There are two ways to keep your machine working the best way possible: Keeping it clean on the outside and keeping it clean on the inside. The first one is easy enough, but then it gets a little more complicated.
Thank Nespresso, though, for making this chore incredibly easy. It used to be that you had to take your espresso machine apart and in some cases removing the scale yourself with tools – no more! Nespresso’s very own descaling liquid gets rid of all buildups in your machine.
But before, let’s answer one simple question:
What in the world is “scale”?
“Scale” is the name we use to describe mineral build-ups. These build-ups are hard and rough to the touch, much like the hardened exterior layer (scales) of reptiles’ skin (If you’re ever had the pleasure of touching an iguana you’ll know).
They are a common sight in the coffee world. Water ( tap water in particular) has a certain amount of minerals in it, which react when the water is heated up and start hardening: They then become extremely hard when the temperature decreases, and impossibly hard to remove without the help of powerful chemicals.
Soon enough, the size of these build-ups will compromise your machine’s ability to function – and it could even become clogged.
Do not use vinegar or any third-party descaler. It could be dangerous for your machine and will most definitely void the guarantee instantly.
Descaling your Nespresso machine
Ideally, you should descale your machine once for every 300 uses (or capsules). Some Nespresso machines have a very practical function that lets you know when it needs a descaling (some will even refuse to work until descaled) but it’s better to be ahead of your machine’s descaling alarm.
Steps to descale your Nespresso coffee maker:
- Fill the water tank with fresh water, and check there isn’t a used capsule inside your machine.
- Place an empty cup on your machine’s tray – you’ll need it later.
- Fill up the water tank halfway, and then some. Then pour the descaling liquid in; Be extra careful not to come into contact with the descaling liquid. It’s powerful stuff.
- Now, enter your machine’s Descaling Mode. This varies slightly with each Nespresso machine, but you typically enter it by holding down the machine’s button(s) for a few seconds. The light will start blinking – then press the button as if you were making coffee.
- The water with the descaling liquid will now run through the machine and exit – pouring into the cup you placed on the tray before.
- Pour the contents of the cup back into the water tank, and run it through your machine again. Once it’s in the cup, you can dispose of it.
- As a final step, it’s recommended you run the Descaling step again at least once – but without descaling liquid. This will rinse the machine, getting out any leftover chemicals that might still be in there.
When you’re done, just press the button(s) for a couple of seconds and your Nespresso will be ready to start making coffee again – like new!