How to Prepare an Espresso Machine for Storage

Ray Victor
Last Updated:
September 25, 2023

Are you planning to use storage to keep your espresso machine safe for more than six months at a time? If so, you may risk degrading the life of your machine.

Prepping the machine can make or break how long it lasts in storage.

Here are the risks from storing your coffee machine without proper preparation:

  • Unflushed coffee grounds sitting in the espresso machine can go rancid. It will influence the taste of future coffees made
  • Excess moisture trapped inside the machine causes musty odours
  • Rusting of different mechanisms in the machine

The good news? There is a way to avoid said risks. You should be good if you deep clean, rinse, and descale your machine before handing it over to storage.

Today, we will discuss the best steps you can take to help keep your coffee machine safe for longer in storage.

  1. Cleaning your machine with a focus on the parts coffee comes in contact with

The dirtiest parts of your espresso machine will indeed be the ones that come in contact with the actual liquid. Because coffee can go rancid, it is vital to clean these parts to avoid the risk of mould growth. Coffee grounds can accumulate in your machine if you do not clean them with precision.

Before you can clean it with absolute accuracy, you must find out how your espresso machine works. Most espresso machines fall under two categories: Semi-automatic and Automatic.  

Semi-automatic Espresso Machine: Cleaning the Group Head

Most semi-automatic espresso machines need deep cleaning in their group head region. It is the area where coffee filters meet to make an espresso. So, it is likely to hold onto old coffee grounds.

To clean this, remove the group head using a screwdriver. Now, soak the group head in some warm water to loosen most of the stubborn coffee residue. It will make the cleaning process much easier to do.

After soaking, use a mixture of dish soap and warm water on a toothbrush and start scrubbing away. It will help further clean any leftover coffee residue and make it look brand new. Once satisfied, put the group head back in place.

Automatic Espresso Machine: Cleaning the Brew Unit

Automatic espresso machines make the coffee internally. The part that needs deep cleaning will be the brew unit.

Most brew units are removable from the side panels. If you need a screwdriver, use it.

Once you extract the brew unit, use a toothbrush soaked in Dish soap+Warm water.

It should help maximise cleaning and allow you to easily remove all the gunk that accumulates in the central unit.

Once you find that it is clean enough, place the brew unit back in its place.

  1. Descaling your espresso machine

It is challenging to try and get the moisture out of your machine. To help with this, fill the water reservoir with half a litre of water and a tablespoon of citric acid.

Next, turn your espresso machine on and fill out as many espresso shots with the liquid inside. Ensure that the machine is free of any remaining coffee grounds before you do this.

Once the citric acid mixture has flushed out completely, fill it up again with distilled water and repeat the process.

Doing so will thoroughly descale the machine.

  1. Remove external pipes

Leaving external pipes on your machine can cause severe rusting. Remove all the external pipes from the machine before you hand it to storage.

To do this, take the pipes out and clean them with warm water and dish soap (if needed.)

Then, dry the pipes and stick them to the outside of your machine using tape. There you have it! These are the steps you can take to pack and prepare your espresso machine for storage. 

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