Why Is My Nespresso Blinking Orange? Here’s How To Fix It

Nespresso machines are where convenience meets quality in the realm of coffee brewing.

Nespresso, a name synonymous with quick, delicious espresso and coffee at the touch of a button, has won over the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide.

Its sleek design, ease of use, and wide variety of flavors cater to every palate, making it a staple in kitchens and offices alike.

However, even the most reliable gadgets have their moments, and Nespresso machines are no exception.

Among the most common issues users encounter is the mysterious blinking orange light—a signal from your machine that something’s amiss.

This light can be a source of confusion and frustration for many, leaving you without your much-needed coffee fix.

Your Nespresso blinks orange to indicate a need for cleaning or descaling, an empty water tank, a full capsule container, overheating, or a machine error.

But fear not! Understanding what your Nespresso is trying to tell you is the first step to getting back to your perfect cup.

Let’s dive into what causes this blinking orange light and how you can fix it.

Understanding Nespresso Machines

Nespresso machines have revolutionized the way we enjoy coffee, bringing barista-level espresso and coffee drinks into our homes with unparalleled convenience.

To cater to a broad range of preferences and brewing technologies, Nespresso offers two distinct lines of machines: the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine.

Each line has its unique way of brewing and capsule compatibility, not to mention the way they communicate with users, especially when something isn’t quite right.

Nespresso OriginalLine

The OriginalLine machines are the pioneers in Nespresso’s journey, designed to extract espresso from capsules using high-pressure extraction.

This line offers a more traditional espresso experience, with a rich crema and intense flavor that espresso enthusiasts adore.

OriginalLine machines are compatible with a wide variety of capsules, not just from Nespresso but also from third-party providers, giving users a plethora of options to explore different flavors and blends.

Nespresso VertuoLine

Introduced to cater to the North American preference for larger, mug-sized coffees, the VertuoLine employs a unique centrifugal brewing technology.

Capsules for the VertuoLine are equipped with barcodes that the machine reads to adjust its brewing parameters to the specific blend — optimizing water temperature, rotation speed, and flow rate to brew everything from espresso to alto-sized coffees.

This line is known for its thick, luxurious crema and offers an innovative take on coffee brewing.

How Nespresso Machines Use Light Signals to Communicate Issues

Nespresso machines are not just about brewing; they’re also about communicating with their users, especially when they need a little TLC.

Both lines of machines use a system of light signals — primarily through the LED light around the brew button — to inform users of their status or any issues that need addressing.

Here’s how they generally communicate:

  • Solid Light: Indicates the machine is ready to brew or in the process of brewing.
  • Slow Blinking Light: This signifies the machine is heating up, and getting ready to deliver your coffee.
  • Fast Blinking Light: Often a sign that the machine requires descaling or there’s an issue that needs immediate attention, such as overheating or an internal error.
  • Blinking Orange Light: This is where it gets specific. Depending on the pattern, it could mean anything from the water tank being empty, the need for descaling, a full capsule container, or even a need for a factory reset.

Common Reasons for a Nespresso Machine Blinking Orange

When your Nespresso machine starts flashing an orange light, it’s not trying to ruin your day.

It’s actually communicating with you, signaling that it needs a bit of attention to get back to its job of making your beloved coffee.

Let’s break down the common reasons behind the blinking orange light and how you can address them.

Need for Cleaning or Descaling

Cleaning and descaling are like the coffee machine’s version of a spa day.

Over time, coffee oils, residue, and mineral deposits from water can build up inside your machine, affecting its performance and the taste of your coffee.

An orange light often signals that it’s time to give your machine a thorough cleaning or descaling.

Cleaning involves wiping down accessible parts and running a cycle with just water, while descaling requires a specific solution to remove mineral buildup.

Regular maintenance keeps your Nespresso happy and your coffee tasting great.

Empty Water Reservoir

An empty water reservoir is one of the simplest issues to fix but can be easily overlooked in the rush of a morning routine.

If your Nespresso blinks orange, it might just be thirsty for water.

Check the reservoir and refill it with fresh, preferably filtered water.

This not only solves the immediate problem but also ensures your coffee tastes its best.

Full Used Capsule Container

A full used capsule container is a sign of a well-loved Nespresso machine but can also be the cause of the blinking orange light.

Each machine has a limit on how many spent capsules it can hold, and once this limit is reached, it’s time to empty the container.

Regularly clearing out used capsules prevents clogs and keeps the machine running smoothly.


Overheating can occur if the machine is used extensively over a short period, especially on hotter days or in warmer environments.

Like any electronic device, Nespresso machines need to cool down to operate safely.

If your machine is blinking orange and feels hot to the touch, turn it off and let it rest for a while.

This not only protects the machine’s internal components but also ensures your safety.

Machine Errors or Malfunctions

Sometimes, the blinking orange light can indicate more serious machine errors or malfunctions.

This could be anything from a mechanical issue to a software glitch.

If basic troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the blinking light, it might be time to consult the user manual or contact Nespresso customer service for support.

They can provide guidance on whether the machine needs professional repair or replacement.

Decoding the Blinking Orange Light

Understanding these signals can help you quickly get your machine back to brewing your favorite coffees.

Let’s decode these blinking patterns and what they signify, ensuring you know just what to do when you encounter them.

Slow Blinking: Machine Warming Up

Slow blinking is usually a sign that your machine is in the process of warming up and getting ready to brew your coffee.

This is normal behavior, especially if you’ve just turned on the machine.

Give it a few moments, and the light should become steady, indicating it’s ready for use.

There’s no need for concern here; your machine is just preparing to do what it does best.

Fast Blinking: Descale Needed or Overheating

Fast blinking can indicate a couple of issues, depending on the context.

If your machine has been in use for a while and hasn’t been descaled, this rapid blinking could be telling you it’s time for a descaling session.

Alternatively, if you’ve been using the machine back-to-back for several cups, the fast blinking might mean the machine is overheating.

In the case of descaling, running a descaling cycle as per the manufacturer’s instructions will resolve the issue.

If overheating is the concern, turning off the machine and letting it cool down for a bit is the best course of action.

Usually, you should wait around 25-30 minutes before using the machine again.

Steady Blinking: Water Tank Empty or Capsule Container Full

Steady blinking is typically straightforward – it usually means either the water tank is empty or the used capsule container is full.

Checking and refilling the water tank or emptying the capsule container should quickly resolve this issue.

Differences in Light Signals Between OriginalLine and VertuoLine Machines

It’s important to note that OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines may use these blinking signals differently.

OriginalLine machines, being the first generation, tend to have a more straightforward approach to signaling, with fewer variations in blinking patterns.

VertuoLine machines, on the other hand, utilize a more complex system of blinks, including reading barcodes on capsules to adjust brewing parameters, which can introduce additional blinking signals for specific capsule-related issues.

Nespresso VertuoPlus Light Indicators

Light ColorIndicatorMeaning
GreenSteadyNormal operation; the machine is either heating up, scanning a capsule’s barcode, or brewing coffee.
OrangeFlashingA special program is active, such as descaling or factory reset.
RedVarious PatternsIndicates a warning or error message.

Detailed Red Light Alerts for Vertuo Plus or Next Machines

Red Light PatternMeaning
Blinks twice, then steady greenThe water tank needs refilling, or a capsule needs to be inserted.
Half green, half red steadyDescale is required.
Pulsing or fading outThe machine is overheating and requires cooling. The light will stabilize once it’s ready for use again.
Steady, with the machine inactiveIndicates the machine has overheated.
Continuous blinking, machine head immobileA capsule has been inserted incorrectly.
Steady or blinking once per secondSignifies a machine error. Attempt restarting the machine by turning it off and then on again. If unresolved, contact customer support.

Step-by-Step Solutions to Resolve the Blinking Orange Light

Here’s a step-by-step guide to addressing the most common causes behind the blinking orange light, ensuring your coffee ritual remains uninterrupted.

Cleaning the Machine

A clean machine is a happy machine.

Regular cleaning not only prevents the orange light from blinking due to dirt and residue but also ensures your coffee tastes fresh every time.

  1. Turn off and unplug your machine to ensure safety.
  2. Remove the drip tray and capsule container, rinsing them with warm water.
  3. Wipe down the machine’s exterior with a damp cloth. Pay special attention to the coffee outlet and any movable parts.
  4. Run a brewing cycle with just water (no capsule) to clean the inside. Repeat this process a couple of times.

Descaling Process

Descaling removes mineral buildup inside your machine, which can affect performance and coffee taste.

  1. Prepare the descaling solution according to the instructions on your Nespresso descaling kit.
  2. Fill the water tank with the solution and water as directed.
  3. Start the descaling mode on your machine. This process can vary by model, so refer to your manual for specific instructions.
  4. Rinse thoroughly by running at least three cycles of fresh water through the machine after descaling.

Importance of Using Nespresso Descaling Kits

Nespresso descaling kits are formulated specifically for Nespresso machines, ensuring they’re effectively cleaned without damage.

Using these kits as opposed to DIY solutions like vinegar ensures your machine remains in top condition and your warranty stays intact.

Refilling the Water Tank

An empty water tank is an easy fix:

  1. Remove the water tank from your machine.
  2. Fill it with fresh, preferably filtered, water to the maximum fill line.
  3. Replace the tank securely, ensuring it’s properly attached.

Emptying the Capsule Container

A full capsule container can stop your machine in its tracks:

  1. Open the machine and remove the capsule container.
  2. Empty the container into the trash and rinse it if necessary.
  3. Replace the container, making sure it fits back into place snugly.

Cooling Down the Machine

If your machine is overheating, give it a break:

  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes to cool down.

Resetting the Machine to Factory Settings

When all else fails, a factory reset can be the fresh start your machine needs:

  1. Consult your machine’s manual for specific instructions on performing a factory reset, as the process can vary.
  2. Typically, this involves holding down certain buttons for a few seconds.
  3. After resetting, run a water cycle to ensure the machine is ready for use.

Advanced Troubleshooting

Even after going through the basic troubleshooting steps, there might be times when your Nespresso machine continues to flash that perplexing orange light.

This is when advanced troubleshooting comes into play.

Understanding when to reach out for professional help and how to perform a factory reset can save you time and ensure your machine gets back to brewing your favorite coffee as soon as possible.

When to Contact Nespresso Customer Service

While many issues can be resolved with simple fixes, there are certain situations where it’s best to contact Nespresso customer service:

  • Persistent Blinking Light: If the orange light continues to blink in a pattern that you can’t decode or persists after you’ve attempted all relevant troubleshooting steps.
  • Machine Performance Issues: If your machine is not brewing coffee correctly, producing less coffee than expected, or making unusual noises during operation.
  • Error Codes: Some Nespresso models display specific error codes or have unique blinking patterns not covered in the user manual. These often require professional diagnostics.
  • Physical Damage: If there’s visible damage to your machine or a part seems to be malfunctioning (e.g., the water tank is leaking, or the capsule mechanism isn’t working).

In these cases, Nespresso’s customer service team can provide expert advice, walk you through additional troubleshooting steps, or guide you on how to send your machine in for repair.

How to Perform a Factory Reset on Different Models

A factory reset can often resolve underlying issues by restoring your Nespresso machine to its original settings.

Here’s a general guide on performing a factory reset, but remember, the exact steps can vary between models, so it’s always a good idea to check your machine’s manual first.

  • OriginalLine Machines: For most OriginalLine models, turn off the machine, then press and hold the lungo button for five seconds. The lights will blink rapidly to indicate the reset is in progress and will return to steady once the reset is complete.
  • VertuoLine Machines: VertuoLine machines typically require you to simultaneously press and hold the coffee button and the lever for at least three seconds. Some models might have a specific combination or sequence, so consulting the manual is crucial. The machine will turn off and then back on, indicating a successful reset.

Performing a factory reset is often the last step in home troubleshooting before contacting customer service.

It can clear up any software glitches and ensure that any settings that may have been inadvertently changed are reverted back to standard.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

To ensure your Nespresso machine continues to produce the perfect cup of coffee with each use, regular maintenance is key.

Not only does it prolong the life of your machine, but it also prevents common issues that lead to the dreaded blinking orange light.

Here are some preventive maintenance tips that are easy to follow and can make a significant difference in your machine’s performance.

Regular Cleaning and Descaling Schedule


Make it a habit to clean your Nespresso machine regularly.

After each use, remove used capsules and rinse the capsule container.

Weekly, wipe down the machine’s exterior and the drip tray with a damp cloth.

Monthly, run a water cycle without a capsule to clean the inside of the machine.


Depending on the hardness of your water and how frequently you use the machine, descaling should be done every three to six months.

Descaling removes calcium deposits that can affect the machine’s heating and pumping mechanisms.

Always use the Nespresso descaling kit or a descaling solution recommended by the manufacturer to ensure compatibility and effectiveness.

Using Filtered Water to Reduce Mineral Buildup

The type of water you use in your Nespresso machine can significantly impact the frequency of descaling needed.

Hard water, which is high in minerals like calcium and magnesium, can lead to faster buildup of scale inside the machine.

Using filtered or bottled water can reduce the rate of mineral buildup, leading to fewer descaling sessions and a lower risk of machine malfunctions related to scale.

Additionally, filtered water can improve the taste of your coffee, making this a win-win situation.

Proper Capsule Insertion and Removal

Improper capsule insertion or failure to remove a used capsule after brewing can lead to blockages and potentially damage your machine.

Always ensure that the capsule is correctly placed in the capsule compartment before lowering the lever or closing the lid.

After brewing, remove the used capsule promptly.

This prevents the capsule from getting stuck and ensures the brewing chamber is ready for your next cup.

Regularly check the capsule container and empty it before it becomes full to avoid overflows and potential jamming of the machine mechanism.


Understanding the blinking orange light on your Nespresso machine is more than just a step towards troubleshooting; it’s about ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your beloved coffee companion.

This guide has illuminated the meanings behind various light signals, especially the crucial orange light, empowering you to take swift action and keep your machine running smoothly.

Regular care, including cleaning, descaling, and attending to the alerts promptly, is not just recommended—it’s essential.

By embracing these maintenance practices, you’re not only preserving your machine but also ensuring that every cup of coffee it brews continues to meet your expectations for taste and quality.

Keep these tips in mind, and your Nespresso machine will remain a reliable source of coffee perfection for years to come.

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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