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® Lattissima One, Lattissima Touch, Lattissima Pro, or Gran Lattissima coffee machines 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.
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, or pick up an eco-friendly alternative here on Amazon.
Machine Check: There are many makes, models and brands of coffee machine on the market. This guide is intended only for the Nespresso Lattissima One, Lattissima Touch, Lattissima Pro, or Gran Lattissima made by De’Longhi or Breville. If you have a different machine, please check out our other descaling guides here.
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 💚
Table of Contents
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 Lattissima 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 day||Recommended descaling frequency|
|1-2||Every 3 months|
|3-4||Every 3 months|
|5-8||Every 2 months|
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.
TIP: All models of Lattissima machine have a method of indicating to the user when it’s time to descale.
- Lattissima+, The cuppuccino button will show a steady orange light
- Lattissima One; the ‘DESCALING’ lighting will illuminate orange.
How Long Does Descaling Take?
The entire process of descaling your Nespresso Lattissima should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
What you will need.
To descale your Nespresso Lattisima machine, you’ll need a descaling solution kit. A two-pack kit that works for all machines costs about $20 from the Nespresso website.
Recommendation: Instead we recommend this environmentally friendly descaler which gives you 4 doses for only $20, and its packaging is fully compostable!
What you’ll need:
- Descaling Powder (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 Lattissima Machine (Step By Step)
Read on as we explain the steps for each machine.
1. Lattissima One Descaling:
Watch: This video from the Nespresso youtube channel takes you thorugh the process of descaling your Lattissima One
2. Lattissima Plus Descaling
Watch: This video from the Nespresso youtube channel takes you thorugh the process of descaling your Lattissima Plus
3. Lattissima Touch Descaling
Download: Get a copy of our descaling cheatsheet below.
Watch: This video from the Nespresso youtube channel takes you thorugh the process of descaling your Lattissima Touch
4. Gran Lattissima Desclaing
Watch: This video from the Nespresso youtube channel takes you thorugh the process of descaling your Gran Lattissima
Next we recommend cleaning the capsule holder of your machine to remove and coffee residue.
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.
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 Lattissima 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 Lattissima?
Q. Can I use any descaler in my Nespresso Lattissima?
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 Latissima machine 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 Lattissima Touch, Lattissima Pro, or Gran Lattissima machine, as long as you dilute it with the correct amount of water to the manufacturer’s instructions.
We recommend using the Green Pods Eco Descaler. It comes with 4 sachets (1 year’s supply) which are perfectly portioned. It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s also more cost-effective than the name-brand Nespresso Descaler.
- ✔️ 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.