How To Clean Nespresso Machine Without Descaling Solution

Date Published: August 1, 2021
Author: Kylee Smith

Nespresso machines and their single-serve pods are a convenient and hassle-free way to have a delicious cup of coffee. Descaling a Nespresso machine is a task that must be performed every three months. This deep-cleaning maintenance task helps to keep your Nespresso machine in tip-top shape and producing the amazing coffee beverage you have come to love.

Nespresso Machine Descaling Supplies

How do you clean a Nespresso machine without a descaling solution? The commercial descaling solution can be substituted with a homemade solution. The descaling process is still required, but you do not need the commercial solution. Learn how you can clean your Nespresso machine without the commercial descaling solution in six easy steps. Here is a list of supplies you will need.

Citric Acid

Citric acid can be mixed with water to make an effective homemade cleaning solution.

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White Vinegar

White vinegar is also effective when mixed with water to make a homemade cleaning solution.

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Lemon Juice

Lemon juice mixed with water is a third choice for creating a homemade cleaning solution.

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Scrub Sponge

A scrub sponge is used on the machine after the descaling process is complete to ensure all residue is removed when rinsing components.

AIDEA Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge-24Count, Heavy Duty Cellulose Sponge, Cleans Fast Without Scratching, Cleaning Power for Everyday Jobs for Dishes, Pots, Pans
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Large Measuring Cup

A large measuring cup is used to hold your homemade descaling solution.

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Paper Towels

Paper towels are used to wipe and dry parts of the Nespresso machine after the descaling process is complete.

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Cleaning Nespresso Machine Without Descaling Solution

The descaling process is necessary to keep your machine functioning properly. You can accomplish this task either using a commercial descaling formula or a homemade descaling solution. There are three different recipes for a homemade solution. Each cleaning agent works great and effectively descales your Nespresso.  Continue reading to learn about each solution and the steps necessary to clean your machine.

Step One: Prepare the Homemade Descaling Solution

Prepare the homemade descaling solution ahead of time in the large measuring cup. Citric acid is the preferred solution, but white vinegar and lemon juice work great as well.

If you decide to use citric acid, you are going to mix one part citric acid to 20 parts water in a large measuring cup. When using lemon juice, mix equal parts of each in a large measuring cup. When using white vinegar, you mix equal parts of each as well. Overall, you need just under a liter of solution for the descaling cycle.

  • Pro Tip: The commercial descaling solution available from Nespresso contains citric acid, and that is why citric acid is preferred when creating a homemade descaling solution.

Step Two: Put Machine in Descaling Mode

Empty the capsule container and drip tray. Nespresso machine models vary in terms of what buttons are pushed to start descaling mode. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for which buttons are required to push to start descaling mode for your machine. There are several different models with different instructions.

  • Pro Tip: The buttons blink and the machine beeps when the descaling mode has started.

Step Three: Fill Reservoir with the Solution and Start the Descaling Process

Fill the reservoir with the homemade descaling solution and close the slider. Place the plastic container that you set aside earlier back in place so it can catch the descaling solution. Press one of the blinking buttons, and the descaling process will begin. Repeat this step a second time using the same solution from the container.

  • Pro Tip: The descaling process is over when the machine has ceased pushing more the scaling solution through the coffee outlet.  

Step Four: Rinse All Parts

Get rid of the solution that is in the plastic container. Remove the cup support, water tank, and drip tray. Use the sponge to scrub them as you rinse thoroughly using warm water. After all the components are thoroughly rinsed, reassemble the machine.

  • Pro Tip: Ensure all descaling residue has been removed. Otherwise, you can compromise the system in the same way you would if you had never descaled your Nespresso machine. Additionally, drip trays for some models are not able to be removed. If that is the case for your model, flip it up and rinse it using a damp cleaning cloth.
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Step Five: Rinse the Machine

To rinse the machine, fill the reservoir with plain water, using the same container from earlier to catch the water throughout the rinse cycle. If you used citric acid or lemon juice to make your homemade descaling solution, perform the rinse cycle twice.

  • Pro Tip: If you used white vinegar to make your homemade descaling solution, five rinse cycles are necessary.


Step Six: Turn Off Descaling Mode

After rinsing the machine, the designated number of times, the descaling process is complete. You can turn off descaling mode by simply pressing the buttons until the machine beeps.

  • Pro Tip: Allow the machine to dry before you use it to make any coffee. It is going to be the best cup of coffee you ever tasted!

Final Thoughts

Descaling a Nespresso machine is easy, but it is a little time-consuming. White vinegar works wonders as a homemade descaling solution, but you can save time using either citric acid or lemon juice. The machine does most of the work, and you get to sit back and think about that delicious cup of coffee you will enjoy when the job is finished.

FAQ: Cleaning Nespresso Machine Without Descaling Solution

Failure to perform the descaling task every few months can cause your machine to malfunction. The six-step process described keeps your Nespresso machine in good working order and making great-tasting coffee. The descaling process is one way to keep your coffee maker in great shape, but what else should you know?

How often should you wipe down your Nespresso machine?
Wipe down your Nespresso machine with a damp microfiber cloth at least twice a week. Be sure to tackle the outside edges and coffee outlet and pay special attention to the inside walls near the capsule holder.

Do you have to clean the capsule detector lens?

Yes, wipe down the capsule detector lens a couple of times a week. Remove the maintenance module (it is attached to the drip tray) and then you can reach the capsule detector lens. Do not use water. Simply wipe away smudges using a clean microfiber cloth.

Is it okay to use bleach when cleaning or descaling a Nespresso machine?
Never use bleach or any other abrasive cleaning solutions on your Nespresso machine.

Why is my drip tray growing mold?

Drip trays, befittingly named, catch extra moisture, and must be cleaned out daily. Otherwise, drip trays grow bacteria and mold. You can use dish soap and water to clean the drip tray. Additionally, each time you clean the drip tray, clean the capsule container, too.

How often should you clean the water tank?

The water tank and lid should be cleaned daily after each use. Wash them using dish soap and water.

  • Pro Tip: If you happen not to use your Nespresso machine daily, then daily tasks can be performed every few days instead.
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