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How to Descale a NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto Machine

You can love your NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® machine a little longer by taking good care of it. We’ve put together a guide so you can continue to have great tasting coffee with just a bit of regular TLC. Keep reading to find out how to descale a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® coffee machine, how to clean it correctly and more.

How to clean a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® coffee machine (internal)

Cleaning your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® coffee machine regularly means you’ll have great tasting coffee, time and time again. Find out how easy it is to clean your machine by reading our guide below.

  1. You can easily clean the drip tray by removing the tray above it and taking a soft brush to clean it gently. Then, dry it with a clean cloth. Check if your model’s drip tray is dishwasher safe by reading the manual.
  2. Next, rinse the capsule holder from both sides and dry it. Again, check if this component is dishwasher safe.
  3. You can then clean the water tank with a soft, clean, food-safe brush. To avoid scratches on the hard plastic, make sure to not use a scrubbing device. Then, rinse the tank and dry it with a cloth.
  4. After this, use a soft, damp cloth to clean the piercing needle around the head of the machine.
  5. Now, open the locking handle and place the empty capsule holder into the machine. Close it and place an empty cup under the coffee outlet. 
  6. Then, it’s time to rinse the inside of the machine. Turn on the coffee machine and wait for it to warm up. Either move the lever to “hot” or press the hot brewing button and turn the dial up to the maximum level to start rinsing.
  7. After 30–60 seconds, move the lever to the neutral position. If your model has a button, you can just wait for the dial to run its course. Make sure to empty the container that the water was in.

How to clean a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine (external)

We’ve put together a short guide on how to clean the outside of your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® coffee machine. There are a few little bits and pieces that require cleaning, so your coffee machine stays nice, shiny and hygienic. Make sure to switch the machine off before cleaning.

Drip tray

This is where the coffee residue gathers when you’re making a delicious cup of coffee. As coffee gathers here, it’s important to clean it for general hygiene. Luckily for you, the drip tray and grid are both dishwasher proof across all NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machines – this is unless your grid is made of metal, then it should be washed by hand. If you’re ever unsure, don’t worry, the user manual for your respective model is there to help.

Capsule holder

This part of the machine is where the capsule goes to be slot in to your machine. This will need to be removed and rinsed thoroughly to avoid any old coffee residue.

Water tank

Your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® coffee machine will have a water tank at the back. Like the inside of the machine, this area can have limescale build up, especially if you live in a hard water area.

Make sure to empty and rinse the water tank every couple of days and ensure the water is clear and odourless Remember that this part isn’t dishwasher friendly, so make sure to wash it by hand (and with a soft sponge to avoid scratches!)

Machine body

Dust is the bane of our lives and, unfortunately, your coffee machine isn’t immune to dust specks. Wiping your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine with a damp microfibre cloth will help to remove dust. Try buffing and drying your machine after with a kitchen towel for that extra shiny finish

How to descale a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto®

What is descaling?

Descaling your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine keeps it working at its best. It prevents and removes limescale build up and ensures that your coffee continues to taste great.

The exact way to descale your coffee machine will be dependent on the type of machine you have, so make sure to see our machine care section, and select the machine you have. Some of our machines come with a descaling alert (like our Genio S), but some do not (like our Mini Me).  If your machine doesn’t have a descaling alert, see below for our top tips.

Here are the basic steps to descaling your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine:

  1. Switch the machine off, empty the water tank and remove any pods left in the machine
  2. (Optional) If your model came with a rinsing tool, place this in the capsule holder
  3. Mix fresh, drinking water with the descaler bottle in the measuring up with the ratio 1:10 (e.g., if you need to use 500 ml of water, mix it with 50 ml of descaler)
  4. Pour descaling solution into water tank and insert water tank to machine
  5. Open locking handle and insert empty capsule holder. Close locking handle and place a cup or jug under the machine
  6. (Optional) If your machine has a volume dial display, set it to the maximum level
  7. Some machines have a descaling alert. If yours does not, press and hold power button for at least 5 seconds. The power button should start blinking orange and machine enters the descaling mode
  8. If your machine has a selection lever, make sure to move it to the “hot” position. If it doesn’t have a lever, press the coffee button instead
  9. If your machine doesn’t come with a dial, wait until half of the descaling solution has been dispensed from the water tank and then return the lever to the neutral position. Note: coffee machines with a volume display will stop themselves
  10. Wait for 2 minutes for the descaling solution to stop
  11. Rinse the water tank and fill it up with clean water. Then, put it back into the machine. 
  12. If your machine has a lever, push it to the “hot” position
    1. If your model doesn’t stop the procedure automatically, put the lever in the neutral position once half of the water is left in the tank (unless the manual suggests otherwise).
    2. If your Dolce Gusto® machine stops the descaling by itself, you will need to wait for the lever to return to the neutral position. Then, move the lever towards the cold-water selection and return it to neutral once the water tank is empty (with some models, you will need to wait for the lever to go back by itself). 
    3. If your machine doesn’t have a lever, press the coffee button
  13. Once the descaling procedure has been completed, make sure to switch off your coffee machine. If relevant to your machine, open the locking handle, remove the capsule holder and rinsing tool to rinse and dry them. (Remember to keep the rinsing tool for future use)
  14. Fill the water tank with fresh, clean water and your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine is ready to make your favourite coffee shop quality coffee! 

We’re always here to help. For aid with your machine, call the NESCAFÉ® DOLCE GUSTO® Hotline or see your Safety Precaution booklet. Alternatively, we have videos to make descaling easier!


Descale Dolce Gusto MiniMe Descale Dolce Gusto MiniMe

How do you know when to descale your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine?

Ideally, descaling your coffee machine every 3 months is the way to go – especially if you use it every day. Your machine might need descaling if you see the following symptoms:

  1. The temperature of your coffee is lower than normal
  2. The flavour of your coffee changes, even when you’re using the same capsules
  3. If there is a smaller volume of coffee dispensed or no coffee dispensed at all.

If you see any of this whilst you’re making your coffee, make sure to try the steps above to descale it.

Now that you know how to clean your NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto® machine, make sure to check out our pod recycling scheme!

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