You’ve taken the plunge and made the switch to Nespresso coffee! If you are an avid coffee drinker who loves their morning espresso, then you’re probably wondering how to keep mold out of my Nespresso machine.
If this is a thought that has crossed your mind, I am happy to provide some valuable tips on keeping your Nespresso machine in fantastic condition. Let’s take a look at just some of them below.
Why Does My Nespresso Get Moldy So Fast?
The first thing you should be aware of when keeping your machine free from mold is what causes it to happen? As might be expected, several factors are involved here, with hard water being one main culprit.
So, what exactly is hard water? And, how do I keep mold out of my Nespresso machine?
Hard water contains water that has a higher concentration of minerals. The majority of these minerals are calcium and magnesium, which occur naturally in our waterways.
I’m sure you’re familiar with limestone or chalk-based rock (a white powdery substance) – this also comes from the same source as hard water.
While it may not seem like much, this excess amount of calcium and magnesium can affect your Nespresso machine over time by building up inside the coffee maker’s structure, causing blockages along the way. This can result in an unpleasant mold build-up which doesn’t look pretty at all!
How Often Should You Clean A Nespresso Machine?
Cleaning your Nespresso machine (you need to do this regularly!) It would be best to clean your Nespresso machine after EVERY THIRD CUP OF COFFEE YOU MAKE, WHICH IS USUALLY AROUND ONCE A WEEK.
What’s more, if the water in your home is very hard, then you will need to clean it even more than this because the build-up of minerals could eventually cause damage.
What Does Descaling Mean On Nespresso?
Descaling is a simple process that keeps your machine working at optimal performance. It’s necessary to descale about every two months, depending on your area’s usage and water hardness levels.
Regularly scheduled maintenance helps keep brewed espresso at peak flavor and aroma for up to six months after the first brew. Additionally, some models will automatically prompt you when it’s time to descale.
How Do I Know When My Nespresso Machine Needs Descaling?
Descaling your Nespresso machine helps remove the calcium and mineral build-up naturally occurring in an espresso machine. If not descaled, this can cause a loss of water pressure, a bad taste in your beverage, and even machine damage.
LOOK NO FURTHER: HERE IS A LIST OF SIGNS/SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR.
- The flow of steam comes out slower than before or not at all.
- You notice a Limescale buildup around the holes on the pod holder plate.
- There are Limescale deposits visible inside the cap of used Pods.
- In older machines (2007 and before), the power light is flickering all the time.
- The buttons on your machine are not working correctly or at all.
- You have to press the button several times for it to work.
- Pods dispensed do not look like they used to (the coffee looks weak, watery, or pale in color).
- Your descaling kit is about to expire.
- Your cup tastes metallic/dull/flat.
- The Limescale has built up around the steam nozzle.
- The scale has built up inside the outlet valve when removing it from the machine.
- Scale builds up when removing rubber seal located in piston head when servicing machine by yourself.
- There are scale deposits in the holes of the outlet valve.
- The water tank is leaking.
- Your machine has made a gurgling noise when you switch it on or when the coffee is being dispensed.
- You can see scale build-up at the bottom of your cup when you drink coffee.
- Pods look bloated and do not eject properly.
- There are white deposits spreading outwards from where pods sit inside the holder plate (Nespresso recommends that this only happens if you use unapproved alternative capsules or grind too fine for brewing).
- When you press “stop” to eject the pod, nothing happens (in other words, the machine is not ejecting your pod).
- There are small particles floating in your coffee or around the spout.
- You have to press several times before the capsule holder opens/closes.
- Your machine makes a loud sound when you turn it on.
- The machine has made a lot of noise when producing steam or during the brewing process (Nespresso recommends that this only happens if you use unapproved alternative capsules).
- The tightness of the handle feels looser than usual after turning it to close the cap of Pods.
- You cannot remove the used Pod from the holder plate by pushing down on the handle and pulling upwards.
- Water runs through the spout instead of milk when frothing milk for a drink.
- The wheels have become wobbly,/gaps have appeared between them and the base unit of your machine during normal use.
- There is a hissing sound coming from inside your machine or a strong smell of burning plastic (Nespresso recommends that this only happens if you use unapproved alternative capsules).
- Descale light has been illuminated within 0-24 hours of turning on your machine.
- Descale light remains illuminated after running the descaling process three or more consecutive times.
Can I Use Vinegar To Clean My Nespresso Machine?
YES! But, be reminded, and let’s get one thing straight: IF YOUR COFFEEMAKER HAS AN ALUMINUM EXTERIOR (WHICH MOST DO), DON’T USE VINEGAR ON IT. It will take the shine off.
You can clean that up with baking soda, though – sprinkle some onto the surface and scrub off. Let it dry for 24 hours, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any residues from baking soda.
Vinegar is excellent at breaking things down – think about what our bodies turn food into after we swallow it! We need enzymes to break down that food into small enough particles to be absorbed.
Now think about the things you put in your coffeemaker. I bet there are some strong acids in there, which is why it’s so good at removing limescale!
What Vinegar Do You Use For Descaling Your Espresso Machine?
WHITE VINEGAR. I use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. The first few times I used it, I was adding a few ounces to my reservoir, but now that I have it down, all I need is just a cupful from one of those single-serve packets of ketchup at the burger place around the corner.
Less acidic vinegar such as malt or cider may also be used, although they will likely leave more residue than less expensive white vinegar.
How Much Vinegar Do I Use To Clean My Nespresso Machine?
If you plan on using hard water for your milk frothing, the calcification build-up in your machine will be pretty extreme. That is why I RECOMMEND USING A 50/50 MIXTURE OF DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR AND WATER every other week to soak the bottom two at the back of the group head.
But don’t go crazy with measuring here – add as much as you can fit into your reservoir, then top off with water.
Now run a shot through and see if you notice any difference in taste or smell. If everything seems fine, keep going – if not, repeat these steps until things seem back to normal. You may need a stronger solution with more vinegar but err on the side of caution.
When I first started using this method, I was super concerned with how “vinegary” my shots tasted. Even now, if I haven’t descaled my machine in a while (I’m working on interval descaling), it can be noticeable to me – but most people won’t notice anything.
It’s the smell that you’re mainly trying to remove, not flavor. If your espresso doesn’t smell like fish anymore, then you know things are back to normal!
Is Descaling Solution Better Than Vinegar?
Descaling solution is a generic term for a mixture of chemicals used to dissolve limescale from the surfaces of household items such as kettles and showerheads. Descaling solutions can also remove rust from steel pipes.
Vinegar is a popular household chemical used to soften water through its acetic acid content, making it less corrosive. Both vinegar and descaling solution can break down limescale, but they do so in different ways.
DESCALING SOLUTION HAS A MORE SUBSTANTIAL EFFECT ON DISSOLVING LIMESCALE WHILE VINEGAR SOFTENS IT.
Can You Use Any Descaler In A Nespresso Machine?
All Nespresso machines require descaling to maintain optimal performance. Specific Nespresso descalers are available at different prices and formulas, including citric acid, oxygenated water, and liquid bleach.
ONLY THE CORRECT DESCALER MUST BE USED WITH A SPECIFIC MACHINE. Using the incorrect descaler can cause damage to the machine’s internal components.
What Is The Best Descaler?
There are two options, those that dissolve calcium deposits from the machine into the water and those that dissolve calcium deposits from inside where you place your capsules.
In both cases, they can cause problems with your machine’s ability to create new milk foam and cause some difficulty making the perfect crema. So it’s always best to try them without first activating them to see if it affects these features.
They also have differing opinions regarding how often you need to use one after your machine has been descaled. Some say every three months; others say 4-6 weeks. The choice is yours to make at the end.
The first category is those that dissolve calcium deposits from inside of where you place your capsules. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND ORVILLE’S NESPRESSO MACHINE CLEANER (in fact, if it’s in stock, I’d buy two). If they don’t have it anymore, I will go for a Dupont alcare antibacterial descaler, which can be used up to once a month (but not more).