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5 Common Nespresso Descaling Problems and How To Fix Them

5 Common Nespresso Descaling Problems and How To Fix Them

Nespresso Troubleshooting Aug 25, 2023

If you’re an owner of a Nespresso machine, then you know that descaling your machine is an important procedure to keep it clean of mineral build-ups and corrosion that could lead to internal parts breaking.

Nespresso descaling problems occur when you follow descaling instructions incorrectly or if you miss a step. These things happen to the best of us, and luckily, fixing them is a breeze.

In this guide, I will talk about the most common descaling problems, like:

  • The machine won’t stop descaling, or won’t start the descaling process.
  • Flashing descale light won’t stop or turn off.
  • The machine not working after descaling

Most of these problems happen because of one common mistake. So let’s have a look at each descaling problem and how you can fix it.

Bypass Descaling In Your Nespresso Machine

Nespresso Bypass Descaling

Let’s say your coffee machine is alerting you that it’s time to descale your machine but you don’t want to do it.

While this isn’t something I recommend, I do understand that you don’t want to descale because you don’t have the time and you need to use your machine right away.

There is a simple way to bypass Nespresso descaling. It’s a workaround since there’s no official way to do this. You’ll be basically ‘tricking’ your machine that you have completed the descaling cycle.

How to Override the Nespresso Descaling Alert

  • Make sure your machine has a full tank (water only, no descaling solution)
  • Run a cycle of hot water. On Original Nespresso machines, that means you can press any brew button without a pod inside. On a Vertuo machine, press the brew button three times (while the head is locked, and no pod is inside) and wait for water to run. Make sure you have placed something under the spout to catch the running water.
  • If your Nespresso machine has a manual descaling mode exit, you can do the steps at this point to shut the descaling mode off. (more on this below)
  • If your machine has an automatic descaling mode exit, you’ll want to press the button for 7 seconds until your machine resets.

How to Reset a Descaling Light That’s Still On

If your Nespresso is flashing orange (or another, depending on the model), I have a full guide on how to troubleshoot Nespresso flashing lights.

The descaling lights not turning off is always an indication that your Nespresso is stuck in descaling mode. You can refer to this guide on Nespresso stuck in descaling mode, find the section for your machine model, and follow the instructions.

Nespresso Won’t Start Descaling

5 Common Nespresso Descaling Problems and How To Fix Them

This is a common issue for Vertuo users, and it’s not your fault. Descaling instructions for these machines are unclear and complicated, and I totally understand why users choose to skip descaling their machines.

Let me walk you through the steps to get descaling started… Make sure you already have water and the descaling solution in the reservoir.

If Vertuo Next Won’t Descale

This model is the most frustrating. Where most users go wrong is where they need to repeat the steps to activate descaling mode.

To start, you want to make sure there is NO pod inside the machine.

  • With the lever in LOCKED position, turn the machine on and wait for the light to turn steady.
  • Now your machine is ready. Turn the lever to UNLOCKED position. The lid will slightly lift up, it’s okay…
  • Press and hold the button for 7 seconds until the button starts blinking orange.

Now you’ll have to REPEAT this again..

  • Immediately turn the lever to LOCKED THEN UNLOCKED and press the button for 7 seconds. It will turn off and then turn orange.

The last step has to be completed within 45 seconds. If you don’t do it on time, it will reset and you’ll have to start over.

With the light now blinking orange, you have entered descaling mode. Next step is to start the descaling process by LOCKING the machine and pressing the button.

If Vertuo Plus Won’t Descale

Open the lid to eject any used pod, and close it again.

  • Turn the machine off by pressing the level for 3 seconds.
  • With the machine off, press both the lever and the button for 3 seconds until the light turns steady orange.
  • Immediately press the lever ONCE to activate descaling mode.

You have now entered descaling mode. To start descaling, press the brew button once. The light will start to blink orange, indicating that the proecess has started.

Nespresso Stopped Working After Descaling

If your machine remains nonfunctional following the descaling process and you are confident it is not displaying a flashing orange light (indicating it’s stuck in descaling mode), yet, it refuses to brew: This could be an indication that your Nespresso machine is overheated.

      When your Nespresso overheats, which rarely happens but does happen, you’ll often see an indicator light (usually red, but it always depends on the model).

      Other times, this indicator doesn’t light up.

      The fix for this problem is very simple. All you have to do is unplug your machine for an hour or so. If this doesn’t work, then leave it unplugged for 24 hours.

      Another fix you can try is to simply reset your machine:

      • On a Nespresso Vertuo, press the brew button for 7 seconds until it restarts.
      • On a Nespresso OriginalLine, while the machine is OFF, press the LUNGO button for 5 seconds until you see the buttons flashing.

      Nespresso Won’t Stop Descaling

      What does this problem look like:

      • If your machine keeps running water without stopping.
      • If your coffee machine is brewing, but overflowing.
      • If it is flashing light alternately (color depends on the type of machine).

      All of these problems happen when you start the descaling cycle but either don’t complete it or don’t exit the descaling cycle.

      Some Nespresso models have automatic descaling mode exit, but many users go wrong on the last step so their Nespresso machines keep running on descaling mode.

      With other Nespresso machines, you have to manually exit the descaling cycle after you complete the process.

      How To Exit The Descaling Cycle

      Your machine now is stuck in the middle or last part of the descaling cycle. So what you have to do is complete it:

      • Don’t insert any pod, make sure there’s no pod inside the machine.
      • Fill the water reservoir to MAX line.
      • If your Nespresso Vertuo is still flashing orange, simply press the button and it will start dispensing water to finish that interrupted cleaning cycle. Let it keep running…

      You’ll want the water to dispense until the brew button turns from flashing orange to flashing white then solid white, and only then the machine is ready to be used. Even if the reservoir runs empty, fill it up again and start the cleaning cycle. Don’t stop until you see a solid white light around the brew button.

      If that still doesn’t work, try holding the brew button for 7 seconds.

      I have a full guide on why Nespresso gets stuck in descaling mode and how to fix it which will explain in detail how to fix this problem. But here’s a quick overview of what you need to do:

      Instructions for Vertuo Next

      If you have a Nespresso Vertuo Next, then your machine should automatically exit descaling mode.

      But if your Nespresso Vertuo Next is stuck in descaling mode, it means that you did not complete the rinse cycle.

      When you reach the rinsing part of the descaling process, you have to REPEAT this step several times, until your machine’s light changes from orange to solid white.

      And that’s where most users go wrong, They run the cleaning cycle just once and switch their machine off, which interrupts the cleaning cycle and gets your machine stuck in descaling mode.

      Instructions for VertuoPlus

      Nespresso Veruto Plus has a manual descale mode exit. So even after you fully completed the descaling steps and cleaning steps, you have to manually switch off the descaling function.

      To exit the descaling function in Nespresso Vertuo Plus:

      Press the brew button and lever down together for three seconds until you see the brew button flashing green, then turn solid green indicating that the machine is ready to use.

      Instructions for Nespresso Original (Essenza, Inissia, Pixie or Citiz)

      For these Nespresso Original machines, exiting the descaling mode is done manually.

      After you complete the descaling process, all you have to do is press the espresso and lungo buttons together for three seconds. The buttons will flash green and then turn solid green to indicate the machine is ready to use.

      Nespresso Won’t Reset After Descaling

      5 Common Nespresso Descaling Problems and How To Fix Them

      Your Nespresso is not supposed to ‘reset’ after descaling. Resetting it means you are bringing it back to factory settings.

      What your the machine is supposed to do after descaling is simply to get out of descaling mode and go back into brewing mode.

      If your Nespresso isn’t ready to brew after descaling, it means it is stuck in descaling mode, which brings us back to the descaling problem in the section above. So scroll back and read why it is possibly stuck in descaling mode and how to fix it.

      If you want to reset your machine, have a look at my guide on Nespresso Reset to Factory Settings which explains how to reset each model.

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