Call Us at +1 (302) 208-9293

Need Help?
Call Us at +1 (302) 208-9293

How to Fix Nespresso Flashing Orange

Published on:

The most common reason Nepresso machines flash orange is because they need to be cleaned or descaled. 

However, depending on how fast or slow the orange light blinks, it could be caused by various reasons. 

I’m Tim, a coffee lover and former barista. I’ve used and owned Nespresso machines for several years and know what the orange light means and to to resolve it. 

Here is what we will cover:

So, let’s dive in to see all the reasons your Nepresso machines may be showing an orange light and how to get rid of it. 

Why Nespresso Flashes Orange

Nespresso machines flash orange for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that they need to be cleaned or descaled. But it depends on how often they light blinks.

Use the table below to decode the flashing orange light on your Nespresso. 

Orange Light PatternWhat it means
Blinks twice per secondIt needs to be cleaned and/or descaled
Blinks three timesIt needs to be descaled
Blinks orange, then white for three secondsIt needs to be descaled
Blinks for one second then turns offNeeds a new coffee pod
On for 1.5 seconds then off for 0.5 secondsNeed to fill water canister
Rapid blinkingDo a factory reset

How to Fix Your Nespresso Orange Light

Here is what you need to do to resolve each type of flashing orange light with your Nespresso Machine. 

1. Cleaning and Descaling Your Nespresso

If your Nespresso machine has an orange light that blinks twice per second, blinks three times, or blinks orange then white for three seconds, you need to clean and descale it. 

The steps to descale your Nespresso machine vary, depending on your specific model. So, follow the guidelines in your unit’s instruction manual if you’re unsure. 

But here ‌are the general steps to descale it: 

#1 Gather your supplies

Before starting the descaling process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. 

You will need a descaling solution specifically designed for Nespresso machines, a container to collect the water, and a clean cloth or sponge.

Note: don’t use vinegar as it can damage your Nespresso machine. 

#2 Prepare the machine

First, remove any capsules and empty the drip tray. Fill the water tank with the descaling solution and make sure it is securely in place. 

Place a container under the coffee outlet to collect the water.

#3 Start the descaling process

Turn on the machine and let it heat up. 

Once it is ready, press the buttons for both lungo and espresso simultaneously (or just the single button if your machine just has one) and hold them down for three seconds. 

The lights will start flashing, indicating that the descaling process has begun.

#4 Rinse the machine

Once the descaling process is complete, empty the container and rinse it thoroughly. Fill the water tank with clean water and place a clean container under the coffee outlet.

#5 Final rinse

Press the button to start the rinsing process. The machine will dispense hot water to flush out any remaining descaling solution. Repeat this step until the water tank is empty.

#6 Clean the outside

After the final rinse, wipe down the exterior of the machine with a clean cloth or sponge. Pay special attention to the coffee outlet and the water tank. Don’t plug it back in until it is dry.

2. Use New Coffee Pod

If your Nespresso blinks orange for one second and turns off, it needs a new coffee pod. The one you have in it currently is either broken, used, or is not lining up properly internally. 

If you keep getting this problem with new Nespresso pods, you might have a defective unit or an issue with the sensor. 

Before you give up, you can try cleaning and descaling if this issue keeps happening. 

3. Add Water

When the orange light on your Nespresso stays on for 1.5 seconds and is off for 0.5 seconds, this means you need to add water to the canister. 

Often times I think my Nespresso has plenty of water for one more brew. Still, I’m usually wrong and have to refill it. 

4. Perform Factory Reset

If your Nespresso machine flashes an orange light rapidly, you need to perform a factory reset. 

To do the factory reset, open the lid and remove the capsule. Then close the lid and leave it unlocked. 

Lastly, push the button five times within three seconds. The light will then slowly flash five times to verify the reset is complete. 

Factory resets are not needed often and typically occur after power outages. 

How to Prevent Scale in Your Nespresso

Since scale is the most common reason Nespersso machines flash an orange light, preventing scale is the best way to side-step this issue entirely. 

Here are the top ways you can prevent scale in your Nespresso. 

1. Regular Cleaning

One of the most effective ways to prevent scale buildup in your Nespresso machine is to clean it regularly. 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and descaling your machine. This will help remove any mineral deposits that can contribute to scale formation.

2. Use Filtered Water

Using filtered water instead of tap water can significantly reduce the chances of scale buildup. Tap water often contains minerals and impurities that can contribute to scale formation. 

You can also use distilled water to further prevent scale. However, some people claim it noticeably changes the taste of the coffee. 

Still, investing in a water filter or using bottled water can help prevent scale from forming in your Nespresso machine.

3. Descaling Solution

Using a descaling solution specifically designed for Nespresso machines can help remove any existing scale buildup and prevent future formation. 

Follow the instructions provided with the descaling solution to ensure proper usage and effectiveness.

4. Avoid Using Vinegar

Most people jump to vinegar to descale coffee machines, but Nespresso recommends you avoid vinegar in its machines. [1]

Vinegar can leave a strong odor and taste in your machine, which can affect the flavor of your coffee. It is best to use a descaling solution specifically formulated for Nespresso machines.

5. Empty and Rinse the Drip Tray

Regularly emptying and rinsing the drip tray can help prevent scale buildup. 

The drip tray collects any excess water and coffee residue, which can contribute to scale formation if left uncleaned. 

Make it a habit to empty and rinse the drip tray frequently to maintain a scale-free Nespresso machine.

6. Wipe Down the Exterior

In addition to cleaning the internal components of your Nespresso machine, it is important to wipe down the exterior regularly. 

This will help prevent any buildup of dirt or grime that can affect the overall performance of your machine. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the exterior surfaces.

7. Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Lastly, make sure to follow the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer. 

This may include tasks such as replacing the water filter, cleaning the brewing unit, or descaling the machine. 

What about red light?

If you have a red light on your Nespresso machine instead, use the chart below to diagnose your issue. 

Red light patternWhat is means
Continuous flashError, do factor reset
Blinks red twice, then stays greenNo water or capsule
Blinks red twice, then stays orangeError, do factor reset
Blinks red 3x per 2 seconds with steady red pausesHead not closed
Steady red light Unknown error, do factor reset
Pulsing off then onOverheating, wait for it to cool down
Steady red and green Descale

Final Thoughts

The most common reason for your Nespresso machine blinking orange is because it needs to be descaled and cleaned. 

To clean it, avoid using vinegar and stick to Nespresso descaling solution and follow the steps above. If you want to prevent scale from forming, you can use filtered water and do regular maintenance and cleaning. 

Your Nespresso machine may also flash an orange light because it needs a new coffee pod, more water, or a factory reset. 

If your Nespresso machine continues to have an orange light no matter what you do and it won’t work, you might need a new one. See the top 23 Nespresso machines here to find your next one. 

Photo of author


Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
flow control espresso machines
how many scoops of coffee per cup
what espresso machine does starbucks use
espresso grinder vs. coffee grinder which do i need
why do espresso machines have 2 spouts
how to clean a mahlkonig coffee espresso grinder

Leave a Comment