How To Descale Nespresso Vertuo Machine? Step-By-Step Guide

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how to descale nespresso vertuo

It’s no secret:

Nespresso Vertuo machines are wizards at whipping up tasty cups of coffee.

But what happens when your brews start tasting burnt and your machine gets dirty?

Well, all you have to do to get things back on track is to descale your Nespresso machine. 

Not sure where to start?

Here’s a quick guide on how to descale your Nespresso Vertuo machine so you can start enjoying tasty coffee again.

Let’s dive in!

How to Descale Nespresso Vertuo Machine Step-by-Step

Every time you make a coffee with your Nespresso VertuoLine machine, the water travels through the inner piping, leaving debris in its wake.

These remains are very small, almost imperceptible, but over time, they can start to affect your coffee’s flavor.

When a machine isn’t descaled often enough, it starts to lose pressure. 

When it loses pressure, it stops performing as well as it should.

This can affect the taste of the coffee, transforming it from a delicious brew into a watery, waste of a Nespresso pod. 

That is why it’s super important to descale your Nespresso VertuoLine machine. 

So, are you ready to get started?

Set aside a few minutes of your time and follow this step-by-step guide to descaling your Nespresso machine. 

Step 1: Add the Nespresso Descaling Solution

To get started descaling your machine, you’ll need to start by gathering a descaling kit, clean water, and a large container. 

You can get the kits from your local Nespresso store or by ordering them online. The kit contains a descaling solution, which is a special chemical fluid that cleans minerals and residue out of your Nespresso machine.

With your gear in hand, start by making sure your Nespresso Vertuo is empty. If you’re anything like me, you might have accidentally left a coffee pod in the machine once or twice!

Next, place the container under the liquid output of the machine. This is going to collect all the water that you flush out of your device. 

Then, put the descaling fluid into the Nespresso coffee machine with 1/2 tank of water in the water tank.

Step 2: Start the Descaling Mode

With everything in place and your coffee maker empty of stray capsules, you’re ready to start the cycle. 

Hit the ‘on’ button on your machine, holding down the button until the fixed indicator light turns off and then begins to flash rapidly. It can take up to seven seconds before this light starts flashing, so be a little patient.

When the light is flashing, your machine has entered descaling mode. The light will flash continuously throughout the process and the machine will dispense the solution intermittently.

When all of the descaling liquid has finished dispensing, the machine should go silent and turn off. 

This means you’ve completed the Vertuo descaling cycle.

Step 3: Rinse Out the Machine

Even though the machine has stopped running, the descaling process isn’t quite over. 

Although the machine no longer has residue, you want to make sure that there are no lingering chemicals in the mechanism, either. 

To do this, you’re going to want to rinse the machine using clean water. 

To do this, discard the solution that was left in the container you used. Then, put it back under the coffee spout. 

Next, empty the water tank, rinse it, refill it 2/3 of the way full with clean water, and place it back in the machine.

To start the rinsing process just press the button on the machine once.

As in the previous procedure, the machine will stop making noise when the water tank is completely empty. Discard the filtered water again.

Step 4: Turn Off the Descaling Mode

To finish the descaling process, you’ll need to reset your machine and get it back into brewing mode. 

To do so, empty the water tank. Then, press and hold the button until the flashing light becomes constant. This procedure, like at the beginning, can take up to seven seconds, so give it some time.

Next, you’re ready to refill the water tank with fresh water and place it back in your machine.

Finally, empty and rinse the capsule container and the drip tray with warm water. 

Extra tip: When rinsing out the drip tray and capsule container, skip the soap. Soap can leave residue on your machine, making your coffee taste bad. This is especially important for the capsule container!

Finally, wipe down the outside of your machine with a clean, damp cloth. This should get rid of any residue from the external part of the machine. 


You’ve just successfully descaled your Nespresso Vertuo and you can make a delicious coffee again!

How to Know When It’s Time for Descaling?

Some Nespresso machines like the VertuoPlus or the Lattissima will tell you when it’s time to descale your machine. 

These devices have a small light on them that tells you when it’s time for you to run the descaling system. 

When it’s time to descale, the light typically switches from green to orange. However, some devices use different colors. 

You’ll have to read the owner’s manual to make sure you know which is which. 

Even though this alert system is super convenient, not all Nespresso Vertuo machines have them. 

When that’s the case, you’ll need to decide when it’s time for descaling on your own. 

Rule of thumb: Descale your machine every 300 pods or every three months.

Keep track of when you last descaled the machine or how many pods you’ve used. That way, you won’t have to guess when it’s time to clean the machine.

How Often Should You Descale a Nespresso Vertuo Machine?

top view of vertuo nespresso

Nespresso recommends descaling the VertuoLine machine every three months or every 300 capsules, whichever comes first.

In my experience, the 300 capsules are going to come far before the three months is up!

Now, there are other factors that can affect how often you should descale your machine. For instance, the age of the machine, frequency of use, and how hard the water is.

Still, in general, it’s best to stick to what Nespresso says. 

After all, these are their machines and they know what they’re talking about when it comes to cleaning and upkeep.

Is Using Vinegar Safe For Descaling?

Using products such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, or common cleaning products isn’t generally a good idea for your Vertuo. 

Yeah, I know, a lot of online cleaning sites say otherwise. 

But trust me, as an ex-barista and Nespresso machine owner, I can tell you that using these items is a fast track to damaging your machine. 

The good news is that Nespresso has its own cleaning kits. They’re not super expensive, and they won’t damage your machine. 

Final Words

To keep a Nespresso coffee maker in the best condition, regularly cleaning and descaling the machine is key.

Thankfully, with this coffee machine, all you need is some descaling fluid, water, and about twenty minutes of your time. 

From there, you’ll be back to enjoying your brews in no time. 

Speaking of brews, once you’ve got your machine in check, why not try out some new pods?

Take a look at the best Nespresso Vertuo pods and pick your favorite.

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Jessica Fleming-Montoya
Jessica is a seasoned caffeine-addict who spent 3 years behind the bar. Her early coffee days took her from the commercial Starbucks scene in urban DC all the way to helping launch a craft coffee shop in California. Today she prefers sharing her years of coffee capers through media, although you’ll find she does it with a trusty cup of coffee by her side.