You’ve made the plunge and switched to Nespresso coffee! However, if you are a frequent coffee drinker who enjoys their morning espresso, you may be wondering how to keep mold out of your Nespresso machine.
If this has occurred to you, I am happy to share some helpful hints for keeping your Nespresso machine in excellent condition. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
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Why is my Nespresso getting moldy so quickly?
When keeping your machine mold-free, the first thing you should be aware of is what causes it. As one might expect, several factors are at work here, with hard water being one of the main culprits.
So, exactly what is hard water? And how do I keep mold from growing in my Nespresso machine?
When it comes to water, hard water is defined as having a high concentration of minerals.
A large portion of these minerals is calcium, followed by magnesium, which is found in significant quantities in our drinking water due to natural processes.
You’ve probably heard of limestone or chalk-based rock (a white powdery substance) – it comes from the same source as hard water.
While it may not appear to be much, this excess calcium and magnesium can affect your Nespresso machine over time by accumulating inside the coffee maker’s structure and causing blockages along the way. This can lead to an unpleasant mold build-up that does not look good!
When Should You Clean Your Nespresso Machine?
Cleaning your Nespresso machine (this should be done regularly!) It is best to clean your Nespresso machine after every third cup of coffee you make, which is typically once a week.
Furthermore, if your home’s water is very hard, you will need to clean it even more frequently because mineral build-up can eventually cause damage.
What Does Nespresso Descaling Mean?
Descaling is a simple procedure that keeps your machine running at peak efficiency. Descale should be done every two months, depending on your area’s usage and water hardness levels.
Regular maintenance helps to keep brewed espresso at its peak flavor and aroma for up to six months after the first brew. Furthermore, some models will notify you when it’s time to descale.
How Can I Tell If My Nespresso Machine Needs Descaling?
Descaling your Nespresso machine aids in the removal of calcium and mineral build-up that occurs naturally in espresso machines. This can result in a loss of water pressure, a bad taste in your beverage, and even machine damage if not descaled.
LOOK NO FURTHER: HERE IS A LIST OF SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR:
- The steam is emitted at a slower rate or not at all.
- You notice limescale build-up around the pod holder plate’s holes.
- Limescale deposits can be seen inside the cap of used Pods.
- The power light on older machines (2007 and earlier) is constantly flickering.
- Your machine’s buttons aren’t working properly or at all.
- To get it to work, you must press the button several times.
- The dispensed pods no longer resemble what they once did (the coffee looks weak, watery, or pale in color).
- Your descaling kit is nearing the end of its useful life.
- Your cup has a metallic/dull/bland flavor.
- Limescale has accumulated around the steam nozzle.
- When removing the outlet valve from the machine, the scale had accumulated inside it.
- Scale accumulates when you are servicing the machine yourself by removing the rubber seal located in the piston head.
- Scale deposits have formed in the outlet valve’s holes.
- The water tank leaks.
- When you turn on the machine or when the coffee is dispensed, it makes a gurgling noise.
- When you drink coffee, you can see scale build-up at the bottom of your cup.
- Pods appear bloated and do not eject correctly.
- White deposits are spreading outwards from the pods located within the holder plate’s interior. As recommended by Nespresso, this will only occur if you use unapproved alternative capsules or grind your coffee too fine for brewing.
- Nothing happens when you press the “stop” button to eject the Pod (in other words, the machine is not ejecting your Pod).
- Small particles are floating in your coffee or near the spout.
- Before the capsule holder opens/closes, you must press it several times.
- When you turn on your machine, it makes a loud noise.
Can I Clean My Nespresso Machine With Vinegar?
YES! But remember, and let’s be clear: IF YOUR COFFEEMAKER HAS AN ALUMINUM EXTERIOR (WHICH MOST DO), DO NOT USE VINEGAR ON IT. It will dull the luster.
But you can clean it up with baking soda – sprinkle some on the surface and scrub it away. Allow it to dry for 24 hours before wiping it down with a damp cloth to remove any baking soda residues.
Vinegar is excellent at dissolving things – consider what our bodies do with food after we swallow it! But, first, enzymes are required to break down the food into small enough particles for absorption.
Consider the items you put in your coffeemaker. I’m sure it has some strong acids in it, which is why it’s so effective at removing limescale!
What type of vinegar do you use to descale your espresso machine?
VINEGAR, WHITE I mix white vinegar and water in a 50/50 ratio. I was adding a few ounces to my reservoir the first few times I used it, but now that I’ve mastered it, all I need is a cupful from one of those single-serve packets of ketchup at the burger joint around the corner.
Even though less acidic vinegar such as malt or cider vinegar can be used, they will most likely leave more residue than less expensive white vinegar, which is why white vinegar is the preferred choice in this situation.
How Much Vinegar Do I Need To Use To Clean My Nespresso Machine?
If you intend to use hard water for your milk frothing, the calcification build-up in your machine will be severe.
That is why I RECOMMEND SOAKING THE BOTTOM TWO AT THE BACK OF THE GROUP HEAD EVERY OTHER WEEK WITH A 50/50 MIXTURE OF DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR AND WATER.
But don’t get too carried away with the measuring – just put as much as you can fit into your reservoir and then top it off with water.
To test any differences in taste or odor:
- Take a shot and see what you notice.
- Repeat these steps as necessary until everything appears to be back to normal if everything appears to be in order.
- If everything appears to be out of order, continue. You may require a stronger solution containing more vinegar but proceed with caution.
As soon as I started using this method, I was concerned about how “vinegary” my shots would taste. I was right to be concerned.
Even now, if I haven’t descaled my machine in a while (I’m working on interval descaling), I can tell – but most people will not notice a difference.
It’s the smell, not the flavor, that you’re primarily attempting to eliminate. So when your espresso no longer smells like fish, you know you’re back on track!
Is Vinegar Better Than Descaling Solution?
I was concerned about how “vinegary” my shots would taste from the beginning of my experimentation with this method. I had every reason to be concerned.
Most people will not notice any difference even if I haven’t descaled my machine in a while (I’m working on interval descaling right now).
Vinegar is a common household chemical used to soften water by containing acetic acid, which makes it less corrosive. Both vinegar and descaling solution can dissolve limescale but in different ways.
WHILE VINEGAR SOFTENS LIMESCALE, DESCALING SOLUTION IS MORE SUBSTANTIAL IN DISSOLVING IT.
Can Any Descaler Be Used In A Nespresso Machine?
To maintain peak performance, all Nespresso machines must be descaling. Specific Nespresso descalers, such as citric acid, oxygenated water, and liquid bleach, are available at different prices and formulations.
ONLY THE APPROPRIATE DESCALER SHOULD BE USED WITH A PARTICULAR MACHINE. Using the wrong descaler can damage the machine’s internal components.
What Is the Most Effective Descaler?
There are two options: those that dissolve calcium deposits from the machine into the water and those that dissolve calcium deposits within the capsules themselves.
In both cases, they can impair your machine’s ability to create new milk foam and make it difficult to make the perfect crema. To see if it affects these features, it’s always best to try them without activating them.
They also disagree on how frequently you should use one after your machine has been descaled. Some say every three months, while others say every 4-6 weeks. Finally, the decision is yours to make.
The first category includes those that dissolve calcium deposits from the inside of the capsules. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND ORVILLE’S NESPRESSO MACHINE CLEANER (in fact, if it’s still available, I’d buy two). If they don’t have it, I’ll get a Dupont alcare antibacterial descaler, which can be used once a month (but not more).