Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by John Moretti
Whether you’re moving house, going on an extended vacation, or leaving the country, correctly storing your espresso machine is essential to ensure that it functions optimally once you begin putting it to use again.
To ensure your espresso machine is properly stored, you should descale the machine, embark on a thorough cleaning of all the components, drain the boiler completely, and secure all loose components before carefully wrapping the machine and placing it in a secure box, ensuring no movement can occur.
Suppose you do not prepare your espresso machine properly before placing it in storage. In that case, it could potentially become damaged, moldy, and its usage ability could otherwise become affected. Generally speaking, it’s always best to protect your investment to ensure it is fully usable once you bring it out of storage again.
Tips On How To Prepare An Espresso Machine For Storage
To ensure your espresso machine is properly prepared for storage, there are several tasks to undertake. This will prevent the machine from becoming damaged in transit and prevent the machine from becoming overrun with mold or mildew.
To begin with, you will need to embark on a thorough cleaning of the machine, which may consist of a full descaling, just to be certain that there is no limescale build-up in the machine. Next, you should drain the boiler.
This is particularly important, not only because any old water left in the machine could cause major problems while the machine is stored as well as damage the packaging, but because an undrained boiler could potentially explode if the machine is transported during winter.
Once the machine has been properly cleaned and the boiler has been drained, your next step is to wrap up individual components and secure any loose parts before sealing the machine up and placing it securely into a padded box.
This will ensure that the machine is protected against any bumps during transit and will ensure that no individual parts become damaged while the machine is stored.
1. Cleaning Your Espresso Machine
The first step in preparing your espresso machine for storage is cleaning. This is a thorough cleaning. However, it does not differ too much from your average weekly clean.
The drip tray is a good place to start. This is easily removed and should ideally be steam-cleaned to ensure that there is no possibility of mold growing in the corners and nodes of the tray.
Clean the machine using citric acid, and try to remove the gasket seal located on the filter where the coffee is pumped through. There may be residue on the seals that can be removed before it dries and creates gunk or mold on these seals.
If you have a bean-to-cup machine, empty out the waste bin as well as the bean hopper, ensuring that there is no coffee residue in either.
Use a group head brush to properly clean the dried grounds from inside the group head itself. You should also clean the steamer tubes with an antibacterial cleaner to ensure that any milk residue is completely removed.
Next, you will need to remove the nozzles from the steam tube and clean them thoroughly. Any metal parts of the filter holders should be soaked in a jug with a solution of liquid quartz and water. This will help remove any residue of coffee oils from underneath the filter basket.
Rinse the above using clean water, and refrain from placing the filter holders back into the group head.
2. Draining The Espresso Machine Boiler
Most Espresso machines can be drained by using the hot water tap. This is best done by first bringing the water up to its usual brewing temperature or pressure level, turning it off, and then blowing out the boiler water through the water tap as far as possible through the use of the steam pressure.
Bear in mind that because this method requires the water to be brought up to its usual steaming temperature to ensure proper drainage, the water, as well as the machine, will be exceptionally hot to the touch.
When draining semi-automatic espresso machines with heat exchangers, the method is similar. To begin with, heat the machine to its standard brewing temperature. Next, place two large containers underneath the brewing group and the hot water dispenser, respectively.
Ensure these containers won’t be able to spill when they become filled with water. Ensure that the capacity of the two containers combined is at least equal to that of your boiler. Next, remove the top of the water reservoir, and initiate the brewing process.
Keep the machine running until water no longer flows from the brewing head, and then turn it off at the main power switch. Next, open up the valve for hot water dispensing and continue running this until the water stops flowing. The boiler should now be drained.
3. Preparing & Packing The Espresso Machine
Once the machine is properly drained, cleaned, and thoroughly dried, your next task is to secure all the components to ensure they don’t move during transit. This can be done using residue-free tape to secure any moving parts such as the drip tray, small drawers that pop out, etc.
Any separate parts such as the portafilter should be taken out and wrapped separately. Next, you should wrap the entire machine in a plastic bag. This will keep the packing material away from the machine itself, thereby preventing it from getting into the nooks and crannies of the machine itself.
This plastic wrapping will also serve the purpose of catching any residual water that may make its way out of the machine, thus preventing it from wetting the cardboard packaging.
Next, select a box that allows for sufficient wiggle room around the machine, and fill any open spaces around the wrapped machine with packaging material such as packaging peanuts. Ensure there are sufficient packaging peanuts over the top of the machine as well as around the sides.
By ensuring you follow all the steps mentioned above, you will be assured that your espresso machine will be properly prepared for storage. If it is properly packaged, the machine will not become damaged during transportation or while it is stored.
In general, the espresso machine will remain free of mold, mildew, and hopefully, any calcification that may have occurred while the machine was being used.