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How to Clean Your Nespresso Machine: 4 Easy Steps

espresso machine

So, you’ve been using your Nespresso machine for a while, and maybe you notice that the coffee is starting to taste a bit different. Or you are simply concerned that your device should be cleaned every so often, and what better time than the present? Like all coffee makers, your Nespresso machine needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure continuous, safe operation and — most importantly — delicious coffee.

Below, we’re going to go over why and when your Nespresso machine should be cleaned, and we will give you step-by-step instructions to follow for a clean, properly functioning machine. Let’s get started!

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Why Should You Clean Your Nespresso Machine?

We get it: cleaning isn’t at the top of our list of favorite things to do, either. However, enjoying coffee is at the top, and a clean Nespresso machine leaves us with the highest quality coffee possible. Regular cleaning of other parts of your device will prevent bacteria build-up and mold formation, both of which you’ll, of course, want to avoid for health reasons. Cleaning should be done at least once a week.

nespresso machine cleaning

What is Descaling and Why Is It Important?

Descaling is another process that cleans the inside of your machine, and it should be done about once every three months. The biggest reason is that the water you use to brew your coffee will naturally contain minerals like calcium, which can build up around your Nespresso machine’s heating elements through the process of brewing.

The most significant effect this can have on the taste of your coffee is if this build-up prevents your Nespresso machine from heating the water to the optimal temperature. Any kind of insulation of minerals around the elements can cause them not to function correctly, and under-extracted coffee due to lower than optimal water temperature never tastes great. It can produce a stale or even sour taste, which is very undesirable. Regular cleaning and descaling will prevent this build-up from affecting your coffee.

What’s worse, the buildup of calcium or other minerals in your water over time can lead to equipment failure. Trust us: the last thing you want is to head into your kitchen in the morning to find that your Nespresso machine is no longer working!

So, it’s clear why it’s necessary; now, let’s get to how it’s done!divider 5

How Do You Clean a Nespresso Machine?

Your exact steps will differ slightly based on which machine you have, but the general process we’re describing below is the same across all models. We’ll list the basic steps with more detailed instructions to make this process as easy as possible.

1. Take the machine apart and clean each piece with soap and water.

Detailed Cleaning Directions
  1. Remove the drip tray and clean with warm water and dish soap, making sure you get any coffee residue out. Let the drip tray air dry.
  2. Open the capsule container and discard any spent capsules. As best as you can, clean the inside of the capsule container with dish soap and warm water. Leave the container to air dry.
  3. Remove the water tank and empty contents into your sink. Wash the inside of your water reservoir with dish soap, and rinse very thoroughly, making sure to open and flush the stopper at the bottom of the tray. You can dry the outside of the tank with a dish towel or paper towel and let the inside air dry.

2. Carefully clean the capsule detector lens with a microfiber cloth.

The next step to cleaning your Nespresso machine is to remove the maintenance module and wipe the capsule detector lens behind it with a soft, dry, clean cloth. A microfiber cloth is ideal for removing dirt and dust. Do not use water or soap on the lens.

3. Run a descaling cycle using Nespresso’s descaling solution.

Detailed Descaling Directions
  1. Before you begin, remove and clean the drip tray and the capsule container, then reattach and turn your machine on.
  2. Put your coffee machine in descaling mode.
  3. Add a packet of Nespresso’s descaling solution to your machine’s empty water reservoir and add half a liter of clean water. If you don’t have Nespresso’s dedicated descaling solution, we recommend using half a liter of a heavily diluted solution of white vinegar and water in a 1:20 ratio.
  4. Engage descaling. Depending on your machine, this is done by pressing and holding a specific combination of buttons. Make sure you read your machine’s directions for exact instructions.
  5. Collect the water that comes out of your machine in a carafe or separate container. When the machine stops pumping water, add the water you collected back to the water reservoir and engage descaling again.
  6. Discard the water you’ve collected from the second run and rinse your reservoir.

4. Run two or three cycles of water to fully rinse the machine.

Fill your water reservoir with clean water and engage descaling two to three more times, this time discarding any water collected. Then exit descaling mode. That’s it — your Nespresso machine is now clean!divider 2


Remember how delectable and creamy that first cup of coffee from your Nespresso machine was? You can replicate that on an ongoing basis as long as you clean and descale your machine regularly. Simply follow the steps above, and why not treat yourself to a nice, fresh cup of coffee once you’re done? We hope this guide has helped you learn how to clean Nespresso machines — the easy way.


Featured image credit: NTRdesign, Shutterstock


Dan Simms

Dan has been a coffee fanatic since caffeine became a necessity in college, and since then his enthusiasm has only grown. He has come a long way since his days of drinking mass-produced coffee, and he now has a love and appreciation of the entire coffee experience from farm to cup.

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