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 Mini-Me coffee machine. The are several models of Mini-Me machine on the market and this guide works for all the following models:
- Mini Me Automatic Matt Black – Krups
- Mini Me Automatic Grey and Black – Krups
- Mini Me Automatic Red and Black – 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 💚
Table of Contents
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 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.
Some models of Dolce Gusto machine including the Mini-Me 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 Mini-Me should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
What you will need:
To descale your Mini-Me 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:
- Descaling Solution
- Clean water
- A cleaning capsule or one of our Green Pods (empty), to clean the brewing unit.
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!
How to descale the Dolce Guto Mini-Me
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.
- 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.
- Fill the water tank with around 500ml of clean water and descaling solution. Mix thoroughly and return the tank to the machine.
- 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.
- Press the ‘ON’ button and hold it down for at least 5 seconds. The light will begin to blink green. This means you have sucessfully entered descaling mode.
- Start by performing a hot descale. Push the lever to the right (HOT) side and let the machine run. It will run for two minutes before turning off.
- The machine will pause for exactly 2 minutes while the descaling chemicals take effect. The power light will flash green while this happens.
- Again, push the lever to the right (HOT) side and let the machine perform a hot rinse. It will run for two minutes before turning off.
- Now push the lever to the left (COLD) side and let the machine perform a cold rinse. It will run for two minutes before turning off.
- Remove the descaling funnel (or Green Pod) from the capsule holder. Rinse the capsule holder and replace in the machine.
- Refil the water tank wth fresh water and wipe down the exterior of the machine.
- Congratulations!! You’ve successfully descaled your Mini-Me machine.
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.
Next: we recommend cleaning the injection pin, capsule holder, drip tray, and exterior machine to remove any coffee residue.
Cleaning Your Dolce Gusto Mini-Me
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.
- How much descaler do i need?
- How often do i need to descale?
- Can you use vinegar instead of descaling solution?
- What is descaling solution made from?
- Can you make your own descaling solution?
- Can I use any descaler in my Dolce Gusto machine?
- What happens if I don’t descale my coffee machine?
- Is decaling soltion toxic
- Can you descale with baking soda?
Q. How much descaling solution should I use in my Dolce Gusto Mini-Me 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 Mini Me 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 Mini Me 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 Mini Me 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 Mini Me, 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.
- ✔️ 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.
Did this article help? Have any questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!