When we’re craving an espresso, we all want the freshest, tastiest possible shot, whether it’s from the local coffee shop or home-brewed.
If you’ve been using a Nespresso coffee maker for a while, you may have noticed a change in the taste of your coffee.
Don’t despair and make a run for the coffee shop on the corner just yet- the answer could be as simple as cleaning your Nespresso machine.
Like other coffee makers, you need to regularly clean your Nespresso machine to ensure it produces delicious coffee and operates appropriately and continuously.
Unfortunately, most users have very little information on how to clean and descale their machines.
But never fear! We’ll walk you through the steps for descaling, cleaning, and maintaining your Nespresso and offer our tips for keeping your machine in top shape.
What Is the Difference Between Descaling and Cleaning?
Descaling involves cleaning the inside of a Nespresso machine. It’s important to descale your machine every three to six months or whenever you notice that your coffee is tasting slightly off. Usually, the descaling process takes approximately 15 minutes.
The tap water used in making coffee leaves mineral (calcium carbonate) deposits that build up over time and clog the machine. If you happen to be using hard water – with high calcium carbonate concentration – you need to descale your machine regularly.
Cleaning your Nespresso coffee machine, on the other hand, involves routine washing and rinsing before and after you make your coffee.
Regular cleaning prevents the growth of mold and yeast and ensures the coffee machine is always running perfectly. Cleaning the device on a regular basis can go a long way in boosting the quality of your cup of coffee.
Descaling Your Nespresso Machine
When it comes to descaling, there are several factors you need to consider. These include how often you use the machine, whether you rinse the water reservoir and machine daily, and how frequently you carry out deep cleaning.
For correct descaling, you will need the following products:
- Fresh water for washing and rinsing
- A descaling agent for removing limescale from the pipes
Here are steps to guide you through the descaling process:
1. Prep Your Machine
Turn on the machine and allow it some time to heat up to the correct temperature before unlocking it. Then pull the lever to remove the capsules in the capsule container.
Empty the drip tray and coffee capsule container and put a 1-liter container under the coffee outlet.
Now fill the water reservoir with about half a liter of water and your preferred descaling solution.
2. Start the Descaling Process
Put your machine into descaling mode. The button(s) you’ll press will vary depending on your machine model. A beep will indicate the device is in descaling mode.
3. Run Descaling Cycle
After the descaling process has started and the first cycle has ended, refill the water reservoir with the used solution. Run it for the second cycle.
4. Rinse the Machine
Fill the water reservoir with clean water and put the container under the coffee outlet. Let the machine run the clean water through by pressing one of the buttons on your Nespresso.
Once the cycle is complete, empty the container, and add clean water again. Repeat the process.
5. Exit Descaling Mode
After you have rinsed the machine properly, exit descaling mode by pressing the correct buttons – the machine will beep to indicate an exit from descaling mode. Let it dry for about ten minutes, and you are good to go!
Cleaning Your Nespresso Machine
If you are looking to give your Nespresso coffee machine a good cleaning, there are a few things that you will need:
- Damp cloth
- liquid dish soap
- Gentle cleaning solution
- Soft towel
Step 1: Clean the Water Reservoir
First, remove the water tank and empty its contents into the sink. Using a damp cloth and a mild dish detergent (don’t use abrasives), wash the tank and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.
Dry the tank with a soft towel and refill it with fresh drinking water, then put it back on the Nespresso.
You shouldn’t leave the water reservoir to air dry, as air drying the machine can lead to the buildup of minerals.
Step 2: Clean the Drip Tray
For this step, remove the drip tray from your machine and wash it in warm soapy water. Scrub away any buildup on the tray. Rinse the drip tray thoroughly with warm water and let it air dry.
Be sure to wash your drip tray periodically since the tray usually gathers coffee residue.
Step 3: Wipe the Capsule Collection Drawer
Open the machine’s capsule head so that the used capsule can be ejected. Empty and wash the drawer in warm soapy water. Rinse it using warm water and use a towel to dry it.
Step 4: Wipe the Capsule Detector Lens
To properly clean the detector, you need a soft, dry cloth. Remove any smudges on the detector lens by wiping it gently using a clean cloth.
Step 5: Wipe External Parts of the Machine
Before you start wiping the external parts of the machine, ensure it’s unplugged. Now rinse the soft cloth with warm water and wipe the outside of the machine thoroughly. You can use a gentle cleanser if needed.
Ensure that you wipe the coffee outlet (to remove any buildup), the inside walls, and the outside edges.
Step 6: Run a Rinse Cycle
Put a container that can hold at least four cups of water under the head. Press the start button three times within two seconds and wait for the cycle to run. The process should take about 5 minutes, after which you will discard the water from the collection container.
Step 7: Reassemble the Parts
Put the drip tray and the capsule drawer back into place.
In addition to these steps, we recommend that you check your machine’s specific cleaning instructions. It’s worth noting that the steps mentioned above are based on Nespresso coffee machine manufacturer guidelines.
Cleaning Milk Systems on Your Nespresso Machine
Some Nespresso models, such as the Lattissima series, utilize components such as a milk container and steam wand to prepare milky beverages.
If your Nespresso uses these components, it’s extra important to keep them clean. Leftover milk can spoil and lead to unpleasant smells, mold, and bacteria growth.
If your Nespresso machine is equipped with a Rapid Cappuccino System, disassemble it after every use and clean the parts by hand washing them or placing them in the top rack of your dishwasher.
If your Nespresso has a steam wand, purge your steam wand and wipe the outside with a damp cloth after every use.
The built-in milk container for your Nespresso machine should also be washed with mild soap daily to avoid buildup.
Tips for Maintaining Nespresso Machines
Proper maintenance of your Nespresso coffee machine can extend its lifespan more than you can imagine.
Moreover, regular and effective maintenance makes your cleaning process much more manageable. Here are a few things you can do to increase your Nespresso’s lifespan:
- Keep the machine in a dry place: The temperature should not be too hot or too cold. Therefore, don’t place the appliance near a heat source or inside/on top of a fridge. The reason for this is that coffee is susceptible to temperature changes.
- Don’t leave water in the reservoir: Always leave the water tank empty whenever it is not in use.
- Don’t use white vinegar as a cleaning solution: White vinegar has acetic acid that can attack the machine’s internal parts and even cause leaks.
- Don’t submerge any of the coffee machine components in water
Answering Your Nespresso Cleaning Questions
What happens if you don’t clean a Nespresso machine?
If you don’t clean your Nespresso machine, the buildup of old coffee residue will cause your brew to take on a bitter, unpleasant taste. It could also lead to blockages that prevent your coffee from flowing smoothly.
Can I use baking soda or vinegar to descale my Nespresso machine?
You’ll find plenty of DIY descaling ideas on the internet, including some that use vinegar, baking soda, or citric acid. Nespresso doesn’t recommend these options and warns that they might damage your machine.
While vinegar is cheaper, Nespresso’s descaler will only run you a few dollars and won’t damage your expensive coffee maker.
How do I clean my Nespresso machine naturally?
You’ll be happy to hear that Nespresso’s descaling solution is a natural solution that relies on lactic acid to break down minerals within the machine. When wiping down the outside of the machine, use hot water or your favorite natural soap.
How often should I clean my Nespresso?
Nespresso recommends that you descale your machine every 600 coffees or at least every 6 months.
Wipe down your Nespresso daily, and if you have a model with a steam wand, be sure to wipe and purge the steam wand after every use.
Enjoy Your High-Quality Coffee
Your Nespresso delivers your hot beverage in just a few minutes every morning, so why not dedicate just a little more time to ensuring that it’s clean and in working order?
Put these steps and cleaning tips into practice and your Nespresso will be helping you start your morning right for a long time to come!