Coffee Facts

How Often To Descale Nespresso Machines


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You might be surprised how much of a workout you’re giving your Nespresso coffee machine. It’s easy to forget to descale it until your coffee starts to taste a little off, but that can be our little secret. 

Now that you’ve remembered you should descale your machine, you can get back on track with regular descaling. Read on to learn how often you should descale the Nespresso, how to descale it, and why it’s important. 

How Often to Descale Nespresso

How Often Should You Descale Nespresso Machines?

The machine manufacturer suggests that you descale your Nespresso coffee pod machine after every 600 capsules. Even if you’re a light user and only go through one Nespresso capsule a day, how often you descale your Nespresso machine can vary from situation to situation.

But, as a rule of thumb, you should clean your coffee maker at least once every six months. 

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If you have hard water, you will want to descale your Nespresso machine every 300 capsules instead of every 600 capsules. 

Power Users Require More Descaling

If you use more than three capsules per day or multiple people use the machine, you will need to descale it more often. 

Just how long will it take you to go through 600 capsules? Here’s an estimate:

  • 1-3 capsules per day = 6 months
  • 4 capsules per day = 5 months
  • 5 capsules per day = 4 months
  • 6-8 capsules per day = 3 months
  • 9-13 capsules per day = 2 months
  • 14-19 capsules per day = 1 month

The Magic of Machine Alerts

Some machines will alert you to know when to descale your machine. The Nespresso Lattissima and VertuoPlus both have light-up indicators that will tell you when you need to descale them. 

How to Descale Your Nespresso Machine

Descaling your machine is different than simply running it through a regular cleaning cycle. Before descaling your Nespresso, you should read the instruction manual for your specific device to ensure there aren’t extra steps or precautions to follow.

Luckily, Nespresso keeps manuals online if you’ve accidentally misplaced yours.  

Steps For Descaling Your Nespresso Machine

The following descaling steps should work for most machines:

  1. Clean the Outer Parts of the Machine: Clean the water tank with soapy water and rinse. Also, rinse the cup support and machine base. 
  2. Clean the Capsule Container: Open the machine to eject the last capsule. Then, empty and rinse the capsule container.
  3. Add Cleaning Solution: Pour one dose of Nespresso Descaling solution plus 17 ounces (500 ml) of fresh water into your machine’s water tank.
  4. Catch the Solution: Place a large container under the brew spout. The container should hold at least 27 ounces (.8 liters). 
  5. Run a Cleaning Cycle: If your machine has a basic cleaning cycle, pressing the button three times in two seconds will start it running through multiple cycles. If your machine does not have a cleaning cycle, run several brew cycles until all the solution has passed through the machine. You will want to wait 5 minutes between brew cycles.
  6. Rinse: Rinse out the tank so that no solution residue remains.
  7. Rinsing Cycle: Fill the water container with clean water and run another cleaning cycle or several brew cycles until all the water has run out of the machine.

Hold the Vinegar

If you’re thinking about saving money by using vinegar to clean the machine, think again. Vinegar can damage a Nespresso machine. 

Never Have I Ever Descaled My Nespresso

So, you’ve never descaled your Nespresso. Oops. 

But is descaling your Nespresso coffee maker necessary? It is essential if you like your coffee to be warm and taste good. It’s also required if you don’t want a ruined machine. You certainly didn’t buy a Nespresso machine if you are okay with poor-quality coffee. 

You Know You Should Descale Your Nespresso If…

  • Your coffee is starting to taste burnt
  • Your coffee is starting to taste different
  • Your coffee isn’t as warm as it once was
  • Your machine is leaking (also how you know you waited until it was too late) 

Beware of Limescale Takeover

What happens if you don’t descale your Nespresso coffee maker? Even if you use filtered water, the heating elements in your machine will begin to acquire a layer of limescale from the calcium and magnesium deposits in your water. The harder your tap water, the faster this will happen. 

Limescale buildup can prevent the machine from heating the water very well. Your coffee will start to taste strange, and your Nespresso could develop a leak.

Final Thoughts on Descaling Nespresso

For the best coffee and to ensure the life of your machine, it’s essential to descale your Nespresso on a regular schedule. Six hundred capsules might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t take long to use that many if you’re sharing the machine. Descaling is a task that’s easy to forget, so I like to set a reminder in my online calendar to keep my Nespresso at peak performance. 

Happy Caffeinating!

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