Why is Nespresso blinking orange light and how to Fix it?

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Johny Morrisson

The most common reason for Nespresso blinking orange light is that your Nespresso machine is dirty and requires descaling.

Other reasons might be that your machine is overheated, the water level in your machine is lower, or there might be a blockage of capsules on your machine.

Descale your Nespresso Machine to Fix the Orange light Issue

If the Nespresso machine flashes orange light three times per second and/or turns solid white, then your Machine requires descaling. Descaling helps remove any mineral buildup of contaminants from the water used in brewing coffee.

Descaling your Nespresso machines once every 3-4 months is necessary to keep it working smoothly, otherwise, your machine will start malfunctioning or won’t brew any coffee.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to descale Nespresso Vertuo:

1. Start with preliminary cleaning

Open the machine head and eject any used capsule. Remove the waste capsule container, drip tray, and water reservoir, and rinse them properly. After cleaning, reassemble all the removable parts

2- Prepare a Descaling Solution

Pour around 500 ml of clean water into the Vertuo line water tank. Take out Nespresso descaling solution sachets from the kit, and pour them into the water.

While you can also use vinegar to descale your machine but it’s recommended to use Nespresso descaling solutions.

3. Enter the Descaling Mode

Switch on the Nespresso Vertuo line by pressing the button at the top. Unlock and then close the Machine. While preheating, the button will flash and eventually turn off.

Press and hold the button for at least 7 seconds to enter descaling mode.

 You will now have 45 seconds to start the descaling process.

  • Lock the Machine by turning the lever to the lock symbol and unlock it by turning it to the right.
  • Press and hold the button again for at least 7 seconds.
  • Place a large cup (capable of holding at least 20 ounces) under the spout and press the button the machine will start running the descaling solution.
  • After the descaling cycle, detach the water tank clean it properly, and fill it with fresh drinking water. Press the button and the rinsing process will restart. (This is important to remove the traces of descaling solution from the machine)

Note: If the Machine does not start dispensing, lock the Machine and press the button again to start the process.

4. Exit the Descaling Mode

After Descaling, Simply press and hold the power button for about 7 seconds to exit the descaling mode. When the power light has stopped flashing, Vertuo Line has exited the mode, and you are good to go!

This is quite straightforward. Let the Machine dry for approximately 20 minutes before using it again.

Nespresso Blinking Orange light

What Does Orange Light on Nespresso Machine Mean?

In the table below, you will find all the possible reasons why your Nespresso Vertuo machine is blinking lights.

Orange Light statusMeaning
Blinking Orange two times per second and then OffThe machine needs to be cleaned or the water tank isn’t assembled
Blinking Orange three times then steadyThe machine needs descaling
Blinks Orange light 2 times for 1 second and then OffThe Capsule isn’t inserted correctly or the barcode is worn out
Orange Light blinking rapidlyThe Capsule Container is Full
Orange Light Pulse (off then on)The machine is overheated and it needs to be cooled
Blink Orange 1 time and then OffThe water tank needs refilling
Blinking Orange five times in 10 secondsThe machine needs a factory reset
Blink orange and then turn white for 3 secondThe machine needs to be descaled urgently

Some Other Fixes for Nespresso Orange Light Issue

If you have already descaled the machine and it hasn’t solved the issue proceed with the following solution.

1. The light flashing orange two times per second
Cleaning needed

If the orange light blinks twice in a second, then you must clean your Nespresso machine thoroughly. Follow the below-mentioned steps and see if they solve your problem.

  • Open the head of the Machine to eject any previously used capsules.
  • Take a paper towel or piece of cloth, and gently wipe all the machine parts.
  • Open the head of the machine and clean the area where coffee capsules are placed and also wipe all the moving parts of the machine with that cloth.
  • Empty the capsule container, and rinse it with water.
  • Empty and rinse the water reservoir, then fill it with fresh water
  • Wash the drip tray and place a larger cup under the coffee outlet.
  • Close the head and place it in the locked position by turning it to the left.
  • Press the button 3 times in 2 seconds to start the cleaning cycle. The orange light will flash to indicate the cleaning cycle has started.
  • The machine will start dispensing hot water after two minutes and it will take around 5 to 7 minutes to complete the cleaning cycle.
  • After the cleaning cycle has finished the blinking orange light will turn to a steady green light indicating that the machine is ready to brew.

Blockage of coffee grounds in the machine

Sometimes, the Nespresso machine experiences blockage of grounds in its centrifugal spinner at the top of the capsule holder.

In this situation, the Machine cannot operate properly and alert the user with the orange light.

To fix this you should adequately examine the capsule holder to check whether there is any blockage because of coffee residue.

Wipe the spinner thoroughly or clean it with a brush and try to spin it with your hands. If it’s spinning properly then the orange light will go away.

2. The Orange light is still on After the Descaling Cycle

Sometimes the machine does not stop blinking even after descaling in that case you have to quit the descaling mode.

For quitting, Press and hold the buttons for approximately six to eight seconds or until the Machine beeps clearly.

When this happens, you can release the button, and the system must exit on its own.

If that doesn’t solve your problem Check our detailed guide on what to do when Nespresso won’t exit descaling mode and is stuck.

A common reason for flashing lights on Nespresso machines is accidentally putting the machine in descale mode.

If you find that your machine lights are blinking quickly and persist for a more extended period, then it is most probable that you have put your Machine in descale mode. You have to exit the special function mode in that case.

3. The light blinks 2 times in 1 second and then off
Error in the capsule holder

This mostly happens in 2 different conditions.

1. During coffee preparation

Make sure the machine is locked properly and has a new, undamaged capsule inside.

If the light is still on, try inserting a new coffee pod, lock it, and press the button.

Sometimes the lower part of the pod holder is covered with dried-out coffee residue that makes it difficult for the machine to read the code. In that case, thoroughly clean the pod holder with a bit of water and a soft toothbrush.

2. During the descaling process

During descaling or cleaning, make sure that the machine is locked properly and that there are no capsules in the machine.

Press and hold the button for about 3 seconds to turn the machine off. Press the button again to turn it on. If the light is still blinking, unplug it from the wall outlet.

Wait 10 seconds before plugging it back in, then turn on the machine again.

4. Orange Light Blinking Rapidly
The Capsule Container is full

If the waste capsule container of your Nespresso machine is full your machine will not brew coffee and start blinking orange rapidly.

To fix that empty and clean the waste capsule container and the orange light will turn off automatically.

Read a guide on Nespresso pod recycling

5. Orange light pulsing (Fades on and Off)
Machine is overheated

The pulsing orange light indicates that the machine is warmed up due to excessive use and just needs to cool down. In this condition, press the machine button for 3 seconds to turn it off. Also, unplug the machine.

Wait for approximately 20-30 minutes until the Machine cools down.

If it still pulses, then your machine might be in a descaling mode. In that case, press and hold the button for at least 7 seconds to check whether the light stops or not.

6. The light blinks for 1.5 seconds and then off for 0.5 seconds

This condition indicates that the water reservoir of the Machine is empty. When the water level is lower, the Machine cannot operate, (Obviously!) and the orange light will blink for 1.5 seconds.

To fix this, simply remove the water tank and then refill the water tank with water.

6. Orange light blinks 5 times in 10 seconds
Machine needs a factory reset

The machine blinks five times in 10 seconds means you need to perform a factory reset. To reset the Nespresso Vertuo Next:

  • Open the head of your machine and eject the previously used capsule.
  • Close the head of the machine.
  • Make sure that the lever is in the unlocked position.
  • Now press the button five times. It will flash slowly five times to confirm that the reset has been completed.

7. Light Blinks Orange and then turns to white
Descaling alarm

If the light blinks orange and then turns to solid white, you can not use the machine without descaling it properly.

In this situation, the descaling process is not an option but a mandatory step as the machine won’t brew any coffee without it.

If your Nespresso machine is leaking from the top or bottom. Read a detailed guide on why my Nespresso Machine leaking water and how to fix it.

Final thoughts

This article discusses all the possible reasons why is your Nespresso blinking orange light and what you can do about it. I hope this article has helped you in fixing your problem.

If the problem still persists, then there might be some serious issues with the machine (Glitches, Errors in Software). In that case, you must contact Nespresso customer service.

The Nespresso Customer Support is really helpful and supportive. They will surely help you to fix the machine or you can also replace the machine if it’s still in the Warranty Period.

Want to buy a Nespresso Vertuo machine? Read our guide on Nespresso Vertuo Next Vs Vertuo Plus


How often do you need to descale Nespresso?

You should descale your Nespresso machine every 3 to 6 months or after every 300 cups of coffee.
Usually, Nespresso gives orange light alerts when there is a need for descaling but it’s a good practice to descale the machine on time even if there is no alert.

Does Nespresso blink orange when brewing?

No, Nespresso machines blink white or green lights while brewing coffee depending on the model.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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