Descale your Nespresso machine every two months. The water used for brewing coffee contains calcium and magnesium chlorides, which tend to attach themselves to the aluminum frame of the heating element creating limescale. The build-up doesn’t let the machine work the way it should.
If you forget about this simple procedure, parts of the appliance will wear sooner. Descaling will take only 20 minutes. In return, you’ll get better coffee, while your machine will work longer.
Can you prevent limescale build-up?
Taking into consideration the amount of calcium in the tap water, preventing the build-up altogether is impossible. You can slow down the process, though, if you use a water softener. It will remove some of the minerals, so you’ll be able to descale the machine less often.
Vinegar vs. Nespresso descaling liquid
It’s very common to use vinegar for descaling coffee makers. And yet, the Nespresso machine manufacturer warns against it. Instead, the company sells a specialized liquid. Also, you can find other specialized descaling solutions for Nespresso machines.
The Nespresso brand doesn’t explain why vinegar can’t do the job, though. Some people claim that vinegar breaks the limescale to comparatively large parts, so they can’t be removed through the thin pipes. As a result, some of the vinegar and scale stay inside spoiling the coffee and can even result in an internal leak. The Nespresso descaling solution, which is based on lactic acid (45%) and phosphonate (5%), is supposed to burn through the limescale more smoothly breaking it in smaller chunks. They are easier removed from the machine.
What if the machine is not exiting the descaling mode?
Some people are afraid to descale their Nespresso coffee machine because they’ve encountered this problem earlier. You don’t have to worry about it – you can solve the issue on your own. In case you own the U model, you’ll need to push and hold all the three buttons simultaneously for at least three seconds. If you use the Citiz, Pixie, Essenza or Inissia model, you’ll have to press the two buttons simultaneously and hold them for two or three seconds. The lights will blink for about half a minute during the preheating mode. On the Latissima model, you’ll need to take out the descaling nozzle.
If these steps don’t help, refer to a reliable Nespresso troubleshooting guide.
Each of the Nespresso models has its own descaling algorithm. Below, we explain how to descale the Vertuo machine.
Vertuo Coffee Machine
- Push the “On” button.
- As you open the appliance head, the old capsule will be ejected.
- Close the head. Don’t move the lever (it should be in the “Unlocked” position).
- Now, make sure you’ve removed everything from the cup support and the used capsule container.
- You need to pour one unit of Nespresso descaling liquid (or another descaling liquid) to the water tank and then pour 800 ml of water to the water tank.
- Press the button and hold it not less than seven seconds until it begins to blink fast. Now, confirm your intention to activate the descaling mode. First, you need to lock the appliance by turning the lever left. Then, unlock it by turning the lever right. Now, once again, you need to hold the button in “Unlocked” position for not less than seven seconds.
- As the machine will be going through the descaling process, the liquid will be removed through the coffee outlet. That’s why you need to put a container of some kind (800 ml or more) under the coffee outlet.
- Once again, turn the lever left and push the button. Now, the descaling process will start.
- When the procedure is finished, rinse and clean the water tank and cup support – the quality of your coffee depends on how thoroughly you perform this step. Pour clean water in the tank and return it to its regular position.
- When you press the button, the rinsing process will start. While you may stop the procedure by pressing the button, the manufacturer recommends waiting until it finishes automatically.
- Eventually, you’ll need to hold the button for not less than seven seconds until it stops blinking fast.