How to Store Your Washer and Dryer

Jon Fesmire |

Your washer and dryer have served you well, cleaning many loads of clothing, but the the time has come to move, or to put them in storage for a while.  Follow these instructions to protect your investment.

Preparing the Appliances

Start getting your washer and dryer ready for storage, or for your move, about a week in advance. You will want to prepare them together. Since their functions differ, some of the steps will apply to both, and some to just one or the other.

Your washer probably has some detergent along the walls from the last wash, or in the drainage pipes. The amount may be slight, but you’ll want to clean it out. Run a single cycle without clothes, and consider using a about a half cup of vinegar to ensure that any stubborn detergent is removed.

Next, turn off the valves for the hot and cold water, and unattach the water from the washer. Turn off the washer’s circuit breaker (it may share one with the dryer), and unplug the machine. Keep the lid or door open and allow it several days to air dry.

Meanwhile, for the dryer, first turn off the breaker. If it’s a gas dryer, turn off the gas. Be extremely careful when removing the gas hose. Once you have removed that safely, unplug the unit. Next, clean out the dryer. Start by removing lint and any bits of cloth or paper left behind. Also, take out the lint traps and wash them with mild soap and water. After, dry them with an absorbent cloth, and leave them out to dry fully.

Give all hoses a few days to dry as well, then place them inside the barrels of their respective machines. If the electrical cables detach from the machines, place them inside the barrels as well.

Moving

After preparing your washer and dryer per the instructions above, they’ll be ready to move. As with all large appliances, you will want to move them carefully. They’re meant to do their jobs in one spot, your laundry room.

Have a helper, if possible. Get the appliance you’re ready to move onto your hand truck. Next, for each appliance, use bungee cords to strap the washer or dryer to the dolly. Your assistant can then help you tip the hand truck back, lifting the appliance slightly off the ground.

Move the dolly carefully, and ask your assistant to help you navigate to the truck. You will want to rent a truck with a ramp if possible, and your friend may need to help you push it up the ramp into the truck.

Inside, you should be able to secure the washer or dryer against the truck wall with the bungee cords. Also, wrap dry towels or blankets around the washer and dryer to prevent damage during transport.

Storing Your Washer and Dryer

Your washer and dryer should be fine in a standard self storage unit, but some of your other belongings might be sensitive to weather conditions. So it’s worth considering if you will need a unit with or without climate control.

In your storage unit, keep the doors to the washer and dryer open slightly to prevent moisture getting trapped inside. Standing moisture can lead to mold in your appliances.

You can also cover each with a cloth sheet or blanket that breathes. Cotton works well. This will keep dust off the appliances.

Follow these steps to give your washer and dryer the best protection possible.