How to Fix Nespresso Stuck in Descaling Mode

nespresso stuck in descaling mode

You're up early in the morning, and all you want is your favorite Nespresso brew to kickstart your day. However, your Nespresso machine, in its infinite wisdom, seems to have other plans. It's stuck in descale mode, and despite your best efforts, refuses to budge. This can be a frustrating hiccup, but machines, like us, can sometimes be a little temperamental. However, with a bit of patience and a few tips, you can get your Nespresso running again and get yourself back to sipping espresso.

To fix a Nespresso stuck in descale mode, turn off and unplug the machine. Hold the espresso and lungo buttons for three seconds while powering on. If that is unsuccessful, redo the descaling process. If issues persist, contact the manufacturer or seek professional help.

Let's dig deeper into these steps and make sure you're well-equipped to tackle this minor coffee crisis. With a little persistence and some care, your Nespresso will be back to brewing in no time. 

How to Know if Your Nespresso Is in Descale Mode

Before you start looking for ways to go about fixing the issue (not including tossing your poor Nespresso machine outside), it's essential to figure out if you have a Nespresso stuck on descale mode. Here's how to tell:

  • Indicator Lights – One of the most obvious hints is the lights on your machine. Typically, in most Nespresso models, when the machine enters descaling mode the lights will blink in a specific pattern. This is different from the usual steady light when it’s ready to brew or the slow pulsing light when it's heating up. If you’re stuck wondering, “Why is the Nespresso machine still flashing when I descale It?” this could be why.
  • Unresponsive Buttons – If you've noticed that the buttons on your Nespresso machine aren't responding the way they should, it might be because it's currently in descale mode. For instance, even if you press the brewing button, the machine might not give you coffee or it might just release hot water instead.
  • Unexpected Water Flow – When your machine is in descaling mode, it's primed to run the descaling solution (or plain water if you've just rinsed it) through the system to remove calcium deposits and other gunk. As a result, the water flow might seem longer or more forceful than the usual flow you get when brewing coffee.
  • Sound Difference – Sometimes, the sound that your Nespresso makes can be a hint. It might sound louder or maybe even softer when it's in descale mode as compared to regular brewing. 
  • Performance Issues – Lastly, if you find your coffee isn't brewing to its usual standard—maybe it's not as hot, or the taste is a bit off—it could be because your machine is still in descale mode. 

Now that you know the signs to look for, what should you do if you find your machine is stuck in this mode? Well, don’t worry. Even if you’re not a mechanic (this includes me), with a few simple steps, you can get your Nespresso back on track and enjoy that much-awaited cup of coffee.

Related: Can you Descale a Nespresso with Vinegar? 

Why Your Nespresso Machine Is Stuck in Descale Mode

Like a few Reddit users pointed out, having a Nespresso stuck on descale mode is a common problem. When it gets stuck in descale mode, there can be several causes. Understanding these reasons can help you troubleshoot the problem and get it out of this mode so you can have your coffee. 

  • Button Malfunction – Over time and with regular use, the buttons on your machine can become less responsive, especially if you tend to jab at them with a heavy hand. A malfunctioning button can send incorrect signals to the machine, causing it to stay in descale mode or revert to it frequently.
  • Faulty Water Sensors – Water sensors in your Nespresso machine monitor the water flow and detect any potential issues. If these sensors are malfunctioning or have debris blocking them, they might mistakenly keep the machine in descale mode.
  • Incomplete Descaling Process – One of the most common reasons is that the descaling process was not completed in its entirety. Maybe you accidentally turned the machine off halfway, or there was an interruption in power. 
  • Software Glitch – Modern Nespresso machines come equipped with software to ensure they function efficiently. Sometimes, a minor glitch in the software can result in the machine being stuck in a particular mode.

Related: How Often to Descale a Nespresso

How to Exit Descale Mode

Figuring out how to get your Nespresso out of descaling mode is usually straightforward: 

  • Finish the Descaling Process – If your machine got interrupted during descaling, the simplest solution might be to run it again. Ensure you have the recommended descaling solution and follow the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Reset Your Machine – Turn off the machine and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Wait for about 10 minutes, then plug it back in and turn it on. This brief ‘break' can often reset the internal systems.
  • Check Water Tank & Reservoir – Ensure that you have the water tank and reservoir seated correctly. Sometimes, if they're not in the correct position, the machine might misinterpret this and stay in descale mode.
  • Consult the Manual – Different Nespresso models may have specific instructions for exiting descale mode. It's always a good idea to consult the user manual that came with your machine for model-specific guidance.

Heres a YouTube video that you may find helpful:

How to Exit Descaling Mode Nespresso | Help Nespresso stuck in Descaling Mode


CC: Photo by Studio 74 on Unsplash

1. How often should I descale my Nespresso machine?

Ideally, you’ll descale your Nespresso machine every 3 to 6 months, depending on water hardness and usage.

2. Can I use vinegar to descale?

While vinegar is a natural descaler, it's best to use the Nespresso-recommended descaling solution to ensure the best possible performance and taste.

3. My machine's lights keep blinking. What does it mean?

Continuous blinking lights typically mean that the machine is in descale mode or there's a functional error. Consulting the manual or following the above steps can help resolve it.

Related: Is it Safe to Drink from a Nespresso after you Descale?


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