How To Descale Pixie Nespresso 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.

How To Descale Pixie Nespresso The Right Way

The water used to brew your espresso pods contains minerals that cause limescale to build up inside your machine. Descaling Nespresso Pixie at regular intervals removes those minerals. If left untreated, this can have a negative impact on the temperature and taste of your coffee as well as the Pixie’s water flow. Keep reading to learn more about how to descale Pixie Nespresso machines the right way, with step by step instructions. To begin the process, you will need a descaling solution kit like one of those we review below.

solution to descale nespresso pixie
nespresso pixie descaling solution

How Often To Descale Pixie Nespresso Machines

In addition to daily cleaning, Nespresso recommends you descale your Pixie 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 espresso maker more frequently. Not sure about the level of minerals in your water? You can get a low-cost water testing kit and easily find out.

It takes around 15 to 20 minutes to finish the process. The process 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 use vinegar to descale your Pixie. White vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid. This specific type of acid can wear down metal and cause your espresso maker to leak. As a result, using vinegar to clean your Pixie can void the warranty.

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

Nespresso Pixie Descaling Solutions

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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.

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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. 

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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 Pixie Nespresso

To descale your Pixie, you need a descaling solution. If you would like to see an illustrated step by step on Nespresso Pixie descaling, click on the link and see pages 13-14 in the user manual.

Prepare The Machine

  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, add one packet of solution and about 0.5L of water until you reach the MAX line.
  3. Place a 0.6L container under the coffee outlet. Turn the machine on.

Start The Descale Cycle

  1. Press and hold both the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 3 seconds to enter descaling mode. Both buttons will blink.
  2. Press the Lungo button only and the descaling process will start. Wait until the water tank is empty.
  3. Pour the contents of the container back into the water tank. Repeat steps 4 & 5.

Run The Rinse Cycles

  1. Empty and rinse the water tank thoroughly. Fill it with fresh drinking water only.
  2. Perform a rinse cycle to remove any residue from inside the machine. To do this, repeat steps 4 & 5.

Exit Descaling

  1. Press and hold both the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 3 seconds to exit descale mode.
How To Descale Nespresso Pixie

How To Exit Nespresso Pixie Descaling Mode

A lot of people forget one of the last steps which is to exit descaling mode. You have to hold the espresso and lungo buttons. For the Pixie, you must hold them down for three seconds. When you release the buttons, the lights should turn steady. It could take up to 25 seconds.

nespresso pixie red light
nespresso pixie red light

Some users report seeing a right light turn on after they descaled their machine. This may happen when descale cycle did not complete correctly. The water tank must empty completely. If it didn’t, then you’ll need to run the cycle again, but you can use only water. Fill the water tank to the max line and then follow all of the steps to descale from start to finish.

If the light won’t go off, open and close the machine. If it stays on, you may need to reset your Nespresso machine.

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