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Why Your Nespresso Vertuo (Next & VertuoPlus) Is Blinking Orange and How To Fix It

Nespresso Troubleshooting Jan 19, 2023

So you are trying to start your Nespresso Vertuo machine, but something isn’t quite right. The machine light is blinking orange light and it won’t brew any coffee. You start to panic, thinking you’re machine is broken, but the great news is, it is not!

Why is Your Nespresso Vertuo Blinking Orange Light?

Nespresso Vertuo machines have a light around the start button that will flash a certain color at different points in time as a way to alert you of issues. When the machine is starting up, it will flash green or white (depending on the model) on and off, and when the machine is ready to use, it will turn steady green or white light. So these colors are an indicator for the readiness of the machine.

Other colors are used to indicate other possible problems:

Orange light in all Vertuo machines (Vertuo Plus, Vertuo Next or Evoluo) is used to indicate problems with either cleaning, descaling or empty water tank. How many times, or the pattern in which the light alternates blinking orange will help you identify the issue.

Below, I will write in detail what the blinking orange light means for each model. Use the table of content above to help you jump to the section important to you.

Nespresso Vertuo Next Blinking Orange Light

Fix Nespresso VertuoNext Orange Light
Light PatternMeaning
blinks 2 times per secondClean the machine
Blinks 3 times per secondDescale process is on
Pulsing on then offMachine is cooling down after overheating
blinks then goes OFFError with inserted capsule/brew head not locked/empty water tank
Blinking 5 times in 10 secondsFactory Reset Required
Orange and white light alternatingDescale alert – time to descale

Orange Light Blinking Two Times Per Second

This indicates that it is time to clean your machine. It’s a quick rinse that the machine will perform to flush out any residues and keep it performing at its best. This cleaning is done by setting the Vertuo Next to enter Cleaning Mode.

How To Start Cleaning Mode in Vertuo Next

Before you start the cleaning cycle, you’ll want to do a few things:

  • Clean out the external parts of the machine, like the drip tray, used capsule container and water reservoir.
  • Bring a large container (at least 34 oz/ 1 Liter capacity) to collect the dirty water that will come out of the machine during the cleaning process.

Now you are ready to start the Cleaning process:

  • Make sure that your water reservoir is full to the MAX line. Fill it with WATER only, don’t add any cleaning detergent or descaling solution.
  • Open up the machine head. Make sure that there’s no pod inside it. Close it and put it in the LOCKED position. Place the container under the spout.
  • Wait until the light is steady white light, indicating that the machine is ready to use.
  • Now, press the button three times within 2 seconds. The light will immediately turn to blinking orange light, which indicates that you have successfully started cleaning mode.
  • The procedure will take 2 minutes to start, then the water will start flowing for around 5 minutes.

This process can be stopped at any time by simply press the button. But it’s highly recommended that you let it run for the full cycle to thoroughly clean your machine.

Orange Light Blinking Three Times per Second

This is an indication that it is time to DESCALE your machine. Unlike cleaning, which can be done weekly or even daily, descaling is a more thorough process that requires a special solution added to the water tank. The process is done every few month, 3 to 6 months depending on your usage, and it’s meant to help prevent the internal parts of your machine from calcification and other issues that could cause it to break down in a shorter period of time.

How To Descale Nespresso Vertuo Next

  • Before starting descaling mode, you need to buy a descaling solution from Nespresso, which comes in a package of two sachets. You’ll use only one per descale.
  • You’ll also need a large container to collect the dirty water.
  • Unlike cleaning mode, descaling mode takes longer time and IT CANNOT BE INTERRUPTED. So only start this process if you have to time to do it start to finish without any interruption.

Let’s start the descaling mode:

STEP ONE – Descaling with Solution

First things first. Clean out the external parts like the used capsule container and drip tray, sit them aside to dry.

  • Empty one sachet of Nespresso descaling solution into the water tank, then add 17 oz (0.5 L) of water to it. Make sure the tank is sitting correctly in its place.
  • Start your Vertuo Next. Wait until the light is steady white, indicating that it is ready to use.
  • Open the machine head, make sure no pod is in place.
  • Close the head. Leave the lever at UNLOCKED position and press the button for 7 seconds. The button will now start flashing orange rapidly.

The next steps will have to be done within 45 seconds to successfully enter DESCALE mode...

  • While the button is flashing rapidly, lock the machine head by turning the lever left, then unlock it and hold the button for 7 seconds and it will start blinking orange light again.
  • Now LOCK the lever and press the button to start the descaling process.
  • Let the water run until it stops, which means first step is completed.

STEP TWO – Rinsing the Machine

It’s time to start the second phase, which is to rinse out the machine from the descaling solution. You’ll notice that the machine is still blinking orange light, this is because you are still in descale mode and still not done with the process.

  • Take out the water tank, wash it to clean out any possible solution residue. Then fill it with FRESH drinking water.
  • Push the button to start the rinsing process. The water will run through and automatically stop when it’s complete.

You have now completed the DESCALE mode successfully. The blinking orange light will shut off indicating that the machine is now out of descale mode.

Descaling process takes about 20 minutes and it cannot be stopped midway. So leave it running until it is completely finished.

Pulsing Orange Light: Fading On and Off

This indicates that your machine has overheated and it is trying to cool down. In this case, all you have to do is shut the machine off for at least 20 minutes to cool down. This usually happens when you brew too many cups back to back so the machine tends to overheat.

Orange Light Blinking Rapidly TWICE Then Turning Off

This is a general ERROR indication and you’ll have to investigate a few things:

  • Make sure that you have correctly placed the pod, or that there is no pod stuck on top of the brew head while you’re trying to brew another pod.
  • Make sure you have properly closed the head in LOCKED position.
  • Make sure that the water tank is sitting correctly in its place.

If this is happening to you as you try to clean or descale your machine:

  • Make sure that you have no pod inside the machine head.
  • Make sure that you’ve correctly LOCKED the lever.

If the problem persists. Unplug the machine for several minutes and try again.

Orange Light blinking ON for 1.5 seconds then OFF for 0.5 Seconds and it won’t start

This is an easy fix. It means that your water tank is empty. Simply fill it and start your machine again. If it’s not the water tank, then it can also indicate that your machine head isn’t properly locked.

Orange Light Blinks Five Times

This is an indication that you need to factory reset your Vertuo Next. A factory reset will reset all your reprogrammed volumes and you’ll be starting fresh, so keep that in mind.

How To Do a Factory Reset in Vertuo Next:

  • Open the machine head and eject the pod if one is inside.
  • Close the head. Leave the handle in the UNLOCKED position.
  • Push the button FIVE times within 3 seconds. The button will start blinking orange light FIVE times, then it will change to a steady white light, which means it has been successfully reset.

Nespresso VertuoPlus (and VertuoPlus Deluxe) Blinking Orange Light

Fix VertuoPlus Orange Light

The meaning of light indicators in VertuoPlus isn’t that different from the Vertuo Next. But the process in which to fix them is slightly different due to the design difference. So if you have a Vertuo Plus, read below.

Overall, VertuoPlus uses RED lights to indicate an issue and ORANGE lights to indicate that you’re in a ‘Special Function’ mode, which is used to fix those issues.

Orange Light STEADY or BLINKING {Special Function Mode ON}

In VertuoPlus models, in order to fix common issues (descale, clean, reset…) you have to activate what is called the ‘Special Functions’ mode. This is done by pressing down the button and lever together for three seconds, then the light will turn solid orange.

So if at any point, you see that the light is steady orange, it means that you are in that special function mode.

Special Function Menu Selection:

You can select an option AFTER you you activate ‘Special Function’ mode and select your option within 2 minutes of entering that mode.

  • Press lever down once = Descale Mode
  • Press lever down twice = Empty System Mode
  • Press lever down twice = Factory Reset

Exiting Special Functions Mode

To exit that mode, you’ll repeat the same steps. Push the button and lever together for three seconds. Steady green light should come on after you exit the functions mode.

Orange Light Blinks Once Every Two Seconds {Descale Mode Running}

If you start your VertuoPLUS, then see the light is HALF GREEN/HALF RED, this is your indicator that it is time to descale your machine. This process requires Nespresso descaling solution and a large container to catch the water.

How To Descale VertuoPlus and VertuoPlus Deluxe

  • Turn your machine on, open the machine head to make sure no pod is inside or eject any used pod. Close the lid again.
  • Turn the machine off by pushing the lever down for three seconds.
  • Fill the water tank with one sachet of the descaling solution and add at least 17 oz of water to it (0.5L). Put the water tank back in its place.


To enter descale mode:

  • While the machine is OFF… press the button and push the lever down AT THE SAME TIME for 3 seconds. Orange light will turn on steady, indicating that you are now in ‘special function menu’…
  • Press the lever down ONCE to enter descale mode.
  • Make sure your container is sit correctly under the spout and push the button. The water will start flowing now and will stop when phase one is complete.
  • Empty and wash the water tank thoroughly, then fill it up with clean drinking water. Put it back in place.
  • With the container under the spout, push the button for the water to start flowing again. Your machine is now rinsing out any solution residue from inside the machine and will automatically stop when the cleaning cycle is complete.
  • When the water stops, orange light will start blinking every two seconds to indicate that the process is complete.
  • Now, you have to exit the descaling mode by pressing the button and lever down together for three seconds. You should now see steady green light which indicates that the machine is ready for use.

Orange Light Blinks Twice Every Two Seconds {Emptying the System}

Emptying the System is a process that you need to do before a period of non-use, or is done before repairs. It is used to get rid of any water/moisture that is trapped inside the machine.

How To Empty Water from VertuoPlus

  • Empty the water tank completely, then put it back in place.
  • Open the machine head to get rid of any used capsule. Close it again.
  • Turn the machine off by pressing the lever down for THREE seconds.
  • Time to enter ‘Special function’ mode by pressing the button and lever down together for three seconds. Steady orange light will show up to indicating you have entered the special functions menu.
  • Press the lever down two times to enter Emptying System mode.
  • Make sure you have a container under the spout to catch any water.
  • Push the button to start the process. Orange light will blink during the process. When complete, the machine will turn off automatically.

Orange Lights Blinking Three Times Every 2 Seconds

This indicator means you need to factory reset your VertuoPLUS. Note that this will reset all your reprogrammed volumes.

How To Factory Reset VertuoPlus

  • Turn your machine off by pressing the lever down for three seconds.
  • Enter the Special Functions menu by pressing down the button with the lever together for three seconds. Steady orange light will turn on.
  • To select ‘factory reset’, press the lever down THREE times then push the button to confirm your selection. Orange light will blink three times in three seconds to confirm the reset, then the light will turn GREEN.
  • Once the light is steady green, the machine is ready to use.

How To Clean Nespresso VertuoPlus

Cleaning Mode is used periodically for a quick rinse of the inside of the machine. It’s preferred that you do it once a week or two weeks, depending on your usage. The procedure is not like descaling, which requires a solution and takes a long time. Cleaning mode takes 7 minutes in total.

  • Start by rinsing the water tank, then fill it up with clean drinking water.
  • Also rinse the drip tray and empty capsule container.
  • Place a container of at least 27 oz capacity (0.8L) under the spout.
  • To enter cleaning mode, open the machine head by pushing the level up, make sure no pod is inside, then close it again. Press the start button three times within 2 seconds.
  • Orange light will start blinking for two minutes before anything happens, then the water will start flowing and will run for about 5 minutes.
  • Cleaning cycle pumps water in three intervals. Let it run until it completely stops and the light indicator turns green.

Troubleshooting Nespresso Vertuo: Common Issues and How To Fix Them

If you’re still running into issues of flashing orange lights, blinking red light or other issues.. keep reading to find your answer

Nespresso Vertuo Blinking Orange After Descaling

If your machine continues to blink orange even after you have finished the descaling process, there’s a BIG chance you have only completed step one of the process.

Remember that descaling goes through two steps, first is by using the descaling solution and the second is a water rinse. If your machine finished descaling while using the solution, REPEAT the process using FRESH water in the tank…

– If you are using a Vertuo Next – the descale process stops automatically after the second step and the blinking light should turn steady white.
– If you are using a VertuoPlus, you have to exit the descale mode by pressing the button and lever down for three seconds, until the light turns steady green.

Red Light Blinks After Descaling

First, make sure that the light is actually blinking red and not orange. If it’s orange, then follow the previous answer. Note that Vertuo Next uses orange and white light indicators, while VertuoPlus uses Orange, green and red light indicators.

If you have a VertuoPlus has it’s showing red light, here’s what it could mean:
Steady red light and the machine is not turning on = unplug the machine and let it cool for at least 15 minutes and try again.

Red light fading on and off = the machine is cooling down. Only use it when the light turns steady green.

Red light flashing then goes back to steady orange = this means that you have activated the Special Functions mode but have not selected a function from the menu. Refer to the section above [Orange light steady] for more info.

Red light flashing twice then goes to blinking orange = you could have started the special function option with a pod inside. Open the head and eject any pod inside. Push the button to restart the function.

Nespresso Vertuo Blinks Red and Head Stops Moving

this usually happens when there’s an obstacle blocking the machine head, like a stuck pod inside. Also, check if your used capsule container is full and empty it. Open the machine head, insert the pod correctly and close it.

Can I Use My Nespresso Machine Without Descaling It?

If the descale indicator has turned on, you don’t have to immediately descale it. You can still use the machine to make coffee. But you could possibly run into issues like: coffee not being hot enough, coffee tasting bitter or different or a lot of coffee grounds ending up in your cup. So while you can delay the descaling process, you shouldn’t ignore it all together.

Why Do I Get Coffee Grounds in my Cup?

That’s another indicator that it is time to clean your machine. If you’re not seeing an alert to descale your machine, but still see some coffee grounds in your cup, running a cleaning cycle should fix this problem.