How To Descale The Nespresso Essenza Mini

How to descale nespresso essenza mini machine complete guide

Regularly descaling your Nespresso machine is crucial to extend the life of the machine and to ensure it keeps producing high-quality and tasty coffee the way it was designed to.

In this guide, we’ll explain why descaling your Nespresso® Essenza Mini coffee machine regularly is so important, and how you can do it in a matter of minutes

The process should be undertaken a minimum of once every 3 months to avoid long-term damage to your machine.

Recommendation: Nespresso offers their propriety descaling kit, which you can purchase from any Nespresso machine retailer. We think this is a little expensive and prohibits people descaling their machines as often as they need. You can pick up our Green Pods Descaling Solution which works out cheaper and better for the environment here on Amazon.

Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚

Machine Check: There are many makes, models and brands of coffee machine on the market. This guide is intended only for the Essenza Mini made by De’Longhi or Breville. If you have a different machine, please check out our other descaling guides here.

The Green Pods nespresso essenza mini and aeroccino milk frother
The Green Pods nespresso essenza mini water reservoir

What Exactly Is ‘Descaling?

All coffee machines build up deposits of calcium and lime over time. These come from tiny amounts of mineral salts that are naturally found in our water supplies. They’re completely harmless, and in fact we need them to stay healthy, but they will build up in hot water appliances over time.

Descaling” is the act of stripping these mineral deposits from your machine’s internal surfaces. To keep your Nespresso functioning properly, you should remove these buildups by descaling regularly.

How often should you descale your Essenza Mini Machine?

Nespresso recommends that you descale your machine every three months or 300 coffees – whichever comes first. That means if you use your machine often you may need to descale more frequently.

Some examples of descaling frequencies are shown in the table below.

Number of coffees per dayRecommended descaling frequency
1-2Every 3 months
3-4Every 3 months
5-8Every 2 months
8-10Every month
Nespresso Essenza Mini Recommended Descaling Frequency

The frequency of descaling also largely depends on what is known as your ‘water hardness’ – which essentially means how much mineral salts are present in your town or city’s water supply. Areas with high water hardness will require you to descale your machine more often, and areas with low water hardness can reduce the amount of maintenance required.

Some models of Nespresso machines like the VertuoLine have a warning light that flashes to alert you that the machine needs to be descaled. Unfortunately, the Essenza Mini doesn’t have this feature.

The Green Pods Blocked nespresso heating element due to limescale

How Long Does Descaling Take?

The entire process of descaling your Nespresso Essenza should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

What you will need.

To descale your Nespresso Essenza machine, you’ll need a descaling solution kit. A two-pack kit that works for all machines costs about $20 from the Nespresso website. Alternatively, we’ve created our own ecological product which you can grab on Amazon.

What you’ll need:

  • Descaling Solution (We recommend this one)
  • Clean water
  • A cleaning capsule or one of our Green Pods (empty), to clean the brewing unit (optional)

How To Descale Your Nespresso Essenza Mini®

The entire process of descaling your Nespresso Essenza machine can be divided into the following three steps:

  1. Exterior clean
  2. Descaling Solution Rinse
  3. Fresh Water Rinse

Time Required: Approximately 15 minutes

Step 1: Exterior clean

Use a wet cloth with a small amount of detergent to wipe down the body of the machine. It’s important not to wash the machine in the sink, as water can get inside and damage the electronics as well as cause rust.

Keeping the exterior of the machine clean from just, grime and greasy build-up is essential to stop dirt from getting into the machine.

Step 2: Descaling Solution Rinse

Nest we need to mix up the descaling solution and run it through the machine.

  1. Fill the water reservoir with a mix of descaling solution and water. If you’re using the Nespresso descaler, use one sachet of descaler, and half a liter (0,5 qt) of water. If you’re using our Green Pods Eco Descaler, use half a sachet of power to 0.5L (0,5 qt) of water.
  2. Plug the machine in, and ensure the machine is powered
  3. Ensure there is no capsule in the machine. lower the handle and DO NOT insert a capsule into the machine.
  4. Insert a large jug (capable of holding the entire water reservoir’s worth of liquid) inserted onto the drip tray,
  5. press the Espresso and Lungo buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds. both buttons will begin to flash rapidly. This means you’ve entered descaling mode!
  6. Now, press the Lungo button to begin the descaling run – The Essenza mini will begin pumping all the water reservoir contents through the machine. Once empty it will stop.
  7. Pour the descaling solution back into the reservoir

    Note: If you’re using our Green Pods Eco Descaler we strongly recommend you use the remaining half of the sachet and mix up a fresh batch of descaling solution. Even though Nespresso says to reuse the descaling solution we think this is a bad idea as you’re putting the chunks and grime back into the machine! Be safe and mix another 500ml batch
  8. Press the Lungo button again to resume descaling.
  9. Once all the descaling solution has passed through. Let the brewer stand for 5 minutes to allow the descaling fluid to take effect.
The Green Pods nespresso essenza mini water reservoir
The Green Pods how to enter descaling mode in the nespresso essenza mini
The Green Pods descaling mode nespresso essenza mini
The Green Pods how to descale nespresso essenza mini

Step 3: Fresh Water Rinse

The next step is to rinse out any remaining descaling solution from the water reservoir.

  1. Rinse out the water reservoir and fill with fresh water until the water level reaches the MAX FILL line.
  2. Return the empty collection jug/mug onto the drip tray plate
  3. Press the Lungo button again to begin rinsing the machine
  4. Empty the contents collected in the mug into the sink.
  5. Rinse again by repeating steps 1 – 3.
  6. Exit descaling mode by pressing and holding the Espresso and Lungo buttons again for 5 seconds. The lights will stop flashing rapidly and become steadily illuminated, indicating the machine is ready to brew coffee!
  7. Congratulations: Your machine has now been successfully descaled!

Download: Get a copy of our descaling cheatsheet below.

How To Descale Nespresso Essenza Mini cheatsheet

Watch: These are three steps you need to follow to descale your Nespresso Essenza Mini coffee machine. There’s also this video below from the Keurig youtube channel to help visualize the process!

Next we recommend cleaning the capsule holder of your machine to remove and coffee residue.

Essenza Mini - Descaling

Cleaning Your Nespresso’s Capsule Holder

It’s hard to get in the habit of rinsing you’re Nespresso machine after every use. Unfortunately, because of this, coffee sediment can build up in the spout of the machine over time and can even block the whole system.

To clean the coffee buildup inside the spout try straightening out a paper clip, pipe cleaner, or q-tip and scrape up around within the spout. Once done close the lever in rinse through a couple of times to wash out any particles that have become dislodged.

Coffee grinds can also get built up against the spikey pyramids inside the capsule mechanism that are used to pop open the foil lid of the coffee capsules. This can result in a blocked or stifled flow as the water has trouble passing through the pods.

We recommend using an old toothbrush to scrub the inside of the capsule mechanism clean from time to time to avoid this from happening. Again, once done close the lever in rinse through a couple of times to wash out any particles that have become dislodged.

clean vs blocked firsty nespresso machine

Frequently Asked Questions:

We get a lot of questions about the descaling process. Here’s some of the answers to these frequently asked questions.

Q. How much descaling solution should I use in my Essenza Mini Machine Machine?

Each descaling product comes at a different concentration, so you’ll need to read the instructions on the label to see how much to use, and how much water to add. In terms of the total amount of solution to mix up, we recommend making enough to completely fill the water tank on your machine twice.

If you’re using the Nespresso descaler; use one sachet of descaler and half a liter (0,5 qt) of water.
If you’re using our Green Pods Eco Descaler; use half a sachet of power to 0.5L (0,5 qt) of water.

Q. Can you use vinegar instead of the descaling solution?

Scientifically speaking, cleaning your Nespresso machine vinegar is almost exactly the same as with a commercial descaler solution.

In fact, if you’re in a real pinch, we created this guide here on how to do it.
Unfortunately, however, vinegar tends to peel off the scale build up in flakes which could clog your machine causing irreparable damage. We’ve heard numerous cases of people having to throw out their Nespresso machine because of this.

It also leaves a lingering taste in your machine, which makes your new couple of coffees taste like salad dressing.

We’d recommend sticking with a commercial descaling product.

Q. What is a descaling solution made of?

Descaling solution is generally an acidic chemical that is capable of dissolving mineral salts such as oxides and carbonates. Notable descaling agents include acetic acid, citric acid and lactic acid. These are all food-safe chemicals, however acetic does impart a more noticeable taste to the machine, thus lactic or citric is typically preferred.

We use citric acid as the active ingredient in our Eco Descaler.

Q. Can you make descaling solution?

You can make your own descaling solution using vinegar or citric acid, though we’d recommend using a commercial descaling product in a concentration that is proven not to damage your machine.

Q. Can I use any descaler in my Nespresso Essenza?

Yes, in fact, you can use any brand of descaler in any brand of coffee machine (even if these big brands would have you believe differently). Just make sure you follow the instructions on the packet to make sure you get the dilution ratio correct.

Q. What happens if you don’t descale your coffee machine?

Scale builds up inside the pipes restricting the flow of water. If this happens inside the thermoblock (Nespresso’s heating element) water won’t be able to reach its optimal brewing temperature. When this happens it’s impossible to extract the full flavor from the coffee pods and the flavour will become weak. Severe scale buildup can clog water flow completely, causing a machine to stop working

Q. Is descaling solution toxic?

Our Nespresso descaling solution is completely non-toxic and eco-friendly. It’s made from citric acid which is food safe in moderate doses. Other descaling solutions may use caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide which is highly toxic, so please check the label if unsure.

Q. Can you descale with baking soda?

We don’t recommend using baking soda to descale your Nespresso machine.

Final Thoughts And Recommendations:

It’s essential to descale your Essenza Mini every 3 months or 300 coffees – whichever comes first. This will not only increase the life span of your coffee machine, but also keep your coffees tasting great and fresh.

Descaling takes around 15 minutes and consists of 2 descaling runs and 2 rinse runs.

You can use any brand of descaling product in your Nespresso Essenza Mini, as long as you dilute it with the correct amount of water to the manufacturer’s instructions.

We recommend using our Green Pods Eco Descaler. Its comes with 4 sachets (1 year’s supply) which are perfectly portioned. Its environmentally friendly, and it’s also more cost-effective than the name-brand Nespresso Descaler.

You can get it from Amazon here.

The Green Pods Eco Descaler – Coffee Machine Descaler Compatible With Nespresso, Keurig, Breville, DeLonghi, And All Others – Descaling Powder
  • ✔️ ENJOY BETTER TASTING COFFEE: Infrequent descaling is the #1 reason your coffee is tasting bad. Descale and you’ll taste the difference.
  • ✔️ SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR MACHINE: Our Eco Descaler is safe for all machine parts. It leaves no harmful residues and does not cause corrosion within the coffee machine.
  • ✔️ WORKS ON ALL COFFEE MACHINES: Designed and tested on all leading coffee machines including Nespresso, Keurig, Dolce Gusto, Caffitaly, Breville, Delonghi, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Easy To Read Nespresso Caffeine Chart: 2024 Updated

Nespresso is considered the most popular capsule coffee solution worldwide, and the ‘original line‘ is [...]

The Best Espresso K Cups For Espresso Coffee (And Our Brewing Trick!)

Read First: Before we dive into what pods work the best for making Espresso – [...]

How to Recycle Nespresso Pods In Australia (Complete Guide!)

The Australian Nespresso pod recycle program started in 2012 following the successful implementation of similar [...]


Do K Cups Have Dairy? (Keurig K Cup Ingredients Explained)

Keurig K cups are a convenient way to get delicious coffee without the mess and [...]

Nespresso Stormio Review and Key Info (Read Before Buying)

If you’re tired of drinking bland and boring coffee every morning and want to experience [...]

Nespresso Melozio Review and Key Info (Read Before Buying)

Have you ever had a moment when you unboxed something and felt a surge of [...]