How to descale a Nespresso Vertuo


Descaling your Nespresso Vertuo machine is an essential part of maintenance that will help keep it running smoothly and prevent buildup that can affect the taste of your coffee. Over time, mineral deposits from water can collect inside the internal components of the Vertuo, which can lead to decreased flow, leaks, and altered coffee flavors if left unchecked. Fortunately, descaling your Nespresso Vertuo is a straightforward process that doesn’t require much time or effort.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about descaling your Nespresso Vertuo coffee and espresso machine. We’ll cover when and how often you should descale, what supplies are needed, step-by-step instructions for the descaling process, tips to make descaling easier, how to clean up after descaling, descaling alternative methods, and answers to some frequently asked questions about descaling Nespresso Vertuo machines. With the information in this guide, you’ll be able to keep your Nespresso Vertuo running in peak condition with regular descaling.

Why Descale a Nespresso Vertuo?

Here are the key reasons why descaling your Nespresso Vertuo is so important for maintenance:

  • Prevents mineral buildup: Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium that get left behind in your machine. Over time, this can cause scaling which affects function.
  • Maintains proper flow: Scale buildup can clog small holes and tubes, reducing pump pressure and flow. Descale to keep flow rate optimal.
  • Promotes proper operation: Scale can interfere with key components like sensors, causing issues with brewing, steaming, etc.
  • Enhances coffee flavor: Scale can give water an unpleasant flavor that gets imparted to your coffee. Descaling improves taste.
  • Extends machine lifespan: Regular descaling helps prevent scale damage to fragile internal parts. This extends the lifespan of your investment.
  • Keeps heating working: Scale buildup reduces the ability of the thermoblock to heat water efficiently for brewing.

So in short, descaling improves coffee flavor, ensures the proper functioning of your Vertuo, and prevents scale buildup damage over time. It’s simple routine maintenance that makes a big difference.

How Often To Descale Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso provides some general guidelines on descaling frequency for the Vertuo machines:

  • For water hardness under 7 grains, descale every 300 prepared drinks or 4-5 months
  • For water hardness between 7-15 grains, descale every 200 prepared drinks or 3 months
  • For water hardness over 15 grains, descale every 100 prepared drinks or 2 months

However, descaling needs can vary based on your local water mineral content and how frequently you use your Vertuo. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to descale:

  • Brewer is slow to heat up or makes unusual noises
  • Flow seems restricted or coffee comes out slower
  • Coffee tastes bitter or mineral-y rather than robust
  • Scale buildup is visible inside water tank or machine

Get to know your machine and watch for these cues. Descaling based on your actual usage and water hardness will keep your Vertuo in great shape. Taste and function changes are especially important indicators to watch out for.

Descaling Supplies Needed

Descaling your Nespresso Vertuo is a simple process that just requires a few supplies:

  • Nespresso descaling solution: Use the Nespresso branded descaling solution only. It’s specially formulated for these machines. Alternatively, you can use the descaling solution from MagnificaDescaler.
  • Large container: You’ll need a large container that can hold at least 34 oz to catch the descaling solution and water.
  • Paper towels: Have some paper towels ready to absorb any drips or spills.
  • Water: You’ll need fresh filtered water to rinse after descaling.
  • Descaling tray: This plastic tray catches drips and slides into the slot under the used capsule container.

That’s it! With just these basic supplies on hand, you’ll be ready to give your Vertuo a thorough descaling. Always make sure to only use the Nespresso descaling solution as other products may damage your machine.

Step-By-Step Descaling Process

Descaling your Nespresso Vertuo is a straightforward process that takes about 25-30 minutes from start to finish. Just follow these steps:

1. Empty capsule container

Start by sliding out the used capsule container and emptying it out. This prevents any spent capsules from getting covered in descaling solution.

2. Remove water tank

Lift the water tank off the back of the Vertuo. Empty any remaining water and set the tank aside.

3. Add descaling solution

Fill the tank with 16.9 oz of the Nespresso descaling solution. Avoid overfilling. Insert the water tank back into the Vertuo.

4. Place container & tray

Place your large empty container under the coffee outlet. Insert the descaling drip tray into the slot under the used capsule bin.

5. Start descaling mode

Turn on your Vertuo and hold the Lungo button for at least 5 seconds until the light blinks to indicate descaling mode is activated.

6. Allow solution to cycle

The machine will begin dispensing the descaling solution in short bursts from the outlet. Let the entire tank run through the system.

7. Rinse & refill tank

Once finished, thoroughly rinse the water tank and fill it with fresh water to rinse the machine.

8. Rinse cycle

With the water tank refilled, place the container and tray. Start another cycle by holding Lungo for 5 seconds. Let all the water run through.

9. Rinse & dry

Remove the container, tray, and empty capsule bin. Rinse them thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth or paper towels.

And that’s it! After rinsing, your Nespresso Vertuo is descaled and ready to brew great coffee again.

Tips for an Easy Descaling Process

Here are some useful tips to make your Nespresso Vertuo descaling process go smoothly:

  • Refer to the user manual for model-specific steps not covered here.
  • Descale early if you notice changes in brewing function or taste. Don’t wait.
  • Avoid descaling when you’re rushed. It’s an easy process but takes time.
  • Use a large plastic container that can hold at least 34 oz of liquid.
  • Empty the used capsule bin first so spent capsules don’t get coated in descaling solution.
  • Keep paper towels handy for spills and drips after descaling.
  • Give the machine time to thoroughly rinse – don’t cut the rinse cycle short.
  • When finished, run a lungo capsule through to season the machine.
  • Always use only the Nespresso descaling solution specifically made for these machines.
  • Mark your calendar when you descale so you know when it’s due again.

By following these tips and the step-by-step process, you can professionally descale your Vertuo like a pro every time.

Cleaning Up After Descaling

Once the descaling and rinsing process is complete, there are just a few steps needed to finish up:

  • Wipe down the exterior of the Vertuo with a damp cloth to remove any drips or spills from descaling. Avoid exterior water exposure.
  • Rinse out the large container you used to catch the descaling solution.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry the descaling drip tray. Store it for next time.
  • Use fresh water and a cloth to wipe out the interior of the water tank.
  • Dry all parts fully with a clean lint-free cloth before reassembling.
  • Run a rinse cycle by brewing 2-3 lungo capsules with just fresh water. Discard these.
  • Your Nespresso Vertuo is now cleaned, descaled, and ready for amazing coffee!

Thorough cleaning removes any residual descaling solution and keeps your Vertuo looking shiny and new. Take your time cleaning – it’s a key step after descaling.

Alternative Descaling Methods

While using the Nespresso descaling solution is the recommended method, there are some alternative ways to descale:

  • White vinegar method: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Run through machine like descaling solution. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Citric acid method: Dissolve citric acid powder in water per package instructions. Use in place of descaling solution.
  • Lemon juice method: Fresh lemon juice mixed with water can break down light mineral buildup. Not as effective for heavier scale.
  • MagnificaDescaler: Specialty non-toxic descaling solution specifically formulated for Nespresso.

Always rinse very thoroughly if trying alternative descaling solutions. And take care, as acids like vinegar could corrode metal components over time. Stick to the Nespresso branded descaler when possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Descaling Nespresso Vertuo

Here are answers to some common questions about descaling Nespresso Vertuo machines:

What happens if you don’t descale?

Neglecting descaling can lead to mineral buildup, altered brewing functionality, scale damage, and unpleasant flavor. Descaling is essential.

Can descaling solution go in the water tank?

Yes, you fill the entire water tank with the descaling solution to run it through the system. Rinse thoroughly after.

Is descaling bad for the machine?

When done properly using the right solution, descaling is healthy routine maintenance for your machine.

Can I descale with white vinegar?

White vinegar works in a pinch but may corrode components over time. Stick to the Nespresso solution when possible.

How do I know descaling is working?

You can visually inspect components before and after for scale reduction. Improved flow rate, taste, and heating also indicate it worked.

What is the descaling light blinking mean?

When the descale light blinks, it means the machine is in descaling mode and ready for the solution.

How do I end descaling mode?

Descaling mode ends automatically when the solution tank empties and the programmed cycle finishes.

Regularly descaling your Nespresso Vertuo is the key to keeping it performing well for years. Follow this guide for a smooth, effective process. Here’s to great tasting coffee!