Any machine that uses water needs to be cleaned and descaled after some time. The Nespresso machine isn’t an exception. Since it requires water for all its operations to make coffee, descaling is vital every so often. Here’s how to do it.
Descaling a Nespresso is easy and takes a short time. Most Nespresso machines have an automated cleaning cycle that you can run when you have no special equipment, other than water. To descale, you can add a descaling treatment into the water tank then run several cycles to remove limescale.
Water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium that are deposited inside of the Nespresso machine. Without routine washing and descaling, these minerals tend to build up and cause an obstruction to your coffee-making process. They interfere with its extraction process and temperatures, which are essential for ideal coffee flavor.
Descaling is the process of removing the deposited minerals in your Nespresso machine. The scales will make your coffee-making process slow and also deteriorate the general quality of your coffee.
For a coffee lover, a build-up of scales in the coffee machine is bad news. To avoid such unfortunate scenarios, I will show you how to descale your Nespresso machine. Here you will find a step-by-step guide on how to descale your coffee machine.
Do You Have To Descale A Nespresso Machine?
Like any other machine, a Nespresso machine needs proper care for it to function optimally. Good care will demand that you maintain high levels of hygiene at all times.
However, since the Nespresso uses water in its operation, the cleaning process is quite different from other machines at home. Water contains dissolved minerals. Frequent use will lead to gradual mineral deposits in your Nespresso machine. The mineral deposits are referred to as scales, and they interfere with the Nespresso machine’s normal functioning.
You must do a routine descaling process for your Nespresso machine to work efficiently. Descaling your Nespresso at least twice a year is recommended for you to get high-quality coffee. Descaling reduces the chances of having a malfunctioning boiler and pumps of the machine.
The scales, when deposited, become embedded in the boiler, pumps, and other internal parts of your coffee machine. This has a direct negative impact on the quality of your coffee.
When the scales form in your Nespresso machine and the boilers, one thing is sure. Your coffee will not have the ideal temperature you’d wish. Coffee temperature is one of the most essential aspects when gauging the quality of coffee. This will give your coffee quality a big hit.
A scale-coated pump of the Nespresso machine will have less efficient extraction. The result will be lighter coffee that is below the normal quality. This may be a disappointment if you are a coffee lover.
What Happens If You Don’t Descale Your Nespresso?
Failing to descale your Nespresso machine for a long time leads to several unpleasant challenges. The occasional deposition of the mineral salts will significantly interfere with the working of the coffee machine.
If you don’t descale your Nespresso, you will notice a degradation of the coffee taste. You’ll also notice that the coffee brewing process slows down and takes a considerable amount of time compared to before. Finally, the buttons may slowly start to lose their response requiring you to press more than once.
Proper care of your machine is needed to achieve its best results. For you to get the best out of a Nespresso machine, it is good to observe all the manufacturer’s instructions on the manual. From the manual, you will see that it is advisable to keep your machine clean and descaling it frequently.
Failure to descale will cause some serious problems in its functionality. The most common area to be affected is always the boiler because water is boiled there, and much minerals deposition occurs there as well. Scales will affect the temperature of water in the boiler and consequently the temperature of your coffee.
Scales also affect the pumps in the Nespresso machine. Pumps do play a significant role when it comes to the extraction of coffee. Scales on the pump will greatly affect the pressure exerted by the pumps on the water to push through the finely ground coffee.
The malfunctioning pumps will lead to reduced water pressure. This will directly affect the coffee level from the ground coffee and hence less tasty coffee.
How To Descale A Nespresso Machine
Descaling your Nespresso machine is a simple process and doesn’t take a long time. The steps involved in descaling the Nespresso are as follow;
1. Get Your Machine Ready
To get your machine ready, you will have first to turn it on. Before you start, make sure to remove the capsule container, drip tray, and any capsule that may be in the machine.
After removing the capsule container, place the capsule under the spout to hold up to about 4 cups of water.
You will then have to fill the tank with about 500ml of water and add the Nespresso descaling solution.
Turn on the machine now and let it heat up.
2. Descale Your Specific Machine
Wait until the two buttons stop flashing before you activate the descaling mode. The Nespresso machines vary a bit. For some, you will have to long-press the two top buttons simultaneously for three seconds before. Others will require you to press three buttons to activate the descaling.
The lights will then start to flash quickly, indicating that the descaling mode has been activated.
Press the ‘Lungo” button to start the descaling process.
Once you finish the descaling process, refill the water tank with the used solution. Press the lungo button and let all the descaling solution flow through the machine again.
Empty the water tank and rinse it out thoroughly to finish the process. Refill the water tank with fresh water and press lungo to empty the fresh water in the tank completely.
Empty and rinse out the drip tray.
4. Exit the descaling mode
For Nespresso machines like Inissia, Pixie, CitiZ, and Essenza, press the two top buttons simultaneously for three seconds to exit the descaling mode. Press all three buttons simultaneously for three seconds if you are using the Lattsimma model.
Finally, take out the descaling nozzle. The buttons will blink for 25 seconds during the preheating phase.
After you are done with the last procedure in step four, your Nespresso machine will be ready for use again.
Can I Use Any Descaler In My Nespresso Machine?
There are various descalers in the market that you can use to descale your Nespresso machine to make it clean. However, not all of them will work well with your Nespresso machine.
For best results, please avoid using any random descalers when it comes to descaling your Nespresso. Different descalers are made for use in different coffee machines. Nespresso uses a thermoblock technology that is different from the boilers used in other coffee machines.
Descalers are made using a wide range of chemical assortment at different concentrations. This chemical concentration may end up damaging the aluminum thermoblock or the plastic tubing in your Nespresso machine.
How Often Should You Descale A Nespresso Machine?
If you are unsure if it’s the right time to descale your Nespresso, there is a test you can perform. This test will help you determine if your coffee-making machine requires a descaling or you should wait a little longer
Press a shot button without a Nespresso capsule and observe the water that comes out. If the water is clean and odorless, the machine is clean, and descaling is not necessary. However, if murky and smelly water comes out, you will need to descale immediately.
Nespresso recommends that you descale your machine after every six months, or after every six hundred capsules used, whichever comes first. Some experts suggest more frequent descaling after every three months or after three hundred capsules for the best taste of your coffee. The more frequently you clean and descale your coffee, the better.
Some Nespresso machines will need a more intense and frequent descaling, while others may go a long time without requiring the descaling procedure. Most recent Nespresso machines have alert lights that will notify you when it’s time to descale.
The green light may turn orange or red to remind you that it is time to descale them.
What Can I Use Instead Of A Descaling Solution?
If you can’t get yourself a descaling solution for your Nespresso, there are other equally good solutions that you can use to descale your machine. A vinegar or homemade solution can also be used to descale your Nespresso as well.
Vinegar is an affordable and organic home descaling method that you can employ to clean your Nespresso. You should also note that this type of organic descaling solution doesn’t carry enough descaling power like the commercial kit. Due to their low power in the descaling process, you might still experience clogging in the internal areas of your Nespresso. They descale at a slower rate than how the scales form in the Nespresso machine.