Descaling Nespresso Vertuoline Machines: Easy To Follow Guide

By Shabbir
Last update:

Descaling Nespresso Vertuoline machines is a very important process and something you should do once every 3-6 months in order to keep your nespresso machine running smoothly, brewing great tasting coffee.

If you live in an area with hard water and you don’t have a water softener at home, then it is especially important that you descale your Nespresso Vertuoline.

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville, 5 Cups, Chrome

Another time to descale would be if you start using the machine again after a long time. Any water that may have been left in the machine would have evaporated and left a deposit of limescale which will make your coffee taste less good.

Vertuoline machines also have descaling alerts where the light will blink 3 times and then become steady – this is an indication that you must descale.

So how do you descale a Nespresso Vertuoline?

How to descale your Vertuoline(and clean it too)

It takes just a few simple steps to carry out this process.

Before you start, you need to unplug the machine and plug it in again.

Step 1: Remove any capsules

The first thing you want to do is open the lid and eject any used capsule from the pod bay. It’s okay if the capsule goes into the trash receptacle as you’re just going to empty that out right then and there.

Also make sure the knob is turned to “unlocked”

Step 2: Clean the drip tray and used capsules

As a good measure, remove the drip tray from the machine, open it up, and drain the water from it. You also want to throw out any used capsules in the capsule tank.

Step 3: Fill the water tank

Next, fill up the water tank with 500 ml of clean water and to that, add one packet of Nespresso descaling solution. If you’re part of the Nespresso club, you’ll receive the descaling solution.

If you don’t wish to use the name brand solution, you can also use a natural descaler such as citric acid.

Step 4: Turn on the machine and enter descaling mode

Lock the machine. Turn on the Nespresso Vertuoline by pushing the button on the top. Then unlock and close the machine.

As it pre-heats, the button will flash and eventually become solid. Once it is solid, press and hold the button for at least 7 seconds to enter descaling mode.

You now have 45 seconds to start the descaling process.

Lock the machine by turning the lever to the lock symbol, and unlock by turning it right. Then press and hold the button again for at least 7 seconds.

Place a large cup(capable of holding at least 20 ounces) under the nozzle and let the machine drain into the vessel.

Note: If the machine does not start draining, lock the machine and press the button once again to start the process.

Step 5: Rinse everything out

When the water has fully emptied, remove and thoroughly rinse out the water tank and drip tray. Then fill the tank again, this time more than halfway with water, place the tank into the machine, lock it, and press the button once more to rinse the water through the machine.

Once it is completed, the Vertuoline will automatically stop.

Step 6: Exit descaling mode

Finally, press and hold the button again for at least 7 seconds. It will stop flashing and become solid. This indicates that the descaling process is complete.

Step 7: Allow the machine to dry

This is quite straightforward. Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then you can start using it again.

Can you descale Nespresso Vertuoline with vinegar or citric acid?

The Nespresso descaling solution is quite expensive – as are Keurig descaling solutions and indeed any other name brand solutions, so many people prefer using natural descalers instead.

You can certainly use citric acid or white vinegar instead of the commercial descaler and you’ll get similar results, provided you use the correct concentration of citric acid. With vinegar, it’s not that important since you’re using store-bought vinegar anyway, but you still need to dilute it.

For citric acid, you’ll probably need to get some citric acid crystals and dissolve them in water to make the solution. Generally speaking, for a mild but effective acid, dissolve one to two tablespoons of citric acid crystals in a gallon of water.

Personally, I prefer using citric acid because the smell is much fresher and less pungent than vinegar, and vinegar can sometimes react with the rubber seals inside your machine and cause them to degrade.

Is Vinegar good for Descaling?

There are many different types of descaling solution available in the market. Vinegar ranks at the top of all artificially manufactured chemicals. It is a a household staple mostly used in salads as a dressing and in a wide variety of recipes. By vinegar here we mean white vinegar and no other variant.

White vinegar is 90-95% water and about 5-10% acetic acid. It has the highest percentage of acid, when compared with other vinegar types.


The process of descaling Nespresso Vertuoline machines is unnecessarily complicated, but if you have the machine, then you gotta do what you gotta do.

This is one reason why you may actually prefer just sticking to Originalline instead of Vertuoline.

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.