Coffee Facts

How to Clean the Nespresso VertuoLine: An Expert Guide

Keep your Nespresso VertuoLine in tip-top shape! Read our in-depth guide for the best tips on how to clean your machine.

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The Nespresso VertuoLine has a convenient way of disposing of its used pods after coffee brewing, a water canister, and an easily removable drip tray. I own a couple of other pod machines and let me tell you, the maintenance on this model is among the easiest I’ve seen — so no reason to be lazy, now.

What about more advanced cleaning cycles? If you’re having trouble figuring out how to clean and descale your Nespresso Vertuo, then look no further.

In this article, we aim to familiarize you with the different parts of the machine (mainly the singular button up-top) and how to set up cleaning mode correctly. We’ll also cover some tips on descaling your unit when the need arises.

Keep reading below to find out everything you need to know in our handy guide.

How to Clean the Nespresso Vertuoline

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly clean your Nespresso VertuoLine by discarding spent pods, emptying the drip tray, and refreshing the water tank.
  • Initiate a deeper cleaning mode at any time with a quick triple-tap of the machine’s singular button. Don’t forget to place a larger cup under the drip tray for this 5-minute process.
  • Use a descaling kit or white vinegar solution when the machine prompts you for it, to avoid calcium build-up and keep your coffee tasting great.

How To Clean a Nespresso Vertuoline

Cleaning the Nespresso coffee machine isn’t too difficult once you get used to the machine and its cleaning process. There are just a few steps to clean it, as listed below.

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Preparing for the Cleaning Process

The initial step is pretty simple: make sure to eject the coffee capsule after use, letting it fall into the capsule holder. Then, empty that container to start the cleaning process.

Next, remove and empty the drip tray.

Then, you will need to rinse out the water canister and refill it. Be sure that when you fill the canister, you fill it with fresh water. You do not need to fill it up all the way.

Before you start the machine’s cleaning mode, make sure to place a cup or container underneath the machine’s spout to catch the water flow, as you would when making coffee. Nespresso recommends something that can hold at least 20 ounces. Of course, this time, you don’t want to use your coffee cup.

Preparing for the cleaning process
Image Credit: Youtube/Nespresso.

Clearing out spend pods and emptying the drip tray are part of regular upkeep.

Machine Cleaning Mode

The first step is the easiest. Just turn the machine on! Press the button and turn the lever on the VertuoLine machine left until it’s in the locked position. Next, you need to press the button again, but this time, press it three times in quick succession.

Once you’ve done this, wait for up to two minutes, and you will see the cleaning process begin as the excess water from the machine pours into the container. The cleaning process takes about five minutes. You can also hand wash the drip tray during the cleaning cycle.

If you need to stop the cleaning process before then, you can always press the button, and it will stop.

Machine cleaning mode
Image Credit: Youtube/Nespresso.

Don’t forget to lock the lever by pushing it to the left to access the machine’s cleaning mode.


Many coffee machines come with or give you the option to purchase a descaling kit to get rid of calcium buildup and mineral deposits. You can buy the descaling kit compatible with Nespresso VertuoLine machines. However, since commercial descaling solution can be expensive, many people descale with a white vinegar solution.

Below are the steps to the descaling process.

When the Nespresso VirtuoLine needs descaling, the power button will blink three times and remain lit.

First, as with cleaning, you will need to remove the coffee pod by opening the machine and allowing it to slide into the pod canister. However, for this process, you can leave the lever in the unlocked position. Empty the canister of any used pods and empty the drip tray.

Next, you will need to fill the water tank with 17 ounces of clean water and one packet of descaling liquid (or 6.7 ounces of vinegar if using). Press the button to turn the machine on for the preheating process.

You will notice that the power light will slowly turn on. Hold the button down for 7 seconds (as recommended by Nespresso), to put the machine into descaling mode.

Once the light begins to blink, lock the machine with the lever. Next, turn the lever to unlock and press the button for 7 seconds again. While you do this, place a container underneath the spout.

Lock the machine once more and push the button to start. You will eventually see the descaling cycle begin as the descaling solution goes through the machine and comes out of the coffee outlet.

Once the process finishes, rinse both the drip tray and the water canister thoroughly in plain water before replacing them. The “cuff support” of the machine must also be rinsed and is equally easy to remove.

Maintenance Tips Summary

Here’s a handy sheet you can refer to when doing maintenance on your Vertuoline. It covers regular upkeep, as well as special situations when you have to move or store your machine for long periods.

(after every use)
Eject the last capsule and empty the container
Empty and clean the drip tray
Rinse and replace the contents of the water tank
(at least once a month)
Run the machine's 'Cleaning Mode'
As neededBackflush with the backflush kit or a white vinegar solution when the button blinks thrice
Before transporting or storingUnplug the machine
Empty the water tank
Place a 600ml cup under the water outlet
Eject the last capsule and lock the lever (left position)
Push and hold the button while unplugging the cord, then release it to enter 'Storage Mode', which drains the unit of all the water in the machine's internals
Rinse and dry the capsule container and drip tray

Final Thoughts

While the cleaning and descaling processes are not the most exciting to read about, they are relatively simple once you get used to your machine. Both involve the same basic steps and mostly the same parts of the Nespresso Vertuo. Good luck with your cleaning and descaling adventures.

Happy Caffeinating!

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