How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Lumio Machine (All Models)

The green pods how to descale your dolce gusto lumio coffee machine

Regularly descaling your Dolce Gusto 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 Dolce Gusto Lumio coffee machine. The are several models of Lumio machine on the market and this guide works for all the following models:

  • Lumio White – Krups
  • Lumio Black – Krups
  • Lumio Red – Krups

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 and damage hot water appliances over time.

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

How often should you descale your Dolce Gusto Machine?

Most Dolce Gusto coffee machine manuals recommend 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
examples of descaling frequencies based on use

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 Dolce Gusto machine including the Lumio have a warning light that will turn orange to alert you that the machine needs to be descaled. 

How long will it take?

The entire process to descale your Dolce Gusto Lumio should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

What you will need:

To descale your Lumio machine, you’ll need a descaling solution kit. Some fresh water, a cleaning funnel, or empty Green Pods. Also, a toothbrush and paperclip for cleaning is a good idea!

What you’ll need:

Dolce Gusto offers their propriety descaling kit, which you can purchase from any Dolce Gusto machine retailer. We think this is a little expensive and prohibits people from descaling their machines as often as they need. We’ve reviewed the best descalers in this article here

Long story short: We created a multi-serving and eco-friendly alternative here on Amazon which works out cheaper too!

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 Descaler Compatible With Nespresso, Keurig, Breville, DeLonghi, And All Others - 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 Descaler Compatible With Nespresso, Keurig, Breville, DeLonghi, And All Others - 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 Descaler Compatible With Nespresso, Keurig, Breville, DeLonghi, And All Others - Descaling Powder
The Green Pods Eco Descaler - Coffee Machine Descaler Compatible With Nespresso, Keurig, Breville, DeLonghi, And All Others - 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 Dolce Guto Lumio

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 3-parts water for every 1-part descaler.

  1. Empty the drip tray and make sure that the last capsule has been removed from the tray. Place an empty 1 litre or bigger container under the spout.
  2. Fill the water tank with around 500ml of clean water and descaling solution. Mix thoroughly and return the tank to the machine.
  3. Insert the plastic descaling funnel into the capsule holder. If you’ve lost yours, one of our green pods works well, or grab a replacment off Amazon.
  4. First, ensure the machine is turned off. The, to start descaling, push the lever all the way across to the right (HOT) side and hold it there for 10 seconds. The indicator lights will slowly vanish indicating descaling mode is active.
    Dolce gusto lumio manual descaling guide 3.
  5. Start by performing a hot descale. Push the lever to the right (HOT) side and let the machine run for 2 minutes.
    Dolce gusto lumio manual descaling guide 1
  6. Next perform a cold descale. Push the lever to the left side (COLD) and let the machine run for 2 minutes.
  7. Let the machine sit for 2 minutes, to let the descaler take effect. The indicator light will change from orange to green once the wait period has elapsed.
    Dolce gusto lumio manual descaling guide 4
  8. Empty the water tank and clean thouroughly. Refil with fresh water.
  9. Repeating steps 5 and 6, to run a hot rinse and a cold rinse.
    Dolce gusto lumio manual descaling guide 1
  10. Remove the descaling funnel (or Green Pod) from the capsule holder. Rinse the capsule holder and replace in the machine.
  11. Refill the water tank with fresh water and wipe down the exterior of the machine

Congratulations: Your machine has now been successfully descaled!

Note: Make sure to put the plastic descaling funnel insert somewhere safe so you don’t lose it. Also, store the remaining descaling solution.

Download: Get a copy of our descaling cheatsheet below.

How To Descale Dolce Gusto Lumio cheatsheet

Watch: You can also check out this video from the NESCAFE youtube channel showing how to descale the Lumio machine.

Descale your NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Lumio coffee machine by Krups®

Next: we recommend cleaning the injection pin, capsule holder, drip tray, and exterior machine to remove any coffee residue.

Cleaning Your Dolce Gusto Lumio

It’s hard to get in the habit of rinsing your Dolce Gusto 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.

We also recommend using an old toothbrush to scrub the inside of the capsule holder 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.

Dolce Gusto Descaling – Frequently Asked Questions:

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

  1. How much descaler do I need?
  2. How often do I need to descale?
  3. Can you use vinegar instead of descaling solution?
  4. What is descaling solution made from?
  5. Can you make your own descaling solution?
  6. Can I use any descaler in my Dolce Gusto machine?
  7. What happens if I don’t descale my coffee machine?
  8. Is decaling soltion toxic
  9. Can you descale with baking soda?

Q. How much descaling solution should I use in my Dolce Gusto Lumio 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 Dolce Gusto Lumio 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.
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 machine vinegar is almost exactly the same as with 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 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 do 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 Lumio Machine?

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 flavour will become weak. Severe scale buildup can clog water flow completely, causing a machine to stop working

Q. Is descaling solution toxic?

Our favorite Eco Descaler descaling powder is completely non-tox 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 Dolce Gusto machine.

Final Thoughts And Recommendations:

It’s essential to descale your Dolce Gusto Lumio every 3 months. This will not only increase the life span of your machine, but also keep your coffees tasting great and fresh.

Descaling takes around 25 minutes and consists of a descaling run and a rinse run.

You can use any brand of descaling product in your Lumio, 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 Dolce Gusto Descalers.

You can get it from Amazon here.

Sale
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.

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