How to Clean and Descale Your Nespresso Machine, According to a Pro

No matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom or have a demanding nine-to-five, chances are coffee is part of your morning routine. Thankfully, Nespresso is here to save the day with its simple coffee pod system that eliminates the hassle of grinding beans. That’s why it’s important to learn how to clean and descale your Nespresso machine to keep your coffee tasting fresh. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, your single-serve coffee maker can grow mold and bacteria. It might even stop working completely.

To keep your machine running smoothly, we recommend cleaning and descaling your Nespresso regularly. Follow this step-by-step guide, including tips from Carolyn Forté, executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab.

How to clean a Nespresso machine

Cleaning (versus descaling) the machine is relatively simple, but knowing how often to clean it is also key. We recommend keeping the outside of the machine, pod chamber and drip tray clean by wiping or washing it regularly. The water reservoir should be washed with soap and water once a month and the drip tray should be washed once a week. You can even wipe down the Nespresso machine daily to keep it squeaky clean. Just take care not to leave soap behind, as it will make your coffee taste less than desirable.

What you’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • A container for catching water
  • A dishcloth

How to descale a Nespresso machine

To properly descale your Nespresso machine, it’s essential to purchase the descaling solution directly from the company. Keep in mind that it notes home remedies like vinegar or store-bought solutions might damage your machine. Nespresso also recommends descaling your coffee maker every three months (or 300 capsules).

Jose A. Bernat Bacete


  1. Plug the machine in, then empty the capsule container and drip tray before placing them back into the machine.
  2. Pour in some water and mix with 17 ounces of the descaling solution.
  3. With the head closed, unlock the lever and press and hold the button until the light turns off.
  4. After seven seconds, the light will start blinking orange.
  5. Once the light begins blinking, unlock and lock the lever.
  6. Press and hold the button again until the light turns off.
  7. When the light starts blinking again, the descaling of your machine has started.
  8. Use a large container underneath the spout, then press and rerelease the button as the light continues blinking.
  9. The machine will be silent once it’s finished descaling.
  10. After emptying the capsule and drip tray, rinse the water tank and refill with water.
  11. Then press and rerelease the button to rinse the machine, removing the water from the container.
  12. Once it’s finished rinsing, refill the water tank again and insert it into the machine.
  13. Clean the machine with a damp cloth and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Cailey Lindberg (she/her) is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering products, lifestyle, entertainment and food. Before joining Good Housekeeping in 2022, she was a staff writer at USA Today’s shopping network, 

Expert consulted:Carolyn Forté

Home Care & Cleaning Lab Executive Director

Carolyn Forté brings more than 40 years of experience as a consumer products expert to her role as executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Home Care and Cleaning Lab. Using deep analytical testing and writing expertise in appliances, cleaning, textiles and organizational products, she produces cleaning and home care advice for GH, has authored numerous books and bookazines for the brand and partners with the American Cleaning Institute to co-produce the Discover Cleaning Summits. She holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from Queens College, City University of New York.

Source: Home Ideas -


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