Dolce Gusto machines are great cost-effective single-serve coffee machines. They are easy to use, and you can brew anything from an espresso to an americano in seconds.
However, sometimes they don’t quite work as expected, and when the machine flashes and blinks with different colored lights, it’s hard to know what to do.
So what do the lights on your Dolce Gusto machine mean?
A solid green light means your machine is ready to use, but flashing green or red means the machine isn’t ready. Orange means the machine needs to be descaled or is in descaling mode. And solid red suggests there is an error.
Carry on reading this article as we explain each of the different error codes and what they mean for you.
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 do the lights on my dolce gusto machine mean?
The lights on your Dolce Gusto machine help report to the user what the machine is doing. Here are the most common messages:
- Solid Green – The machine is powered on and ready to use.
- Flashing Green – The machine is in use.
- Solid Orange – The machine needs to be descaled
- Flashing Orange/Green – The machine is in descaling mode
- Flashing Red – the machine is heating up and getting ready for use.
- Solid Red – We have a problem!
- Flashing Blue – The water tank is empty.
Note: The newer models, such as the Oblo or Jovia, have a more detailed error code than the older Dolce Gusto coffee machines. Check your manual if the error code isn’t listed here.
1. The Machine Has A Solid Illuminated Green Light 🟢
This is good news!
If your Dolce Gusto machine has its power button illuminated with a permanently lit (solid) green light, it means that it’s successfully heated up and is ready to be used.
2. The Light Is Flashing Green 🟩
This means your machine is in use, and usually only flashed while coffee is being extracted.
Wait for the brewing process to finish, and the light will start flashing red, before returning to solid green again ready for the next coffee!
3. The Light Is Orange 🟠
The ‘infamous’ orange (or yellow) light is perfectly normal. It simply means your machine needs to be descaled.
Most Dolce Gusto machines have an onboard computer that keeps count of how many coffees you have made. Once the counter reaches 300 it lights up the power button orange to alert the user that it’s probably time for a descale.
This is super easy. Simply hold down the power button for 5 seconds to enter descaling mode, and follow the steps in your user manual.
To make things easy, we’ve written the descaling guides below for each of the most common dolce gusto machines:
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Mini-Me Machine (Step-By-Step)
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Infinissima Machine (All Models)
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Lumio Machine (All Models)
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS Machine (All Models)
- How To Descale Your Dolce Gusto Genio Machine (All Models)
New To Descaling: Not sure what descaling product to use? Check out our guide here for the Best Coffee Machine Descaling Solution 👈
4. I have already descaled, but the orange light is still on? 🟠
Sometimes even after running a descaling cycle, the orange light remains on.
This isn’t really meant to happen, but fortunately, after experiencing this for ourselves, we have a few tips to get the error code cleared.
First, Try a hard reset.
Turn the machine off at the wall, wait 10 seconds, and turn the power back on. This should clear the internal memory on the coffee machine’s computer.
If this doesn’t work, run another descale.
Some machines have a basic ‘brew counter’ which will flag when it’s time to descale.. however, the newer machines have a dedicated sensor for this task. Try to run the descaling process again to ensure all the calcification has been removed.
Finally, Manually clear the error code.
This can be done by pressing and holding the power button down for 30 seconds. This will tell your dolce gusto machine to ignore the descaling warning and return to normal operations.
5. Why Is The Light On My Dolce Gusto Flashing Orange And Green? 🟩🟧
Not to worry, when the power button light on your coffee machine starts flashing orange and green in an alternating pattern it means you’ve accidentally entered descaling mode.
From the manual:
“Press and hold the on/off button for at least 5 seconds. The button will blink alternately green and orange to show you it’s in the descaling mode.”
This is likely from being a little too keen with the on/off button and pressing it for too long.
Either press and hold the button again for 5 seconds, or turn the machine off and on again at the wall.
If this doesn’t work it may be a sign your button is getting stuck in the on position. This is common if the machine isn’t wiped down regularly as grime can get built up inside the switch mechanism.
Still Not Working?
Get some silicone spray or contact cleaner and spray into the gap around the switch. With the machine unplugged, press the button repeatedly to ensure the solvent makes its way into the mechanism. Turn the machine back on and see if it no longer enters into descaling mode.
6. Why is the light on my Dolce Gusto flashing red? 🟥
If the light on your Dolce Gusto is flashing red, this means that the temperature in the water boiler has dropped below the temperature required. This usually happens in two situations:
Case 1: You’ve just brewed a cup of coffee.
After every cup of coffee is brewed your machine will blink red for 5-10 seconds while the water boiler heats up again. This is perfectly normal. When the light turns green again you’re good to go.
Case 2: You’ve Just brewed lots of coffee!
After brewing 4 or 5 coffee the machine will ask to take a little break. This means the red light will flash for 40-60 seconds while the machine heats up again.
If your machine continues flashing for more than 60 seconds then something may be wrong.
7. Why is the light red and permanently illuminated? 🔴
If the light on your Dolce Gusto machine is permanently red, it could mean that it has overheated and will need to be turned off. Besides, it could be a sign that it needs to be descaled.
The best way to keep your dolce gusto machine in good condition is by following maintenance instructions and keeping up with scheduled cleaning. The first thing you should do when you purchase a new dolce gusto machine or if yours begins malfunctioning is clean out any excess residue inside of the water tank using vinegar. This will remove most impurities from the system, including mineral deposits that cause scale buildup over time and lead to clogs within pipes and low flow rates for proper coffee extraction (not enough pressure).
8. What does a flashing blue light mean? 🟦
On some newer machines, flashing Blue usually indicates a problem with your water supply. The error will come up if the machine can’t get enough water into it’s boiler.
To fix this,
- Check the water tank is topped up.
- Remove and replace the tank to make sure the tank is connected correctly to the machine.
- Check the check-valve seal of the water isn’t damaged. This could prevent water from flowing through.
What are some other common error messages?
Some common error messages on Dolce Gusto Machine include “Check Water Level” and “Tank Empty.”
If you get either of these errors, first check the tank to ensure it’s not empty. You can also get these errors while trying to use too much water at once and filling up carafes with no tank left for drip-free brewing.
Make sure not to exceed the capacity of your machine. If that doesn’t solve the problem, turn off the power completely and wait five minutes before turning it back on again. This will reset your machine, so any residual water in there should drain out.
You can also try removing your reservoir cap for a few seconds – if water comes pouring out, then this is likely where the issue lies. From here, you’ll need to clean out anything that might be blocking its way (a paper towel or cotton swab can help) and then replace the cap.
How do I turn the flashing yellow light on my dolce gusto machine off? 🟨
To exit the descaling mode, simply press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. The light will switch to flashing red while the machine heats up, and then will settle to solid green after around 40 seconds.
Why did my dolce gusto machine turn itself off?
This usually happens if you try to brew a cup when there’s no more water left in the tank. Make sure you have enough water before brewing!
Why does it not work after I fill it up with water? It may take some time for the coffee maker to heat up again once filled with liquid, giving it about three minutes before brewing another round. If nothing else works, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional for assistance.
The Dolce Gusto machine is an excellent choice for those who love coffee but don’t want to spend money on a commercial espresso machine or commit to more expensive products like the Nespresso range.
The above article explains the most common errors and warning messages indicated by the light on your Dolce Gusto machine, as well as some other issues related to this machine.
It is best to contact a professional if you encounter problems you can’t handle by yourself to avoid causing more harm to your machine when fixing it on your own. Coffee machines combine water, heat, and mains electricity so it’s best you don’t try to fix them yourself!