How to clean a Nespresso machine

How to clean a Nespresso machine
(Image credit: Nespresso)

Wondering how to clean a Nespresso machine? You’re in the right place because we’ll be sharing handy hacks for keeping your machine in top condition and descaling the water tank so that your coffee tastes as good as ever.

The best Nespresso machines often feature in round-ups of the best coffee makers and are a popular choice because of their sleek designs and easy operation. However, taking the time to deep clean your machine routinely will keep it functioning at its best and ensure that nasty germs don’t build up in the pipework. 

If you’re unsure how often you should clean your Nespresso machine, we’d recommend doing a full descale every three months, or more if you notice any issues with the coffee you’re making. General cleaning should be done every time you use your Nespresso machine and this includes wiping the cup holder tray and cleaning out the water tank.

We’ll be giving you tips on how to clean each part of your Nespresso machine and advice on how to descale it too. 

How to clean a Nespresso machine  

To give your Nespresso machine a good clean, you’ll need some dish soap and a clean cloth. It’s also advisable to check the individual cleaning instructions for your specific machine, however, our advice is based on the guidance from

Get started by removing the water tank and emptying its contents. Submerge the water tank in warm soapy water and give it a good clean using a cloth. Rinse it with clean water and put it to one side. Move onto the cup holder and remove it so that you can wash it in soapy water. Next, remove all other washable parts such as the capsule holder and the drip tray before rinsing them, drying with a cloth, and returning them to the machine. 

Fill up the water tank with clean water and put the machine into the locked position without any capsules inside. Place a large 0.3-gallons / 1-liter container where you’d normally place a coffee cup. Turn the machine on and wait for a steady light to signal that it has reached the correct temperature, then quickly press the button three times (in under two seconds). You’ll have to wait a couple of minutes before any water comes out but once it does, it will take seven minutes for the cycle to complete.

The water will empty out into the large container you’ve placed underneath the coffee dispenser so it’s best to tip this away after and replace the water in the tank too.

How to clean a Nespresso machine

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to descale a Nespresso machine 

To descale your Nespresso machine you can purchase specialist descaling sachets from Nespresso directly for $8.95 / £7 / AU$16. To use these sachets, simply follow Nespresso’s instructions to empty the drip tray and capsule holder, add the sachet to 0.5 liters of water in the water tank, and place a large container where you’d normally have your coffee cup. 

The buttons you need to press on your Nespresso machine to activate the descaling cycle vary from machine to machine, but we’ll use the example of the Nespresso Vertuo Plus. First of all, you’ll need to close the machine and turn it to the locked position as you did for the first cleaning routine. Turn the machine on and wait for it to heat up before unlocking the machine. Hold down the button until the light switches off and then starts to flash orange, but note this can take a few seconds.

Lock the machine again and repeat the process of holding the button down until it turns off and then starts flashing orange. Once this first part of the descaling process is complete, the machine will stop and it’s time to remove the water tank, capsule holder, and the drip tray to give them a good rinse in water. 

Now replace the water in the tank and turn the machine back on so the clean water can run through the pipes. You’ll know when this process is complete when the flashing light stops blinking, and it’s at this point you should empty the tank’s water and leave the machine for 10 minutes to dry. 

Always make sure you follow the instructions that are specific to your machine as these will ensure the descaling solution is fully flushed through the machine. 

Sophie Bird

Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar's sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she's not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they're having for dinner.