How to Correctly Store Your Espresso Machine

Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Barry Gray

When I was moving house, I had a list of items I wanted to take special care of. I’m sure you would have done the same if you had been in that situation.

Many will have previous family heirlooms, jewelry, or items that are clearly fragile that they don’t want to be without.

Me? I added my espresso machine into that as I knew all I wanted was a coffee once I got to the new destination to ease the stress of the move.

But to do this, you need to know how to correctly store your espresso machine to ensure it cannot move during transportation. Also, you must descale it, clean it thoroughly, ensure everything is dry, and then wrap it to give each part extra protection. Only then will it be secure enough for the move.

I know I probably went for a bit of overkill with the wrapping I did to my espresso machine, but I didn’t care about that. After all, I couldn’t think of anything worse than getting to my new home to discover my espresso machine hadn’t coped that well with the move.

Also, I don’t want you to find yourself in the position where something has gone wrong with your prized espresso machine resulting in you having to replace it.

That would be terrible, so let’s stop that from happening.

I admit there are a few essential steps you may never have thought about or didn’t realize how important they were. Yet, I would stress you need to follow each part.

But also, the steps I will mention will work if you plan on storing your espresso machine for several months. However, I wonder why anybody would want to do that. I would go stir-crazy after a day or two.

What are the Problems Of Storing Your Espresso Machine?

espresso machine

If you thought you could put your espresso machine in a box and not worry about it, I’m sorry to say that’s not the case. Instead, you could, in effect, ruin your machine, and that’s not something any coffee lover wants to encounter.

The problems you could face may involve water damage or even old coffee in the machine, taking on an unpleasant smell that will hang around for an eternity. Also, when you don’t use the machine for some time, some of the mechanisms may stick, leading to the machine malfunctioning or not working.

But I admit I’ve never left my espresso machine alone for long enough for that to happen. However, it does make a lot of sense that this particular problem could occur.

Thankfully, I’m here to save the day and stop all that happening. It won’t take too many steps either, which is cool because I’m not exactly a stickler for having to carry out too many actions to get the end result. 

But for good coffee, I’ll go that extra mile. 

Flushing Your Espresso Machine and a Deep Clean

flush espresso machine

My starting point was to flush my espresso machine. That entails running it without adding coffee, so only water is put through the machine.

This is important. Old coffee can stink if left in the machine’s inner workings. Also, it just cannot be healthy to have old coffee sitting there, as it will end up in your next cup of coffee when you fire the machine up again. 

I flushed the machine several times to ensure everything was clean inside. I did not want to entertain the idea of having some rancid coffee stuck in my machine.

But if you are merely moving home, so your espresso machine will not be out of action for a prolonged period, this step may not be entirely necessary. However, I see it as a part of the general care for your espresso machine anyway, so this is the perfect time to carry out this bit of maintenance.

Also, you want to undertake a deep cleaning of your machine. That means cleaning every part that actually comes into contact with the coffee. What that involves does depend on whether you have a semi-automatic or fully automatic espresso machine.

You load the coffee for each espresso shot for a semi-automatic machine, so your primary focus is on the group head. Most will screw off, allowing you to clean the group head, as the build-up of coffee that can be stuck on there is astonishing.

Your primary focus should be the brew unit if you have an automatic machine. Often, you can remove this at the side of your espresso machine. I would check your instruction manual to see how to remove the brew unit with your model, but it’s usually just the press of a button, and it pops out of the machine.

Clean every part with a brush, then lubricate the brew unit before putting everything back together. 

Descaling Your Machine

signs you need to descale

I will mention descaling your machine if you plan on storing it for some time, even though I’m lucky not to have to do that due to my water. However, suppose you need to descale your kettle or espresso machine. In that case, I would do it before I put the machine away for any period.

So, what’s the best way of descaling?

I recommend filling the reservoir with water and adding just one tablespoon of citric acid. After that, keep firing those shots until you have exhausted the water supply.

The citric acid mix is sent through the pipes. It will do a good enough job of descaling, so you won’t have to worry about anything building up deep inside your machine when in storage. 

Draining Your Espresso Machine

drain espresso machine

The next thing I had to do was to drain my espresso machine. I think this is the most obvious step, as you don’t want old water hanging around inside your espresso machine. Not only will it potentially lead to bacteria growth, but it can also rust the inner workings of the machine.

That means you could destroy your espresso machine simply by forgetting to remove all the water and letting it dry before storage.

How you do this will vary depending on your make and model. However, I would strip it down as much as possible and allow the different parts to dry off. I know some areas are untouchable, but just stopping using your machine for a period and letting parts air dry will make a difference.

I’m lucky that my model comes with relatively few external parts. However, if your model has external pipes, then remove them, if possible, and get those pipes to dry. You can then tape them to the machine when storing it.

Packing and Protecting Your Espresso Machine

The final step is packing and protecting your espresso machine. I know I treated my machine like the most fragile item ever known to man. I think you will appreciate why I treated it in this way.

But I have a few tips on protecting and packing your espresso machine to ensure it’s not damaged when moving or simply sitting in storage. 

First, get a strong box, and make sure it won’t be a tight fit to get your espresso machine in there. You want space around the machine because you need to throw in some additional packing materials to ensure nothing will move around and can absorb some impact if required.

But here is how to wrap and protect your espresso machine.

Wrap Individual pieces

wrapping individual parts of espresso machine

Whenever possible, wrap individual pieces for your espresso machine. That means the water reservoir, any pipes, or any other items. 

Wrap each item in packing materials to give them added protection. I know some people may think just wrapping the entire machine at one time would be the better approach, but that’s not the case. Pieces move around, so it’s better to protect every single item individually rather than as a whole.

Secure Any Loose Components

Aside from wrapping up individual components, I also check over the machine for any loose parts that may need tightening down. Again, this is partly maintenance, but it’s also best to ensure nothing can move around and potentially break.

To help, I taped down some parts I worried would move. I would suggest doing this, as securing the parts makes a huge difference. 

I also paid close attention to those parts to double up with the wrapping around those areas when packing away the entire espresso machine. 

Wrapping the Entire Machine

Once I’d secured any loose parts and wrapped individual components, I focused on the rest of the machine. I used bubble wrap and didn’t just go around the machine one time. While protecting the machine, you want the wrapping to absorb any bumps or knocks.

But you are still not finished, well that’s if you want to be as careful as I was when wrapping my own machine.

Use loose packing material to fill the rest of the box after placing your espresso machine inside. You want it to fill each space as this packing material simply gives another layer of protection, meaning your machine has no chance of being knocked and damaged. 

After all of that, I then taped the box shut, and I certainly had no issues with the idea of taking my espresso machine out at the other end and it then being in 1000 pieces.

Where to Store Your Espresso Machine

But I have one final point to discuss: where you should store your espresso machine if you plan to do so for any length of time. 

I think I’m guilty of viewing my machine as this delicate piece of technology, but that’s primarily due to my fear of something going wrong with it. However, there’s a theory to my apparent madness.

On the one hand, your espresso machine is robust. It’s designed to withstand boiling water passing through the machine, which works in your favor.

But there’s a problem.

Your espresso machine is designed to cope with those warm temperatures. However, they are not designed to sit in cold conditions while unused. At that point, it’s very possible aspects of the machine will jam or even break simply because of the low temperatures.

Your machine must be stored where the temperature does not get too low and where the temperature is consistent. It should also be dry.

If you remember those points, packing and protecting your espresso machine should be easy.

To Conclude

So that is how to prepare your espresso machine for moving. I know each step is important, even though it sounds like more work than you expected. However, when you consider the potential cost of replacing your espresso machine, I think it’s worth putting in the effort to ensure everything is secure.

At least then, you can fire it up as soon as you get to your new home and get that caffeine hit that will blast you through the rest of the move.