on.
  • Press the lever down one time in the next 2 minutes to select descaling. An orange light will come on.
  • Place a 20 fl oz bowl under the coffee outlet.
  • Click on the button to start. It will stop when the process is done.

Rinse

  • Empty and rinse the water tank and cup support. Then fill the tank with fresh water and put it back.
  • 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.
  • Press the button and the lever down for 3 seconds to exit descaling mode. The light should turn green.
  • Let it sit and dry for 10 minutes before use.

How To Descale Vertuo Creatista

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

  1. Open the head and empty any used capsule. Close it and turn the lever to the lock position. Empty the capsule container. Remove the drip tray and empty it. Clean the steam tip holes using the accessory found under the water tank.
  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. Put a 1.5 liter container under the coffee outlet and steam wand.
  4. Press and hold the steam button and milk temperature buttons for 5 seconds. Then press the steam button only to begin descaling.
  5. When the descale cycle is done, remove, empty and rinse the water tank, 1.5 liter container and drip tray. Refill the water tank to the descale symbol with fresh water only and place it back on the machine, along with the drip tray and container.
  6. Press the steam button once to begin the rinse cycle.
  7. When the rinse cycle is done, refill the water tank with fresh water. Empty and rinse the used pod container and drip tray.

How To Descale 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.

Why Cleaning Your Nespresso With Vinegar Is A Bad Idea

Thinking about cleaning Nespresso Vertuo with vinegar? Don’t! For weekly care, all you need is fresh drinking water. In fact, Nespresso specifically warns that you shouldn’t use vinegar with your Vertuo coffee maker, especially when trying to descale. White vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid. This type of acid can wear down metal and cause your machine to leak. As a result, using vinegar can void the warranty on your coffee maker.

Nespresso Vertuo machine leaking
Nespresso Vertuo machine leaking

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