How to Clean a Nespresso Machine

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Emily Benda Gaylord Avatar
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A morning espresso is a boost that can help start the day off right, and, for many, a Nespresso machine is the magical appliance that makes it happen. But to avoid any machine sputters or slow starts, learning how to clean a Nespresso machine is the best way to keep your appliance in the best working condition.

In general, your Nespresso machine should be cleaned after each use by wiping down its surfaces and cleaning any removable parts with soap and water. You can also do a deeper clean by running the cleaning cycle every few weeks. It’s also important to descale your espresso machine a few times a year to get rid of limescale and keep the machine working properly.

As with any appliance, it’s best to review the manufacturer’s instructions for your device in case there are any specific maintenance guidelines.

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Project Overview

Working Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Cost: $0 to $20


Make sure the appliance is turned off, and remove any capsules from the capsule container. You can leave the Nespresso plugged while cleaning the machine, but never submerge the device in water. To prevent electrical shock, avoid getting the machine’s cord wet.

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STEP 1: Clean the water tank.

Remove the water tank and empty any remaining water. Clean the tank with dish soap, water, and a nonabrasive cloth or sponge. Then, thoroughly rinse it out with running water to remove any soap remnants. Refill the tank with fresh water.

how to clean nespresso machine capsule container with coffee pod inside

STEP 2: Wash the capsule container and drip tray.

Remove the capsule container and wash it with dish soap, water, and a cloth or sponge. Repeat for the drip tray and cup support if your Nespresso machine has those features. Set the removable parts aside to dry.

STEP 3: Clean any other removable parts.

Depending on your espresso machine model, there may be other removable pieces that need to be cleaned, such as a steam wand or milk container. Clean these parts with dish soap and water (or as directed by the product manual) and set aside to dry.

STEP 4: Wipe down the machine.

Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the outside of the Nespresso machine. Pay special attention to any buildup or water spots before drying the machine surface with a dry cloth or paper towel.

STEP 5: Run the Nespresso machine’s cleaning cycle (optional).

This step isn’t required for everyday cleaning, but it’s recommended to run the cleaning cycle on your Nespresso machine every couple of weeks.

Place a measuring cup, glass, bowl, or other container that holds 4 to 6 cups below the machine head. Depending on your model, quickly press the start button three times to start the Nespresso cleaning mode. The machine will turn on and begin dispensing water into the container. The Nespresso cleaning cycle should run for about 5 to 7 minutes.

STEP 6: Dry and reassemble the remaining components.

Once the cleaning cycle has finished, remove the full container, dump it into the sink, wash it with soap and water, and set it aside to dry. Towel dry the clean capsule container and any other parts that were washed and put them back into place in the machine.

how to clean nespresso machine cup of espresso just made on coffee machine with bowl of pods

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Descaling Nespresso Machines

In addition to washing the machine parts after use and running the cleaning cycle, descale your Nespresso machine as needed to prevent limescale from building up inside your machine and affecting its functionality. Depending on how frequently you use your machine, you’ll want to descale it at least every 6 months.

If you notice any of the following signs, it’s probably time to descale your Nespresso machine:

  • The coffee has a burnt taste to it or isn’t as hot as normal
  • The machine makes strange noises during use
  • The machine pours coffee more slowly than normal

You can purchase a Nespresso descaling kit on the company’s website or from other retailers. When you’re ready to descale your machine, follow the Nespresso descaling instructions to use the solution in your machine. The descaling cycle should take your machine about 20 minutes.

If you want to try a DIY descaling solution, you can mix 1 tablespoon of citric acid powder with a full tank of water. Then, follow your machine’s descaling process as you would using Nespresso’s descaling solution.

Note that Nespresso recommends never using vinegar to descale or clean its appliances, as it can damage them.

Final Thoughts

Regularly cleaning your Nespresso machine keeps the appliance working efficiently and producing the best-tasting espresso possible. Make it part of your morning coffee routine to wash the appliance parts, and commit to going through a quick cleaning cycle every few weeks. It’s also a good idea to set reminders for every few months to descale the machine with Nespresso descaling solution or citric acid powder.

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