How To Run A Nespresso Cleaning Cycle? 4 Easy Steps

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nespresso cleaning cycle

Wondering how to run a Nespresso cleaning cycle? Jump into our guide and find out how to clean and descale your Nespresso machine.

Are you thrilled about how well your new Nespresso is working?

To keep it doing that, it’s important that you take good care of your machine.

By this, I mean cleaning and descaling it regularly.

But if you don’t know how, don’t worry.

After hours of research, I’ve learned how to do that with every single Nespresso model there is.

So keep on reading to find out how to run a Nespresso cleaning cycle.

Why Is it so Important to Clean Your Nespresso Machine?

Cleaning is what keeps your machine working properly.

Imagine eating out of the same plate, yet never washing it. Food remains will build up, along with bacteria and other harmful pathogens. Well, that exactly will happen to your Nespresso.

Not to mention that coffee deposits inside your machine can also clog it, thus rendering it useless.

But all that can easily be avoided if you regularly clean the Nespresso machine.

How to Run a Cleaning Cycle on Your Nespresso Machine?

nespresso machine

Not every Nespresso machine has a designated cleaning cycle. If that’s the case with your model, you can clean the inside of your machine by simply running a cycle without a Nespresso pod.

In the case of models mentioned in this section, there are some differences in how to run a cleaning cycle, and we’ll mention them individually.

One thing you should always do before running a cleaning cycle is preparation. This means:

  • Rinsing the water tank in the sink
  • Filling it with water and putting it back on the Nespresso machine
  • Placing a large container under the outlet for collecting water
  • Ejecting any used capsule from the holder

Now, let’s see how to clean your Nespresso model.

Vertuo Next, Vertuo, Evoluo, Vertuo Plus and Vertuo Pop

For these few models from the Vertuo Line, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Turn the machine on. Turn the lever left to the LOCKED position. The machine will start heating up.
  2. Once it’s finished heating up, the light will be steady white. Then, push the brew button 3 times within a 2-second time frame.
  3. You’ll see the water flowing out after a minute or so. The cycle will then run for anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes, depending on your model. Throughout the process, the orange light will constantly blink. When it stops, your machine is good to go.

When it comes to Vertuo Plus, the actual cleaning process is the same. The only thing that’s different is how you lock your machine. In this case, you simply press the lever down to lock, whereas other Vertuo models require the lever to be pushed to the left.


Since it uses milk, Creatista requires regular cleaning of the frothing system.

Doing that is simple. You just need to:

  1. Fill the milk jug with water, with the water line hitting between the MIN and MAX marks.
  2. Select the MILK function, then press START.
  3. Once the cycle is complete, discard the used water and clean the wand with a damp cloth.

How to Descale a Nespresso Machine?

Descaling is yet another important step in maintaining your Nespresso machine.

You see, water is rich in minerals that affect its taste. That’s why tap and bottled water generally tastes way better than distilled.

But those minerals build up inside your machine. And without regular maintenance, they will create a deposit large enough to clog your machine and stop it from working.

Luckily, that’s easily avoidable by running a descaling cycle regularly.

In this section, we’ll cover every step in the process for your machine.

But what you need to do, regardless of the model, is:

  • Empty the capsule container and the drip tray
  • Fill the water tank with a Nespresso descaling solution and water mixture (per instructions)
  • Close and lock the machine

Alright, let’s start the descaling process.

Vertuo Next and Vertuo

To descale either of these machines, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Turn the machine on. It will start heating up, which is indicated by the blinking light. When it’s ready, the light will turn steady.
  2. To enter the descaling mode, hold the button for about 7 seconds. When it starts blinking rapidly, you have a 45-second window of opportunity to start descaling. To do that, turn the lever left to the lock symbol and push the button.
  3. The cycle will start, and the machine will stop automatically when it’s done. When that happens, empty and rinse the water tank, then refill it with fresh water. Press the button again to rinse the descaling solution from your machine. Your machine is then good to go.

Vertuo Plus

The process is slightly different for the Nespresso Vertuo Plus coffee maker:

  1. Turn the machine off. To do that, push down the lever for 3 seconds.
  2. Enter the descaling mode by pushing the button and lever down simultaneously for 3 seconds. Once you see the steady orange light, you know you’re in the special functions menu.
  3. To choose the DESCALING function, press the lever down a single time.
  4. Push the button to start descaling. Once done, your machine will stop automatically.

Essenza, Essenza Mini, Pixie, Inissia, Citiz and U

All of these models work on the same principle:

  1. To enter the descaling mode, you need to turn your machine on.
  2. Then, press ESPRESSO and LUNGO buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds. In the case of Nespresso U, press all 3 buttons at the same time. LED lights will blink to indicate you have entered the descaling mode.
  3. Press the LUNGO button to start descaling (close the slider for Nespresso U to do the same).
  4. Once the water tank is empty, rinse and refill it with fresh water. Repeat the process to get rid of the descaling solution inside your machine.
  5. To exit the descaling mode, press both ESPRESSO and LUNGO buttons for 5 seconds (1 second for Pixie, 3 for Citiz)

Lattissima One, Lattissima Touch and Gran Lattissima

Here’s how to descale one of these models:

  1. Take the descaling pipe that’s situated on the back side of your machine. Plug it into the steam connector. This will turn on the descaling mode, indicated by the illuminated ESPRESSO button for Lattissima One. Lattissima Touch has the WARM MILK FROTH illuminated, while Gran Lattissima has FLAT WHITE.
  2. Press the ESPRESSO button (or whatever option is illuminated, depending on the model).
  3. Once done, rinse and refill the water tank, then run the process again with clean water.
  4. The machine will turn off when the process is done. Then, you can remove and store the descaling pipe.

Lattissima Pro

If you own this model, the coffee machine will guide you through the process. You just need to:

  1. Plug the pipe, then enter the menu. 
  2. Find and select the descaling option, then follow the instructions.


To descale this Nespresso coffee machine, you need to:

  1. Press the brewing button for 6 seconds while your machine is off and the slider is closed.
  2. On the recipe dial, select the RISTRETTO icon, then press the brewing button to confirm.
  3. On the temperature dial, select I (highest temperature) to enter the descaling mode.
  4. Press the brewing button to start the process. 
  5. Repeat the whole thing with clean water to remove any residue.

Creatista and Creatista Pro

Descaling these machines is pretty straightforward:

  1. Rotate the dial to select MAINTENANCE.
  2. Select the DESCALE mode.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.


Here’s how to descale Maestria:

  1. Turn the machine on. Then, set the ESPRESSO button to 4 and LUNGO to 1.
  2. Press and hold the ESPRESSO button while turning the machine on to enter descaling mode.
  3. Set the steam handle to the STEAM icon.
  4. Press the LUNGO button to start descaling.
  5. Once the cycle is done, rinse with fresh water.
  6. When you’re done descaling, move the handle to the OFF position.

How to Know When Your Nespresso Machine Needs Cleaning and Descaling?

Nespresso recommends cleaning your machine every day. And to be honest, your machine can never be “too clean.” So if possible, I’d recommend doing the same thing.

As for descaling, that should be done every few months, depending on how often you’re using it and if you are using hard water.

Many models, like Vertuo and Lattissima line, will signal your machine needs descaling with an orange light indicator.

But that’s not always the case.

However, there are some clear signs your machine needs descaling, like:

  • Your coffee tastes burnt
  • Your Nespresso is making weird noises when brewing
  • The coffee is poured very slowly
  • Your drink is mild

In the case you’re experiencing any of these, your machine needs descaling.

To Sum Things Up About Nespresso Cleaning Cycle

Your Nespresso machine needs regular cleaning and descaling to operate properly.

Luckily, Nespresso made these processes rather simple. Typically, they require your input and a bit of time, but they’re definitely worth the effort. Maintaining your machine is the key to longevity!

Have issues with your Nespresso? Here’s our troubleshooting guide on common problems and how to fix them.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.