Shannyn Allan | 

How to Clean a Nespresso Machine for Great Coffee Every Time

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For some of us, the morning doesn’t start until we pop a capsule into our Nespresso. That hot, foamy cup is the best way to start our day. Of course, with regular use, the Nespresso doesn’t operate as well as it did with that first pour. Minerals plus other dirt and debris collect inside the machine, so knowing how to clean a Nespresso machine is important.

If you’re a frequent coffee drinker, you may notice that your coffee starts to taste different over time. This is especially true if you have hard water. Your Nespresso machine will need monthly descaling to break down and clear out any mineral deposits built up over time during the brewing process.

It’s time to learn how to clean a Nespresso machine if you notice a white, powdery buildup in the water reservoir. Or maybe the water doesn’t seem to draw up through the machine as quickly as it used to. This means it’s time to descale.

Since there are several versions of Nespresso coffee makers on the market, adapt these steps to fit your machine. But overall, the premise is the same to clean and descale your Nespresso.

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How Often Should I Clean My Nespresso Machine?

running a cycle of water through nespresso machine for cleaning

This answer depends on how often you use your machine and if you’re using hard water. If you’re one of several people who use the machine in a public setting (like an office) and use tap water classified as very hard, a good rule of thumb is to clean and descale your machine every month.

If you brew less frequently, you may not have as much mineral buildup in your line. But you’ll want to combat any dust that’s accumulated in your machine by giving it a good washing every three months. Nespresso recommends you clean and descale your machine every three months or 300 capsules, whichever comes first.

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Why Should I Clean My Nespresso?

nespresso machine components on kitchen counter

Yes, it’s true that your Nespresso machine is mainly heating up clean water. That shouldn’t be too messy. However, the water you use to brew your coffee contains minerals, like calcium, that build up over time.

These mineral deposits can stick to the heating elements during the brewing process. They build up on the functional parts of your machine. Over time, this can impact the efficacy of your Nespresso and the taste of your favorite cup.

Related: Here’s how to make cold foam at home and save money.



How to Clean a Nespresso Machine

using nespresso descaling agent to clean machine

Over time, the drip tray and water tank(s) in your Nespresso machine accumulate gunky buildup from stagnant water, dust, and spilled coffee. Remove both the drip tray and the water tank from the Nespresso machine and give them a good wash with warm, soapy water.

  • Be sure to open and close the stopper in the bottom of the water tank. Wipe it down thoroughly. A Q-tip is helpful to clean hard to reach crevices. This ensures all portions of the water tank receive a good cleaning.
  • When you’re done, dry the tray and the outside of the water tank before replacing.
  • Next, open the capsule container.
  • Remove any spent capsules from the collection tray. Use a damp cloth to remove dried espresso.
  • Wipe down the capsule detector lens with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. A microfiber cloth is ideal, as it helps dust cling to it and is soft enough to not damage the lens. Do not use water or soap to clean the lens; a dry, soft cloth will be sufficient!
  • Finally, descale and remove mineral buildup.

A great feature of the Nespresso machine is the descaling cycle. Access it on most machines by hitting the brew button three times or holding for three seconds. Each machine is different, so refer to your user’s manual to figure out how to run your machine’s cleaning cycle.

While Nespresso’s website doesn’t recommend using vinegar to descale your machine, it is a food-safe acid often used to clean the inside of coffee machines. If you’re able to pick up Nespresso’s Descaling mixture, it costs about $8.95 for two packets and is recommended by the manufacturer.

You’ll want to fill the water tank with your descaling mixture or mixture of 50% distilled water and 50% white distilled vinegar and run a descaling cycle. Collect the mixture that comes out of your Nespresso in a carafe or separate container.

You can run the descaling mixture through the machine one more time. Finally, follow up a cycle with two cycles of clean, distilled water and you’ll have successfully cleaned your Nespresso machine.

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