Nespresso Vertuo Descaling: Step-by-Step Guide + Tricks

Last updated on August 12th, 2023 by Rebekah Pierce

Nespresso Vertuo Descaling

If you’re a proud owner of a Nespresso Vertuo machine, you know how much of a game changer it can be for your caffeine fix. The convenience of whipping up a cup of coffee with a push of a button is unmatched. 

However, to keep enjoying the best quality coffee from your machine, descaling is a must. If you’re not sure what descaling is, we’ve got you covered. 

In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about descaling your Nespresso Vertuo, so you can keep enjoying that delicious coffee without compromising on taste.

How to Descale Your Nespresso

How to Descale Your Nespresso
Having your own coffee nook truly is a joy!
Photo by Jenn Buxton

You may be wondering why descaling is even necessary in the first place. Well, over time, minerals from water, such as calcium, can build up in your machine and affect the taste of your coffee. This is where descaling comes in. 

Descaling involves removing these mineral deposits from your machine using a descaling solution. Without descaling, your machine’s performance will be affected, and the lifespan of your machine will be shortened.

Here’s how to do it!

How to Descale Nespresso Vertuo With Vinegar

If you’re looking for a natural and cost-effective option for descaling your Nespresso, vinegar is a great choice. Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, you’ll want to make sure your Nespresso machine is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Mix equal parts water and vinegar together and pour the solution into your machine’s water tank.
  3. Run a descaling cycle on your machine according to your machine’s specific instructions. This will usually involve pressing and holding down certain buttons until the cleaning cycle is complete.
  4. Rinse out the water tank and run two more cycles with just water to ensure that all of the vinegar is removed.

How to Use a Nespresso Descaling Kit

If you prefer to use a descaling kit specifically designed for Nespresso machines, you’re in luck! Here’s how to use it:

  1. Make sure your Nespresso machine is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Mix the descaling solution with water according to the kit’s instructions and pour it into your machine’s water tank.
  3. Run a descaling cycle on your machine according to the kit’s specific instructions. This will usually involve pressing and holding down certain buttons until the cleaning cycle is complete.
  4. Rinse out the water tank and run two more cycles with just water to ensure that all of the descaling solution is removed.

Nespresso Vertuo Next Descaling vs. Nespresso Vertuo Plus Descaling Instructions

If you have the Nespresso Vertuo Next or the Nespresso Vertuo Plus, you may be wondering if the descaling instructions are different. The good news is that they’re fairly similar! 

The main difference is in the buttons you press to start the descaling cycle. For the Vertuo Next, you’ll press and hold the button on top of the machine until the light blinks rapidly. 

For the Vertuo Plus, you’ll press and hold the button with the cup symbol and the button on the right side of the machine until the water tank light blinks. 

Beyond that, the instructions are pretty much the same for both machines.

Cleaning Nespresso Vertuo Next: Other Tips

Cleaning Nespresso Vertuo Next
Milk swirls on espresso.
Photo by Helena Yankovska

Descaling your machine gets a lot of attention when it comes to cleaning your Vertuo Next, but there are other tips to keep in mind. 

1. Cleaning the Drip Tray and Capsule Container

Over time, these parts of your machine accumulate residue and can lead to an unclean look and affect the quality of your coffee. Cleaning the drip tray is quite simple: remove it and pour out any residue. 

You can then wash it with warm soapy water, rinse and dry. For the capsule container, remove it and empty all the used capsules. Use a soft cloth to wipe it down, and then rinse with warm water. Finally, dry and reinsert it into your machine.

2. Cleaning the Needle

The needle penetrates the coffee capsule, and with consistent use, it can get clogged with coffee oils and grinds, leading to impurities and clogging. To avoid this, you can clean the needle by running the cleaning process without any capsule inside the machine. 

You should repeat this process every 300 coffee capsules or every 3 months.

3. Regularly Cleaning the Water Tank

The water tank is an essential component of your machine, which requires regular cleaning to ensure your coffee retains its smooth and rich flavor.

Start by removing the water tank, then empty any remaining water, and then wash with warm soapy water. For any tough buildup, you can use a soft brush gently scrub it clean. Rinse and dry the water tank before reinserting it into your machine.

4. Wiping Down the External Surfaces

While the internal components of your machine are important, keeping the external surfaces clean is equally vital. Use a damp cloth with a mild cleaning solution to wipe down the exterior of the machine, then rinse it off with a damp cloth. Avoid overheating your machine by using warm water to avoid damaging any components.

Troubleshooting Your Nespresso Vertuo Next Descaling Process

Troubleshooting Your Nespresso
A box of coffee pods beside a coffee pod machine.
Photo by Nadia Storm

Are you finding, for whatever reason, your Nespresso Vertuo Plus descaling not working? Here are a few common issues you may encounter as you go about the Nespresso Vertuo descaling process – and how to fix them. 

The Nespresso Vertuo Plus Descaling Light Stays On

It’s common to panic when your descaling light doesn’t go off, even after descaling your machine. In most cases, a stuck descaling light on the Vertuo Plus indicates that there is still some descaling solution trapped in the machine. 

If this happens, try repeating the descaling procedure one more time and ensure that you rinse your machine thoroughly. If the problem persists, reach out to Nespresso’s customer support for further assistance.

There’s a Nespresso Vertuo Plus Descaling Red Light

If your Nespresso Vertuo Plus descaling red light won’t turn off even after completing the descaling process, it’s an indication that your machine is clogged. 

To fix this, fill the water tank with a descaling solution and let it sit for twenty minutes, then perform the descaling as usual. If the problem remains unsolved, remove the brewing unit and clean all of the parts thoroughly.

Why is My Nespresso Plus Descaling Not Stopping?

If your descaling process won’t stop even after following all the steps, check whether the water tank is full and if there’s any blockage in the pipes. Blockage in the pipes may block the water from the tank from circulating effectively, preventing the descaling from finishing. 

Check for signs of blockage, such as odd noises coming from your machine, and clear any blockages before attempting to descale your unit.

How Long Does Nespresso Vertuo Plus Descaling Take?

How Long Does Nespresso Vertuo Plus Descaling Take
Cool coffee pods wooden container.
Photo by Nadia Storm

The good news is that it’s a relatively quick and straightforward process. The descaling cycle takes around 20 minutes, including the rinsing and drying time. 

However, keep in mind that you’ll also need to factor in time for preparation and cleanup.

How Often to Descale Nespresso Vertuo 

How Often to Descale
Froth that milk!
Photo by Dekler Ph

It depends on how frequently you use it and the water hardness in your area. 

As a general rule, Nespresso recommends descaling your machine at least once a year. If you notice a decrease in the volume of coffee, slower brewing time, or changes in the taste, it may be time to descale. 

However, if you live in an area with hard water, you may need to do it more frequently.

All in all, descaling your Nespresso Vertuo Plus is an essential maintenance step that can prolong the life of your machine and ensure you continue to get the best quality coffee possible. By following a regular descaling routine, you can enjoy your Nespresso Vertuo Plus for many years to come. 

Looking for a Nespresso machine that would suit you? Check out some of our reviews below:

Enjoy that fresh cuppa Joe!


How do I run the descaling process on my Nespresso Vertuo?

Use the Nespresso descaling kit specifically made for your machine, then select the two buttons on the top of the machine to start the descaling process. It will take around 20 minutes to complete. 

How do you reset the descaling light on a Nespresso Vertuo Plus?

Press the button on the right three times until the descale light blinks. Then, press and hold the button on the right until the light turns off. 

Why is my Vertuo Plus descale light still on?

If the light is still on after completing the descaling process and resetting the light, you may need to perform another descaling. Follow the descaling process mentioned above again, and make sure to rinse the machine thoroughly before using it again.


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