How To Descale Your Nespresso Inissia Machine (The Right Way!)

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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 take you through the step-by-step process you need to follow to descale your Nespresso® Inissia machine.

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

There are many makes, models, and brands of coffee machines on the market. This guide is intended only for the Nespresso Inissia made by De’Longhi. If you have a different machine, please check out our other guides HERE.

Which Descaler? 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 from descaling their machines as often as they need. You can pick up our eco-friendly alternative here on Amazon which works out cheaper and better for the environment

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 💚

What 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.

The Green Pods Blocked nespresso heating element due to limescale

How Often Should You Descale Your Nespresso 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 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

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 (including the Inissia) have a warning light that flashes to alert you that the machine needs to be descaled. 

How Long Will Descaling Take?

The entire process to descale your Nespresso Inissia should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

What You Will Need.

To descale your Nespresso Inissia 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 descaling product which gives you 4 doses and works out a little bit cheaper.

Learn More: You can also our list of most recommended coffee machine descaling products reviewed here!

What you’ll need:

  • Descaling Solution
  • Clean water
  • A cleaning capsule or one of our Green Pods (empty), to clean the brewing unit. (optional)
Nespresso Descaling Solution, Fits all Models, 2 Packets
Durgol Swiss Steamer, Descaler and Decalcifier for All Brands of Steamer Ovens, 16.9 Fluid Ounces
Best Overall
The Green Pods Eco Descaler - Coffee Machine Descaling Powder
Runner Up
De'Longhi EcoDecalk Descaler, Eco-Friendly Universal Descaling Solution for Coffee & Espresso Machines, 16.90 oz (5 uses)
Nespresso Descaling Solution, Fits all Models, 2 Packets
Durgol Swiss Steamer, Descaler and Decalcifier for All Brands of Steamer Ovens, 16.9 Fluid Ounces
The Green Pods Eco Descaler - Coffee Machine Descaling Powder
De'Longhi EcoDecalk Descaler, Eco-Friendly Universal Descaling Solution for Coffee & Espresso Machines, 16.90 oz (5 uses)
2 Doses
5 Doses
4 Doses
5 Doses
Our Take: Expensive, Plastic sachets are wasteful.
Our Take: More expensive than other options
Our Take: Easiest to use as each dose is pre-measued. Great instructions. Good for the environment too!
Our Take: Good price, size, but knowing how much to use is confusing
Nespresso Descaling Solution, Fits all Models, 2 Packets
Nespresso Descaling Solution, Fits all Models, 2 Packets
2 Doses
Our Take: Expensive, Plastic sachets are wasteful.
Durgol Swiss Steamer, Descaler and Decalcifier for All Brands of Steamer Ovens, 16.9 Fluid Ounces
Durgol Swiss Steamer, Descaler and Decalcifier for All Brands of Steamer Ovens, 16.9 Fluid Ounces
5 Doses
Our Take: More expensive than other options
Best Overall
The Green Pods Eco Descaler - Coffee Machine Descaling Powder
The Green Pods Eco Descaler - Coffee Machine Descaling Powder
4 Doses
Our Take: Easiest to use as each dose is pre-measued. Great instructions. Good for the environment too!
Runner Up
De'Longhi EcoDecalk Descaler, Eco-Friendly Universal Descaling Solution for Coffee & Espresso Machines, 16.90 oz (5 uses)
De'Longhi EcoDecalk Descaler, Eco-Friendly Universal Descaling Solution for Coffee & Espresso Machines, 16.90 oz (5 uses)
5 Doses
Our Take: Good price, size, but knowing how much to use is confusing

How To Descale The Nespresso Inissia (Step-By-Step)

The descaling process can take you around 20-30 minutes. We recommend descaling first, and then taking the extra time to also clean your extraction unit as this tends to build up with coffee residue over time.   

When mixing up the descaling mixture, make sure to read the instructions to determine the correct ratio of water to add. If using our Green Pods Descaler you’ll need to add 1L of water for 1 sachet of descaler.

The Green Pods descaling nespresso inissia

Here’s our step-by-step guide to descaling your Nespresso Inissia coffee machine: note that the Inissia has a built-in descaling warning light which will come if the machine’s sensors pick up that descaling is required.

  1. Turn on the machine by pressing any button. Empty the drip tray and make sure that all capsules have been removed from the slot and tray. Place an empty 1 litre or bigger container under the spout.
  1. Fill the water tank with around 500ml of clean water and descaling solution. Mix thoroughly and return the tank to the machine.
  1. When the 2 buttons stop flashing, you can activate the descaling program. To do this, press and hold both buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds. The buttons will start to blink rapidly to indicate descaling mode is active.
  2. Press the Lungo button (big cup) to start the descaling program.
  1. When all the descaling mixture has run through the machine, pour it back in to the water tank, then press the Lungo button again to repeat the process.
  1. When the descaling solution has been through the coffee machine twice, you may discard the mixture (down the sink is fine) and thoroughly rinse the water containers and water tank.
  1. Fill, and insert the tank back into the machine. Then, press the Lungo button again to rinse the machine.
  1. Allow all the water to run through the machine twice. When the process is finished, press and hold both buttons again for 3 seconds to exit descaling mode.

Congratulations: Your machine has now been successfully descaled!

Download: Get a copy of our descaling cheatsheet below

How To Descale Nespresso Inissia

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

Nespresso Inissia: How to descale your Inissia machine

Cleaning Your Nespresso Inissia

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 are some of the answers to these frequently asked questions.

Q. How much descaling solution should I use in my Inissia Nespresso 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.

Q. How often do I need to descale my Inissia Nespresso 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.

1-2: Every 3 months
3-4: Every 3 months
5-8: Every 2 months
8-10: Every month

Q. Can you use vinegar instead of descaling solution?

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

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. 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 citric and acetic acid does impart a more noticeable taste to the machine, thus lactic is typically preferred.

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 Inissia?

Yes, in fact, you can use it for any brand of coffee machine.

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 flavor 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-tox and eco-friendly. It’s made from lactic 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 Inissia 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 Inissia, 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 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.

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