Tips & Tricks

How to (Safely) Move a Washer and Dryer

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There are a couple of ways of looking at moving a washer and dryer. One: Hey, hey – you own a place now and get to buy your own appliances! And, two: you already own a pad and are moving to a new place…along with all your appliances.

Either way, when it comes to moving a washer and dryer by yourself, you want to take great care to brush up on all the proper safety tips before you begin.

First tip? Save yourself the trouble. Hire a professional. Washers and dryers are heavy and complicated. They attach to dangerous utilities like electricity, water, and gas, which if approached carelessly can cause serious personal injury – not to mention break the appliance and bust up your house or apartment. Dolly Helpers have the equipment and experience to moving your washer and dryer carefully and quickly. So give us a shout!

Still thinking about going it alone? If we can’t stop you, at least we can help prepare you for the steps you need to consider when tackling this job on your own.

Preparing to Move a Washer and Dryer

Week Leading up to the Move:

  1. Moving a musty washer is no good, so run a rinse cycle to clean it in advance of the move, using either a packed washer cleaner, or a homemade solution.
  2. After the cycle is done, be sure to leave the lid or door open to help air out the appliance.
  3. Shut off the hot and cold water valves to the washer.
  4. Vacuum out your lint trap. Your really can’t do this often enough. It helps maintain the dryer and can prevent house fires.
  5. Make sure you have a strong friend lined up. No joke, you should never attempt to move a washer and dryer alone (yes, we’ve seen it before). And do your friend a solid and let them know what you’re moving, when, and if there are any stairs or tricky spots during the move.
  6. Line up the necessary equipment. You may have a truck lined up, sure – but don’t forget the helpful gear and tools you’ll need to move the appliance itself. Think about gloves with a great grip, forearm forklifts, and appliance dollies – all of which help make your move safer and prevent damage to your house, truck, and appliances.

Safely Disconnecting your Washer and Dryer’s Electricity

Shut off electricity at the junction box. If you’re not sure which breakers control your electric connection to your washer and dryer, don’t take any risks – shut off all power to the house. Remember, when dealing with electricity and gas, if you’re at all unsure, contact a professional.

Be sure to tape the electrical cords securely to the back of each appliance – as you don’t want the chords to trip you and your helper while you’re carrying it.

Disconnecting your Washer’s Water

Disconnect the water hoses from the wall and washer and dryer. You’ll probably need a wrench and a towel to help clean up any escaping drips. Once your hoses are dry, place them inside a plastic bag within the appliance. This will help make sure you don’t lose them during the move.

Disconnecting your Dryer’s Gas

If you have a gas dryer, you’ll also need to shut off the gas and disconnect the gas line from the dryer. To repeat, first shut off the gas valve before disconnecting the line from your dryer. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t even think about messing around with gas. Call a plumber.  

Disconnecting your Dryer’s Vents

Like your lines and hoses, you want to keep your vent connectors and hoses close by for when the dryer reaches its final destination. Place them in a plastic bag and set inside the dryer.

Cleaning your Dryer’s Vents and Lint Traps

If you’ve been a little lax about cleaning your vents, now’s a good time give them a good once-over with a vacuum cleaner extension or dustbuster.

Securing your Washer’s Drum

Your washer’s drum – that thing that wiggles and spins – is composed of a lot of moving parts, and if you jostle it around too much during the move, you can damage your appliance. Shipping bolts can help secure the drum and prevent any unwanted movement.

Some new appliances come with bolts, but if yours didn’t you can likely find them online (note, many manufacturers provide different moving bolts, and arrange them in different locations on the machine, so be sure to check your make and model’s user manual before going online).

Moving Day

Protecting your Washer and Dryer

To keep your washer and dryer from scratches nicks and dents, wrap them with clean moving blankets secured with strong moving tape that’s easy to remove. While you can use shrink wrap to secure your blankets, don’t use plastic sheeting or tarps as that can cause a humidity and mildew to form inside the appliance from any leftover water.

Moving a Washer and Dryer Up or Down Stairs

Depending on the complexity of the move, and whether you have any stairs, forearm forklifts can be incredibly useful. But if you want to be a bit safer, use an appliance forearm forklifts or an appliance dolly and secure the washer and dryer with ropes or bungee cords. Appliance dollies usually include these built into the device for added safety.

If the stairwells you’re attacking are mostly straight, an appliance dolly is super useful as it has additional tracks that allow you to drag or lower the appliance across multiple steps simultaneously. This helps prevent the typical jolt that comes with hitting each and every step.

Remember, when moving heavy equipment up or down stairs, be sure stretch first, and then to go very, very slow. There is no need to rush, especially when doing so can cause serious bodily harm. Have we reminded you enough about not doing this alone? We didn’t think so. Don’t do it alone.

Loading a Washer and Dryer Into a Truck

Depending on how much you’re moving, placement of your washer and dryer in the moving truck can be crucial. Be sure to factor in the distance and complexity of your move (lots of highways and hills, for example). Typically, it’s safest to load the appliances closer to the cab for move even weight distribution – which will help stabilize the moving truck and reduce shifting.

If you’re moving a pickup truck instead of a moving truck, you’ll have to be extra vigilant about securing your washer and dryer in transport. Invest in some simple ratchet tie-downs. These help keep your items tight and in place while moving, and are more secure than most rope knots or bungee-cord attachments.

Moving Your Washer and Dryer into your New Home or Apartment

At your new pad, don’t rush to tuck your washer and dryer snug into their new home. Remember, you have to hook up water, electricity, gas and hoses. So set each appliance a couple of feet away and make sure you have access. Revisit the safety steps above for each utility. If you’re tired from the move, wait till you’re rested up to tackle utility hook ups.

Storing a Washer and Dryer

If you’re in between places and need to store your washer and dryer, keep it accessible in the storage unit and be sure your washer is getting some air flow.

Like on the moving truck, don’t be tempted to toss a plastic sheet or tarp over the top. Use blankets or old sheets to keep them breathing until they’re ready to move to their new home.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of moving your washer and dryer, let’s agree: You don’t want to do this by yourself. Download the Dolly app, get a quick quote, and communicate directly with your helper to walk through any specifics about your washer and dryer move.

Sonal is the Sr. Marketing Manager at Dolly. She loves storytelling and building great experiences for customers.

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