How to descale a Dolce Gusto coffee machine

In this blog, I previously covered how to clean a Dolce Gusto coffee machine. However, we unintentionally omitted a vital aspect of the cleaning process: descaling the machine. Descaling is an essential step that should not be overlooked in maintenance.

It is easy to overlook the descaling process when purchasing a new Dolce Gusto capsule coffee machine. The only maintenance requirements are typically cleaning the exterior, changing the water in the tank, and emptying the drip tray.

As a result, many coffee machine users are unaware that their machine must be descaled regularly. Only when the orange light begins to flash do most Dolce Gusto coffee machine users decide to descale their machine, despite several other situations where descaling is necessary, such as correcting water pressure issues or improving coffee flavour.

What do I need to descale a Dolce Gusto coffee machine?

You don’t need a long list of items when it comes to descaling your Dolce Gusto coffee machine. However, it’s recommended to have the following items at hand:

  • A container with a capacity greater than half a litre that can fit under the machine’s spout
  • A bottle of descaling liquid specifically designed for Dolce Gusto machines or 250ml of another brand that is suitable for coffee machines
  • A nearby water tap for rinsing all the components and refilling the water tank.

Although this process may be unfamiliar, the descaling liquids are specially formulated to remove limescale build-up from the machine’s water system.

The official Dolce Gusto descalers are made by the Swiss brand Durgol and come in a two-unit kit, each containing 125ml. The cost is approximately £12 for the kit. Alternatively, there are other suitable products available in the market as well:

When should I descale my Dolce Gusto coffee machine?

Most modern coffee pod machines now have a warning light to indicate when a descaling process is necessary. In the case of Dolce Gusto machines, the power button illuminates in orange to notify the user that the machine needs to be descaled.

Nevertheless, there are several noticeable indications that your Dolce Gusto coffee machine requires descaling:

  • The drink is not as hot as it previously was.
  • No or very little water comes out of the machine.
  • The taste of the coffee is no longer as rich and strong as before.

If you experience any of these signs, it is recommended to descale your Dolce Gusto coffee machine as soon as possible.

How to descale a Dolce Gusto coffee machine

The step-by-step process for descaling your Dolce Gusto coffee machine is straightforward to follow. It is crucial to follow each step carefully to ensure the best possible outcome of the descaling process.

  • Begin by emptying the coffee pod holder before starting the descaling process.
  • Next, empty the water tank and fill it with half a litre of clean cold water using the container suggested in the previous section.
  • Add the 250ml descaling liquid with the previously added water into the tank.
  • Place the container under the coffee machine’s spout and position the water tank with the mixture.
  • With the coffee maker turned off, press the power button for 5 seconds until the green light starts flashing (or in manual models, the light flashes orange).
  • Select the largest coffee size and turn the brew lever to the hot water position to start the descaling process.
  • The machine will pour water for approximately two minutes, and once it finishes, the green light will flash for another 2 minutes. Once it remains steadily green, the descaling process is complete.
  • Rinse the machine by rinsing the water tank to remove any residual descaler and preparing several coffees without a capsule to clean the entire internal circuit.

Following these steps will help you quickly descale your Dolce Gusto coffee machine, enabling you to enjoy the perfect flavour of your coffee.

Dolce Gusto: Descaling process step by step (video)

To learn how to descale a Dolce Gusto coffee machine, there’s no better way than to watch a video tutorial before attempting it yourself. The video below will also provide a clearer understanding of the steps we outlined in the previous section.

And as the decalcification process in any machine is always similar, we leave you the articles related to other brands in case you find useful tips on how to descale your coffee machine:

Frequently asked questions

What can you use to descale a Dolce Gusto machine?

If your Dolce Gusto coffee machine is still under warranty, use the official Dolce Gusto descaler (Durgol). But if it is not under warranty you can use any universal descaler for coffee makers or even white vinegar (explanation here).

Can you use normal descaler in Dolce Gusto machine?

Dolce Gusto does not recommend using any descaler other than its official one. However, if your coffee machine is not under warranty, you can use any descaler, even white vinegar.

How do I put my Dolce Gusto in descaling mode?

With the coffee maker turned off, press the power button for 5 seconds until the green light starts flashing (or in manual models, the light flashes orange). Then select maximum volume in the selector and move the lever to hot water position.

How do I clear the orange light on my Dolce Gusto?

The first method involves taking the coffee machine back into descaling mode and simulating the process with clean water, ensuring that the power button’s lights flash alternately in orange and green (check question above). The second method is to clear the memory by pressing the power button for approximately 30 seconds, and the button’s light should change to solid green.